The Two Primary Causes of Candida

August 5, 2010

Many people are not familiar with the name Candida, but everyone has heard of what it causes: yeast infections.  Candida is a type of yeast and Candida albicans is the specific yeast that is responsible for yeast infections and thrush in women, men, and children. 

The term Candida is used to indicate the name of the yeast and often to refer to a yeast overgrowth.  Another commonly used term is candidiasis which can be used interchangeably with yeast infection, although candidiasis could refer to any type of yeast overgrowth in the body.

Candida is naturally occurring in the human body and in most cases is kept in balance by beneficial bacteria (or flora) in the digestive system.  However, in some situations Candida can grow to dangerous levels and cause a number of health problems.  This is seen frequently in people with compromised immune systems. The incidence of yeast infections and Candida continue to rise in the United States and that can be attributed to two primary factors.

The first of these factors is the significant use of antibiotics.  Antibiotics are prescribed for a wide range of illnesses and for good reason, but there is a downside, too.  The side effect of using certain types of antibiotics is that in addition to eliminating the bad bacteria, they can also kill the beneficial bacteria that people need in their digestive systems.  It is the beneficial bacteria that keep some organisms such as Candida down at reasonable levels in our bodies.  When the bacteria are no longer there, the Candida can quickly rise to unhealthy levels and the problems begin.

There are many times when it is absolutely necessary to take antibiotics, but one should take steps to replenish the beneficial bacteria in their body as soon as possible.  One safe and easy way to do this is with probiotics or acidophilus supplements found at most health food stores.  These supplements are inexpensive and are a great help in getting the body back into balance quickly.

The other basic reason the Candida is such a problem these days is our diet.  Candida thrives on food with lots of refined sugars, heavily processed foods, simple carbohydrates, dairy, and alcohol.  That list of foods comprises the bulk of the diet for so many people in the United States today.  As long as those foods continue to be the bulk of a person’s calories, it will be nearly impossible to get rid of Candida.  Even if Candida were not an issue, it is better to eat less processed foods and sugars anyway.

Fortunately, much research is being done on how to take care of existing Candida infections and keep them from returning.  For any solution to work it needs to look at the entire process.  Get rid of the infection, eliminate the root causes, and make the necessary changes to keep it from returning.



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