Most chronic degenerative illnesses have been associated with an overgrowth of Candida – from arthritis and digestive illness to cancer, neurological diseases, ME, MS and Fibromyalgia.
Candida Albicans and the trouble it causes are a result of abnormal gut flora. It is able to grow out of control because of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria but have no effect on Candida. After taking antibiotics, Candida is left to thrive and get out of control in the body. It also thrives on processed carbohydrates and sugar. At the bottom of this page you will find a link to the anti-Candida Diet.
Candida like other opportunistic bacteria can push apart intestinal cells due to their spiral shape, breaking down the integrity of the gut wall; causing leaky gut syndrome. They attach themselves to the wall, inserting themselves in a root-like fashion, making it leaky. This means that substances that should not cross the intestinal wall are able to. This is how we develop food allergies – part digested, or undigested bits of food cross the gut wall into the blood. They are then recognised as invaders and attacked by the immune system. Allergies often disappear when a leaky gut is healed.
Not only do Candida and other opportunists cause a leaky gut, they also breach the gut wall themselves and get into the lymph and blood, going on to cause trouble in other organs in the body. The first place that they cause problems though is the digestive system. The toxins made by candida reduce the stomach’s ability to produce acid needed for digestion.
so abnormal gut flora soon leads to illnesses of the digestive system. There is a link between different strands of Clostrida, which like Candida is unaffected by antibiotics; and serious inflammation of the digestive system. Other strands of this bad bacteria are linked to serious digestive illnesses such as Chron’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Other, sulphur-reducing bacteria have been linked to autism because it has been shown that 95% of children suffering from autism have a severe deficiency in sulphates.
Yeasts such as candida take over the glucose and carbohydrates and digest them through alcoholic fermentation, which is not how they should be digested. As alcohol and its by-products have quite a small molecular weight, they can cross all of the body’s barriers, getting into the blood rapidly. The resulting chronic presence of alcohol from eating many carbohydrates and sugars is very damaging. It impairs digestion by damaging the gut lining which leads to malabsorption, causing multiple nutritional deficiencies, damage to the liver and immune system, brain and nerve damage as well as a lot of other damage, for more detail, read Natacha Campbell’s book.
Opportunistic flora produces harmful toxic by-products. Again these by-products are not toxic when the flora producing them are balanced by the presence of good flora. When the gut wall is not healthy, the toxic by-products cross it and get into the bloodstream, causing trouble. Neurotoxins for example can cross the gut wall and effect the nervous system. The mixture of toxins emanating from the gut can be quite individual and this according to Dr Natasha Campbell is why GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) patients conditions and symptoms are so varied. A well-known example of these by products is histamine, also produced by some of the cells in our bodies. Well, certain opportunistic flora also produce it as a by-product of their metabolism. In the absence of good flora this opportunistic bacteria is left to take over and too much histamine is produced. Because histamine has many roles in the body, all of these go wrong because there is too much of it. Then we experience symptoms of the following: addictions, allergies, autism, constant low blood pressure, over production of body fluids, emotional instability and hormonal changes such as PMS (due to malfunctioning of the hypothalamus) as well as problems sleeping.
The fact that abnormal flora can cause emotional instability does not surprise me. I find that I and all of the people I have met with MS without any exceptions; are over sensitive. It is something I have often wondered about. I myself am working hard on not being so, but it is difficult, and with each new MS patient I meet, I am confronted with the same problem of over-sensitivity.
When candida consumes carbohydrates, alcohol is produced. A very toxic by-product of alcohol is acetaldehyde. The latter can alter proteins, stopping them from doing their jobs correctly. The presence of these changed proteins has been linked to autoimmune reactions because the antibodies created to attack these changed proteins also damage other normal proteins in the body with similar structures. The most common antibody found against the body’s own tissues is the one which attacks myelin. Damaged myelin=multiple sclerosis. The yeast overgrowth in children with autism and dyspraxia causing acetaldehyde explains the relationship which exists between the neurological picture of these illnesses and MS.
Acetaldehyde like phytates bind to proteins making nutrients we need useless in the body because they are unable to do their job because acetaldehyde is taking up their place, attaching itself to proteins. Vitamin B6 is one of the nutrients rendered useless. B6 is essential for the production of neurotransmitters, it is involved in the metabolism of fatty acids and has many other jobs too. It does not matter how much vitamin B6 is in the diet, it cannot be used in the correct way and so the patient becomes deficient in it. This happens to many essential nutrients in the body and they become useless to us. The same thing happens to GAPS patients in the thyroid. It is producing lots of hormones, but acetaldehyde (and other toxins) is taking up their work space. So the person develops thyroid deficiency symptoms such as depression, fatigue, lethargy, poor immunity, poor temperature control, weight gain, etc. The only way to fix this is by fixing the leaky gut. The first step to this is the Anti-Candida Diet.