By Michael Biamonte, C.C.N.
Normalizing the intestinal flora in someone with Candida overgrowth is not an easy task to accomplishment or to understand. There are many pitfalls that occur. In this article, we will look at the most common problems that I have encountered in my 23 years in practice that prevent results.
DON’T INTERPRETATE YOUR OWN TEST RESULTS
This is very true of the testing for Candida used by The Biamonte Center. It could be true of other tests as well. The tests for Candida react when the person gets die-off or when the Candida spreads. When you kill Candida it dies and decomposes. When it decomposes it releases protein wastes. The test reacts to the protein wastes from the decomposing materials. Hence the test measures the die-off you’re getting and therefore looks worse.
However the same is true when Candida spreads. As it grows it also releases protein wastes as part of it metabolism. Candida eats and releases wastes just like we do. So when you feed in carbs and sugars it gets fatter and releases more of it in pee and poop. The pee and the poop is what the test is then reacting to. This is why the test must be interpreted based on what the patient is doing on the program. If the patient is doing everything correctly and getting die-off the worsening in the test is the die-off being measured. If the patient is cheating and not doing what he should the test is reflecting the worsening of the condition due to bigger fatter Candida cells.
STOPPING THE TREATMENT TOO SOON
Very often a patient will feel that their symptoms are improved and will diagnose themselves as cured. If this occurs before friendly bacterial flora has been established it will be only a matter of time before the Candida returns in full force. What actually happens in this case is the Candida colonies have reduced enough to improve symptoms, but if the deep rooted Candida is not eliminated the friendly flora cannot reestablish to prevent the return of Candida. This is where a lab test such as the one recommended by our center is useful. The test can detect levels of Candida that remain that may not produce the same symptoms that concerned the person previously.
In contrary to this, someone may stop the program just as it is starting to work because they are losing hope! Everyone has a different circumstance and results will never be the same for all. Our diet choices, genetics, stress, toxic exposure, and hormone levels are all different and cause each of us to respond at different rates. Many times doses need to be adjusted or some other factor needs to be corrected.
A major cause of failure is often mistakes on the diet. Generally eating more an excess of 150 grams of carbohydrates per day will feed yeast cells and make them grow back. Eating fermented foods can cause allergic reactions in the intestinal tract that can also cause relapse.
NOT TAKING THE CORRECT DOSES.
It is expected that one will miss a dose of their antifungal occasionally and in the scheme of things that won’t matter much. But when the patient consistently misses doses the program has now been altered and isn’t the same program that was recommended. If the person misses one dose per day and they were instructed to take three doses per day they have in fact changed the program to a 2 dose a day instead of 3 doses per day. Without the proper potency being ingested that yeast cells are getting a reprieve from the warden of their prison!
BEING YOUR OWN DOCTOR
The old saying “the Doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient”, is very true. While it’s essential for you to communicate fully with your health practitioner and discuss your concerns and opinions, he obviously has one thing you don’t which is experience with many cases. Self treating will never lead to correct results. Trying to interpret your own test results also are an indication of having a fool for a patient. A big mistake made is not keeping appointments when scheduled because the patient thinks they aren’t progressing fast enough and therefore they continue longer on a program that may need an adjustment. Patients may think that they must continue the present until all their symptoms are gone. This is wrong headed! Each step or phase of a program will affect different aspects of the condition and each succeeding program may go deeper into the problem. It is typical that a person will move to the next phase with symptoms that will then be addressed by that next phase.
Sometimes the persons program needs to be adjusted in some way.
UNDIAGNOSISED LEAKY GUT SYNDROME
Leaky Gut Syndrome –Is a very common condition in this day and age. It is the cause of much or our modern autoimmune illness, IBS, Chrons disease, allergies, asthma, food sensitivities, chemical sensitivities, arthritic conditions etc. It is an illness that depicts our modern times.
A gut which has become inflamed and will become very porous, (much more porous than it should be), it will allow large food proteins, bacteria, fungi, metals and toxic substances straight into our blood stream. This is the basis of “Leaky Gut Syndrome”
In more scientific language, an increase in permeability of the intestinal mucosa to luminal macromolecules, antigens and toxins associated with inflammatory degenerative and/or atrophic mucosal damage. Once in the blood stream our immune system is the last line of defense to deal with these substances and it will eventually get overwhelmed if a Leaky Gut is not rectified.
Cause of Leaky Gut Syndrome
Our intestinal lining replaces itself approximately every 24 hours. This means that every cell that the lining is composed of is digested or sloughed off, and a new one grows to take its place. All this activity means the gut uses more blood when it is resting than any other organ but it is also the first to lose its blood supply when in a fight or flight situation, which is what stress is. If you have a lot of stress then your gut will always be starved for blood and the lining will be impaired.
The key and most common cause of Leaky Gut is Candida. Candida is a yeast-fungal organism that grows roots like a plant. These roots grow into and through your intestinal tract looking for food. These roots break through the intestinal lining and cause the leaky gut!
