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What is Candida?

Candidiasis is the common name for a condition that results in the overproduction of a form of yeast normally found in the body at low levels. Candida is not considered anything to worry about; however, recent research has

Candida albicans

Candida albicans (Photo credit: AJC1)

put a spotlight on this form of yeast that is causing the medical profession to reconsider its totally benign assessment of candida. It is inside all of us – in the digestive tract, mouth, and throat. In women, it is also found in the vagina. The most common species of candida is called candida albicans.

When the human body is weakened it is vulnerable to attack. Consider that at all times various bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens are waging an unseen war against the body. Likewise, the immune system is always on guard, waiting for the attack. In response to outside invasion, the body produces various weapons to fight hostile aggression. Sometimes, if the body is weakened through a host of conditions and situations, the immune system cannot do its job properly.

One common condition caused by candida is thrush. Thrush is a buildup of candida that can effect men and women alike. As many as seventy-five percent of women will experience at least one vaginal yeast infection in their lifetime – caused by an overgrowth of candida.

These common conditions are annoying, but they do not represent the symptoms of chronic Candidiasis. Chronic overproduction of candida can lead to a wide range of physical and mental symptoms. It can manifest as abdominal pain, fatigue, skin infections, and even cognitive difficulties. There appears to be such an extent of problems related to candida overgrowth that candida is often dismissed as a cause.

In chronic Candidiasis, the rapidly multiplying candida changes form. It morphs into its dangerous fungal state and spreads. The fungal form of candida produces rhizoids – hook-shaped barbed appendages that cut into tissue and membranes, causing pain and other harmful symptoms. If not treated, a condition called Leaky Gut Syndrome can develop in the intestinal tract. Leaky Gut Syndrome allows toxins to leave the digestive tract and feed right into the bloodstream. It is also interesting to note that once someone begins treatment to kill the excess candida growth, the initial reaction to treatment will often result with the patient actually feeling worse! This is due to the fact that the fungal form of candida does not want to die and it fights like heck to survive!

In addition, there are indications that candidiasis can affect people who do not have compromised immune systems. New research has indicated that people who have healthy immune systems can also fall victim to the rhizoid-reach of candida. This is important because it presents a way for science to pinpoint root causes instead of simply treating symptoms.

Candida is most likely responsible for more problems than it is given credit for. Before you start treatment for candida, you should try and read up about the subject and fully understand what is involved. As with anything else, knowledge is power.

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