Elora Gabriel, The Green Willow Tree
Candida or Yeast: Diabetes, Hormonal Imbalances and Your Thyroid
First a quick review of the candida overgrowth problem. Candida is a type of yeast which naturally lives in the body, mostly in the digestive or intestinal tract. In a healthy body it lives symbiotically with friendly bacteria that also inhabit our gut. With the use of broad spectrum antibiotics, birth control pills, excess intake of sweets, and so on, candida yeast takes over, driving out beneficial bacteria and colonizing other parts of the body as well as throwing off digestion and absorption in the digestive tract. Almost all of us have used antibiotics, some repeatedly. And our average sugar consumption is now tens or hundreds of times as much as that of our ancestors. Therefore, it would not be surprising to find a high percentage of humans today harboring some degree of candidiasis.
Obvious symptoms of candidiasis:
- Thrush in babies
- Vaginal Yeast Infections
- Skin Rashes (in some cases)
Other symptoms of a yeast overgrowth could include:
- Weight Gain
- Leaky Gut Syndrome
- Food Allergies
- Excess Mucous
- Food Cravings
- Skin and Scalp Problems
- Dry Throat
- Sensations of Heat at Night
- Bad Breath
However, it is the less obvious symptoms that we are concerned with, since people may not realize that their ongoing health problems are connected with yeast (fungus) overgrowth. Here are some conditions that may be related to candidiasis, yeast overgrowth:
Doug A. Kaufmann has written a book called Infectious Diabetes in which he advances the proposal that diabetes, particular adult-onset or Type 2 Diabetes, is caused by fungal toxins. It is well known that diabetics run a much higher risk of life-threatening conditions such as stroke, heart failure, kidney disease, etc. Kaufmann points out that this is the case even when blood sugar levels are normal due to medication. What, then, causes these serious effects for the diabetic person? Kaufmann’s answer is simple: fungal toxins, which can have devastating effects on the human body. Space does not allow a full discussion of this well-researched and convincing book, but we highly recommend it to anyone concerned about diabetes.
Hormonal Balance and Hypothyroidism/Thyroid Problems:
Books on candidiasis have always stressed the connection between yeast overgrowth and endocrine dysfunction. Here is a quote from Smart Health Online:
I have found that the candida produces toxins which seem to thrive on hormones produced by the endocrine system. The first of which seems to be the adrenal glands, this will affect the person’s ability to feel energized, [cause the person to] feel hot or cold temperatures very easily, possibly sweat more than usual, heart palpitations, low sugar levels etc. Then moving on to the thyroid gland, affecting the body’s metabolic rate. Serotonin levels (controls mood and levels of consciousness) are affected leaving the person to feel ‘spaced out’. I have known patients who have tested for candida and hormone imbalances, have then seen their doctor and had a blood test for say an underactive thyroid and nothing shows on the blood test. Yet the thyroxine does not seem to be getting into the body. Other hormones are also involved.
Some researchers believe that candida in the tissue somehow affects the ability of the body to respond normally to hormones. Dr. Orion Truss, M.D. states, “When tests are done on estrogen levels, thyroid levels, or other hormone levels and people are suffering from these symptoms [candida/yeast overgrowth], the hormones are there in the bloodstream, but they are not activating any response.” Dr. Truss surmises that toxins produced by candida somehow inhibit the tissues from responding normally to hormones. It may also directly affect the functioning of the glands themselves.
This could explain why candida causes immune dysfunction. If candida toxins are affecting the thymus gland, it can no longer produce enough T-cells, thus severely depressing the immune system.
Let’s return for a moment to thyroid function, since this is a growing concern among health conscious people today. Most doctors fail, in our opinion, to realize the extreme prevalence of hypothyroid conditions. However, experts such as Dr. E. Chester Ridgway, the University of Colorado’s chief endocrinologist, believe that as many as 70% of Americans are now hypothyroid. How could this be? We have pointed out several factors which could contribute to this epidemic, such as the use of fluoride and chlorine, both of which suppress thyroid function. However, we have recently come to suspect that “the yeast beast” plays a leading role in hypothyroidism. Cold hands and feet, for example, are a common symptom of candidiasis, yet on a blood test the person will have a perfectly normal thyroid level. Further examination will show that the patient has a wide array of hypothyroid symptoms. Thyroid tests may be normal, but thyroid function, therefore is clearly not.
