By Donald Dennis,  M.D., F.A.C.S.  –  March 8, 2012

Because the body’s systems are interrelated, when something goes wrong with one organ or system, over time problems develop in other areas. This is particularly true with sinus problems. For example, did you know that the vast majority of people with a reoccurring sinus infection have a Candida allergy as well?

Candida is a single-celled fungi that is commonly called yeast. Every human has Candida in their gut, but only 16 – 20 % of the population has severe allergies to them. Those allergies create a self-perpetuating whole body inflammation cycle. The inflammation prevents proper digestion which causes food allergies that increase gut inflammation and so on. Since the immune reaction to gut Candida is systemic many people have symptoms such as brain fog (the inability to focus and remember), fatigue, muscle and joint pain, fibromyalgia, and skin rashes that can be quite severe, especially when the yeast overgrowth is worsened by antibiotics and environmental air with high mold counts, resulting in high levels of Mycotoxins ( mold poisons) in the tissues. (See picture at right)

All fungi have the same cell wall structure (called a 1-3 beta Glucan) which means, once you become allergic to one fungus you can quickly become allergic to all of them; especially if you are constantly breathing in air that has high mold content. For most people a high mold count means higher than 4 colonies on an air exposure mold test, but they could be less for hyper-allergic individuals. Besides having a cell wall that is similar to all fungi, Candida has two other important cell wall features that make it more tissue destructive than all other gut organisms. First, it has a sugar receptor, which makes the organism change its shape from the harmless spherical yeast to an invasive hyphal form of tissue with thousands of tentacle projections that grow into the surrounding tissue causing destruction and inflammation. Second, it has an amino acid sequence that is the same as gluten found in most grains.

So when allergic people eat grains and sugar the gut inflammation is amplified causing symptoms like acid reflux, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and more food allergies.

Your gut represents 70% of the immune system, so it is imperative that it be kept healthy in order to mount a proper immune response. This is why controlling the Candida requires a multi-prong approach.

Here are four steps to gaining long term control of Candida:
1. If you are experiencing a Candida reaction, I recommend going on the Candida Diet of no refined carbohydrates, sugar or grains. This will get rid of the fuel the Candida needs to grow.

2. Next eliminate the yeast in your system with Citridrops or Candida Rid. Use Citridrops by putting 6 drops in 2 oz. water, drink quickly then follow with 8 oz. water twice a day. Or take 2 capsules of Candida Rid 1 to 2 times per day after food, as needed.

3. Gut management must include replacement of the healthy flora with a probioitic. This replaces the good bacteria needed to restore proper digestion. I recommend the Ortho Biotic brand in my practice while the body is healing and then I switch my patients to Essential Flora for maintenance. Both of these are dairy and gluten free.

4. Finally, you must clean your environmental air. The fungal load must be decreased to 0-2 colonies in severe cases or 0-4 colonies in mild cases. This is the most important and the most frequently overlooked step. You should test your living and working environments and then take the proper step to clean the mold when you locate the problem.

These four steps have proven extremely effective in controlling Candida in your gut. You must recognize that getting well requires fungal loads to be reduced in both the body and environmental air, otherwise you will not see long-term wellness.