Two to three appointments is the norm to achieve the resolution of a Candida issue. The Candida protocol can be complex and many of my clients have found it beneficial to have a their progress formally assessed.
Because the IBS Clinics approach is to treat the individual as a whole, we typically address blood sugar balance, adrenal fatigue and hormonal balance as part of the process. The goal is to get you feeling as well as possible.
What is Candida?
In our intestines we carry 2 kilos of live micro-organisms. In a healthy person, these micro-organisms comprise about 80 percent “good guys” and 20 percent “bad guy”. Within the bad guys is a yeast called candida albicans, which causes no problems as long as we keep it at low levels. In a healthy gut, the good guys prevent this bug from overgrowing and causing issues. However, our gut microflora can be affected by several factors, which include our modern diets and lifestyle, and this can help the Candida to grow stronger and to spread. Candida starts its life as a spore and in this form is not an issue, but when conditions favour it, such as a diet high in sugar, antibiotics which deplete our good bacteria the yeast can metamorphose into a fungal form, with roots called mycelia which can penetrate the tissues of the body.
As already mentioned, one of the big issues is that our modern diets are very high in sugar and if you have ever made bread or wine, you know that we use yeast sugar to activate it. In the UK today, we estimate that each person consumes their body weight in sugar every year. This sounds horrifying, but it is easily done. As well as adding sugar to our tea and coffee it is a major component of biscuits, cakes, ice-creams, sweets, cereals, puddings and pies and hides in many processed foods which come in packets, tins, bottles and jars. Besides the actual pure sugar we consume, we also consume vast amounts of so-called white carbohydrates (white flour, rice and cornflour/corn-starch) which our bodies turn into glucose. You might now understand how candida can be encouraged to overgrow!
Another significant contributor to candida overgrowth is our modern-day overuse of antibiotics. Whilst antibiotics are wonder drugs in emergencies, they have the unfortunate effect of destroying the beneficial “good” bacteria in our gut at the same time as eradicating the bacteria that make us ill. As we deplete beneficial flora, we create a space in which candida thrives, and it gains more ground. There are some health conditions require continuous antibiotics, often taken for month e.g. acne or urinary tract infections. The effects on our gut bacteria can be devastating.
Often acne and recurrent infections have been caused by candida and so taking antibiotics exacerbates the situation. In addition to the antibiotics prescribed to us by our GP’s or dentists, we consume antibiotics in meat and dairy produce, as livestock are given antibiotics to prevent disease or even to help to fatten-up the animals. Reassuringly, consuming meat and dairy which is organic offers protection from these antibiotic residues.
Other common medications which have negative effects on our gut flora include Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which are very common over-the-counter medications used for headaches, back pain and other painful conditions, and these also promote candida overgrowth.
Steroids are also a promoter of candida overgrowth. People with hay fever and asthma often use steroid sprays or inhalers for their anti-inflammatory effects, but when taken over long periods of time, these drugs have an immuno-suppressant effect. When the immune systemI