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Candida the Good the Bad and the Ugly _Final

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>> Hi, welcome back. In this lecture, we're going to explore a common yeast called Candida. This is another one of those buzzwords in the world of health, so chances are you've heard the word tossed around before. Candida is often talked about an alternative medicine as a possible cause for a range of symptoms. You might have heard clients say, "I need to get off sugar, it's giving me Candida." As a Health Coach, you should know that this isn't an entirely accurate statement because everyone has Candida. A little bit is a good thing but too much can be trouble. How can you tell the difference? In this lecture, we're going to get into the good, the bad, and the ugly of Candida. We'll explain what exactly this yeast is and what the signs and symptoms of Candida overgrowth look like. Let's start with the good. As I mentioned, everyone has Candida, you have Candida in your gut, your mouth, and even your reproductive parts. It's in the air, on your skin, just about everywhere. Candida loves to live in any environment that's warm, dark, and moist. Candida is a yeast which is a type of fungus. As you probably know, yeasts are present in many of the things we love, like bread, wine, beer, and cheese. Fungi can be divided into two categories, primary pathogens and opportunistic pathogens. Primary pathogens are always going to try to hurt you. But opportunistic pathogens only behave badly under certain circumstances. They usually live in balance with in our body's ecosystem. With opportunistic pathogens, it's not so much the strain that makes it pathogenic, it's the environment. Candida is an opportunistic fungus. It's only when yeast starts to grow out of control and compete with the good bacteria for resources that problems occur. In the proper amount, Candida is a healthy part of the body's ecosystem. When the gut is populated with probiotics and bacteria that produce lactic acid, PH in the gut is kept low, which helps keep any fungal infections at bay. But what causes it to go haywire? How does it evolve into a pathogen? Now it's time to address the bad. An alkaline PH can transform Candida into a more pathogenic form. Our bodies exist around a neutral PH of about 7.4, but certain areas tend to be more acidic, like the vagina and the gut. These areas are where Candida tends to wait for the PH to rise. If given the chance, the Candida will grow and begin to process more sugars. This increased processing creates byproducts called mycotoxins which have the potential to damage bodily tissues or make you sick. When the microbiome is in balance, the body can handle these toxins. But when one particular species like Candida overtakes the gut, the body becomes overloaded. Candida mycotoxins disrupt cell communication and confuse the body. Some think that this contributes to autoimmune conditions. One byproduct produced by Candida processing sugars is acetaldehyde which can be toxic. It's one of the same byproducts made when your liver breaks down alcohol, the cause of the dreaded hangover. Acetaldehyde can create a deficiency in vitamin B1, also known as thiamine. It can also contribute to brain fog, irritability, sugar cravings, and depression. This is why people with Candida overgrowth can feel like they're constantly hung-over. Let's look at how a case of Candida overgrowth might present itself in a Health History. Angela always had great energy and beautiful skin during her 20s. But lately, she's noticed that she has been feeling rundown and has developed small patchy spots in the folds of her skin that are red, irritated, and itchy. On her Health History, she also noted digestive concerns, like bloating and constipation. She is often tired and suffers from brain fog. Reviewing Angela's Health History, you see that she was given many rounds of antibiotics as a child and suffered from multiple yeast infections in her early 20s. Her diet isn't too great, she often falls victim to sugar cravings. She has also gained 20 pounds in the past three years, without much change in her diet. Angela reports feeling lost and helpless, but at the same time, her symptoms have been occurring so gradually that she hadn't really noticed a change until recently. It turns out that Angela had candidiasis, an overgrowth of yeast. Most often, it's an overgrowth of the strain Candida albicans. Two key indicators were that the symptoms of yeast overgrowth were showing up on her skin and through the recurring yeast infections. Other major signs of Candida overgrowth to enquire about with clients include chronic sinus infections, thrush, upper respiratory infections, hypoglycemia, PMS, acne, and anxiety. How can your clients find out if they have a Candida overgrowth? There are several tests that exist to measure levels of Candida