The explanation is locked into understanding the life cycle of a symbiotic yeast becoming a parasite called Candida albicans.Candida albicans is present in all of us not long after birth. It lives in our intestinal tract and is a yeast-like organism which in the infective phases produces conditions involving mucosal invasion or candidiasis.
These infections involve the skin, mouth, vagina, prostate, etc. Most medical practitioners feel that in the absence of the overt signs of candidiasis, which is the acute infection stage of Candida albicans, there is no concern about this organism and that chronic Candida overgrowth has not been well recognized.
I’d like to point out, however, that the Candida organism can increase its numbers during periods of stress or lowered immune potential of the individual.
It is well known that the use of antibiotics or steroids for a long period of time can increase the Candida population in the intestinal tract, as well as the regular use of oral contraceptive medication and high sugar diets.
As Candida proliferates in the intestines, it can change its anatomy and physiology from the yeast-like form to the mycelial fungal form.
It is well recognized that Candida albicans is a dimorphic (two shapes and forms) organism and as such can exist in these two states. The yeast-like state in a non-invasive, sugar-fermenting organism, whereas the fungal state produces rhizoids, or very long root-like structures, which can penetrate the mucosa, and it is invasive. Penetration of the gastrointestinal mucosa can break down the boundary between the intestinal tract and the rest of the circulation and allow introduction into the blood stream of many substances which may be antigenic.
Such things as incompletely digested dietary protein may be delivered to the blood through the portals of entry of the intestinal tract produced by the invasive mycelia of the fungal form of Candida albicans. This may explain why many individuals who have chronic Candida overgrowth and a high percentage of the mycelial form of the organism commonly show a wide variety of food and environmental allergies.
These incompletely digested dietary proteins can then travel into the bloodstream and exert a powerful antigenic assault on the immune system, which is seen as allergy, even producing a wide variety of effects such as cerebral allergy, with depression, mood swings, and irritability being a result.
Recent work from the National Institute of Health in the United States has indicated that some of these incomplete protein-breakdown products, if absorbed, may have endorphin-like activity and can change mood, mind, memory, and behavior.
These products have been given the name of exophins, meaning that they are produced outside systemic circulation and introduced into the blood by way of absorption across the mucosa.
The proliferation of the fungal form of Candida albicans would provide the route of absorption for these exorphin materials. The breakdown of the gastrointestinal mucosa can also lead to the introduction of the Candida organism into the blood stream and it can then find its way into other tissues, resulting in far-ranging system effects, including soreness of joints, chest pain, and skin problems.
One of the common side effects of chronic Candida infection is recurring vaginal infections or cystitis.
We all harbor the organism in our bodies, but it is when the body loses its proper immune protection, or the intestinal pH is altered unfavorably, that the The prevalence of the Candida infection problem may be a result of the widespread use of antibiotics, particularly in animal feed, which end up in our meats, and may expose us to long-term, low levels of antibiotics.
Secondly, it may come from the widespread use of various medications, such as oral contraceptives, which have the ability to stimulate Candida growth may also result from the nutrient-poor, low-residue diets that we eat, which alter the gastrointestinal pH and the mucosal integrity and set up the environment for Candida albicans hyperproliferation.
Treatment of candida requires a multi-faceted approach. Simply following a candida-free diet is not the solution. Depending on the extent of the candida infection will dictate the most effective treatment.
If candida is only localized to the large intestine, a candida diet plus anti-fungal treatment may work. However, once the candida has entered the mucosal barrier and has transformed into a fungal form, the treatment is more complex. Anti-candida diet, anti-fungal and anti-microbial medications must be strictly adhered to for complete elimination of the candida infection.
Worse than mucosal invasion, is candida systemic infections. When the candida pathogen has broken through the mucosal barrier and has entered the blood, you now have the most serious form of candida infection.
The treatment required to “tame” and hopefully destroy the candida is extremely difficult. Although challenging for the patient, the treatment requires patience and the strictest adherence to an anti-candida protocol.