Fungus Overgrowth – a Hidden Epidemic
by: Dave Cowan
Fungus, including thousands of varieties of yeasts and molds, are plant microforms that have thrived and survived on our planet with very little mutation over millennia.
They are present everywhere and are nature’s recyclers, degrading dying material to be re-used as future nutrients. As such, fungi are more likely to thrive in environments that are warm, moist and dark, like a pile of rotting vegetation, for example.
In particular, forms of Candida attack certain non-beneficial bacteria and viruses. They do so by means of a super-hard probiscus, or point, capable of penetrating the protein coat of viruses.
How has fungal overgrowth become a modern ‘hidden epidemic’? Many factors have contributed to this plague.
Some informed health professionals have observed the majority of their client’s concerns are, to some degree, related to a fungal overgrowth.
When the bowel fungi proliferate, they can migrate up into the small intestine, and by virtue of their penetrative ability, cross the intestinal wall, enter the bloodstream, and thereby become systemic.
Once ‘out of the cage’, fungi will colonize practically any area of the body, particularly the digestive organs (anything with a mucosal lining) from the mouth to the colon.
Fungus can also colonize the heart, causing what may be mistaken for cholesterol blockages. It can also colonize the lungs, usually misdiagnosed as lung cancer once it produces a mass detectable on x-rays.
Fungus can infect the brain, as well as sinuses and ear canals.
Symptoms associated with fungal overgrowth include chronic joint pain, recurrent infections, fatigue, acid indigestion, headaches, including migraines, anal itching, skin conditions, and sensory problems such as tinnitus, vertigo and eye problems.
Fungus can cause inflammation in any organ, and has been implied in some cases of prostatitis, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, cardiovascular disease and chronic throat infections.
A single Candida plant emits over 70 different toxins, which places a big load on the liver to process all these poisons.
Let's take a look at some of the predisposing factors that contribute to this overgrowth.
Stress - chronic stress can directly drive the PH into the acidic state. Acid PH provides a friendly environment for not only fungi, but any other opportunistic pathogens. Stress can affect breathing and oxygenation levels (see below).
Diet - Sugar feeds fungus. Grains and refined carbohydrates turn into sugar upon chewing. Alcohol is also a sugar, and dairy products involve lactose, a sugar. Recovering alcoholics tend to crave sugar. When you feed fungus in the body with sugar, the fungi produces alcohol as a by-product.
So it is possible for a person with enough of a fungal load to perceive an alcohol ‘buzz’ after ingesting sugar or refined grains, particularly. Now you know why Homer loves donuts!
Eating habits - Aside from dietary content, the modern ’fast food’ mentality precludes the needed phase of relaxed digestion. When there is no parasympathetic support time for proper digestion, food tends to putrefy, enzyme production is taxed leading to pancreatic weakness, and this poorly digested food provides fodder for the overgrowth of fungus. Digestive weakness like low HCL production can also contribute to the problem in a similar fashion.
Antibiotics - It is well known Antibiotic use seriously disrupts the healthy bacteria, or bowel flora, in the colon. This allows for the overgrowth of fungi. Any use of antibiotics needs to be followed with some kind of probiotic program, such as acidophilus and bifidus. Sauerkraut is good here.
What is generally overlooked is that much of our meat, poultry and dairy industry freely use antibiotics in order to increase yields, without regulation. As well, hormones and steroids are freely used by the animal products industry and passed on to the unsuspecting consumer.
This is a suspected cause of ‘precocious puberty’, as girls reach puberty at earlier and earlier ages in recent decades.
Congenital fungal infection - As the birth canal is an excellent environment for fungi and is often experienced as ‘yeast infections’, many newborns are now exposed to unhealthy fungi upon delivery. There seems to be an increase in the incidence of infant thrush, which can also be spread by infected nipples, and general digestive problems, or infant colic, in the modern population.
Low Oxygen issues - Fungi are anaerobic organisms. They do not require oxygen; in fact oxygen is toxic to fungi. When fungi invade a body cell, the first thing they do is turn the oxygen metabolism off, making the cell weak and vulnerable to further invasion from other pathogens, particularly viruses can be a precursor to fungal overgrowth. These factors can include stress, smoking, undigested protein (leading to clumping of the red blood cells) and any form of anemia.
There is also a solid ‘fungus - allergy - autoimmune’ connection. When the bowel fungus overgrowth, particularly Candidas, migrate to the small intestine, they can literally drill holes in the intestinal wall as described above.
This ‘leaky gut’ condition allows food to pass into the bloodstream in an undigested state. The immune system is then alerted to a ‘foreign invader’ and activates antibodies to attack the enemy.
If the protein of the undigested food resembles the protein of a particular body tissue, the immune system also attacks the body, leading to any number of autoimmune ‘diseases’ such as arthritis, lupus, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Food allergies can be artificially induced by this damage.