The common yeast Candida albicans is present in every individual and normally lives harmlessly in the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract where it is controlled by friendly gut bacteria Candida albicans is a yeast. Yeasts are simple organisms belonging to the vegetable kingdom which are extremely common in our environment - living in soil, on fruits and vegetables, thriving wherever there is decay and present in the air we breathe. Candida becomes a problem as a result of the widespread use of antibiotics and oral contraception as well as too much sugar in the diet all making this yeast prone to overgrowth. Antibiotics kill off almost all the bacteria in the body, good and bad, which permits the candida to grow unchecked. Fluctuations in hormonal levels can effect the growth of candida and consequently women who use the contraceptive pill are more likely to suffer candida overgrowth. Also, at certain times during the menstrual cycle, in the week or so just prior to menstruation, the hormonal imbalance is also favourable to candida. The glucose content of the mucous membranes of the body, when higher than normal, allows candida to flourish, which may result in vaginal thrush, or the more chronic condition known as candidiasis.

This can occur through eating too many refined carbohydrates, sweets, soft drinks, white flour products, which find their way to the mucous to form food for the yeast. Other sugary foods which may aggravate the problem include fruits and alcohol.

Whilst most thrush infections can be cleared up rapidly, the condition may be more serious and the infection present throughout the intestinal tract. In these cases the condition is referred to as candidiasis. Candida organisms convert to a mycelial form with root like growths which penetrate into the intestine wall. This allows toxins to be absorbed from the bowel into the bloodstream, with debilitating consequences. Symptoms commonly include recurrent or persistent thrush and fungal infections of the skin and nails, chronic fatigue and loss of energy , decreased libido, allergies, psoriasis and eczema, menstrual problems, abdominal bloating, diarrhoea and constipation, frequent infections of the upper respiratory tract including coughs, colds, sinusitis, depression, anxiety and irritability.

Case Study

Mr H Born in 1968. Patient presented with fatigue, irritability, stomach bloating and recurrent athletes foot of several years standing. The food screening check identified sensitivities to cheese, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, yeast, mushrooms, marmite and peanuts. He was also low in the B complex range of vitamins and acidophilus. After three months of a diet that deprives the fungus of its food, coupled with supplementation support , an anti-fungal remedy and adjunctive advise tailored to his particular lifestyle, the patient felt 85% better with more energy, less irritability and stomach bloating and felt that the athletes foot was clearing up albeit slowly.