Candida Albicans is a yeast that is commensurate and naturally occurring in the digestive tract of healthy humans. It belongs there. It does not belong throughout your body in elevated amounts that can interfere with normal physiologic function though. For this to happen the yeast crosses the barrier of the intestinal lining due to Gut Permeability or Leaky Gut Syndrome. There are many causes of leaky gut, from head trauma, to increased stress, to too many antibiotics or even the standard American Diet (SAD).
A systemic yeast infection is one of the most common underlying, undiagnosed conditions that I identify in my Pittsburgh based Functional Medicine, Clinical Nutrition practice. Candida can be very tricky to correct if your treatment plan does not cover all of the necessary bases.
To give you an idea of the vast nature of potential candida related problems, here is a partial list of some of the commonly related symptoms: Fatigue or lethargy, Feeling of being “drained”, Poor memory, Feeling “spacey ” or “unreal”, Depression Numbness, burning or tingling, Muscle aches, Muscle weakness or paralysis, Pain and/or swelling in joints, Abdominal pain, Constipation or Diarrhea, Bloating, Troublesome vaginal discharge, Persistent vaginal burning or itching, Prostatitis, Endometriosis, Loss of sexual feeling, Dysmenorrhea, Premenstrual tension, Spots in front of eyes, Erratic Vision, Frequent mood swings, Headaches, Rashes or hives, Hemorrhoids, Recurring bad breath, Blisters in the mouth, Chronic post nasal drip, Itching in the ears, Rectal itching, Urinary frequency or burning, Interstitial cystitis and more….
The Functional Medicine, Clinical Nutrition approach to treating yeast is to first, find out what is causing the candida problem or allowing the candida infection to persist and remove it from your system. Second, the function of the body, liver and digestive system need to be improved to be stronger than the potential challenges the body is under on any given day. Once the food and environmental based triggers are removed and the body is healthier, there are no more yeast symptoms. This needs to be followed by a proper education on preventing an environment that harbors yeast. This can constitute a number of different functional systems and can be very confusing if you do not know where the problem started. Fortunately, I specialize in working with the functional changes in your body to correct the cause of the symptoms and remove the presence of problematic yeast responses.
In working with a Functional Medicine, Clinical Nutritionist you will hear the word “functional” quite a bit. What we are referring to is that not all problems show up in your blood work, and there may be a more subtle change in your system that is not bad enough to raise the red flags for your medical doctor.
I was published in the book “Medical Misfit, Dr. Why Can’t You Diagnose Me” by Jalene Corbin. This book is an entire text about a lifetime journey of a patient of mine who found the answer to her elusive health problems after 20 years. Her Medical History in my office brought us to a diagnosis of Systemic Candida and after successful treatment, to resolution of her extraordinary lifetime of undiagnosed medical complaints.
It is important to note that when your medical history and health related goals are explored, your consultations are held directly with me, not an untrained individual, a staff member, a questionnaire or a computer program. You will not be signing up for a “program” and paying money up front for services not yet rendered. Your health care journey in our office is unique to your specific needs.
If you are suspicious that you suffer from a Systemic Yeast condition, give us a call. I will be happy to help you resolve the root of the problem.
Dr. Conan Shaw, Functional Medicine, Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Pittsburgh PA