Candida Albicans – and History Repeating Itself
Although we like to think that our current concepts and ideas are new and innovative – often we find that they simply aren’t.
Even in medicine, despite all the new technology and great advancements made in drugs and surgery, frequently we find that we can learn from the past.
For example, few people realize that Candida yeast infection has been well understood, at least by a few people, for over 30 years. And, when it comes to the issue of treating Candida with antibiotics, well, the problems were noted as far back as the 1950s.
Dr Orian Truss was one of the first people to realize that yeast infections were, what has now become known as, ‘opportunistic.’ A well quoted case considered that of a man who was, apparently, dying of a systemic infection and who was not responding to treatment. Although the man appeared elderly it transpired that he was only 40 years old and, prior to becoming ill only 6 months previously, had been in good health. Dr Truss was intrigued and investigated the circumstances of the onset of the patient’s condition more deeply. As it turned out the man had simply cut his finger and been prescribed antibiotics, which at the time were a relatively recent drug on the market. The antibiotics had caused the man severe diarrhea and from that time his health had spiraled quickly downward.
Dr Truss had not only experienced that antibiotics could make the body susceptible to yeast infections, but also had a strong appreciation of what those yeasts could do once the problem became systemic – as it clearly had in the case of this particular patient. He treated the man for systemic fungal infection with, what would now be considered ‘alternative’ treatments, and the patient went on to make a full recovery!
Dr William Crook was certainly the authority on the subject of fungal infections and Candida back in the 1980s. I was first introduced to his work, not through my profession, but by my father who had bought Dr Crook’s book in an effort to cure his own digestive ailments. For me, even at a relatively young age, I came to appreciate the problems fungal infections could cause and how they could be exacerbated by modern drugs rather than alleviated, and from that time on never considered that conventional medicine was well-versed in the problems Candida could result in.
Dr Crook was a proponent of treating Candida with what are now considered to be ‘alternative’ medications, but which are really nothing more than treatments found in nature. They are not synthetic nor chemically altered and, as Dr Crook went on to prove with his many case studies, they do actually work.
Ailments and Antibiotics
Even back when I was training in one of the Mother Theresa Slum Clinic’s in Calcutta, I witnessed great success in treating conditions without resorting to antibiotic usage. One man, who had lost his leg in an accident with a tram, was treated simply by having the wound washed three times daily and layers of clean bandages applied. Within no longer than three days the stump was granulating and showed no sign of infection. Three months later the man, despite the loss of a limb, was in perfect health. Yet today we treat not only every physical injury with antibiotics as preventative measures, but also every disease – whether antibiotics are indicated are not. This leaves nearly every patient open to the alternative disease of fungal invasion, as it did with Dr Truss’s patient, without even good reason for doing so.
Candida and Symptoms
Patients often ask me what to look out for when diagnosing Candida, and I have to be honest and say, ‘more or less anything.’ The symptoms may manifest in a diverse range of ailments and patients often present to me with a condition that would, under ordinary circumstances, rarely be equated with Candida. It’s a little like the lucky patient who happened to encounter Dr Truss. If that acquaintance had never been made then the man would surely have died.
Yet there are things to look out for, and often they are historical symptoms rather than current. For example, the diarrhea following the cut finger and antibiotic treatment were the indicators for Dr Truss as to which path he should follow to reach a diagnosis. Many other patients too, find that they can trace their current condition right back to one initiating incident. Today we also have to take into consideration the birth control pill or NSAID use, in addition to the many other potential problems which may underlie a patient’s condition.
Look out for rashes, particularly nappy rash in children. Rashes on adults may often be in the genital region but they may also be in the crook of the arm or behind the knee, or, as in the case of Athlete’s Foot, in-between the toes. In fact anywhere on the body which is dark, warm and moist. Sometimes though the infection will hide in the hair on the scalp, or, more obviously, occur in the mouth.
Another frequent indicator is that of sugar cravings. This is particularly distinctive in patients who have never had a sweet tooth in the past but now find themselves seeking out sweet stuff and more-so after a meal. Candida just can’t get enough of the stuff.
Remember when it comes to Candida the symptoms can be diverse yet the history behind the illness, and particularly when it is related to antibiotics, is now long. Orthodox medicine sometimes takes a long time to catch up on such things and, what have you to lose by trying more natural treatments if prescription drugs have failed you so far?