Candida is an overgrowth of single-celled yeast or fungal organisms in the body that leads to numerous symptoms. Signs can include frequent yeast infections, thrush in the mouth (a thick white coating on the tongue), fatigue, chronic sinus and allergy issues, digestive problems like gas and bloating, weak immune function, cravings for sweets, brain fog, joint pain, bad breath, hormone imbalance, and urinary symptoms like UTI’s. Candida is normally present in the body at low concentrations that don’t harm us. However, when bacteria and other factors get imbalanced, candida can multiply out of control, enter the bloodstream, and cause frequent infections and health problems.
What Causes Candida Overgrowth?
So, you might ask: what creates the conditions for candida overgrowth? Various factors can contribute, but at the root level, I find that the two primary causes are mercury toxicity or mold exposure. Overuse of antibiotics is another cause, along with consumption of a diet high in refined sugars, oral corticosteroid use for asthma, people undergoing chemotherapy and radiation for cancer treatment, the presence of type 1 or type 2 diabetes, or a weakened immune system. Mercury is usually from dental fillings, but can also accumulate from eating fish high in mercury (especially tuna, shark, swordfish, etc.), as well as vaccines and shots that use mercury (thimerosol is a form of mercury) as a preservative.
Where’s The Mold Coming From?
Mold exposure can be from the home, workplace, or food typically. People often aren’t aware that there is a mold issue in their home or office – often times there is no obvious musty odor associated with it. Past leaks from a faulty roof, an HVAC unit that’s contaminated with mold, or a dishwasher that leaked years ago can lead to growth of various mold species. Molds produce mycotoxins, which are the cause of many symptoms we experience, including candida overgrowth.
How Does Mercury Cause Candida Overgrowth?
In the case of mercury accumulation in your body, it’s important to get tested to determine the exact “species” of mercury and the amount of each type of mercury that your body is burdened with. Mercury is one toxin that can mimic almost any symptom, and affects many systems in our bodies. It typically starts with inflammation of the GI tract, then the mercury proceeds to kill off many of the beneficial, probiotic strains of bacteria that colonize our gut, leading to an overgrowth of undesirable bacteria. This often results in overgrowth of candida, as the imbalanced gut bacteria are no longer able to keep candida levels in check.
Where Do I Start?
For patients who have or previously had metal amalgam dental fillings (which contain mercury), I typically start with a hair mineral test to look at levels of nutritional minerals. This same test also gives me an overview of toxic heavy metal levels. If mercury appears elevated in the hair test, the next step is to order a mercury Tri-Test from Quicksilver Scientific, which breaks down the levels of mercury present for each “species:” inorganic mercury from dental fillings, methyl mercury from fish consumption, etc. The Tri-Test, which tests blood, urine, and hair samples to arrive at it’s results, gives me a detailed assessment of what the source of the mercury is, and how elevated one’s levels are. Here’s a short video explaining the Quicksilver Scientific Mercury Tri-Test I order for clients:
QuickBITES #1, Part 1 The Mercury Tri-Test from Quicksilver Scientific on Vimeo.
What’s The Best Treatment Protocol?
Treating the candida overgrowth will vary somewhat from patient to patient, particularly if the cause is mercury vs. mold exposure. In many cases, it’s a combination of both causes, as the agitated immune system becomes weakened and the body becomes more susceptible to infections of different kinds. Also, when our body is in a weakened state due to frequent infections, our natural detoxification system is impaired, leading to accumulation of more toxins such as heavy metals, chemicals, and pollutants.
The first goal of treatment is to stop further exposure to the offending toxin, whether it’s mercury, mold or mycotoxins, or other pollutants/metal toxins. In the case of mercury amalgam fillings, I put clients on a detox program for a month or two before having them seek the help of a biological dentist for safe replacement of the dental fillings. Then the detoxification program is resumed. It’s important to prepare the organs of filtration (namely the kidneys, liver, and digestive tract) before jumping into a detoxification protocol – see my article here on Pre-Tox routines.
How Do I Detox Mold & Mycotoxins?
For clients who don’t have mercury-containing dental work, and who test low for mercury, it’s very worthwhile to look into mold exposure and sensitivities. I recommend incorporating a mold-free type of nutrition plan such as that found here. Many foods are actually contaminated with molds, including corn and corn products (moisture in the ear of corn yields an ideal environment for molds to grow), as well as grains such as wheat. Having a certified mold inspector test and examine your home and office is another important step. You can start with a self-testing mold kit for your home from a company such as immunolytics.com. These test kits will have you set out petri dishes in different rooms, leave them exposed for a time, then seal them up and mail in to the laboratory for analysis.
What Supplements Help To Detox Mold?
Oregano oil, activated charcoal, and clay are also invaluable supplements for either killing off molds (oregano), or binding to and eliminating mold toxins (charcoal and clay). I don’t recommend taking charcoal or clay near mealtimes or around nutritional supplements though, and you shouldn’t take them for more than 3 days in a row, either. I incorporate these supplements along with a comprehensive approach including liposomal glutathione, as well as glutathione precursers – this is crucial for restoring the function of our own natural detox systems.
What Testing Is Involved In Your Consultations?
Once we’ve played detective and tracked the source and nature of your problem, I help clients by putting together a treatment protocol tailored to their body’s unique imbalances. I find it’s crucial to address any nutrient deficiencies that show up in a properly conducted hair mineral/metal test, as well as to pace the detoxification process at a comfortable speed. Going too fast can cause detox reactions that overwhelm the client or make them unable to function on a day-to-day basis.
For this reason, it’s best to work with an experienced practitioner that can alter and adjust the protocol based on reactions your body has to the detox. Ready to get candida and other health conditions under control? Get in touch with me for a free consultation to answer your questions and decide on your next step to good health!