Ty Guo October 28, 2005
Candida albicans, Flora and Pathogen
There are over twenty species of Candida. These fungi live on and inside the surfaces of our bodies. Moderate amounts of Candida live in every human. They can normally be found on the skin, in the mouth, gut, and other mucus membranes. Because they are present in every human, they can be considered flora, bacteria and other microorganisms that usually occupy an organ or body part. But when growth becomes unchecked these fungi can cause Candidiasis. Candidiasis is Candida overgrowth, a condition identified by American physicians in the 1970s. Candida growth is normally kept in check by other bacteria in the body. However, if the bacterial balance is compromised symptoms will arise. Candida normally causes infection in warm and moist areas.
Candida albicans is the most common species of Candida. C. albicans is a yeast-like fungal organism found in moderate amounts in the human intestinal tract. Under certain conditions Candida in the body can changes into its fungal form. Once in its fungal form, spores can go through the intestinal walls and into the rest of the body. Once in the blood, symptoms occur, hence the once friendly flora has become a harmful pathogen. Because of its ability to transform from non-harmful to harmful, Candida is a labeled a conditionally pathogenic fungus. A conditionally pathogenic fungus usually does not cause harm, however, if certain conditions are present can become harmful.
Candida is part of the normal bacterial population of the intestinal tract. It is referred to as a "GI microflora". GI microfloras seem to have a symbiotic relationship with humans. They are essential for a healthy life and vital for resistance to outside bacteria and micro-organisms. Animals that were raised in an environment without bacteria, and therefore had a sterile GI tract, experienced gastrointestinal dysfunction. Animals which were sterile for GI microfloras were unhealthy and more susceptible to infection of other bacteria and micro-organisms. This was due to the lack of GI microfloras. Because bacteria were part of the environment during evolution, microfloral balance has an important part in overall human health. There is evidence that microfloras prevent the proliferation and infection of other, more deadly microorganisms. Protection against infection occurs in the several ways, physically crowding out destructive pathogens with a barrier over the surface of the mucosa, stimulating the human immune system to respond to certain infections, and participating in competitive inhibition by ingesting all the nutrients present. They also help maintain a low pH. Their effects chiefly exclude more dangerous bacteria and micro-organisms from infecting and spreading. Some microfloras even play a role in immune regulation and vitamin synthesis.
However, if the balance of microflora is tilted, Candida can become a pathogen. As an example, when antibiotics are used Candida over population can occur. Candidiasis can stem from over used of antibiotics. When antibiotic are prescribed to eradicate injurious bacteria a lot of friendly flora, for example acidophilous and bifidous, in both intestines are destroyed. The tactful proportion of friendly flora and Candida albicans is disturbed. C. albicans overgrows many of these friendly flora. Due to competitive inhibition, this overgrowth results in the lost of many types of friendly flora. Most symptoms result due to the hormonal disruption that the overgrowth of Candida is responsible for. Vaginal yeast infections (vaginal thrush), vaginal itching, vaginal odor, vaginal discharge, constant fatigue, oral thrush, abdominal pain, bloating, indigestion, joint pain with arthritis-like symptoms, chronic sinus drainage, major weight loss, major weight gain, brain fog, fungus on the finger or toe-nails, urinary infections, itching, red eyes, skin rashes everywhere on the body, rashes inside the ears or around the groin area, anal or vaginal itching, hair loss, and vision problems are a few of symptoms that the normally friendly C. albicans can cause once it becomes a pathogen.
Our body is designed to defend us from sickness. Our exposure to many modern medical conditions increases our risk for Candida yeast overgrowth. When our immune systems are compromised, a common placed yeast present in human bodies, Candida, can turn from being a favorable yeast into a harmful fungus. This fungal yeast quickly out grows the ordinary balance that evolution established and overwhelms many other beneficial floras (such as acidophilus bacteria) which used to keep its levels in check. The overgrowth of Candida yeast causes a condition called Candidiasis. The new fungal form develops rhizoids which hook and penetrate the mucus membranes of the intestinal tract. Serious bowel pain results. With more time, the morphed fungal yeast can burrow right through the intestinal wall. A condition called Leaky Gut Syndrome, allows partially digested proteins and the yeast itself to travel into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream Candida can cause many other symptoms. When an undigested food enters the bloodstream allergic reactions may occur. When Candida has access to your whole body, you have Systemic Candidiasis. Once you have systemic Candidiasis you will experience many symptoms.
The most common way Candida infection occurs is when one's own yeast flora experiences rapid growth. Candida cells live mainly on our skin and in our GI tract. Candida is part of our normal flora. It is present in all humans. However, if the diverse and delicate population of microorganisms that reside in the places Candida resides is reduced (antibiotics), than Candida overgrowth will occur. Candida albicans are considered normal flora in the human body when it is present in moderate amounts. However, when overgrowth occurs, Candida albicans can become a pathogen with many destructive symptoms. Candida albicans is a flora that can become a pathogen.
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Last edited by Inuyasha
on Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:25 am, edited 1 time in total.