There are numerous forms of candida, but when discussing the fungal overgrowth candidiasis, we are usually referring to Candida albicans. While it is a fungus, it is more commonly called a yeast. It occurs naturally in our gastro-intestinal tract and plays an important role in our health: we need candida in the right amount to be healthy. However, the typical North American diet causes candida to proliferate out of control, resulting in overgrowth that can cause yeast infections, thrush (candida growing in the throat), fatigue, headaches, mood swings, irritability, cravings, bloating, indigestion, allergic reactions, and countless other symptoms. As unbelievable as it sounds, extreme cases of candidiasis have even resulted in death.
Because it is a living thing-a single-cell plant, in fact-candida produces and releases waste, and its waste is toxic and acidic. Over 8o different toxins that break down tissue in the body have been linked to candida overgrowth. For example, candida can weaken the mucous membrane of the gut, causing leakage. Undigested proteins and other foreign bodies can then be absorbed into the bloodstream, leading to allergic reactions and food or chemical sensitivities. In my experience, candidiasis is also a common underlying factor in autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Thanks to the typical diet, full of acid-forming meat and dairy products and loaded with sugars, candidiasis and other overgrowths of yeasts and fungus are an epidemic. It would be unusual to find a person eating this diet who did not have a fungal overgrowth. The Standard American Diet feeds and fuels these opportunistic organisms even more than it feeds and fuels the health-sustaining cells in our bodies. Candida thrives in an acidic environment, and it creates more acidity just by being alive.
The symptoms of candidiasis and fungal overgrowth are extensive: fatigue, digestive problems and bloating, headaches, pain, inflammation, depression, hyperactivity, respiratory problems, susceptibility to colds and flu, infections, growth of cysts and tumors-the list is seemingly endless.