Dr. Michael McNett, from the Paragon Clinic (a Chicago multidisciplinary clinic specializing in treating fibromyalgia and muscular pain) believes that hypothyroidism is strongly linked to “candida hypersensitivity.” In other words, “Something causes their immune system to aggressively attack candida cells that most of us tolerate.” Dr. McNett states that: “One thing that is very interesting is that treatment for candida hypersensitivity frequently causes all hypothyroid symptoms to disappear. Because of this, I feel that when the immune system attacks the candida cell, some chemical must be released that interferes with thyroid hormone’s ability to cause its effect in the cell.” Dr. McNett adds that in turn, hypothyroidism contributes to and may even cause fibromyalgia as well as some cases of chronic fatigue syndrome.
James Haszinger, a brilliant researcher from World Health Mall, has a different slant on the candida/thyroid situation. It is his belief that the thyroid gland will function properly if it has adequate nutrients. “The thyroid gland never gets tired or quits working. It creates hormones as long as it has the building blocks.” We are inclined to believe that this is true, given the enormous success of Thyodine, which is no more than a highly synergistic package of nutrients needed by the thyroid gland. According to Haszinger, candida overgrowth in the intestines severely affects absorption, thus starving the thyroid gland of minerals and other essential nutrients. He states that when candidiasis is properly treated, thyroid function rebounds. People’s energy comes back, they often lose weight, and health can now be rebuilt. He also believes that candidiasis lies at the root of blood sugar problems, which ties in to our earlier discussion of diabetes. Hypoglycemia is probably implicated as well.
Now that we’ve outlined the problem, let’s take a look at some solutions: A well established way to treat candidiasis is through the use of probiotics. Of the many brands on the market, we personally favor “Primal Defense”, which is produced by Garden of Life. While even the best probiotics are probably not strong enough to get rid of an entrenched candida condition, they are certainly necessary at some point to re-establish healthy flora in the gut. One advantage of Primal Defense is that, according to the manufacturer, its soil-based organisms have the ability to create permanent colonies in the intestines.
A healthy diet, low in carbohydrates and free of sweets, is also an essential part a candida elimination program. However, diet alone will not be enough to eradicate candadiasis in many or even most cases. Garlic and grapefruit seed extract may be of some help.
We have recently added two products to help those with candidiasis. First are the Enteric Coated Oregano Oil capsules from NOW foods. Oregano Oil has been clinically tested to show active elimination of excessive candida, as well as to be effective against all kinds of micro-organisms in the body, even antibiotic-resistant staph. We have selected the enteric coated capsules because they have the ability to pass through the stomach and into the intestines, where most of the candida colonies live. This is a low-cost and effective product.
We’ve saved the best for last. World Health Mall, produces a product called Syclovir. Syclovir contains a type of plankton which, we’re told, actually “eats up” or absorbs the candida/yeast. It has the ability to absorb 1,000 times its own weight by volume of bacteria, parasites, viruses and toxins. Die-off (which can be a severe problem for health-compromised people) is therefore much less of a problem or may not occur, at all. We have spoken to doctors using Syclovir, and they state that this product is “incredible” in its ability to address candidiasis, yeast overgrowth, at the deepest level, and to fully eradicate the condition. We eagerly welcome your feedback.
**This article originally featured on GreenWillowTree.com**
About the Author
Elora Gabriel, a writer, researcher, and entrepreneur, published many articles on women’s health both nationally and internationally, in magazines such as the Awareness Journal, Pathways, Sweet Fern, Explore Magazine, etc. Elora founded Tides of Life, now The Green Willow Tree, in 1995. She worked in the holistic health field for nearly 20 years. Sadly, our friend Elora Gabriel passed away Dec., 2006.
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