(NaturalNews) While reading Blinded by Science, an amazing book that you can download for free on the internet at http://www.blindedbyscience.co.uk/ until April 30, 2011, I realized that most of the work I've done for the past 30 years has been ignored by science. I beat my head against the brick wall of medical and scientific complacency because people continue to suffer from the following conditions, and the best that doctors can do is offer them tranquilizers!
1. Yeast overgrowth 2. Magnesium deficiency 3. IBS caused by poor diet and lifestyle 4. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies 5. Undiagnosed hypothyroidism 6. Underdiagnosed Adrenal fatigue 7. Heavy metal toxicity
In this article I focus on...
I studied yeast overgrowth after medical school during my naturopathic training. It made sense to me that people who take antibiotics kill off good bacteria as well as bad bacteria and set up an hospitable environment for yeast to overgrow. But for some reason, medicine chooses to ignore yeast overgrowth.
Candida albicans is a fungus living in our intestines that produces 180 chemical toxins that can be absorbed through the intestines into the blood. Just think of what 180 toxins can do to your immune system. Any "foreign chemical" in the blood stream will create an inflammatory reaction that can be measured by various blood tests. These toxins are capable of making you feel dizzy and fatigued, shutting down your thyroid, throwing your hormones off balance, causing you to gain weight and crave sugar and alcohol. It's associated with PMS, loss of libido, painful intercourse, infertility, numbness, tingling, MS, Crohn's, colitis, IBS, acne, Lupus, insomnia, drowsiness, white tongue, breath bad, body odor, sinusitis, bruising, sore throat, bronchitis, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, spots in front of eyes, and dozens more symptoms.
Medicine, by ignoring yeast overgrowth and just thinking it's a pesky vaginitis, doesn't realize how deeply yeast is involved with our current epidemic of inflammation.
Inflammation is a 'hot' topic. An Internet search on the word turned up an overwhelming 43.4 million hits. Journals of inflammation, inflammation research associations, and drug companies are all scrambling to find a drug to treat this scourge. Inflammation is the body's first defense against infection, but when it goes awry, it can lead to heart attacks, colon cancer, Alzheimer's and a host of other diseases.
How can a simple infection lead to heart attacks and cancer? That's exactly where inflammation begins; it's the first response of your immune system to an infecting organism or foreign material that trips a switch leading to a "cascade" of biochemical events. Fluid floods the infected area along with a dozen different chemicals including white blood cells and histamine -all capable of producing the signs of inflammation - redness, swelling, and pain.
To the great detriment of the health of our society, this fungus is growing rampant in a large proportion of the population - both men and women. It's one of the many diseases of civilization - the culmination of the side effects of drug and food technology and the disservices of our stressful way of life. The miracle of antibiotics has its downside as an underlying cause of yeast overgrowth. The refining of sugar and wheat has its downside by creating a simple food source for yeast. The tremendous levels of stress hormones that flood our bodies daily, hourly, and every minute in our sped up world also make us prey to yeast.
Candidiasis (yeast overgrowth) has been around for decades, ever since we began to use antibiotics but neglected to replace the good bacteria that are destroyed along with the bad. Yeast itself, a cousin to molds, has grown in human bodies since Adam and Eve. Candida albicans is the main yeast in the human body; it lives there happily enough, kept in check by beneficial bacteria in the intestines. These bacteria make small amounts of vitamin K and B12 and help digest excess sugar that gets past the small intestine. A very special group of bacteria also make lactic acid, which protects the gut and vagina against yeast.
Candida is one of the 400 organisms that make their home in our mouth, digestive tract, vagina and on our skin. For the most part, yeast get along with their neighbors. When you begin taking antibiotics, however, the whole delicate balance is lost. Antibiotics don't discriminate, they wipe out most of the good along with the bad bacteria leaving yeast unharmed.
In the absence of competition, yeast colonies grow into all the empty nooks and crannies of the large intestine and even the small intestine. It is a scientific fact that when yeast cells reach a certain critical mass they change from a round budding stage to a thread-like tissue invasive stage. They are running out of food and looking for more, so they pack their bags and emigrate to the small intestine from their main home in the large intestine.
In the small intestine, the yeast threads poke microscopic holes in the intestinal lining. Such a phenomenon is called "leaky gut" - a superhighway to the blood stream with nothing to block toxins trickling across the gut lining. Instead of absorbing life-giving nutrients through an intact intestinal wall, yeast's chemical by-products (all 180 of them), the inflammatory products they produce, undigested food molecules, bacterial toxins, and other chemicals take a one-way ride. The holes are not necessarily big enough to allow yeast to get into the blood stream, so the blood is not infected with yeast, but it carries hundreds of waste products that cause inflammation from head to toe.
When yeast, bacterial, and food toxins hit the blood stream they trigger widespread inflammatory reactions by either directly attacking tissues or creating allergic reactions along with the production of histamine. Some of the yeast toxins like acetaldehyde, alcohol, zymosan, arabinitol, and gliotoxin have been named by mycologists - people that study fungi but rarely do they extend their discussion to the human suffering caused by these toxins. A similar lack of attention is being paid to toxic mold that threatens the Gulf states after the Katrina devastation. Any home still standing that was flooded will be covered in mold, and that mold and its toxins could be deadly.
