The colon is the foundation of our health. It holds the frontline for our immune system, balances brain chemistry, absorbs nutrients and kicks out toxins. The gut has it’s own nervous system known as the enteric nervous system, or the second brain. Nerve endings in the gut lining connect to almost every organ system in the body, and even to the brain. The second largest nerve in our body, the vagus nerve, is the connection between the brain and gut. The gut is responsible for manufacturing vital neurotransmitters for the brain, such as serotonin, 90% of which is made in the gut. The vagus is a multidimensional high way carrying neurotransmitters and good bacteria to the brain to nourish our neurology and keep it in tip top shape.
People with unhealthy bowel function or irritable bowel syndrome are dealing with a chemical process in the gut that inhibits the excretion of unwanted oestrogens and promotes their re-absorption: just what we don’t need.
Probiotics are more prolific than cells, and for good reason; they do some of the most important jobs in the body. Probiotics also break down proteins, play a role in maintaining the integrity of the gut barrier (the tight junctions), and help to keep unfriendly pathogens in check. In fact, between the digestive lining, enzymes, hydrochloric acid, and the friendly bacteria, the gut lining and its secretions represents an amazing eighty percent of the body’s immune system!
These microflora make vitamins (including the B’s), minerals and amino acids, which turn on our longevity genes and turn off degenerative genes.
A new area of study has been dubbed the ‘microgenderome’, which looks at the relationship between gut bacteria and sex hormones. Microbial communities can have a protective and therapeutic role on hormonal, metabolic and immune pathways. The relationship between our microflora and hormones appears to be bi-directional. Sex hormones can influence the brain-gut axis and vice versa.
When gut bacteria are in balance they play an essential role in hormonal balance. Researchers found that good bacteria can stimulate the enzyme responsible for detoxification pathways, potentially revealing that good bacteria can help the body eliminate old hormones, pharmaceuticals or other chemicals. Probiotics also activate the uptake of T3 from the thyroid into the bloodstream. Plus they have a positive affect on the liver and may drastically reduce the risk of liver disease in some people. This explains why probiotic supplementation has been suggested as a positive support for reversing fatty liver disease, the precursor to diabetes type-2. Certain bacterial genes, called the estrobolome, produce an essential enzyme that helps metabolize oestrogen.
If the intestines have an abundance of pathogenic bacteria they produce an enzyme that recirculates old oestrogens back around the body. The supplement calcium D glucarate (also found in broccoli and citrus fruits) can render the enzyme inactive and prevent this build up.
Common symptoms resulting from accumulated toxins in the bowel can include headaches, skin rashes, bad breath, allergy symptoms, PMS, fatigue, depression, irritability, bloating, and frequent infections.
Your intestines and immune system need a balance of 80% ‘friendly’ bacteria, probiotics, to perform all the essential functions, including keeping pathogenic microorganisms in their place. There are many probiotic supplements on the market, but the white powders and tablets are usually transient. They don’t colonize in the microbiome. They just activate for the short period it takes them to pass through the gut.
A good quality probiotic supplement is found in liquid form. These are live colonizing bacteria known as Effective Microorganisms (EM). And of course eating cultured foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi is an amazing way to repopulate the gut and immune health. If you do have candida, SIBO or parasites it’s a good idea to avoid kefir and kombucha as not all the sugars are converted into probiotics.
What is Candida?
‘Candida’ is the popular term for an overgrowth of Candida albicans, which lives in all our mucus membranes, i.e. intestines, eyes, ears, bladder, stomach, lungs, vagina, etc. It is one of the billions of other friendly organisms that serve a useful purpose in the body. When it is in healthy balance of candida albicans’ important functions is to recognize and destroy harmful bacteria and toxins.
Sometimes candida can cause a little chaos. It has another job of growing into a fungal state and venturing into the whole body; but this is only supposed to happen to help the body break down after you die. Unfortunately some of us have system candida while we are still alive. Don’t worry it can be remedied.
Candida colonies excrete over 79 different types of toxins (chemicals) which circulate throughout the body weakening the immune system and causing numerous symptoms and dysfunctions throughout the body. The main toxic by-products are called acetaldehyde, gliotoxins, mannan and ethanol. In it’s fungal state it can create a carpet-like mass, which wraps around organs and nerves, it can even be found in the brain. Candida can affect the reproductive organs, even causing endometriosis in women. According to antibody studies done at the Atkins Center, a yeast infection is involved in more than 80% of all cases of Crohn’s disease and colitis.
