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Controlling Candida
By Jared M. Skowron, N.D.

You have most likely heard the saying, "One rotten apple can sure spoil the bunch." This is certainly true for microbes; billions of good bacteria reside in our intestines as probiotics, and one lousy strep throat germ throws us for a loop. The same is true for yeast. There are so many good yeasts (such as Brewer's yeast), yet Candida albicans causes so many problems! Candida is the bad yeast that starts to take over in the intestinal tract, and may spill over onto skin, and for women, into the vaginal tract. Once an organism like this takes hold, it can be very difficult to remove. Many candida sufferers are also affected with bowel problems, including mild irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea and constipation, consistent chronic bowel pain, or full-blown Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Luckily, scientific research has found the answer to most people's candida problems.

How Candida Develops and How to Get Rid of It

Our incredibly powerful immune system is segmented into different parts. These divisions are created to organize the immune system responsible for allergic reactions (IgE), another for internal infections (IgM), another for remembering previous infections (IgG), and yet another for protecting the intestines, skin, sinuses, and vaginal tract (IgA). The part of the immune system that usually fails in chronic candida infections is the IgA immune system.

I hope you're thinking my favorite question: Why does the IgA immune system fail and allow candida to take over? The simple answer is stress. People under stress produce immense amounts of adrenaline and cortisol. These are powerful hormones that instantly affect the IgA immune system.

Getting rid of candida for good involves four stages: anti-fungal therapy, effective probiotics, adjusting diet, and managing stress.

Anti-Fungal Therapy

There are many anti-fungal therapies on the market, but which works best? One of the creators of the digestive stool analysis (CDSA) recently looked at the results of over 3,000 stool tests of people with intestinal candida. He performed sensitivity testing on all organisms, which shows the natural remedies that most effectively kill candida. His important analysis led to the creation of the anti-candida supplement manufactured by Metabolic Maintenance, called Microbial Maintenance.

Microbial Maintenance is the most effective candida product I use in my office.

The research shows that the following combination of five botanicals kill candida more effectively than any other herbal remedies:

  1. Berberis Vulgaris—used by the Egyptians to treat plague
  2. Berberis Aquifolium—kills candida, gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria
  3. Allium Sativum (Garlic)—shown to kill 18 strains of candida
  4. Juglans Nigra—shown to kill both candida and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  5. Olea Europaea—the olive leaf given to Olympians which contains over 7 anti-candida compounds

Probiotics are also essential during anti-candida treatment. They are involved in the microscopic turf war to inhibit the candida from proliferating, and also increase your IgA immune strength.

•Adjusting Diet
Every organism has a favorite food, even microscopic ones! Which birthday party would you rather go to; one with cake or one with brussel sprouts? Most of you would answer cake (if answering honestly). Our diet choices feed intestinal organisms, which is why removing sugar from our diets when treating candida is so important. Yeast feed on sugar. If you read ingredient labels, you will find all kinds of sugar, but also look for sugar equivalents such as corn syrup and fructose.

•Managing Stress
Last, but not least, change your reaction to stress. We live in a stressful world: job, relationship, family, kids, etc. Usually we can't avoid the stressors (unless we are on a kid-free vacation in the Caribbean), but we can change our reaction to the stressors. Understand that you can change your response to stress to be anything that you want. Meditate on your reaction. Is this the response you want to have? If not, change it.

Good luck to those of you currently fighting candida. Using these treatments and strategies with my patients, I have seen great success, and you can too. When we understand the why and the how, we can test and treat most effectively. You too, will find your naturopathic answer.

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