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The gastrointestinal (GI) system is made up of the GI tract plus accessory organs that include salivary glands, pancreas, liver, digestive enzymes and gallbladder. The function of the GI system is to process nutrients and energy from food and fluids that you ingest. In people with GI problems, these functions are impaired. GI conditions include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gluten intolerance and SIBO. While many of these conditions have gotten the full attention of mainstream medicine there is a hidden factor in many of their diagnosis that is either unrecognized or dismissed – leaving its victims unable to resolve their digestive conflicts.
On tonight’s radio show we speak with Dr. Carolyn Dean about Candida albicans, the hidden factor in many of these conditions, and we review how to identify its influences and how to dismiss its dominance in your digestive system.
How Candidiasis is Developed
Candida is one of the 400 organisms that live in our mouth, digestive tract, vagina and on our skin. Most of the time they all get along with their neighbors. When you begin taking antibiotics, the whole delicate balance is lost. Antibiotics wipe out most of the good and the bad bacteria leaving yeast unharmed. In the absence of any competition, yeast colonies grow into all the empty nooks and crannies of the large intestine and even the small intestine. Sugar from our diet feeds yeast and with the special lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria wiped out, there is no more production of lactic acid to protect the delicate intestinal and vaginal tissues from marauding yeast.
The beast, Candida albicans, growing wildly inside our bodies is an epidemic out of control. Most people, if they think of it at all, imagine yeast as just a pesky vaginal infection that a treatment of vaginal cream will cure overnight. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case for millions of people, especially women who suffer an astonishing array of health complaints from yeast overgrowth, yeast allergy, and a build-up of yeast toxins.
Small Intestine Bowel Overgrowth (SIBO)
In the last decade, the incredible onslaught of every type of food sensitivity and digestive disorder has caused researchers to dive deep into the gut to study the microbiome and determine what in the heck is going on! And, with every little bit of new information, a new disease emerges complete with its own insurance code and treatment plan! As part of the discussion of the bacterial microbiome, a new “dis-ease” has been created called SIBO. There are SIBO websites, SIBO Symposia, SIBO books, and unfortunately SIBO blind spots – because they overlook Yeast Overgrowth Syndrome.
As far as Dr. Dean can tell, defining SIBO as an entity came out of the group that formed around the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). Dr. Dean learned about the SCD in my naturopathic training in the late 1970’s from Elaine Gottschall, who had “cured” her daughter of ulcerative colitis with The Specific Carbohydrate that she was prescribed by Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas. Dr. Haas had success with a grain-free, sugar-free, starch-free diet for celiacs and IBD (irritable bowel disease) patients in the 1950s.
Elaine Gottschall was so grateful and intrigued that she began studying the diet – gut connection. Her Masters thesis focused on the effects of various sugars on the digestive tract at the cellular level. She wrote Breaking the Vicious Cycle, Intestinal Health Through Diet, which brought the diet into prominence. The premise of The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is to keep simple sugars away from the feeding bacteria in the gut, which can then overgrow. Dr. Haas believed that bacterial overgrowth could disrupt enzymes that normally attach to the intestinal cell surface and prevent proper digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. We do know that a severe bout of diarrhea can impair disaccharide enzymes, which break down sucrose, lactose, and starch leaving them undigested and fodder for bacteria and yeast. Dr. Haas know that bacterial toxins and acids could injure the lining of the small intestine. Excessive mucus could be produced as a defense mechanism against the irritation caused by toxins, acids, and undigested carbohydrates and lead to the condition called mucous colitis, now called IBS.
The above explanation makes sense but the problem is that the emphasis has always been on bacteria and now SIBO is called bacterial overgrowth not both bacterial and yeast overgrowth. Because SIBO is a bacterial diagnosis, doctors both MD’s and ND’s recommend antibiotic therapy for it, which of course will cause more yeast overgrowth. And SIBO treatment will not include natural antifungals.
Leaky Gut: An Open Door To Our Tissues
It is a scientific fact that when yeast cells reach a certain critical mass they change from a round budding stage to a thread-like tissue invasive stage. They are simply running out of food and looking for more. They pack their bags and emigrate from their main home in the large intestine into the small intestine. In the small intestine, the yeast threads poke holes in the intestinal lining. With this superhighway to the bloodstream, there is nothing to stop yeast chemical by-products (all 180 of them), undigested food molecules, bacterial toxins, and other chemicals from taking a one-way ride. The holes are not necessarily big enough to allow yeast to get into the bloodstream, so there is no blood infection of yeast, just hundreds of waste products that should be flushed down the toilet that ends up causing head-to-toe symptoms to leak into the blood. Yes, leaky gut happens when toxins leak into the bloodstream and tissues of the body.
When these toxins hit the bloodstream they trigger widespread inflammatory and allergy reactions. Many of the toxins like aldehyde, alcohol, zymosan, arabinitol, and gliotoxin have been named. They impair the immune system and the central nervous system. Others block thyroid function, impair female hormones and cause symptoms of PMS and aggravate menopause but haven’t yet been properly studied. Inflammation is being investigated as the underlying cause of heart disease, bowel disease, arthritic conditions, and autoimmune disease. It is also intimately involved with weight gain, fatigue, allergies, asthma, headaches, irritability, and dozens of other health complaints.
GERD – A Customer’s Testimony
For decades I suffered from severe bouts of acid reflux and heartburn [GERD] several times each week. Recently, I starting taking ReMag for an unrelated ailment. To my pleasant surprise the supplemental magnesium not only cured the ailment for which I was taking it, it also completely stopped my episodes of acid reflux and heartburn. I have since learned that acid reflux is caused by stomach spasms which cause acid (which healthy stomachs are designed by nature to tolerate and utilize) to be ejected into the esophagus which is not designed to be exposed to stomach acid and burns when it is so exposed. Magnesium is a natural relaxant — as well as a natural antacid — and, therefore, it helps prevent the stomach spasms which are the root cause of acid reflux and accompanying heartburn.
What’s the Solution?
Unfortunately, the answer does not lie in a pill as many women have found out when they go to their doctor. Even if the doctor does recognize yeast overgrowth the most common treatment recommended is a week or two or antifungal medications. As one client, who is a chemist remarked to me that she is very concerned about taking fluoride compounds like Diflucan, the most well known antifungal medication. Doctors who are too dependent on prescriptive medicine don’t understand that yeast overgrowth requires a multi-pronged approach. But, Dr. Carolyn Dean DOES know that it’s through magnesium and mineral supplementation as well as diet and lifestyle change that people can overcome yeast overgrowth.
Tonight on our internet based radio show, we’ll be talking with Dr. Carolyn Dean about Leaky Gut, SIBO and GERD – Recognizing the Hidden Factor along with a wide range of health topics and safe solutions. You will love hearing the beneficial interactions with our callers and hosts alike including the body/mind connection, identifying the ‘conflict’ in the ‘conflict basis’ of disease and much more!!