Candida and Cellular Damage
Red Blood Cell Damage – When red blood cells become rigid the transport of life-giving oxygen to all the tissues and organs is impaired. This causes the tissues and organs to lose their ability to function. It is also why many candida sufferers have cold hands and feet.
White Blood Cell Damage – White blood cells fight infection, their job is also impaired as they are no longer flexible enough to envelop foreign bodies.
Insulin Imbalance – When cell membranes are damaged by candida insulin has trouble doing its job – and insulin levels may have to be increased. This causes low blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia; also called insulin reaction) resulting in low energy, light-headedness, and sometimes even a coma. Over manufacture of insulin exhausts the pancreas, causing it to dysfunction and increasing risks of diabetes type-2.
Diabetes type-2: Doug A. Kaufmann, author of Infectious Diabetes, feels that type-2 diabetes could actually be caused by fungal toxins. Kaufmann has observed how fungal toxins have a devastating effects on the human body and could well be involved in the downward spiral towards heart disease, stroke, cancer and other lifestyle diseases.
How Candida Feeds a Hormone Imbalance
Some researchers believe that overactive candida can inhibit the body from having a normal response to hormones. Dr. Orion Truss, M.D. states “When tests are done on estrogen levels, thyroid levels, or other hormone levels and people are suffering from these symptoms [candida overgrowth], the hormones are there in the bloodstream, but they are not activating any response.” Dr. Truss surmises that toxins produced by candida somehow inhibit the tissues from responding normally to hormones. It may also directly affect the functioning of the glands themselves.
Candida also eats progesterone, which can result in oestrogen dominance and many other hormonal issues. On top of that a waste product from candida produces a false oestrogen that has been known to reduce thyroxin production and suppressing thyroid functon. If that wasn’t enough candida also alters and disrupts neurotransmitters in the brain, altering the function of the central nervous system, our mental state and our moods.
Dr. Michael McNett, from the Paragon Clinic (a Chicago multidisciplinary clinic specializing in treating fibromyalgia and muscular pain) believes that hypothyroidism is strongly linked to “candida hypersensitivity.” In other words, “Something causes their immune system to aggressively attack candida cells that most of us tolerate.” Dr. McNett states that: “One thing that is very interesting is that treatment for candida hypersensitivity frequently causes all hypothyroid symptoms to disappear. Because of this, I feel that when the immune system attacks the candida cell, some chemical must be released that interferes with thyroid hormone’s ability to cause its effect in the cell.” Dr. McNett adds that in turn, hypothyroidism contributes to and may even cause fibromyalgia as well as some cases of chronic fatigue syndrome.
James Haszinger, a brilliant researcher from World Health Mall, agrees with the link between candida and thyroid suppression. He feels candida overgrowth in the intestines severely affects absorption, thus starving the thyroid gland of minerals and other essential nutrients. He states that when candidiasis is properly treated, thyroid function rebounds. People’s energy comes back, they often lose weight, and health can now be rebuilt. He also believes that candidiasis lies at the root of blood sugar problems, which ties in to our earlier discussion of diabetes. Hypoglycemia is probably implicated as well.
The Systemic Story
Systemic Candida colonies excrete over 79 different types of toxins (chemicals) which circulate throughout the body weakening the immune system and causing numerous symptoms and dysfunctions throughout the body.
The main toxic by-products are called acetaldehyde, gliotoxins, mannan and ethanol. Systemic candida is meant to activate when the body is deceased. It’s job is to help with decomposition. Therefore these nasties break down cell membranes.
Acetaldehyde is the toxin that accumulates in your brain, spinal cord, heart and muscles, breaking down the tissue and produces the symptoms of an alcohol hangover or foggy brain, muscle weakness, and even pain. Gliotoxins generate free radicals, which are very toxic to the immune system and destroy white blood cells that fight infection. Mannan also has a significant immunosuppressive effect. Ethanol (a type of alcohol), poisons the various tissues of the body and can cause lesions. These chemicals all cause the cells in the body, including blood cells, to become rigid. Flexibility is very important for the correct function of cells. It allows nutrients and hormones to have access, and waste materials to be eliminated.