in the body, but these have all been proven flawed. Often, a person can test negative for Candida overgrowth but their symptoms will say otherwise. For this reason, symptoms themselves are often the best indicator. Interestingly, it is also been found that most people who have ulcerative colitis and IBS also have high amounts of Candida. Regardless of accuracy, a client may want to ask their doctor for one of the following three tests. One, a comprehensive stool test. In this test, a stool sample is analyzed by a lab to look for Candida overgrowth. Since stool testing is becoming much more comprehensive and affordable, this test may be improving in the near future. Bonus, a comprehensive stool test can also tell you what other bacteria you have living in your gut. Two, clients can request a Candida antibodies test. This is a blood test that looks an immune response and whether antibodies to Candida are high, which could signify an overgrowth. Finally, a third option is a urine test, which looks at the organic acids in the urine to determine if an individual has high levels of Candida by assessing their byproducts. Remember that all of these tests should be taken with a grain of salt. They're all flawed and have the possibility for false negatives. Candida normally exists peacefully in a healthy ecosystem, but when the gut flora is thrown off, like when antibiotics are taken, it can takeover and disrupt the balance of the microbiome. How? Antibiotics kill bacteria leaving a void in the ecosystem. Yeast which is not killed by antibiotics then gains access to all of the nutrients they need to proliferate. Other factors that feed Candida overgrowth include birth control pills, too much sugar in the diet, chemotherapy, alcohol abuse, and stress. Yes, you heard that right, stress increases cortisol which the body breaks down as sugar. Candida thrives on sugar no matter where it comes from. So basically, stress will feed your Candida. Candida love to grow in alkaline environments. When stomach acid is low, it likes to take advantage and start populating there. Low stomach acid is a common symptom of the combination of the standard American diet, stress, and antibiotics. Generally, an alkaline environment in the body is healthy but different parts of your body, like the stomach, require different PH levels. Recall that the stomach is acidic, this helps kill pathogens and the overgrowth of unwanted bacteria and yeast. When there is not enough acid, the Candida and other microbes can proliferate. Candida also affects the immune system. You can think of it this way, any condition where the immune system is down provides an opportunity for Candida to overgrow. When Candida overgrows, the mycotoxins compromise the immune system leaving the body more susceptible to infections. Often, another antibiotic is prescribed to deal with the new illness. This creates a cycle that can be hard to stop. It may seem like Candida is lurking in the gut waiting for just the right moment to takeover. But this is a bit too simplistic. Candida is the symptom of an imbalance, not the cause. However, once it's overgrown, it can be quite difficult to get rid off. Healthy Candida is harmless and looks like white balls. But when Candida becomes virulent or pathogenic, it grows little tentacles called hyphae that help it burrow into the intestinal lining. You can picture these as tendrils that root down and spread out into the surface of the lining like a weed or vine growing out of control. When yeast attaches, it can be very stubborn and well-rooted. Some people believe that Candida overgrowth can even contribute to a leaky gut, either through the toxins Candida produces or as a result of the burrowing itself. The body can often easily manage and dispose of the toxic byproducts of bacteria through its detoxification process. But when there is an overload of toxins, as the result of bad food or an overgrowth of opportunistic bacteria, the toxic buildup can make a person sick. Candida overgrowth can occur anywhere in the body. Candida overgrowth in the mouth is called thrush, this looks like a thick white coating on the tongue like a shag carpet. Now I want to clarify that a thin white coating exists on the tongue naturally. In the case of Candida overgrowth, that coating becomes a lot thicker. Thrush is very rare and usually indicative of a severely impaired immune system. It's most often seen in people with AIDS or cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy. When there is overgrowth of Candida in the vagina, it's known as a yeast infection. Symptoms include itching and heavy white discharge that is said to resemble cottage cheese. Signs of Candida overgrowth can also show up in the folds of skin in fungus like patches. Candida likes dark moist places which is why it will develop in a fold or crease of skin rather than on your forearm. For this reason, it's most