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North West Regional Health

Candidiasis

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Human body homes many organisms as part of natural flora to maintain the integrity of internal environment; this includes certain bacterial and fungal agents like candida. Candidiasis is fairly common in healthy individuals as candida is a part of normal fungal flora and unlike other pathogenic organisms requires no special mode of entry or host invasion to cause disease. Intestinal candidiasis is different from other infections in a way that the pathogen lives within the human body and the risk of recurrence of relapse is very high in susceptible individuals.

How can you manage your intestinal candidiasis?

It is very important to enhance your health and immunity in order to get rid of the fungal overgrowth. Healthcare providers suggest modification and monitoring of health and nutritional status to optimally alleviate the symptoms of intestinal candidiasis. Simple lifestyle modifications can help in management of health like Sauna treatment may help in controlling candida overgrowth by increasing the body temperature by several degrees that can help in expulsion of candida toxins and chemical and kill fungal spores to prevent re-growth.

How can you treat systemic or intestinal candidiasis?

Since most cases of intestinal candidiasis are reported in immuno-compromised individuals, treatment modalities are also different. No intervention is needed for management of intestinal candidiasis in healthy adults as immune system can take over and kill pathogenic fungi causing disease. For the same reason, anti-fungal medications are rarely needed in normal cases. Research suggest that since fungi lives inside human body as commensal, instead of anti-fungal remedies, boosting digestive health via supplements is far more effective in order to wash off fungi and fungal toxins.

Natural and organic remedies for intestinal candidiasis

Natural and herbal supplements like ginger extract and garlic are rich in anti-fungal ingredients that can control the excessive growth of candida and limit the fungus spread to distant parts of digestive tract and other organs/ systems.

Other preventive herbal remedies that are effective against intestinal candidiasis include:

Oregano oil

Echinacea

olive leaf extract

Probiotics

 

Pharmacological therapies for intestinal candidiasis

A lot of therapies are now available for the management and treatment of intestinal candidiasis but these are not ideally recommended in normal individuals since organic remedies can very well control the symptoms of infection. However, in some situations, it becomes mandatory to use special pharmacological methods when infection is either out of control or refractory to herbal treatments

Nystatin Diflucan may be a useful pharmacological intervention for timely management in case of long standing intestinal candidiasis; however the benefits are limited by the overall systemic side effects and toxicity. Apart from Nystatin, Nizoril is also frequently used for systemic infections.

In order to maintain overall health status for longer periods of time, it is important to maintain optimal healthy lifestyle and as long as overall immune status is intact; you can avoid the risk of intestinal candidiasis.

Dietary modifications

Limit your daily consumption of dairy products to less than two servings or even less. Eat healthy and well balanced diet that supply optimal anti oxidants (healthy sources include fresh fruits and vegetables). Moreover, consume a diet that has more complex carbohydrates than simple sugars to boost your rate of metabolism and to generate more oxidants to fight candidiasis.

Limit your carbohydrate intake by limiting synthetic sugars that flood your system with glucose (providing a favorable medium for the growth of candida). The use of fruit juices should be limited because these are devoid of roughage and fiber to keep metabolism steady. Moreover limit the use of honey, maple syrup, fruit nectar and corn syrup for the same reasons.

Avoid too much grain in your meals, which is difficult to achieve but in case of active infection, it is very helpful in achieving an early remission. Too much pasta, bread and bakery items are not healthy for overall well-being and also prone individuals to develop active candida infection along with other infections.

In case you have tendency to develop intestinal candidiasis due to any systemic illness or issue, it is recommended to avoid or at least limit the consumption of fermented products that include cheese, wine, bakery items that use yeast or other fungal products during making and pickles.

In general, yogurt is considered a fermented food that has sufficient quantities of probiotics, but in most cases of candida infection; whether vaginal candidiasis or intestinal candidiasis, yogurt is considered very beneficial for overall health and development. Similarly beverages that contain high sugar or carbohydrates content should also be avoided like soda and aerated drinks, Gatorade, artificially flavored water and other similar drinks

Lifestyle modification

Adequate sleep of at least 8 to 9 hours a day is recommended to maintain normal blood levels of different stress hormones.

Regular daily exercise maintain metabolism in check, generate energy by oxidation of nutrients and most importantly supply enough oxygen in the body to maintain a more fresh and oxygen rich environment that does not support candida growth, which requires more low levels of oxygen to generate their nutrition by fermentation processes.

If you are having recurrent and chronic intestinal candidiasis, manage your stress levels by maintaining your posture, breathing rate and supplements if needed. Yoga and stress management courses are very helpful in this regard.

 

References

Trier, J. S., & Bjorkman, D. J. (1984). Esophageal, gastric, and intestinal candidiasis. The American journal of medicine, 77(4D), 39.

Hentges, D. J. (1983). Role of the intestinal microflora in host defense against infection. Iluman Intestinal Microfiora in Health and Disease. Hentges Dl (ed). Academic Press, New York, NY. USA, 311-331.