Yeast and Candida are a natural part of the human system, with the largest colonies located in the digestive tract of both males and females. Yeast organisms also inhabit our skin and, along with three hundred other organisms, make up the flora and fauna of the human system. Yeast and fungal organisms are classified as saprophytic, meaning that they thrive on dead or dying matter. In a twenty-four hour period the average human body loses 1/80th of its mass due to cell death and decomposition, not to mention the fact that we often eat foods which are in various stages of decomposition. In a healthy environment our flora and fauna, including yeast and fungi, assist our bodies in clearing away dead material. This relationship is expressed throughout nature. For example, we commonly see yeast, fungus and molds breaking down a dead or dying tree in the woods.
As opposed to bacteria, these organisms are resistant to most drugs, chemicals or chemical agents. They are among the world’s oldest life forms and are true survivors. Bacteria on the other hand, are more labile or easily altered. They are susceptible to hormones, antibiotics and various types of medications, household chemicals, and especially antibacterial soaps. Plastics constantly give off chemicals that can contribute to altering the balance between yeast and bacteria by minimizing bacterial viability. High use of the aforementioned products can create an imbalance throughout our bodies, our households, ecosystem and water supply. Indulging in foods that contain yeast also contributes to an imbalance within the body.
Problems arise when the relationship between bacterium and yeast or fungus is imbalanced. We often see this in nature, such as farmland where chemical agents used in fertilization or pest control have killed off most of the large colonies of bacteria. In these cases the land appears white and chalky. This chalky appearance is due to the overgrowth of certain types of yeast or fungus, as they no longer have to compete with bacteria for food and space. The same is true in the human system, whether it be in the g.i. tract, bloodstream, organ systems or skin. An imbalance in our flora and fauna manifests most often as a fungal or yeast overgrowth.
In modern times, yeast overgrowth is often thought to only be associated with the female vagina; however such a notion is incorrect. When the balance of our flora and fauna is compromised, yeast overgrowth often occurs in both males and females. In these cases, the organisms often migrate to different parts of the body, where they do not belong. This condition is referred to medically as systemic candidiasis, a term which means that yeast or fungi have begun to inhabit structures throughout the body, such as the brain, heart, lungs, liver and lymphatic system. This situation often leads to other disorders and dysfunction within the body.
Systemic yeast invasion is caused by the Candida genera, most often the family Candida Albicans, although there are at least five other Candida families which cause disease. According to the Merck manual, the medical standard for diagnosis and therapy, Candida invasion can be life threatening when it becomes systemic.
Candida invasion should always be considered serious, progressive and potentially fatal.
Links to Other Health Conditions
According to the Merck manual, Candida and fungus are linked to many serious or chronic diseases and syndromes: polyglandular deficiency or failure, fungal pneumonia, pulmonary stress syndromes such as asthma, esophagitis or persistent sore throat; and genital candidiasis (a condition which is classified among the sexually transmitted diseases since men can also show symptoms such as burning in the penis after orgasm or urination).
In cases where the immune system is compromised or lowered in an individual, yeast infections can run amok causing inflammation to blood vessels, forming focal lesions in the liver, and many other symptoms. Today, Candida and other fungi are even found spread throughout the human blood system, and growths have been discovered on more and more vital organs. For example, it was previously taught that bile ( a secretion of the liver) was antifungal, but now we even find fungus growing in the biliary tree, where bile is secreted.
Oftentimes after a chronic Candida infestation or infection, concomitant conditions or symptoms may arise. It is not uncommon to experience the production of thick, tenacious mucous throughout the mucocutaneous linings and cavities of the body, such as the sinuses, pharynx, lungs, genitalia and colon. Even the eyes can feel as if they have a thick film over them. The inner ear can experience this symptom in a condition called “glue ear.” Thick, tenacious mucous forms in these areas because the human body has no specific antigens against yeast or fungus, and so it increases its output of mucous in order to limit the movement of yeast and fungus.
Puritis or itching is often associated with yeast or fungal overgrowth and can occur anywhere from the scalp to the feet. Common signs of yeast or fungal overgrowth also include a white coating on the tongue or foul breath which often carries a fecal odor. Even acid reflux and dandruff can sometimes be attributed to this condition. Focal lesions or colonies of organisms overgrown on the skin or in the throat are also common. Chills and head and body aches can often be secondary manifestations of overgrowth.
A prudent assessment of this data allows us to extrapolate that we are perhaps in an epidemic of fungal overgrowth and need to address its encroachment upon our lives.