commonly experienced by people who are obese and babies in their diaper areas. We're still learning about Candida overgrowth in the gut, but existing research has shown that overgrowth in the gut can cause fatigue, sugar cravings, constipation, allergies, depression, and anxiety. When left unchecked, Candida can become even more aggressive which leads us to part three of this lecture, the ugly. Did you know that excess estrogen can provoke Candida overgrowth? The more estrogen an individual stores in their body, the better Candida can grow and the more resistant it becomes. This is why yeast infections are common during pregnancy. Candida is resilient which is why it can be hard to get rid off. It's even resistant to bile and various PH ranges. Even through it flourishes in an alkaline environment, when the environment becomes acidic again, it won't necessarily kill off Candida on its own. It can also thrive in various oxygen levels. Low level inflammation in the body could promote Candida overgrowth, and Candida promotes more inflammation creating a cycle of sickness in the body. The take-home point here is that once it grows, it often takes a lot of work to make it go away. Candida may even be a triggering factor for activating Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Researchers have hypothesized that the possible trigger for both of these diseases could be the way that Candida promotes inflammation or immune cytokines. This extreme colonization seems to only happen after taking a heavy round of antibiotics or some type of steroid treatment. We don't want to create a scary story. Again, these are extreme cases. More than likely, most people would just experience an overgrowth which will make them feel less than their best. Getting their flora back in balance is key to optimal health. To briefly recap, Candida overgrowth goes hand in hand with many other gastrointestinal conditions compounding the problem. An imbalanced gut can also be the root cause of Candida or yeast overgrowth in other areas of the body. For example, take Sarah, who had been suffering from chronic yeast infections since her second pregnancy. She noted on her Health History that she had been on antibiotics for strep throat many times as a child. Up until now, rather than looking for the root cause of her yeast infections, Sarah wanted to treat the symptoms and who could blame her. So she kept buying over-the-counter medication for it but the infection kept coming back. Eventually, something had to change. Looking at Sarah's diet, you see that she has gone heavy on the cupcakes and the bread. But as a Health Coach, you'd be remiss to assume that this is the cause of overgrowth. As I mentioned earlier, sugar cravings are a common symptom when yeast overgrows. So sometimes, it's the effect rather than the cause. In finding solutions, the main goal is not only to control the yeast but as in most gut conditions, to understand the larger problem so that the root cause can be addressed. Now let's recap. Candida overgrowth is typically triggered by some sort of antibiotic, but is maintained and exacerbated by high sugar, high carbohydrate diets. These foods can cause Candida overgrowth overtime by altering the PH of the gut. When working with clients who have a history of antibiotic use and a diet high in sugar and starches, you'll want to explore whether they're experiencing symptoms throughout the body and not just in the gut. Are they experiencing indigestion, fungus infections, chronic yeast infections, sinus infections? When Candida has spread to any of these areas, it's a good sign that there is an overgrowth in the gut as well. Now the goal isn't to eliminate all Candida in the body. It's to eliminate pathogenic Candida overgrowth in order to create a healthy ecosystem with the right balance of various bacteria and yeasts. When the immune system is functioning as it should and bacteria are thriving, Candida shouldn't be a problem, other bacteria will keep it in check. It's when the immune system is compromised that things can grow out of hand. So let's be clear, it's not bad to have Candida but too much is like a garden overgrown with weeds. When the competition for resources results in an imbalance, health becomes compromised. If you're wondering what to do to tame Candida in the body, don't worry, this information is coming up soon. But that's all for this lecture. Until then, head on over to the Facebook group and share with us your experiences with Candida. Have you ever dealt with an overgrowth either personally or with your clients? Tell us about it. Thank you for watching, and I'll see you real soon.

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Duration: 14 minutes and 24 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: ninaz on Mar 27, 2018

Candida the Good the Bad and the Ugly _Final

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