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Candida

Candida Infections, Yeast Infections, Thrush

Medical Considerations
Candida Discussion
Disclaimer
Candida Control
Medical Considerations

Intestinal Flora Replacement: We must create a healthy environment within the Gastrointestinal Tract. Antibiotics destroy the friendly gut bacteria, allowing the naturally present candida bacteria to overpopulate, and then mutate into a mold, which penetrates the intestinal wall to infect the rest of the body. This process has the end result of a "Polysystemic Candidiasis Infection." (Poly meaning in many systems of the body.) Replacing friendly bacteria on a regular basis, but especially during and after any antibiotic use, is very important for the prevention of a candida overgrowth. A high quality, balanced, Intestinal Replacement product, should replace the delicate strands of the various acidophilus types of intestinal bacterium. This is essential during Candida die off so other Candida does not "refill" back into the empty spaces in the intestines. This should assist in combating digestive disorders, vaginal yeast infections, and helps the body resist diseases caused by "unfriendly" bacteria.
Intestinal Flora Supportive Information

Digestive Enzymes: Must have a very high quality, bioavailable, preferably broad spectrum formula, for rapid and complete digestion of foods, to prevent developing possible food allergies. Raw food has intact enzymes that assist in the digestion of that food group. Cooking destroys enzymes. Our bodies also have enzymes that assist in digesting foods, however enzyme function diminishes with age. Failure to completely digest foods leads to incomplete assimilation of nutrients. The result is the development of a number of chronic medical conditions, food allergies included. Plant based digestive enzymes work at any pH; meaning once it is in your stomach, it starts working right away. Animal based digestive enzymes do not begin to work until after your stomach pH drops very low; thus any person with hypochlorhydria (a lack of hydrochloric acid in the gastric juices), may never benefit from animal based digestive enzymes. Enzymes taken with meals will be used up in the stomach while they help digest that meal. Enzymes taken on an empty stomach will go into the blood stream intact. Blood conditions such as stacking of red blood cells (RBCs) like a stack of coins (RBC Rouleau), or red blood cells clumping together (RBC Aggregation), or accumulations of Uric Acid Crystals in the blood, can be greatly helped with a combination of Plant Digestive Enzymes and Antioxidants, taken on an empty stomach. (See our section on pain.)
Health NOTE: Individuals with extreme cases of Gastritis, Gastric or Duodenal Ulcers should begin their Enzyme Supplementation with very little (or no) Protease. Then slowly introduce Protease in approximately 4-6 weeks. This is due to the situation that Protease may temporarily have a burning sensation on individuals with these situations.
Enzymes Supportive Information

Comprehensive Stool Analysis: Tests for all levels of dysbiosis (imbalance of intestinal flora), plus presence of parasites and other factors that can affect health, which can be diagnosed via a stool analysis.
Some hospitals will run a stool analysis, but I’ve heard reports that most do NOT believe in bacterial overgrowth, so the stool analysis they order will not be looking for overgrowth of Candida.

Natural formulations that kill Candida: Several natural formulations that kill Candida overgrowth are available for sale from Alternative Care Doctor’s offices.

Drugs: The common drugs for Candida overgrowth infections are Nystatin and Diflucan. These drugs come in various potencies, and methods of delivery. There are possible complications of these drugs if you are on other meditations. This is where the doctor can get creative and treat the sinuses as well.

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Candida Discussion

Candida, also known as Thrush, is often associated with the well-known female vaginal infection. It presents as a white, cottage cheese vaginal discharge and is often associated with vaginal itching. Its cause is an overgrowth of the organism Candida Albicans.

Candida infections can also occur in the gastrointestinal tract as well. When this occurs it is called "Systemic Candidiasis," and affects both women and men! This may be present without any symptoms or may be the cause of numerous problems. While gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping are predominate, other problems may occur as well including, headaches, sinusitis, palpitations, and environmental allergies and food allergies.

