Candida Related Complex
Candida Related Complex (CRC) is a condition involving severe and lasting overgrowth of the yeast called candida albicans (and other yeasts as well)that are indigenous to the health human intestinal tract. If given opportunity (conditions that support it's growth and or weaken our health) the yeast can multiply to many times their normal, healthy populations size.
Advanced yeast development
Depending on the symptoms, an increased populations of this yeast may simply be diagnosed as mild candida overgrowth. This condition may be treated in a relatively short period of time with an anti-fungal protocol and short term diet alteration.
If an overgrowth condition is left untreated for a long time, the yeast can convert into a fungus and this fungus is harder to eradicate. It is likely that this more severe form of CRC will manifest as symptoms more complex and diverse than simple digestive, vaginal or thrush issues. Depending on the individual situation, CRC can take many months of dedicated holistic care to clear.
The fungal candida can affect multiple sites in the body. There is varied medical opinion about how this fungus actually causes such a diverse range of symptoms and how it spreads. According to some controversial specialists and laboratory analyses, the fungal form may be capable of migrating and or forming spontaneously in other locations in the body where the conditions are right. Some doctors say the only people who have such a severe situation are terminal patients. Others agree there are degrees of severity that involve candida fungal spread.
A medical textbook about candida edited by Richard Calderone, Candida and Candidiasis (2nd edition) claims that systemic conditions are much more common than terminal conditions.
It's all in your head
One of the most frustrating realities of the experience of recovery from CRC is the shortage of adequate diagnostic help and treatment help, especially from within the medical community.
Some allopathic medical practioners actually deny that candida yeast can cause any illness beyond vaginal yeast infections, jock itch or athletes foot. Even in the face of an extremely ill person with multiple layers of symptoms, if no other cause can be found, many doctor's will claim the patient is fine and the symptoms must be psychosomatic. Though all symptoms have a psychosomatic component, such a response is rarely helpful for the patient seeking a full recovery from yeast overgrowth, and in fact are responsible for a great deal of despair in patients.
Thankfully there are also practitioners like the ones that recommend the Whole Approach program. These practioners recognize the wider impacts candida can have including the potential of systemic and chronic issues in non terminal patients.
Regardless of how long term the illness is and whether or not the yeast has progressed to its fungal form, this third group of practitioners recognizes mycotoxins released by the candida as one of the main sources of strain on the body. Like most toxins these affect the whole body, with the weakest areas being most affected.
Sometimes, restoration of health requires more than just correction of yeast issues. Sometimes extra methods are employed in order to speed recovery and sometimes they are essential because the overall situation has become so severe that multiple degenerative conditions co-present. Though it is difficult to know if the other conditions make people more susceptible to candida it is known that candida overgrowth worsens almost any other health condition.
Toxicity caused by excess candida in yeast or fungal form can aggravate or conditions such as hormone imbalances, organ stress/organ congestion, inflammatory intestinal conditions or intestinal permeability and allergies as well as many degenerative conditions such diabetes, arthritis, depression, and even Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer's.
Given the healing suppression caused by even mild toxicity, a successful CRC recovery program generally incorporates attention to the restoration of the intestinal ecosystem through colon cleansing and anti-fungal products. It will also incorporate a broader approach through detoxification, strengthening of the immune system, and an anti-inflammatory focus.
In the case of a full blown problem involving the advanced fungal growth, recovery time from CRC can vary widely. In severe cases or when multiple complications accompany the overgrowth, a therapeutic, detoxifying, anti fungal and immune supporting program may need to supervised by a qualified holistic or naturopathic physician. Recovery from severe CRC is best supervised by a thorough practioner who understands food and environmental sensitivities as well as subtle hormonal and nutrient imbalances.
The seriousness of untreated CRC is amplified over time because of the progression to the fungal form of candida. Its root-like dendrites attach themselves to the intestinal walls. With these dendrites the yeast/fungus leaches nutrients both from the dietary nutrients and the tissues themselves. As candida metabolizes nutrients (its favourites being carbohydrate and iron), it releases more mycotoxins (yeast byproducts.) The more advanced fungal candida releases much more of this poison than the single celled yeast resulting in a more toxic condition which can impact the whole body via the colon but can also result in the poisons spreading through the body.
Intestinal Permeability - "Leaky Gut Syndrome"
When toxins in the colon as well as candida in the fungal form of candida have been prolonged, the integrity of the intestinal walls can become weakened. The resulting intestinal permeability can allow waste materials to seep into the bloodstream resulting in a generalized toxicity and inflammatory reaction. Any area in the body that is particularly vulnerable can be negatively affected. Immunity will be lowered and the bodies ability to defend against allergens, detoxify or to resolve inflammation of any kind will be compromised.
Whole Body Impact
Susceptible organs, or joints can show symptoms of congestion or imbalance because the body’s self balancing healing systems are strained by the constant work of dealing with toxicity. The delicate hormonal and chemical balance that affects our emotions can also be strained, causing symptoms of mental illness. In fact, a severe candida infestation is not only associated with severe physical symptoms but emotional symptoms too.
Whole Self Healing
Resolution of severe CRC usually requires a comprehensive program. The Whole Approach protocol recommends a three stage diet program and a five phase anti-fungal and colon cleansing program. For some, the extra care of complementary products and a methodical and customized approach to allergy management will be necessary. A calm state of mind is also essential to optimized healing power, so relaxation therapy, contemplation practice, counselling, faith, and the practice of self-compassion can also dramatically affect outcomes.