Friday, September 30, 2011

Candida. Part One of many, I'm sure

Today's topic is Candida. Not the female name. Not the Abba song. The fungus, the yeast, also known as thrush (in the mouth), a.k.a. yeast infection (in the hooha). But if you have Candida infections in the hooha or the mouth, you've probably got a systemic problem- you're swimming in yeast.
And here's the thing about systemic yeast overgrowth- the symptoms overlap a LOT with autoimmune disease.
  • Frequent stomach pains and digestion problems
  • Skin problems (skin infections, eczema, psoriasis, acne)
  • Foggy brain / Trouble concentrating
  • Constant tiredness and exhaustion
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Anger outbursts
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Intense cravings for sugars, sweets, and breads
  • Itchy skin

Knowing how hard it is to nail down a diagnosis of most autoimmune diseases, especially lupus, wouldn't it be good to find out whether we had a yeast overgrowth? Perhaps even just a yeast overgrowth, and not an autoimmune disease. Or maybe an autoimmune disease that was caused by or made worse by a candida overgrowth... Definitely worth looking into.

What causes candida overgrowth? One really big precipitating factor is use of antibiotics. The rapid rise in Candida overgrowth in the US immediately followed the beginning of widespread use of antibiotics. There are good, friendly bacteria in our intestines that break down our food and the fiber in it. They also keep the candida in check. But antibiotics are like atom bombs- they kill everything, not just the one bacteria the doctor prescribed it for. The good bacteria become "collateral damage" and now we leave the door wide open for the candida to move in and take over, wreaking havoc.

Unfortunately, another thing that causes candida overgrowth is use of steroids such as prednisone, the very drug we are using to treat the symptoms that were possibly caused by candida overgrowth.

Twice I have gone on a candida diet - anti-candida, not pro candida, though most of my life I've been on a pro-candida diet and didn't know it. Lots of sugar and carbs. Both times were after a 9-month course of prednisone. Once I used the diet plus herbs, and once I used the diet plus nystatin (a prescription which is hard on the liver, but effective).

I got to thinking "It's time again," as I have not done a candida diet/ treatment program since my 3rd round of long-term prednisone, and I'm pretty sure I have a Candida problem again. I was waffling on pursuing the idea again when I received a letter from someone who heard me on the radio back in January in Florida and had totally cleared up her lupus by doing the candida elimination. She sent me the info for the National Candida Center, and I'm working with them now. Thank you, universe, for that confirmation, and friend, for taking the time to write me.

I'm doing some tests over the weekend to be certain, and I'll tell you all about those in the next post.

Are you curious as to whether you might have a candida overgrowth?

Do these self-tests here:
http://www.nationalcandidacenter.com/candida-self-exams/

To your good health and mine!
Carla

Carla Ulbrich, The Singing Patient
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www.thesingingpatient.com
www.bestpossibleme.com - health coaching
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"I am reading Carla's book How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This? and loving it. I LOVE Carla's songwriting, so I'm not surprised that her prose writing is as smart, funny, and insightful as her music." - Christine Lavin

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