Candida is a genus of yeast like fungi that are commonly part of the normal flora of the mouth, skin, intestinal tract, and vagina. It is a necessary bacterium as part of the normal flora for human health. The problems arise when Candida becomes out of balance. There are numerous different strains of flora present within the digestive system. The two main intestinal bacterium are Candida Albicans and Lactobacillus Acidophilus. I like to think of Candida as dandelions and Lactobacillus as grass. Candida is a very opportunistic bacterium and Lactobacillus is very delicate. When Lactobacillus gets killed off, (which occurs very easily), then Candida over-populates to fill in all the new space from the Lactobacillus die-off. If Candida is allowed to get too far in overgrowth, it takes on a second phase of existence, and becomes a mold, complete with rhizomes (roots) that penetrate the walls of the large intestine. When this occurs, undigested proteins and other foods begin to leak through the intestinal walls as undigested foods. Then the body will begin to have lots of further problems including food allergies.

When the Candida bacteria present as a mold in the intestines, and the rhizomes penetrate the walls of the intestines, and the endotoxins from the Candida overgrowth begin to invade the rest of the body, then the meaning of "Polysystemic Candidiasis," begins to take a very new meaning. ("Poly" meaning many, and "systemic" meaning systems.) I have treated many patients whose Systemic Candidiasis infection was not discovered, and both the endotoxins, and further candida growth were discovered in other parts of the body. One example is a patient with sinus pressure, relentless, for many years. Her previous doctors told her it was all in her mind. Her pains in her sinuses felt like stabbing nails at times. Traditional antibiotics did not help, but actually allowed further intestinal growth of Candida, which allowed in her case, further Candida growth in her sinuses!

When Candida infections become this involved, it is time to see a doctor, and not try to treat yourself. The proper treatment will involve the use of heavy prescription medication specifically designed to treat Candida. However the prescribing doctor must first understand traditional prescription instructions simply will not affect the yeast in the sinuses. There is another way to address this problem.

The endotoxin die off, from the die off of the Candida overgrowth, especially in a fully Systemic Candida infection, can make a patient very sick. Other organ support must be addressed in these cases.

The single largest organ to support in times of Candida die off is the liver. Some liver support supplements are readily available to the public without a doctor's prescription.

Dietary fiber improves all aspects of colon function. Of central importance is the role it plays in maintaining a suitable flora in the colon. A low-fiber intake is associated with both an overgrowth of endotoxin-producing bacteria (bad guys) and a lower percentage of Lactobacillus (good guys) and other acid loving bacteria. A diet high in dietary fiber promotes the growth of acid loving bacteria through the increased synthesis of short chain fatty acids, which reduce the colon pH.

The incidence of Candida infections sharply rose at about the time of the Second World War. This is when antibiotics were discovered. Though antibiotics have saved many lives, heavy use of antibiotics are always associated with Systemic Candida Infections. This is because antibiotics generally kill off the delicate strains of the good intestinal bacteria such as Lactobacillus.

Women are at increased risk of vaginal Candida infections when they have an overgrowth of intestinal Candida. This is due to the short distance between the vaginal opening and the anus. Proper hygiene will be of a definite benefit. A small but important piece of advice for women: Always wipe from front to back so you don’t "push" intestinal bacteria towards your vaginal opening.

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Intestinal Flora Supportive Information

A large body of evidence over the past 75 years has demonstrated the preventive health value of eating foods fermented with Lactobacilli or Bifidobacteria. These beneficial bacteria are referred to as "Probiotics". Probiotic bacteria are considered "friendly" bacteria. They are an essential component of a healthy gastrointestinal tract as they inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, boost immune function, decrease infection in the digestive tract, and enhance digestion through enzyme production.

There are numerous species of lactobacilli and many strains for each species. The most well known of these, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteris, are normal inhabitants of the human digestive tract. Others, like L. bulgaricus and L. Salivarius are not. These organisms, though, still play an important role in maintaining the proper ratio of "friendly" organisms in the bowel by producing "bacteriocins" chemicals that destroy harmful (unfriendly) bowel organisms.

