Two years ago, I wrote it.
You may get some benefits reading it :
I am motivated to write this topic after seen the opportunity of asking for permission to stick it permanently to the forum useful posts. So, I will ask for it to the forum's administrators.
Keep in mind that English isn't my first language, so excuse me if you find redaction mistakes.
I have several reasons to chose this topic for this post. First, I have noticed during my four years researching candida how misunderstood this syndrome is, and the amount of myths about it we find in the web. As I have said in some of my other posts, the web has been an excellent source of information for me but has also been my worst enemy because there is a lot of unproved and wrong information about this syndrome all around. Since I am planning on leaving the forums some day, I want to help new and inexperienced people looking for help to understand several important terms about CRC. (Candida Related Complex) In fact, my research and acquired knowledge have been my main weapons to attack what was destroying my health. At the end, my diligence and dedication has been paying me. I hope this happens to all you too. This is what I have understood about this syndrome after all my reading and time finding good sources of information.
Candida Related Complex or Chronic Candidiasis is a syndrome caused by the exposition of antigens (metabolites) released by an intestinal/genital fungal overgrowth. This syndrome isn't caused by the presence of candida itself on our mucosal tissues even when it causes localized symptoms such irritation, inflammation, itchiness, redness, and pain. The cause of most symptoms is the amount of metabolites yeast colonies release inside of the human colon when they have exceeded tolerable amounts. These metabolites act as antigens reacting with our immune system response.
This is very important because we commonly find people and websites claiming the presence of candida albicans in the bloodstream and other vital organs as the cause of this syndrome.
This syndrome isn't FUNGEMIA or CANDIDEMIA that is the medical term used when candida albicans or any other specie disseminate through the body infecting a vital organ. Never tell your Dr you have systemic candidiasis. This isn't the case of this syndrome. Keep it clear, this syndrome is caused by a chronic mucosal yeast overgrowth and its metabolic products.
Some alternative practitioners claim to see live candida cells in a "live blood analysis" in patient suffering this syndrome. That isn't correct. What they see under a microscopy are fragments of the candida cell wall that reaches the bloodstream after the yeast growth and germinate. During this process, the yeast cell wall elongates releasing very small fragments of the yeast cell in the intestines that later cross the epithelium reaching the circulatory system. Candida Albicans alive cells rarely reach the blood. When they do it, you need urgent medical care and powerful Rx antifungals to avoid a massive septicemia. If the yeast is able to reach your blood and disseminate, it is because your immune system is totally suppressed and this only happens when people have advanced cancers, AIDS, and other serious medical situations.
Why the presence of candida albicans in the intestines cause the myriad of symptoms we feel ??
The explanation is based on the amount of candida bi-products we are exposed when the yeast growth to significant levels in our intestine. Medicine has identified at least 78 different antigens generated by candida albicans that cross-react with human antibodies. Fungus generate a lot of waste when they metabolize and digest food and tissues.
Having a yeast overgrowth in our intestines, means to be exposed to an avalanche of metabolites that reaches the blood causing an immense list of symptoms as a result of affecting remote organs and tissues. The most affected areas are the immunologic system and the neuroendocrine system.
There are two important aspects about the mycotoxins and the immune suppression mechanism.
In the web, we find the false myth that the germination of candida albicans to its more virulent form is what cause this syndrome. This is a wrong information such as many more you find in internet commonly. "Commensal" yeast also release metabolites and are also pathogenic. Medicine has proved that during an acute yeast infection, there are different morphogenetic forms of candida albicans. The selective growing is influenced by the micro-environment and the morphogenesis isn't a requirement to cause infection. Candida Albicans mono-cells produce the same metabolites that any other of its forms produces. The only candida species (pathogenic) that morphs is candida albicans. However, there are a lot more resistant and virulent species such as Candida Glabrata, Candida Tropicalis, etc that infects the intestines and cause chronic candidiasis. These species don't germinate and are very infectious. It is true candida albicans gain tissue penetration abilities one time it is able to morph. It increases its virulence and tissue invasion, but it doesn't mean yeast mono-cells are harmless.
Learn this correctly, please, there ISN'T difference regarding what phenotype form of candida generates the antigens that are causing you feeling miserable. The presence of a considerable amount of yeast cells in your intestines, no matter if they are in the called fungal form or the yeast form, will cause this syndrome. The degree of colonization is what matter and its ability to gain terrain and growth every time we are exposed to causative factors such as Antibiotics or a decreased cell-mediated immunity.
There are probably different mechanisms that may cause our immune depressed state when a fungal/yeast overgrowth is chronically present. To my knowledge these are:
Some people have genetic susceptibility to yeast overgrowth. Minor immune defects may also play a role during chronic or repeated yeast infections. The most accepted theory is an acquired immune tolerance caused by the presence of the yeast in significant amounts for an extended period of time. This is known as an immune tolerance caused by chronic antigenemia. It means the immune system stops attacking the yeast one time it has stayed for sometime. One time the immune response is paralyzed, we are left with our antagonistic bacterial flora as the only defense against yeast expansion. Yeast are present on all our mucosal tissues in most people ,and when we take Antibiotics the antagonistic bacterial flora is reduced allowing the fungus to gain space and to become more infectious. Candida Albicans is also able to depresses cell-mediated immunity when there is an overgrowth. Anything that affects cell-mediated immunity is affecting your immune defenses against the presence of the yeast. Heavy metal toxicity, candida itself, any considerable toxic load, leaky gut syndrome, etc. I don't think the main cause of this syndrome is Antibiotic intake because there are many people who takes Antibiotics , even long term, that never develop candidiasis. I think the antibiotics trigger chronic candidiasis only when susceptible people take them and when the immune system is affected by an acquired immune suppression.
The MAIN objective treating CRC is to reduce or eradicate the fungal colonies living in the intestines/genitals to eliminate the amount of antigens that reaches our blood and are affecting our immunity against the yeast and causing the debilitating symptoms we feel. When the intestinal overgrowth be reduced to sporadic cells for enough time, our immune system has chance to balance and reactivate allowing cell-mediated immunity restoration and the correction of this syndrome in most cases. Without the presence of yeast colonies, the immune restoration may occurs spontaneous. However, some people need immune stimulation shots using candida antigen to help them to re-gain the normal immune response to candida albicans. The beneficial bacterial flora will restore one time candida be eradicated following a balanced diet and supporting it. Candida Albicans impedes lactic acid bacteria growth when it dominates. There are people who needs to correct chronic underlying causes such as heavy metal toxicity in order to re-gain a proper immune response to the yeast. Mercury toxicity polarizes the immune systems toward to a humoral response depressing cell-mediated immunity. Until this hidden cause don't be corrected, it is almost impossible to eliminate chronic yeast infections. The immune response is vital to overcome this syndrome, so you need to identify any cause that be affecting your immune balance.
The most important task CRC sufferes have is to eliminate the fungal overgrowth that is present inside the intestines and other mucosal areas. When this is achieved, the rest of the problems may resolve automatically and the symptoms disappear. It will take time for the immune system to reactivate against candida.
I hope this post give you some valuable knowledge during your journey.