Candida albicans is the name of a family of one cell fungus which belongs to the plant kingdom and is normally present in the skin, mouth, gut and vagina. Some researchers believe that in its one cell form it may be involved in a beneficial role in hormone regulation.
However, under certain conditions (such as a sugary diet high in refined foods, birth control pills or prolonged or repeated courses of antibiotics or cortisone) the one cell form can put out a long tube with branches which can penetrate into the cell wall and secrete up to 79 different toxins.
Infection with this form of candida can cause local infections such as thrush (a mouth infection) in infants or vaginal infections in women, which may clear up right away with treatment. However with some people the infection becomes chronic or recurrent. This can cause fatigue, depression, mood swings, brain fog, digestive difficulties, menstrual problems, muscle aches, headaches, bladder pain and frequency, allergies, chemical sensitivities, repeated ear aches, hyperactivity and learning disabilities in children.
Candida can be accurately diagnosed through a blood test or specialized stool culture. Otherwise diagnosis can be suggested through a good medical history or by using one of the various electro-acupuncture machines. It's likely that your naturopath has screened you for candida, and the results showed a possible generalized yeast infection. However, there is no way to prove that this yeast infection has infiltrated your liver or colon.
Treatment is aimed at restoring the good bacteria in your gut and also at restoring an environment inside your body that prevents reinfection. The treatment plan suggested by your naturopath is a sound one. Through proper diet and taking friendly bacteria like acidophilus which help rid you of yeast, you can improve your digestion and allow a natural anti-yeast preparation like garlic capsules, caprylic acid or grapefruit seed extract to work most effectively.
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