Acidophilus and bifidobacteria maintain a healthy balance of intestinal flora by producing organic compounds such as lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide and acetic acid. These compounds increase the acidity of the intestine and inhibit the growth of less desirable organisms that fair poorly in this acidic environment. By occupying an ecological niche in the intestine, they further limit the growth of opportunistic organisms.

A number of studies have demonstrated benefit of supplementation with Probiotics. The Annals of Internal Medicine published a study which showed that Lactobacillus ingestion reduced and prevented vaginal yeast infections in women. Lactobacillus has also demonstrated positive benefits in irritable bowel syndrome. The DDS-1 strain developed at the University of Nebraska, has proven to be a superior strain in terms of its compatibility with the human GI tract and its stability. (Therefore, the DDS-1 strain is used in this formula.) In another recent study, increasing levels of bifidobacteria reduced the count of Clostridium, a pathogenic disease causing bowel organism. Lowering of the level of Closridium reduced the amount of large bowel toxic chemicals believed to promote cancer. Also, the incidence of "traveler’s diarrhea," which is caused by pathogenic bacteria can be reduced by preventive use of probiotics. It is also important to utilize Probiotics after antibiotic use as recolonizing the intestine may reduce post antibiotic infection in the digestive tract by fifty percent.

Side Effects:

There are no known side effects with the use of probiotics.

References:

1. De Simone C, Vesely R, Bianchi SB, et al. The role of probiotics in modulation of the immune system in man and in animals. Int J Immunother 1993;9:23–28.
2. Rasic JL. The role of dairy foods containing bifido and acidophilus bacteria in nutrition and health. N Eur Dairy J 1983;4:80–88.
3. Barefoot SF, Klaenhammer TR. Detection and activity of Lactacin B, a Bacteriocin produced by Lactobacillus acidophilus. Appl Environ Microbiol 1983;45:1808–15.
4. Hilton E, Isenberg HD, Alperstein P, et al. Ingestion of yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus as prophylaxis for candidal vaginitis. Ann Int Med 1992;116:353–57.
5. Elmer GW, Surawicz CM, McFarland LV. Biotherapeutic agents. JAMA 1996;275(11):870–76.
6. Scarpignato C, Rampal P. Prevention and treatment of traveler’s diarrhea: A clinical pharmacological approach. Chemotherapy 1995;41:48–81.
7. Golledge CL, Riley TV. “Natural” therapy for infectious diseases. Med J Austral 1996;164:94–95 [review].
8. Newcomer AD, Park HS, O’Brian PC, et al. Response of patients with irritable bowel syndrome and lactase deficiency using unfermented acidophilus milk. Am J Clin Nutr 1983;38:257–263.
9. DBagchi and SK Dash, Lactobacillus Acidophilus- Natural Antibiotics and Beyond, Townsend Letter 78-82, 1996.

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Enzymes Supportive Information

Enzymes are responsible for every activity of life. Each and every chemical reaction that takes place within the human body requires enzymes. Our digestive processes are dependent on adequate levels and functioning of digestive enzymes. Raw food has intact enzymes that assist in digestion. Nature intended us to obtain these enzymes from our food sources. Most individuals though, ingest high amounts of cooked food devoid of such enzymes. As our own body’s enzyme function likely diminishes with age, failure of proper digestion can result. This may evolve into a lack of adequate nutrition and the development of a number of chronic medical conditions. A quality line of enzyme products should be utilized on a daily, meal-to-meal basis, for anyone who has indigestion, or any other digestive complaints.

All enzymes need to be plant based. This is very important as plant based enzymes work under nearly all pH environments. Animal based enzymes will only work "after" your stomach lowers its pH to around 3.0. This certainly will not benefit those individuals who already have digestive problems related to improper stomach pH values.

There are two classes of enzymes recognized:

1. Metabolic enzymes - These are responsible for repair, formation and function of each cell within each and every tissue of the body. Over the course of time, these enzymes "wear out" and require replenishment by the body.

