Candida is a minefield. There is so much conflicting advice and controversy surrounding this condition that to provide a deep level of understanding here would be unrealistic. However, we do see patients who are following various protocols and we can support them is achieving various goals and provide encouragement and advice.

Here is a brief overview of the condition courtesy of Metagenics New Zealand.

Candidiasis is commonly used as a general term for yeast and fungal infections, most commonly caused by several species of Candida, the most predominant being Candida albicans. Candida is a common commensal (non-pathogenic) organism in human microflora that can affect areas such as the (such as in the gut, genitals, skin, throat and mouth), however, opportunistic overgrowth is associated with a switch to pathogenesis, where it may trigger inflammation, immune suppression, localised tissue irritation and damage, including increased intestinal permeability and skin/mucosal irritation in affected areas.

Candida can be difficult to treat, as it forms a biofilm, allowing immune evasion. Also, fungal cell walls contain mannose glycoprotein, which is immunosuppressive, allowing it to locally adapt to the conditions of the host, playing a role in fungal persistence. Also, prolonged treatment with anti-fungal medications, can cause candida to adapt and make it resistant to treatment.

Yeast/fungi infections may be difficult to identify and are often considered in differential diagnosis, yet are clinically significant. Human fungal diseases can occur due to direct infection or as a reaction to fungal toxins.

Chronic latent, low-grade yeast/fungal infection is associated with loss of microbial biodiversity (such as with antibiotic use) or opportunistic overgrowth of organisms that stimulates overt and/or low-grade inflammation, immune suppression and/or loss of normal immune tolerance. Supporting both a healthy balance of microbes and tolerance/resistance to microbes, encompasses a concept of managing our terrain. Essentially this refers to creating a healthy internal environment (utilising detoxification, dietary and lifestyle strategies) to regulate both microbial load whilst supporting resilient and effective immunity.

Hamish was lucky enough to work closely with a highly expereinced naturopathic practitioner in New Zealand who is has over the last twenty five years become an expert in the field of candida treatment and has published a 700 page e-book on the subject in 2013. His name is Eric Bakker and a link to his website is available here where there is a wealth of information both on his site and Youtube concerning candida and its treatment. Whilst it is important to realise that Eric’s advice is not uniquely personal it is highly likely that if you suffer from candida that his information will be relevant to your condition. When you need personal refinements, further advice or clarification then a consultation at the Plymouth Naturopathic clinic may well be of benefit.