The Big Confusion
Leaky gut causes many of the severe symptoms of Candida. Removing Candida can often help Leaky Gut; removing Candida often does not heal the Leaky Gut unto itself. After Candida is gone, Leaky Gut is still there and so are the Leaky Gut symptoms. So the person thinks he has Candida. They are right to think it is still Candida because the Candida caused the Leaky Gut and its symptoms in the first place. But After the Candida is gone the Leaky Gut remains so the person still thinks that Candida is there. Well it’s not! And if the person and the Doctor continue to treat the Candida they get no improvement because what they should be treating is the Leaky Gut!
BOWELS NOT MOVING
One of the most common issues that will slow down progress is the constipation or bowels moving slowly. If the bowels do not move 3 or so times per day, there will be too much feces in the intestines that will block the antifungal from absorbing or from being able to coat the lining of the intestines and killing the yeast. The common remedy for this is water. Not enough water is a very common cause of sluggish bowels. When in doubt drink 4.0z of water every 30 minutes. Drinking large amounts of water in one sitting causes the blood volume of water to increase which then stimulates the kidneys to urinate the water out. When the bowels are sluggish the intestinal ph becomes higher which is more alkaline. An alkaline intestinal tract is what Candida likes. Acidophilus is named acid-dophilus because it releases lactic acids which kill harmful Candida and other germs. It is the lack of this acid environment and lactic acids that Candida loves.
Toxic metals are metals which are harmful to the body and cause disease. The key metals which can cause or worsen Candida are mercury, arsenic, aluminum, copper and iron. These metals can be in your drinking water, foods, and personal care items such as women’s makeup, hair treatments, paints, arts and crafts materials, electronic hardware, jewelry and many other sources. These metals should be tested by using hair, urine, and stool at some point to either rule out their presence or to see if they are slowing ones progress.
Commercial laboratories now offer Genetic testing to indentify Genetic weakness you have inherited from your parents. This testing is routinely recommended by our center. The individual genetic traits that a person has are called are called “snp’s” and are pronounced “snips”. These traits could make them have red hair as opposed to black, be short as opposed to tall etc The snp’s are indentified as being from a single parent or from both parents. The stronger tendency towards having the weakness manifest is when the weakness comes from both parents. The snp’s we are interested in are the ones that predispose us to disease. There are 5 snp’s that we have identified that definitely predispose on to Candida. They called “EPHX”, “MMP-1”, “SOD2”, “GPX1” and “TNF-a”. You can Google them by typing “snp ephx” and repeat this same form for any of them. By studying the persons genetic test, we can see how predisposed to this condition they are. The more of these snp’s they have from the both parents the more likely they are to contract Candida. Knowing which snp’s one has always requires us to take vitamin, mineral or herbal supplements to help compensate for the “snp’s” so that you have better resistance to their affects.
HORMONAL IMBALANCES AND STRESS!
THE CORTISOL CONNECTION
When under stress the adrenal glands will produce the anti-inflammatory hormone cortisol. The physiologist Hans Selye has mapped out for us different stages of stress and how the body chemically responds to them. In one of the stages of stress cortisol is secreted. This hormone breaks down tissues in order to release proteins, sugar and nutrients so that the organs and muscles that are working during the stress have nourishment. This action then is balanced by another hormone Dhea. Dhea is secreted in an effort to balance cortisol. As Dhea is released the Cortisol release slows and body starts to build tissues back up. If stress is prolonged however cortisol will continue to be released. Cortisol can also lower the immune system and raise blood sugar. Both of these actions can increase in Candida. If the immune response is decreased it will allow the Candida that may be occurring in normal amounts to begin to overgrow. There is also some evidence that state that cortisol may inhibit or kill friendly bacteria such as acidophilus our protector against Candida. As mentioned cortisol can also raise glucose levels. Candida is notably persistent in diabetics for the reason that they have higher glucose levels. Candida can quickly and easily feed on the elevated sugar levels caused by cortisol and naturally spread.
PROGESTERONE AND ESTROGEN
Several medical texts including the Merk manual warn that hormone therapy can cause vaginal yeast infections in women. Most noted would be estrogen therapy. In my research, I have found that any imbalance between estrogen and its partner hormone progesterone may cause Candida. Some time ago we believed that too much estrogen would cause Candida. They we found some women who would get Candida from progesterone. After studying hundreds of cases I have concluded that it is an imbalance between the two that cause the Candida overgrowth. It does not matter which is in excess, although it is more common to find estrogen excess in Candida. Recently it has been found that the body pulls hormones out of the blood and stores them in the intestinal tract. It does this in effort to adjust the amount of hormone in the blood that can go into the cells and target sites throughout the body. Imbalances between estrogen and progesterone have been found to have a negative effect on the friendly protective bacteria. This in turn causes the Candida to overgrow. As in the case of cortisol, both estrogen and progesterone if in excess or out of balance with each other, will have a direct effect on causing Candida to grow as well as destroying friendly protective bacteria.
A correct treatment plan takes into account all of these possibilities and will consult with the patient to see if he is aware of any playing a part in his treatment. A correct plan will also test that patient at some point to either rule these out or verify whether they are present or not. This can make the difference between success and failure.