Yeast and mould are fungus, and there are over 200 that may live within the body. Some fungus feed off dead organisms whilst others, the parasitic fungus, feed off live organisms. These pathogenic fungus cause human diseases such as athletes foot, ring worm, dandruff, rosacea, swimmers ear, nail infections and yeast infections.
Candida Albicans, one of the most common human fungus, is a type of yeast that, at body temperature, grows filaments that burrow into, and penetrate the wall of the intestines. It is also present on the skin and in mucous membranes such as the vagina, mouth or rectum and it can travel through the blood stream and affect the throat, and even the heart valves.
Fungus lives in damp environments so that the filaments can absorb nutrients that are dissolved in water such as sugars and amino acids and then they release enzymes and toxins from that process that go on to degrade more complex nutrients for them to absorb. The toxic enzymes are then transported by the blood stream through the body causing illness.
Small amounts of yeast and fungal organisms are normally well tolerated in those people with a healthy immune system. However if the immunity is compromised in any way the body and especially the intestines may become susceptible to an overgrowth.
The immune system can be compromised by antibiotics because they destroy the beneficial as well as the harmful bacteria and leave open space for yeast to multiply. The pill and steroids also allow for the growth of fungus.
How can you diagnose this? You can have a gut fermentation test. This measures whether you ferment ethyl alcohol in your gut after consuming glucose sugars, which often happens with yeast overgrowth.
The Vega machine can also test you to see if you have a fungal infection.
What to do next? First and foremost you need to stop feeding it and helping it to grow by cutting out all sugar and yeast from your diet. When talking about sugar, I don’t mean just added sugar but high glycaemic carbohydrates as well. Cut down on your fruit especially the soft fruits that are high sugar and can become quite yeasty when over ripe.
There are some good anti-fungal remedies:
• Proteolytic enzymes help to break down the fungal walls and clear the fungus from the body. They also keep the small intestine free of parasites.
• Saccharomyces boulardii is a non-pathogenic yeast that has been shown to support a healthy balance of flora in the gut. It also helps as an anti-inflammatory.
• Caprylic acid is a fatty acid that has a long history as an anti-fungal and of clearing unwanted compounds from the gut.
• Herbs such as garlic, turmeric, black walnut hull, grapefruit seed, clove and oregano are proven to have potent anti-candida effects.
• Aloe vera helps soothe gastric discomfort
It is also important to improve your nutritional status and build your immune system so some supplements will help with this.
• B vitamins
• Omega-6 fatty acids to help with inflammation.
• Milk thistle and a good liver support supplement to stimulate the formation of new liver cells is also a good idea, as mild liver damage is often behind a candida overgrowth.