Candida's Relationship with Heavy Metals: Facts and Solutions
From widespread antibiotic abuse to excess sugar and refined carbohydrates in our diets, to over-cooked/low nutrient foods, and to the invasive presence of heavy metals in our environment, candida has become a common disturbance in our health. Many attempts to control it fail, and there are good reasons why. I'll explore these with you here, and talk about what to do. In order to eradicate overabundance of candida, a specific type of understanding and approach is needed.
Candida infections are also critically misunderstood in mainstream medicine, often labeled a "hoax" and an expression of hypochondriac or "psychological" behavior. Anyone who has suffered with candida overgrowth, whether knowingly or not, understands that it is anything but. It is a condition that can impact muscles, menstrual cycles, brain function, gut function, moods, and overall immune response. It is very, very real.
Candida and Symptoms of Over-Abundance
Candida albicans occurs naturally in the body. It is commensal in nature, meaning that it can exist in the human organism without causing harm. If, however, candida propagates excessively, candidiasis results. Following are a number of the symptoms that typically occur with candidiasis:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (diarrhea, constipation and alternating patterns)
- stiff joints/muscles
- itching/hives on skin, scalp and vagina
- poor sleep
- anxiety and depression
The Intimate Relationship Between Candida and Heavy Metals
Candida exists in a biofilm - A biofilm is a group of microorganisms in which cells stick to each other on a surface. This film is composed of extracellular DNA, proteins, and polysaccharides (formed by sugars and starches). Because they have three-dimensional structure and represent a community lifestyle for microorganisms, biofilms are frequently described metaphorically as "cities for microbes." Microbes form biofilms in response to nutritional cues, as well as from the exposure of planktonic cells to concentrations of antibiotics.
It has been tested and proven that candida thrives in heavy metal-polluted environments. Candida biofilms absorb metal cations from their surroundings and this sequestration in the biofilm contributes to treatment resistance and the ability to thrive.
Heavy metals are everywhere - in our food, air, water, body products, and in our teeth if we have amalgam fillings. Amalgam fillings are 49.5% mercury.
We must deliberately measure and detoxify heavy metals, or we are at risk for numerous conditions and diseases, as well as for increased mutagenesis (genetic mutations). Candidiasis may be a somewhat lesser problem than many others caused by heavy metal toxicity, but it is widespread and most certainly impacts some of our most necessary bodily functions - digestion and neurotransmission.
Why is My Candidiasis So Stubborn?
The internet offers numerous simple "solutions" to rid the body of candida, from diets to supplements to medications. Candida sufferers are advised to follow a strict diet of no sugar, starch, fruit, moldy or fermented foods for six weeks, and that this approach will take care of the problem. While a specific candida-type diet is recommended for eradication, this alone will not be enough. This only addresses the need to starve the pathogen - as we'll see below, there are several steps, not just this one.
Another approach that is frequently recommended is killing. Fluconazole and diflucan are the most commonly-used medications in traditional medicine for candidiasis. While medications can sometimes alleviate problems, they do not address the root causes, and can have deleterious effects upon the liver and digestive tract. Killing is also a necessary part of the process, but like starving, does not complete the process. Additionally, attempting to kill the pathogen without breaking down its biofilm and matrix will most often cause two things: first, there will be significant die-off experience, and second, there will be re-infection.
Candidiasis is a stubborn condition due to its complexity. The pathogen does not exist on its own without systemic imbalances in other areas of the body and without toxicity. All of these aspects need to be addressed to have final resolution.
In order to properly resolve a candida infection, several things must be accomplished. First, a solid history of diet, lifestyle, and contributing factors needs to be taken. Proper individualized nutrition needs to be applied along with avoidance of candida-promoting foods. Next, the matrix (biofilm) must be deconstructed while the pathogen itself is attacked, using natural approaches. Third, your system will need to flush it out, and this happens with adequate lymphatic and excretory function. Lastly, the receptor sites taken up by candida need to be replenished with proper stores of beneficial microbes. Assess, Starve, Kill, Flush & Replace are my keys to YOUR success!