What is Candida?
If you are experiencing candida, you are not enjoying the operetta composed by Leonard Bernstein, and based on the novel of the same name by French writer, philosopher and historian Voltaire. One of the arias in Candide, the operatic piece of music, not the yeast infection known as candida, is entitled “Glitter and Be Gay”.
You probably won’t be feeling gay and happy if the candida albicans fungal infection grows out of control in your body. Before you can attend the opera and enjoy the musical masterpiece that is Voltaire’s Candide, you have to buy tickets and dress up. You may even read the original novella or the adaptation by screenwriter and playwright Hugh Wheeler, just so you know what is going on at the opera.
The same is true with a candida outbreak. There are certain things that you do, intentionally or not, before the yeast infections that are a sign of candida overgrowth are experienced. Put very simply, when your natural defense system is weakened, you are more susceptible to contracting any disease or illness. This is true in the case of candida, a naturally occurring microorganism in your body.
Candida – The Problematic Yeast
There are things growing inside your body right now that, when you are healthy, pose no health concern. There are literally trillions of microorganisms in your gut alone. When your body is happy and healthy, all of these interrelated, microscopic components lead to proper mental and physical health.
A problem can occur when candida albicans, usually a harmless yeast, is allowed to grow out of control. Living in every human body, men, women, children and the elderly alike, when overgrowth occurs, candida becomes “an opportunistic pathogen”. It takes advantage of any disability or weakness in your body, and can present itself in a multitude of symptoms.
By definition, candida is a type of fungus. It exists in your gastrointestinal tract. However, as with most other human illness and disease, even though it lives in your gut, it can produce symptoms and health problems throughout your body. In your mouth, throat, digestive system and genitals, candida overgrowth can become problematic and symptomatic.
This commensal organism (one that can benefit from another, separate organism without causing positive or negative changes to that organism) creates byproducts called mycotoxins. When a candida overgrowth has occurred, these mycotoxins begin to attack specific systems, processes or organs in your body.
Until this overabundance of candida yeast is treated, the relentless mycotoxin attack occurs 24 hours a day, every minute and every second. This single-celled organism can even change forms, becoming a pathogenic fungus that confuses doctors because of the myriad of symptoms it creates.
How Does Candida Move from Your Gut into Other Parts of the Body?
You may be wondering how a microorganism in your gastrointestinal system can affect multiple parts of your body. This is because the candida fungus takes root in your intestinal lining. In the case of candida overgrowth, this creates a leaky gut, often called leaky gut syndrome, which is recognized by porous openings in the lining of your gut. This allows the candida overgrowth and mycotoxin byproducts to enter your bloodstream. From there, it is a short trip to any part of your body.
How common is candida, even though many people have never heard the word? More problematic in women than men, candida albicans “… is the most common human fungal pathogen, causing both mucosal and systemic infections, particularly in immunocompromised people.” That medical jargon from the journal “Science” simply means that if your immune system is weakened or compromised, candida overgrowth can occur, displaying itself in a multitude of symptoms.