In 2008, Jawhara S, et al. conducted an experiment on mice to bring forth the fact that if there was any kind of relation between Candida albicans intestinal infection and colonic inflammation with the help of Gal-3 (Galectin-3) which is a lectin that binds to some specific candida albicans glycan in our intestine, which contribute to inflammation and lead to intestinal Candida infection. They found the result to be positive and colonization of Candida albicans highly promoted inflammation in the intestine. Through TLR-2 expression, MPO activity, TNF-alpha they found that DSS induced Candida supplemented inflammation.
Another study showed that mice having Candida overgrowth in their intestines showed a much lesser rate of healing from gastric ulcers when they were treated with acetic acid, but the ones which did not receive any Candida albicans, they recovered much faster from the ulcer which indicates that colonization of Candida albicans can increase ulcers severely and blocks the healing of the ulcer.
So from the above two studies, we can see that Candida albicans colonization can reduce the healing power of our body and can increase inflammation in the intestine and its presence can also reduce the healing rate of other intestinal diseases like ulcer.
What Causes Intestinal Candida?
Intestinal Candida overgrowth occurs due to increased antibiotic use, stress, high daily consumption rate of alcohol, and intake of birth control pills. Steroids also suppress our immune system and using other hormones and dieting, the death of friendly bacteria occur within our intestines. The broad spectrum antibiotic drugs that we consume cannot discrimate whether the pathogens that they are suppressing or killing are friendly and beneficial or harmful. They kill many such beneficial bacteria which could protect us from various diseases that the harmful micro-organisms could have caused.
The patients who suffer from celiac disease also suffer from Candida intestinal infections due to the overgrowth of Candida albicans which is a kind of yeast. They are naturally present in our gut in a quite small amount that does not cause harm to our body. But when the number of this harmful organism increases due to unfavourable conditions they invade the lining of our intestine and it becomes damaged due to this inflamation. They promote malnutrition in the body, our immune system is suppressed and the composition of the gut flora in our gastro-intestinal tract gets disrupted due to which Candida albicans intestinal diseases take place.
Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth and Ways to detect it:
After the Candida intestinal disease has taken place due to overgrowth of harmful fungi within the body, it is not quite easy to detect or identify the specific species of yeast or other harmful micro-organism. Yeast mainly feeds upon the starchy foods and carbohydrates and they proliferate. It causes more and more cravings for such carbohydrates. As fermentation occur the yeast eliminate gases which cause diarrhoea, food intolerances, constipation and pain in the abdomen. There are also some life-threatening effects caused by the Candida albicans intestinal infection when they invade our bloodstream like lethargy, fatigue, depression, anxiety and irritability.
Intestinal Candida Symptoms
Wondering how to identify the outburst of intestinal Candida overgrowth? The general symptoms include, the victim feeling malaise in general. It is likely that the victim of intestinal Candida overgrowth will experience a feeling of extreme fatigue and craving for sweets. Here are the most common symptoms that indicate the excessive growth of Candida in the intestine.
It is likely that intestinal Candidiasis will trigger the issues like ‘gas’ that will trigger ‘bloating’ and ‘cramps’ of the intestinal muscles. In infants, diaper rashes and rectal itching are the common symptoms. There are high chances for the victims of intestinal Candidiasis to experience diarrhea and constipation in alternate intervals.
With the victims of overgrowth of yeasts in the intestine, there are the possibilities for these microorganisms to trigger thrush, wherein raised white patches appear on the tongue. In some instances, these patches get scrapped to expose the inflamed tissue.
Symptoms related to the Nervous and Immune System
Candida Albicans hold the capacity to negatively affect the human Nervous and immune systems. The symptom regarding the nervous system can be depression as well as a feeling of irritability. Likewise, the victims of overgrowth of Candida in the intestine are likely to experience problems regarding mental concentration and the ability to focus.
As for immune system related symptoms, you are likely to experience the appearance of rashes and infections frequently and these troubles will persist, longer than usual. In addition, the skin may turn excessively sensitive towards some specific chemicals. There are cases, wherein it was observed that the victim of Candidisis in the intestine found it almost impossible to fight the attack of infection.
In addition to the symptoms discussed above, these instances affect the hormonal system and it likely to trigger irregularities in the menstrual cycle as well as retard the libido as well. Instances of frequent infection in the vagina and bladder is also common.
Tests of Candida Infection:
Stool or urine sample test can be an effective way to detect the overgrowth of yeast and by testing the Candida antibody levels. Apart from this blood test can measure yeast product levels in the blood, which includes the amount of alcohol and other organic acids.
One could also try out an at home Candida saliva test to check if they have an overgrowth of Candida, however the Candida saliva test wont always be able to detect Candida in the intestine as the types of food and drink we consume may alter the results. In which case, opting for a clinical test at your doctors practice is highly advisable.
A simple Candida spit test can be done by:
1) Filling a clean glass with 2/3 full of cold tap water, then spitting in it first thing in the morning before brushing.
2) Wait 5 minutes.
3) See what happens to the saliva in the water. If it starts sinking or specking down into the water then you may have Candida overgrowth. But if it just mains on top of the water then you don’t have an overgrowth of Candida.
How Can You Prevent Intestinal Candida Infection?
The yeast can be killed with the help of natural remedies or specific medication which are anti-fungal. To restore back the normal conditions in your body, you need to maintain strict prebiotic and probiotic diets that should be free from gluten. The food you consume should be free from sugar and starch to a large extent, along with taking some anti-fungal medicines. Remove any kind of food that will feed the yeast and lead to their growth. All kinds of junk foods like pizza, burgers, chips, pasta should be excluded from your diet. Baked, sugary foods should be avoided like cakes, pastries, cookies, brownies, muffins, etc. We should include nuts, and seeds, vegetables without starch like lettuce, kale, escarole, artichoke, endive, cauliflower, sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, squash, and cucumbers to our diet. Learn more about natural treatments for Candida here!
- Inflammation and gastrointestinal Candida colonization – 2011 – Current Opinion in Microbiology Journal – by Carol A. Kumamoto
- Intestinal Mucosal in Candida albicans Infections – 2013 – Microbiological Research Journal – by Lei Yan, Chunhui Yang, Jianguo Tang
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