Rigid cells from candida can result in hormone imbalance, nutrient deficiency, tissue stiffness and pain, or electrolyte imbalance.
Factors that can trigger overactive candida:
- Regular intake of wheat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, trans fats and refined foods
- High stress
- Lack of sleep
- Intake of antibiotics or other medication
- Impaired immune system
- Impaired liver function
- Hormonal imbalances
- Use of the contraceptive pill, mirena or HRT
- Environmental toxins
- Adrenal fatigue
- Cortisone therapy
- Oestrogen dominance
Symptoms of Overactive Candida
Candida can lock-up progesterone and increase ‘estrogen dominance’
Candida Detox Support
- High carb and gluten grains – wheat, rye, barley, oats, rice
- Sugars – sucrose, fructose, honey, coconut sugar, maple syrup, malt
- Fruit and dried fruit (including tomatoes)
- Alcohol, vinegars, soya sauce or anything pickled (unless raw and fermented)
- Potatoes and sweet vegetables like butternut. Sweet potatoes can come back in after a month.
- Baked or roasted vegetables (lightly steamed only)
- Fried foods
- Smoked and cured meats – bacon, ham, smoked salmon and packaged meats.
- Coffee and black tea
- Sodas, sports drinks, fruit juices, and sweet drinks
- Yeast containing foods
- Preservatives – frequently derived from various yeasts.
- Peanuts, cashews and pistachios (contain aflotoxin mold) for first month.
- Lentils, beans and chickpeas unless sprouted first (high carb and contain aflotoxin mold unless sprouted) for first month.
Candida Killing Protocol:
Alternate between Oreganum oil (high strength from Steps to Health called Lifeline behind the counter) and Caprylic acid (a coconut extract). Take one for four days then change to the other for 4 days, keep alternating this way. These are both potent at killing systemic candida. Oreganum does minimal harm to beneficial bacteria, while caprylic acid actually FEEDS beneficial bacteria!
- Take a high quality probiotics (in liquid form) for three months (Nature Fresh)
- Greens, greens, greens! Green juice, green salads, green soups, pesto, whatever you can get your hands on, get it in your body. Fresh or powdered. Wheatgrass and barleygrass powder are great. Eat it all!!!
- Healthy fats – butter, avocados, olives, coconut, seeds and nuts. Include cold pressed oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, walnut oil, macadamia nut oil and avocado oil
- Lots of vegetables
- Fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi
- Non- grain grains – Buckwheat, teff and quinoa, millet, amaranth, sorghum, tapioca (flour)
- Coconut in all forms including flour
- Clean proteins – pasture-reared eggs (no-grains), antibiotic and hormone-free, grass fed organic meat
- Raw nuts – brazils, walnuts, soaked almonds, pecans, macadamia’s
- Apple cider vinegar – the only type of vinegar allowed
- Lemons, limes and berries
- You will soon feel like a new person!
Dealing With Thrush
Mix coconut oil 1:10 with neem oil (in a bowl which is in hot water). Put it in the fridge to set. Use half a teaspoon and insert as high up the vagina as possible. You can do this twice a day initially to kill the thrush.
To rebalance the internal flora get the probiotic gel Vagiforte Plus to reinoculate the necessary beneficial bacteria into the vagina. This is essential to prevent the candida from flaring up easily again.
Our immune system is the first line of defense against invading bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Parasites are opportunistic invaders, they take advantage of you, when the intestinal ecosystem is unhealthy or the immune system is compromised. Parasites are scavenger organisms, aiding many serious health ailments that may develop.
Parasites thrive in the intestinal tract, liver, pancreas, brain (and many other places in the body!) where they live off a diet of sugars, processed foods, toxins, and excessive carbohydrate consumption. The danger of these uninvited visitors is that their waste material is toxic. They end up having a similar impact on our hormonal state to candida.
Parasites produce chemicals that cause carcinogenic damage.
There are three amazing herbs that kill 100% of parasites, when used together for three months. Three months may seem like a long time, but it is essential to kill off all the larvae and completely eliminate the life cycle of these little critters. These 3 herbs must be used together!
- Black Walnut Hulls (from the black walnut tree)
- Wormwood (from the Artemisia shrub)
- Common Cloves (from the clove tree)
Follow the candida protocol and increase bitter foods (rocket, watercress, herbs, etc) as they deters parasites from hanging around.