top of page

Candida albicans colonisation in the gut


Candida albicans is a commensal yeast in the gut and vagina which means it lives there normally and when things are in harmony and in balance it doesn't do any harm. Some studies may even argue that it has beneficial protective effects. However due to certain conditions outlined below which have effects on the 3 major layers of the gut lining, this yeast can cause major disruption on the very important immune system associated with the gut. The C. albicans cell wall contains mannoproteins, β-glucans, and chitin, which are known to trigger a wide range of host cell activities and to circulate in the blood during fungal infection.






Risk factors for candida albicans overgrowth


  • High starch and sugar diet, possibly gluten for some people due to its effect on the gut lining.

  • Recurrent antibiotic use

  • Dysbiosis ( Imbalanced gut flora ) - this could be causes by a viral , bacterial or parasitic infection or just a poor diet.

  • Chemotherapy or Radiotherapy

  • HIV

  • Pregnancy

  • Hormonal Birth control

  • Immunosuppressive medication


1. Leaky gut and Candida Overgrowth


Our gut has a lining of cells which creates one of the three layers of the gut lining. These cells are called enterocytes . When this lining become disrupted it can result in candida overgrowth and in severe cases entry of these fungal fragments into our blood stream. Once candida overgrows the yeast itself can cause further destruction of theses epithelial cells further perpetuating the fungal invasion.


2. Glycocalyx break down and Candida Overgrowth


The glycocalyx is made up of mucous secretions and is the second of the three layers of the gut lining. These secretions are made up of secretory IGA, omega 3 fatty acids, zinc and vitamin A and oligosaccharides. When there is a break down in this mucous lining and reductions in secretory IGA we see a further opportunity for candida invasions. Secretory IGA decreases the invasion of viruses and bacteria as well as antigen.


Causes of reduce SIGA


  • poor diet

  • nutrient deficiencies

  • certain drugs such as NSAIDS

  • chronic viruses

  • impaired immune system

  • stress

  • genetic


Through gut mapping we can test SIGA levels. There are several ways of supporting SIGA and the mucin layer which we will write up another post on but included immunoglobulins, omega fatty acids, Zinc and vitamin A. There are also come specific probiotics such as Saccharomyces boulardii


A bit of research on Saccharomyces boulardii




3. Dysbiosis and Candida Overgrowth


The microbiome is the 3rd layer which sits on top and within the glycocalyx. Disruption in the balance of beneficial to pathogenic flora leads to an opportunity for candida overgrowth. Treatments which target these pathogen disruptors can also help to reduce the opportunity for candida infections. Poor diets as well has environmental exposures to molds can also disturb this layer as well as the other two layers.


Symptoms of Candida overgrowth


  • Fatigue, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia: A quick literature review highlighted several papers showing an association between candida over growth and chronic fatigue syndrome. Does this mean the drivers of the chronic fatigue results in immune vulnerability to candida or does it mean that the candida is the driver?

  • Brain fog

  • Gas and bloating

  • Diarrhea or constipation

  • Sugar cravings, weight gain, or difficulty losing weight

  • Skin issues (acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, tinea versicolor)

  • Dry, itchy, or red skin

  • Nail fungus, athlete’s foot, dandruff

  • Recurring yeast infections

  • Vaginal, rectal, or jock itching

  • Itchy ears

  • sleep issues, anxiety, or depression, mood swings

  • Sinus infections or seasonal allergies


Healing Diets for Candida overgrowth


On a very basic level we ask patients to follow a whole food diet - which is free of refined foods and preferably free of grains. For period of time the anti-candida diet can also be helpful which also involves strict exclusion of yeast contain foods and starchy vegetables. Another very healing diet is the GAPS diet, however this does call for a 1-2 year commitment.


Nutraceutical therapies for candida overgrowth


In clinc we use a mix proteolytic enzymes , probiotics such as Sachromyces boulardi


Herbs such as


  • Pau d’Arco (Tabebuia impetiginosa)

  • Oregano Leaf (Origanum vulgare)

  • Thyme Leaf (Thymus vulgaris)

  • Horopito ( Pseudowintera colorata)


lase and chitosanase

Pharmaceutical therapies for candida overgrowth


Systemically the medications we primarily use for candida include a class of drugs called "Azoles":

Nystatin is another . There are other pharmaceutical antifungals reserved for more serious levels of candidiasis.

These blog posts are not there to treat or diagnose. Please always consult a medical practitioner in regard to any health concerns you have. If you would like to make an appointment, please contact us at info@dranjana.com.

Comments


Recent Posts
Archive
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page