Candida albicans is a bacterium found in everbody's gut.     In ideal conditions, it does no harm, being kept in check by the beneficial bacteria that are supposed to inhabit there to help normal digestion - the whole
spectrum of acidophilus bacilli.
Modern lifestyles are changing all of this. Antibiotics are completely indiscriminate in their targeting and the goodies are killed off as effectively as the baddies. Unfortunately, the baddies regrow most quickly, and there the problem begins. Other drugs such as steroids and the contraceptive pill also alter the balance of power in the gut in favour of the baddies - another reason why the cycle starts.
Another challenge is the upsetting of the vital acid/alkaline balance in the body - too much acid, and candida flourishes. Our present-day diets predispose us to acidity rather than alkalinity.
On top of this, our immune systems are more and more compromised by inadequate diet, chemicals in our food and our environment (check here for ways to get chemicals out of your home), and modern stresses.
Antibiotics are becoming a major factor in the onset of Candida, too. The medical profession tends to prescribe antibiotics as a kind of safety net - if in doubt. prescribe an antibiotic. Veterinarians have the same approach with treating your pets - and they can get Candida too.
The problem is that antibiotics can not only kill off the bad bacteria in your body, but the good bacteria also - so you lose the friendly bacteria in the gut, one of whose functions is to fight the good fight against the likes of Candida. It becomes a vicious circle. Anyone who takes antibiotics should be aware of the need to supplement with a good probiotic to minimise this effect.
Do not look upon Candida as simply "the good old thrush problem". It's a lot more than that, and because of the factors mentioned above, it's now attacking men as well as women.. If Candida gets the balance of power within your gut, then being a fungus, given time it will lay down its roots and infiltrate your body tissues and organs.
As mentioned above, Candida also alters the body's acid/alkaline balance, tipping the balance even further. It compromises the immune system, and it produces toxins which affect the body's operations. Once things reach this stage, the host can find they are faced with a mass of symptoms - tiredness, irritability, mood swings, exhaustion, digestive problems, gut problems, bloating, headaches, PMT, period problems, chronic fatigue syndrome, ME.....and the list goes on. It is not a good scene.
Aside from the need to rectify your body's pH balance, one of the most important things to realise is that Candida, bring a yeast, feeds on sugars. And here is another peice of the puzzle about the ever-increasing incidence of Candida infections in our society: more and more people are relying on packaged and processed foods, which are always laced with sugar. Check the ingredients labels of items on your supermarket shelves and you will find sugar everywhere - even in canned vegetables and baked beans.
As a visitor once commented to me in the Health Store - "If the food companies are in any doubt as to whether you will find their product palatable, they will tip some sugar in." Scary!
Check HERE to find out some more interesting facts about sugar.