The Yeast Beast (The Fungus Among Us)

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The Yeast Beast (The Fungus Among Us) By Michael Gerber, MD, HMD Yeast and fungi comprise the third kingdom of organisms on earth. Neither animal nor vegetable, they are very similar to human cells with a nucleus and human-like cell membrane, and they are normal inhabitants of our intestines. However, when our human organism is weakened, one of these yeasts, Candida albicans, can overgrow and cause incredible misery, ill health and even death. In the end, when our body fails like all other organisms, yeast and other fungi (Mucor racemosis) help to digest us. Think about a bowl of fruit that turns black and disappears over time by fungal digestion. We are familiar with the most obvious yeast infections such as vaginal yeast (looks like cottage cheese), frequently a consequence of taking antibiotics which kill good intestinal bacteria and allow Candida to overgrow, as well as thrush, diaper rash and jock itch. However, there are many more manifestations of Candida overgrowth that are more systemic in nature, and because of yeasts similarity to human cells, they can be difficult to eliminate. Stressors that promote yeast overgrowth are antibiotics, birth control pills, steroid medication, excessive sugar, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, stress, heavy metal toxicity and medications which compromise the immune system. Candida is dimorphic, i.e., has two forms. One is the yeast form which looks like millions of white ping-pong balls. The more virulent form is the mycelia phase which looks like tree branches. The mycelia phase can wind its way through intestinal membranes and allow it to travel to other organs throughout the body. Candida toxins include formation of alcohol, acetaldehyde, carbon dioxide, tartaric acid, arabinose, tyramine, polysaccharide protein complexes and 70+ more. Acetaldehyde, cousin to formaldehyde (embalming fluid), is a powerful free radical generator and can damage phospholipase which disrupts the bowel lining leading to leaky gut syndrome that allows large food molecules to enter the blood stream and create inflammation and allergy. Acetaldehyde also binds to sulfur groups and various enzymes including acetyl Co A (energy metabolism) and inhibits amino groups which can block brain chemicals such acetylcholine (memory neurotransmitter), serotonin (good mood/sleep), dopamine (happy/alert), and norepinephrine (adrenalin). These neurotransmitter disruptions can lead to anger, aggression, anxiety, fearfulness, timidity, phobias, easy startling, depression, chronic fatigue, insomnia, allergies and irritable bowel syndrome. Candida also competes for adrenal hormones with normal human cells and can cause adrenal insufficiency and endocrine (hormone) exhaustion. Other nutrient deficiencies created are magnesium, zinc, B6, and fatty acids, especially GLA (gamma-linolenic acid found in Primrose oil and Borage oil). Google Candida toxins. Common Candida overgrowth symptoms include burping (fermentation in the stomach –like making beer or champagne – which is usually accompanied by low stomach acid), fatigue, gas, food allergies, carbohydrate craving (they want to be fed), impaired memory, foggy thinking, loss of libido, painful joints, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, inhalant allergies, chemical sensitivities, catarrh, hay fever, sinusitis, persistent cough, cardiac arrhythmias, acne, skin redness, earaches, headaches, dizziness, asthma, eczema, psoriasis, hives and epilepsy. Phyllis Saifer, M.D., M.P.H. from San Francisco coined the acronym APICH which stands for Autoimmune Polyendocrinopathy Immuno-dysfunction Candidiasis Hypersensitivity Syndrome. These hormone and immune system illnesses include the following: hypothyroidism, thyroiditis, hypoadrenalism, diabetes, hypoparathyroidism, pernicious anemia, hepatitis, hair loss, vitiligo (loss of skin pigment), PMS, adrenal fatigue, ovarian inflammation, myasthenia gravis, allergic rhinitis, schizophrenia, autism, ADD, sprue, testiculitis, pituitary deficiency, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome. Diagnosis and Treatment The diagnosis of Candida can be made by stool sample testing with DiagnosTechs Laboratory, Metametrix or Doctor’s Data Laboratories. Electro Acupuncture testing is very helpful as well as diagnostic questionnaires which are available on line and in Candida books. Treatment of Candida should be very comprehensive. Life style adjustments such as reducing stress, trying to get sufficient sleep, avoiding sugar, soda, alcohol, bread, fruits and fruit juice are a few basic steps. Killing yeast is a difficult business. For openers there is the Herksheimer reaction. This is the reaction that is caused from killing the yeast. Their dead bodies and toxins have to be processed by our bodies and can cause aggravation of symptoms such as fatigue, depression and memory impairment, among other unpleasant symptoms. It is best to start with low doses of yeast killers and colonic hydrotherapy with ozone and a probiotic implant to make the job more bearable and rid your body of the die-off. Dr. William Crook, MD in his seminal book The Yeast Connection started all of his Candida patients on Nystatin gradually and usually kept them on it for many months. Nystatin stays in the intestinal tract like Amphotericin B. Ketoconazole, fluconazole and clortrimazole are other drugs which treat Candida systemically and also have side effects which inhibit their use in sensitive individuals. Commonly used therapies include the following: probiotics, which are used to crowd out Candida from the intestines such as Sacchromyces boulardi, Probiomax (Howaru Bifidobacterium HN019, which contains 100 billion organisms per capsule and survives stomach acid and pancreatic enzymes), soil organisms, Isopathic remedies from Germany such as Pleo albicansan and Pleo pefrikehl, caprylic acid, coconut oil, calcium undecylenate, garlic, barberry root, neem leaf, olive leaf, grapefruit seed extract, berberine sulfate, bamboo leaf, oregano leaf, orange peel, Pau d’Arco bark, clove bark and oil, cinnamon bark, clove bud and many more. When therapy works for a period of time and then the symptoms return, always look to heavy metals, especially mercury, and test with a hair analysis or provoked urine or stool analysis. German physicians think that Candida actually helps us to get rid of mercury and that it won’t be cured until the metals are eliminated. Dr. Schimmel from Germany says that when we have Candida it is declaring bankruptcy of the immune system. It is a tough condition and can be overcome with diligence. References: The Yeast Connection by William Crook, MD Professional Books 1983 The Yeast Syndrome by John Trowbridge, MD and Morton Walker, DPM, 1986 www. Conquering Candida- May 20th 2010

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Dr. Michael Gerber, MD, HMD – Practitioner of Homeopathic Medicine

Natural approaches to medicine have always been of vital interest to Dr. Gerber. Since 1976 Dr. Gerber has been a chelating physician and Diplomat of the American Board of Chelation Therapy since 1984. He is a Diplomat of the International College of Anti-Aging Medicine and is a graduate of the UCLA Medical Acupuncture Training Program. He is President of the Nevada Homeopathic and Integrative Medical Association, a Past President of the Orthomolecular Medical Association. Dr. Gerber was also a medical advisor and featured columnist for Alternative Medicine Magazine. He is a diplomat of ABCMT (American Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology) since 1984. Currently Dr. Gerber is a monthly contributor to Healthy Beginnings and The Townsend Newsletter.
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