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Thrush and Candida Albicans

Summary

Thrush is the common name for a yeast infection; an overgrowth of candida in the human body is never welcome. Women and men will associate it with embarrassing genital problems, bad breath, fatigue, itchiness, swelling and discharge, and for some, it becomes a more serious chronic and debilitating illness.

How does Thrush grow?

Thrush develops in warm, moist areas of the body such as the vagina, penis, throat, mouth and in the folds of skin. Candida spores grow rapidly, upsetting the balance of the microbiome and the resulting lack of friendly bacteria flora wreaks havoc with our digestive system and our overall long term health.

Given the right conditions, that is lack of opposition, sugar, stress, candida fungus changes from its normal single-celled organism to a thread-like 'mycelial' form (think of the furry structures that grow on moldy bread or the top of the jam), and this penetrates your gut wall and enters your bloodstream. You now have 'leaky gut', and now partially digested food molecules can enter your bloodstream and set off allergic reactions.

In addition, candida ferments sugary foods causing bloating and flatulence. It can irritate the lining of your gut, so that the gut goes into spasm like a cramp and is less able to assimilate food, leading to constipation or diarrhea. Candida also produces increasing quantities of toxic by-products, which can lead to physical and even mental symptoms:

"Although an association between enteropathy and certain psychiatric conditions has long been recognized, it now appears that gut microbes represent direct mediators of psychopathology. Here, we examine roles of gut microbiome in shaping brain development and neurological function, and the mechanisms by which it can contribute to mental illness."

Molecular Psychiatry: Expert Review. Gut dysbiosis to altered brain function and mental illness.

However, despite available clinical research the symptoms of candidiasis are still largely misunderstood and drugs like Nystatin are given to treat symptoms but not the cause. Candida is acknowledged as the cause of thrush, but many doctors continue to deny candidiasis as a medical condition that left untreated has long term consequences.

Candida itself isn't the enemy. Candida and other yeasts live in every one of us without causing harm. However when the equilibrium that is naturally created by competing gut bacteria is destroyed with broad-spectrum antibiotics, candida can mutate into its fungal form, damaging the intestinal wall and producing a myriad of unwanted symptoms.

In addition to antibiotics, toxins, heavy metals and a poor diet can equally contribute towards a yeast infection, as can a weakened immune system and or diabetes.

Symptoms of Vaginal Thrush (Vulvovaginal Candidiasis)

  • Soreness and irritation, topical or internal.
  • White curd discharge.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Reddening of the vulva (the outer parts of the vagina).
  • Itching around the vagina (infectious vaginitis).
  • Swelling of surrounding tissues.

Symptoms of Systemic Candida (Invasive Candidiasis)

Systemic Candida refers to a yeast infection which has spread to multiple locations rather than being localized to one part of the body.

  • Athlete's foot or toenail fungus.
  • Chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.
  • Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhoea.
  • Concentration problems poor memory, ADD, ADHD, brain fog.
  • Eczema, psoriasis, hives, and other skin rashes.
  • Mood swings, anxiety, and or depression.
  • White/black patches in the mouth.
  • Vaginal infections/ vaginal itching.
  • Allergies or itchy ears.

Symptoms of Thrush in Men (Candida Balanitis)

Symptoms of thrush in men include:

  • Reddening or swelling or soreness of the glans (head) of the penis.
  • Itching around the tip of the penis.
  • Discharge beneath the foreskin.
  • Nasty odour.
  • Pain during urination.
  • White curd-like appearance on the skin.

Symptoms of Oral Thrush (Oral Candidiasis)

Symptoms of oral thrush include:

  • A nasty taste in the mouth.
  • Redness or bleeding inside the mouth.
  • Creamy white coloured patches (lesions) in the mouth.
  • Painful and sore mouth (can include the throat).
  • Cracks at the corners of the lips (angular cheilitis).

Suggested Dietary Changes

Cut out all foods that contain yeast, or have been fermented or pickled, since these encourage the growth of Candida. These include yeast extract, stock cubes, most bread, alcoholic drinks, cheese, black tea, and anything containing vinegar.

Eat plenty of salad, fish, poultry, meat and fresh vegetables (apart from the starchy ones like potatoes, parsnips and carrots). Try to obtain organic poultry and meat to avoid antibiotic residues.

When preparing meals, include liberal amounts of garlic, ginger and extra-virgin olive oil, and herbs such as rosemary, thyme, marjoram and lemon balm - which have strong anti-fungal properties.

Consider information on using 3% hydrogen peroxide as suggested in this clinical research.

Home Remedies To help fight Candida Albicans

  • Cut out sugar and (white) carbohydrate intake and moderate complex carbohydrates.
  • Take good quality probiotics; they will help by providing friendly bacteria that compete with the fungal spores. 25 to 100 billion daily is the suggested amount.
  • Take Coconut milk and cook with coconut oil; they provide Caprylic acid and Lauric acid. Caprylic and Lauric Acid basically damages the yeast cell wall, causing it to die. They target candida and do not affect anything else.
  • A little bicarbonate soda in a sitz bath is soothing, as is natural yoghurt or coconut oil on the delicate outside tissues.
  • Oil of oregano can be very effective as a temporary measure for a couple of days, but not long term as it will affect good bacteria at the same time.
  • The main aim should be to change to a nutrient packed diet that excludes sugars and white carbohydrates, while meanwhile avoiding fermented drinks and foods and adding green vegetables and quality probiotics.

Using Coconut Milk for Thrush?

Here is a letter from a customer that will also prove useful:

Hi Anna,

I just wanted to send you the details as discussed about how I used coconut milk to help with some of my problems. I have suffered on and off from thrush since I was young and following your advice in the summer I think I have sorted out the problem. I would take 2 tbsp.'s twice a day and I have not had any vaginal problems since.

I hope that helps

Regards

L

Related Articles

Coping with Candida

UTIs in Men

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