Candidiasis, commonly called yeast infection or thrush, is a fungal infection (mycosis) of any of the Candida species, of which Candida albicans is the most common. Candidiasis encompasses infections that range from superficial, such as oral thrush and vaginitis, to systemic and potentially life-threatening diseases.
Although its symptoms are similar to those of many other conditions, you could have a yeast problem if you have these signs*.
Loss of energy
Bloating and gas
Altered bowel function
Frequent bladder infections
Menstrual irregularities like pain, bleeding, etc.
Nervous system complaints:
Inability to concentrate
Immune system complaints:
Low immune function
Chronic yeast infections
Chronic antibiotic use for infections or acne
Oral birth control pill usage
Oral steroid hormone usage
Sensitivity to foods, chemicals, or other allergens
Irritable bowel syndrome
Craving for foods rich in carbohydrates or yeast
* source: Textbook of Natural Medicine, Pizzorno and Murray, Churchill Livingstone 1999
Candida is the popular term for an overgrowth of candida - a condition known to medical doctors as 'intestinal candidiasis' when found in the intestines or 'systemic candidiasis' when found elsewhere in the body. It was first diagnosed by American physicians in the 1970s.
When we are healthy, candida lives (in its yeast form) in our intestines where it competes with bacteria for room. Like bacteria, it is aerobic i.e. it needs oxygen to live. When we die, oxygenated blood stops coursing through our bodies, suffocating the bacteria. But candida (like all yeast) can survive without oxygen by changing into its fungal, anaerobic form. It spreads rapidly into the area vacated by the dead bacteria, putting down roots into the walls of the intestines, and sporing through the gut wall into the rest of the body.
Candida decomposes cell membranes, providing food for other microbes, particularly the maggots which infest corpses. The Egyptians realised this thousands of years ago. When they wanted to mummify a body they extracted the intestines as soon as possible after death, to stop the body rotting from the inside out, embalming the rest of the body with eucalyptus and other anti-fungal oils to kill any remaining candida and other microbes.
Sounds revolting, but a diagnosis of 'candida' means that this process has started, whilst we are still alive. It doesn't mean that you are at death's door. On the contrary candida rarely kills. But its presence in large numbers means that your immune system has an unremitting battle to keep it under control - a battle which takes a terrible toll on your health.
In September 1999, Johns Hopkins medical researchers confirmed that virtually all chronic sinus infections were due to fungus. Not all findiings are that solid. As a matter of fact, few are. Rather, scientists seem confused and startled at their own discoveries with regard to fungus. Fungus makes poisonous byproducts called mycotoxins. Antibiotics are one class of mycotoxins. Without this knowledge, however, many questions are raised when researchers stumble onto this seemingly elementary fact. Recently, researchers have discovered that antibiotics are contributing to everything from 2nd heart attacks to breast cancer. It is our hope that someday when discoveries like these are made, logic will supercede confusion.