A Candida Infestation: What Exactly Am I Dealing With? Part 2


petri dishLast week I wrote about how I contracted a Candida infestation.

A Candida Infestation: In the Beginning Part 1
Candida Infestation: Treatment Blog, Part 3
A Candida Infestation: The Blog, Part 4
Candida Blog Part 5: Symptom-free for Six months
Candida Treatment: Blog Part 6 Updated 1 year

In this chapter I’ll explain why it was so difficult to come up with a workable treatment as well as a diet that would work well with my protocol of supplements and antifungals.

I’ve made it somewhat a hobby of mine to study alternative medicines such as vitamins, minerals and herbs for the past twelve years. However, most of my knowledge concerning Candida albicans came more recently because of my own infestation and by simply reading literally hundreds of research papers from universities and labs all over the world which were, for the most part, centered on the biology of Candida albicans. I’ll also have to admit that, when it came to various foods and supplements, I always used myself as the subject of these experiments.

As far as how long it took me to rid my body of my own infestation, I probably spent nearly a year experimenting and designing the protocol and diet which finally brought the infestation under complete control. And once I had the diet and protocol fine tuned, it was probably a period of six to eight weeks before I realized I was experiencing zero Candida symptoms and zero die-off reactions.

I should point out here that I had previously managed to reduce the symptoms significantly and was feeling as if I no longer had a Candida infestation; but I know now that, at that point I introduced foods that were not on the diet much too soon which caused the infestation to return to its full force of symptoms. I believe this is the biggest mistake a Candida sufferer can make during his or her treatment; that is to introduce foods that will feed the Candida before the population of the infestation has been reduced enough to handle the new food.

Some experts believe that depriving Candida albicans of oxygen is one way to defeat them, but Candida can produce their own energy by converting small amounts of sugars in the foods we eat into carbon dioxide and ethanol, which is why one of the symptoms of a Candida overgrowth is brain fog.

Why is a Candida albicans infestation so hard to control, and why are they so hard to kill? To answer these questions we first need to understand how Candida albicans reproduce, and they actually have two different ways of reproducing. One way is to reproduce through a process called “budding.” This is an asexual form of reproduction which takes place when a new living cell develops or divides from a parent organism. This means that one Candida cell divides into two cells, the two quickly become four, and four will soon be eight and so on. Once this yeast turns fungal, you can imagine how quickly a small population of Candida albicans cells can become billions of different cells. Through this you can also understand how getting the Candida albicans population under control as quickly as possible is imperative to one’s future health.

The Candida also reproduces sexually through a method known as the hyphal form. In this form they literally split into many different fragments, each fragment creating a new mycelium, which, according to Merriam-Webster is a, “mass of interwoven filamentous hyphae that form the vegetative portion of the thallus of a fungus and is often submerged in another body or the tissues of a host.” … or in this case, the intestines of a human being. Once the mycelium is literally imbedded in the walls of the intestines, you can imagine how difficult it is for an antifungal to reach them. Combine these two forms of reproducing, and what you have is an accelerated reproductive system.

Another reason the infestation seems to hang around so long and through all types of treatments is that Candida albicans produce ‘spores’ and can release these whenever danger is present in their environment. Candida albicans can literally hibernate in these spores when food is scarce or when there is a threat present such as an antifungal.  If this goes on for a while, your Candia related symptoms may begin to decrease, and you may believe that you’ve actually “killed off” the majority of the Candida. But in this case you’ve never been so wrong in your life. With this in mind, you can see how a certain amount of stubbornness may be needed on your part if you’re waging a war against a Candida albicans infestation.

But there’s more; as already explained, this multi-cellular fungus is able to reproduce in a very rapid manner, and as the infestation spreads through the body, the fungus forms biofilms for protection from outside dangers. The biofilms normally start to forum in the first 24 hours of the Candida’s colonization, and the biofilms are comprised of tough plant fibers called cellulose.

The Candida’s cell wall is made of plant material and proteins, with the membrane and nucleus being proteins and fats just like an animal. But this particular “animal” is capable of cloning itself with the additional ability of shape-shifting by literally rearranging chromosomes and morphing into several different forms.

What does the creature eat? Having an external digestive system allows Candida albicans to absorb nutrients through their hyphae, which means that anything and everything is a possible food source although it will first search for glucose or any food form which changes into simple sugars during digestion.

Put all of this together and you’re just a little too close to guaranteeing the survival of this fungus.

Photo Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathanreading/ @ Creative Commons

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