What is Candida?

what is candida“Doctor, I found out from internet that I have Candida. What is it and how can I kill it?”

When I hear that from a patient I know we need to have a long conversation. There is major misinformation about Candida and most people see it as a scary parasite. It is true, that it’s not easy to restore health once Candida takes hold, but it is NOT true that killing it will guarantee health restoration.

Is Candida an infection?

Candida albicans, a yeast nicknamed in short “Candida” is a normal human flora. Normal flora means it resides in healthy people and does not cause any trouble.

Normally Candida is present in all of us in small amounts and does not do much harm while being kept in check by good bacteria such as Lactobacillus (acidophilus) or Bifidobacteria. The problem begins only when the yeast starts feeling too comfortable and takes over the good guys. This overgrowth state is commonly termed “Candidiasis”.

Does “Candidiasis” really exist?

Try to walk in to an ordinary medical clinic and suggest you have a case of “Candidiasis”. You will find no sympathy or understanding from an examining doctor.

It may be frustrating to you, yet you need to know that a medical doctor sees “Candidiasis” or “systemic Candidiasis” as a life-threatening disease, not just an itch or a bloat. If you have it you should qualify for a hospital care. And there is no use of explaining that you have a “minor version”.  “Minor version” of Candidiasis does not exist in Merck manual a diagnostic “bible”  for  health professionals.

How can I know I have Candida overgrowth?

You may have come across different home tests for presence of Candida. Yet there are more myths then truths. Spit test and questionnaires are just approximations, not definitive tests. Once you are on a program you actually want to track your progress with lab results rather than guesstimates.

Candida can be tested and there are different methods. Following are the most useful

1. Blood tests for Candida antibodies

There are two ways:
a)  Blood test for Candida antibodies only. Your doctor can order it for you (if you convince him/her to do so).

b)   Candida antibody test together with test for inflammatory foods. This is very useful, because if you want to repair digestive tract you will have to avoid inflammatory foods for some time, otherwise Candida will not go away. This test requires few drops of blood from a finger, which can be done at home.

2. Stool culture

This test does not require blood sample. You collect a stool sample at home and send it to a lab. The lab will culture and assess the growth of Candida and other microorganisms, so you can have a full profile of good, bad bacteria as well as yeast. You will need a doctor’s requisition for that.

When Candida overgrowth test is positive

Ok, so now you have lab tests confirming your suspicion that you have too much Candida. What do you do? On the first impulse you can say: Kill the enemy!

Yet, a enlightened but slower logic can ask: if I kill it will it come back? And of course, like a Hell Hound from the movie Hellboy Candida will come back and multiply if it finds a cozy environment in you.

Have you ever gardened? If yes, then you know that some plants will flourish in some environments and look sorrowful in others. Try to plant roses under cedars, or hostas in full sun. You will quickly know what I mean.

How to get rid of Candida permanently

Killing Candida yet making no changes to your immune system, digestive system, and detoxification process will lead nowhere. You may buy the strongest “Candida Kill” on the market just to learn with disappointment that the results are only temporary. For permanent success you need to change your internal body environment, so that Candida can look at you with disgust and say: “No, not here. It’s too blah…”

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