Acetaldehyde is produced when yeast digests sugar. It is a particularly potent toxin that can damage all the tissues in the body including the brain. It is also produced when you drink alcohol, breathe the exhaust from cars, and smoke cigarettes. What most people don't know is that yeast also produces alcohol in the body - enough to make some people feel drunk and give a positive reading on a breathalyzer test. When alcohol breaks down in the body, it produces acetaldehyde. If you have yeast overgrowth and also drink alcohol you are hit with a double dose of acetaldehyde hangover or brain fog. In actual fact, most people with yeast overgrowth can't touch alcohol because it makes them feel so rotten.
Acetaldehyde readily combines with red blood cells, proteins, and enzymes; travels to all parts of the body; and even passes through the blood brain barrier. It damages the structure of red blood cells making them unable to squeeze through tiny capillaries to convey oxygen to needy tissues. Acetaldehyde also blocks the attachment of oxygen to red blood cells. Your brain uses 20 percent of all the oxygen that you inhale but stiff red blood cells cut down that amount considerably leaving you gasping for air and feeling whoozy. Acetaldehyde damages nerve cells, induces deficiencies of an important nerve vitamin, B1 (thiamine), the energy and neurotransmitter vitamin, B 3 (niacin), and vitamin B5, which is crucial for normal brain function.
Zymosan causes inflammation and has been directly associated with psoriasis. Arabinitol attacks the immune system, nervous system, and the brain. And gliotoxin disrupts the DNA in white blood cells killing them outright. Other toxins account for the long list of symptoms attributed to yeast overgrowth and that are eliminated when yeast is brought under control. Researchers have also proven that Candida antibodies cross react with all tissues in the body that have been tested. That type of cross reactivity sets the stage for autoimmune disease.
Weight gain is very common in yeast overgrowth. Our bodies create pounds of fluid retention in an attempt to dilute the inflammatory toxins that yeast produces. Over time, tissue toxins and fluid build up lead to cellulite and weight gain. The gas produced by yeast can cause abdominal bloating that can increase your waist size up to six inches from one meal to the next. Antibiotics are fed to beef cattle to increase their weight. Antibiotics given to humans can have the same effect.
The Yeast Questions
The following questions can help you decide whether you should look further into yeast overgrowth as a cause of your inflammation and chronic symptoms.
1. Have you taken several courses of antibiotics in the past? 2. Have you been on the birth control pill? 3. Do you react to the smell of damp moldy places? 4. Do you crave sugar and bread? 5. Do you feel drained to the point of exhaustion? 6. Do you have symptoms of intestinal gas, bloating, and cramping (IBS)? 7. Are you troubled by constant vaginal infections? 8. Are you bothered by itchy burning eyes?
What's the Cure?
The treatment for yeast does not lie in a pill as many have learned. Even if your doctor is one of the few who recognizes yeast overgrowth, the most common treatment recommended is a week or two of very powerful antifungal medications.
Most doctors don't understand that yeast overgrowth requires a multi-pronged attack. Information on this approach is freely available at www.yeastconnection.com and what follows is in a very abbreviated form.
1. Diet: avoid sugar, wheat and dairy as well as fermented foods, and alcohol. I have found that reducing sugar intake is one of the most important ways to control hypoglycemia, diabetes, and intestinal yeast. Reduce your sugar intake by supplementing your tea, water, and other beverages with Stevia.
2. Probiotics (good bacteria): the best ones are acidophilus and bifidus. Obtain products that guarantee 2-10 billion organisms per capsule to the expiry date.
3. Antifungal supplements: garlic (eat one or two cloves a day), oil of oregano (take 2-3 capsules per day) and grapefruit seed extract (take two to three capsules per day) or take a formula that includes caprylic acid, pau D'Arco, black walnut, beta carotene, and biotin.
4. Exercise every day, at least 30 minutes, to move the lymph circulation that clears toxins from the body.
5. De-stress with prayer, meditation, breathing exercises, and/or yoga to reduce the amount of natural cortisol that stimulates yeast overgrowth.
6. Work with a caring physician. Download a comprehensive physician's packet to take to your doctor from yeastconnection.com. The last step of the program is prescription antifungals from your doctor, but only if you also continue steps 1-5.
It is mainly through diet and lifestyle change that you can overcome yeast overgrowth-but you can overcome it and reduce the amount of inflammation in your life with some effort and support.
About the author: About the author: Dr. Carolyn Dean is The Doctor of the Future. She is a medical doctor and naturopathic doctor in the forefront of the natural medicine revolution since 1979.
She has two published patents on novel health products such as RnA Drops, ReMag, ReLyte, ReNew and ReAline at www.RnADrops22.com.
Dr. Dean is the author/coauthor of over 30 health books (print and eBooks) including The Magnesium Miracle, Death by Modern Medicine, IBS for Dummies, IBS Cookbook for Dummies, The Yeast Connection and Women's Health, Future Health Now Encyclopedia, Death by Modern Medicine, Everything Alzheimers, and Hormone Balance.
She is on the Medical Advisory Board of the non-profit educational site - Nutritional Magnesium Association (www.nutritionalmagnesium.org). Her magnesium recommendations can be found under Resources on her website.
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