2. Digestive enzymes – The main enzymes are the proteases, amylases and lipases, which are involved in the breakdown of ingested proteins, carbohydrates and lipids (fats) respectively. However there are also other enzymes that should be included in a proper enzyme formula. IsoZymes and IsoGastric has this complete enzyme formula. Proper breakdown of these ingested foods is necessary to allow proper absorption of the nutrients to occur.

The current use of metabolic enzymes is limited to specific medical situations such as clot dissolution through intravenous use. Digestive enzymes, though, have been used and are available in supplemental form to assist in numerous digestive disorders.

There is extensive evidence that supports the use of digestive enzymes for a wide range of Gastrointestinal illness including malabsorption, pancreatic insufficiency, celiac disease and lactose intolerance. There are at least two studies that have shown benefit in food allergies with the use of enzymes. Conventional physicians frequently recommend enzymes for all of these aforementioned situations. Heartburn and indigestion also frequently may respond to enzyme nutritional support.

Additional uses:

European literature recognizes additional uses for plant based proteolytic enzymes. These compounds have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, fibrinolytic (blood thinning) and anti-tumor properties in a number of animal experiments. A study in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases showed benefit in individuals with arthritis. 556 people with various forms of arthritis were studied. 283 had good to excellent improvement and 219 showed mild to moderate improvement. The specific enzyme Bromelain, found within "Digestive Support" has been used successfully in Europe as an anti-inflammatory in diverse conditions such as allergic rhinitis and minor trauma including sprains and strains. Quality enzyme formulas thus have a broad range of applicability from improvement in digestion and gastrointestinal disorders, to enhancement of blood flow in individuals with circulatory disorders, to lessening of allergic and arthritis symptoms.

Side Effects:

Individuals with extreme cases of Gastritis, Gastric or Duodenal Ulcers should begin their Enzyme Supplementation with very little (or no) Protease. Then slowly introduce Protease in approximately 4-6 weeks. This is due to the situation that Protease may temporarily have a burning sensation on individuals with these situations.

Drug Interactions:

There is a theoretic concern for the use of Coumadin and protease digestive enzymes, due to the fibrinolytic properties of protease. The concern is: Coumadin is a blood thinner and fibrinolytic properties means to cause blood clotting. The question is whether taking protease would counter the effects of Coumadin. Blood clotting is a normal protective mechanism used by the body to stop people from bleeding when they get a cut. Without the ability of the blood to clot, a person could bleed to death from a small cut. No human studies have addressed this concern of Coumadin verses Protease enzymes.

References:

1. Oelgoetz AW, Oelgoetz PA, Wittenkind J. The treatment of food allergy and indigestion of pancreatic origin with pancreatic enzymes. Am J Dig Dis Nutr 1935;2:422–26.
2. McCann M. Pancreatic enzyme supplement for treatment of multiple food allergies. Ann Allerg 1993;71:269 [abstr #17].
3. Avakian S. Further studies on the absorption of chymotrypsin. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1964;5:712–15.
4. Izaka K, Yamada M, Kawano T, Suyama T. Gastrointestinal absorption and anti-inflammatory effect of bromelain. Jpn J Pharmacol 1972;22:519–34.
5. Deitrick RE. Oral proteolytic enzymes in the treatment of athletic injuries: A double-blind study. Pennsylvania Med J Oct 1965: 35–37.
6. Seligman B. Bromelain: an anti-inflammatory agent. Angiology 1962;13:508–10.
7. Cichoke AJ. The effect of systemic enzyme therapy on cancer cells and the immune system. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients Nov 1995: 30–32 [review].
8. Wolf M, Ransberger K. Enzyme Therapy. New York: Vantage Press 1972: 135–220 [review].
9. Gullo L. Indication for pancreatic enzyme treatment in non-pancreatic digestive diseases. Digestion 1993;54(suppl 2):43–47.

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DISCLAIMER This information is provided for Educational Purposes Only and has NOT been designed to diagnose, treat or cure any health conditions. Please consult a qualified Health Care Professional with Nutritional Training to diagnose your health conditions and avoid self-diagnosis. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have not evaluated statements about these health topics or any suggested product compositions.