Are You Addicted To Food? Part One
Food cravings are the silent plague that undermines twenty-first century health, makes us fat and lowers our self esteem. Like every addiction, they make people feel powerless, at the mercy of outside forces impossible to resist. It’s time to lay aside all the psychological nonsense that’s written about the subject. Endless, hopeless longings for more food and an obsession to eat all the time are most often caused by visitors from the underworld.
These minute beasties hide their existence beneath illnesses that bear other names. They invade the body en masse, distort brain functions, produce endless miseries and dependencies, and even screw up emotions. They can undermine a person’s sense of personal power so badly that they prevent them from feeling in control of their own life. The name of these visitors is Candida albicans—parasitic yeasts and fungi which attempt to take over and rule living organisms. And their numbers are legion.
Medical tests for their presence in the human body are notoriously unreliable. And there are no quick-fix solutions for banishing them. The good news is this: The total body revolution needed to eliminate an overgrowth of these life forms can not only clear them, it can vastly improve your physical health and emotional life for years to come
INTO THE UNDERWORLD
Yeasts and fungi do not respire the way we do. Our bodies live by aerobic metabolism. We take in oxygen and give off carbon dioxide. Like cancer growths, they rely on fermentation, by taking in sugars and giving off toxic wastes. Yeasts and fungi get lumped together with plants only because they are not animals. The Japanese poet Jun Takami wrote ‘And fungi were fungi…they were like nobody on Earth.’
Among the earliest organisms to populate the earth, yeasts and fungi boast powerfully protective cell walls made of chitin—a nitrogen-rich carbohydrate somewhat different from the cellulose found in the cell walls of plants, or from our own. To their credit, they have the ability to make loaves rise and to brew beer as they reproduce. Also on the plus side, these underworld dwellers carry out essential tasks for the biosphere, turning wastes into reusable matter.
VISITORS FROM THE PAST
We associate such primitive life forms with dank places, witches’ brews and smelly feet. Not without reason. Vampire-like organisms, they live off whatever is at hand—especially sugar and carbohydrates. They attach themselves to skin, to hair, and the inner secret folds of the human body.
These denizens possess an almost magical ability to change from one form to another. An incredibly successful organism, Candida is a master of survival. For more than 400 million years, it has been devouring stuff that other forms of life eschew—breaking down corpses, munching feces and invading the dark warmth of living bodies. Unable to produce food themselves, it relies entirely on the generosity of other living things to stay alive.
In a healthy human body, between 9 and 11 pounds of micro-organisms—bacteria, yeasts and fungi—make their home. A few thousand—some believe as many as ten thousand—different species of microflora inhabit our intestinal tract alone. There, these micro-organisms live together in a delicate, ever-shifting balance. Some, like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus, produce vitamins and other nutrients to help support the immune system. Others help us digest our food. A small amount of Candida albicans is found in every human body. This is completely normal. It causes none of the addictions, cravings and other miseries. But Candida, by nature is parasitical and opportunistic. It feeds on any form of sugar and proliferates like mad, becoming highly toxic to the human body as its colonies displace the good-guy flora and bacteria. As this takes place it starts communicating signals to their host—your body—which are actively detrimental to your health, your emotional state and your susceptibility to developing serious illnesses.
Research carried out at Washington University School of Medicine has shown that Candida albicans in either of its forms—as yeast or fungus—has a remarkable ability to send out signals which enable it to communicate its needs to our human body. When levels of the carbohydrates on which these beasties feed get low, they shout for more. Obedient to their insidious calls, we unknowingly respond by reaching for yet another bar of chocolate or piece of pizza. Then we chastise ourselves for being weak, having no will power and we feel ashamed. In truth it is not any of these things that has caused our binge eating. It is the yeasty beasties themselves who, having taken more and more control of the body, are demanding more carbs and sugar to feed their own lives.
The epithelial lining of the human gut is almost 2 inches thick with bacteria. Even beasties with virulent potentials can live happily and benignly in the intestines of a normal healthy body. Then, one day, things change—too much sugar, too many grains, cereals and packaged foods, a course of antibiotics given for flu, an illness which suppresses immunity—and all hell breaks loose.
BAD NEWS OF OVERGROWTH
Here are just a few of the symptoms connected with an overgrowth of Candida albicans on the human body:
- Weight gain
- Chronic fatigue as a result of impaired metabolism
- Brain and nervous system dysfunction
- Poor memory, fuzzy thinking, inebriation
- Heart problems—rapid pulse rate, palpitations
- Vaginitis and lack of bladder control—this can lead to frequent urination, itchy rashes and vaginal thrush
- Stomach troubles: diarrhea, bloating and gas, gastritis, gastric ulcers, constipation
- Allergic reactions of many kinds
Candida also flourishes in the warm folds of the digestive tract, the vagina and the skin. There it absorbs certain quantities of heavy metals. By doing so, it removes them from the human bloodstream where they could cause problems to our body. This occurs in a healthy body—provided of course that the population of Candida is kept in check by the good guy bacteria that live in the same area.
But when one’s normal, helpful bacteria are disrupted by the use of antibiotics—which not only destroy the bad guy bacteria they are designed to kill—they get rid of the good guy microflora as well. Then these yeasts and fungi can take on a very sinister form indeed. They overgrow in the gastrointestinal tract, and produce a complex medical syndrome known as chronic Candidiasis or yeast syndrome. A common place in the human body where yeast proliferates is the vagina of women, where it produces redness, burning on urination, a yeasty odor and itching commonly called thrush. But candida can also overgrow in the mouth, inside babies’ nappies causing diaper rash, and of course in the gut, where it causes the greatest problems.
BEWARE LOW FAT HIGH CARB
The typical low-fat, high-carb foods that most people eat provide yeast and fungi with an abundance of glucose, causing them to overpopulate the body. Once the immune system has been compromised, or when the normal lining of the gut becomes damaged, the yeast, instead of remaining within the intestinal tract where it belongs, can metamorphose into its fungal form, sending out rhizomes that penetrate the walls of the gut, opening it to the absorption of yeast cells, particles, and the toxins these microorganisms produce—all the way into the interior of the body, from where they can pass into the bloodstream.
Although chronic Candidiasis was clinically defined way back in the early 80s when Orion Truss published his excellent book The Missing Diagnosis, followed by William Crook’s better-known The Yeast Connection, even now neither the public nor the medical profession have any idea of the magnitude of the problems a candida overgrowth commonly cause.
Some 25 years ago, researchers in Japan discovered that there are many other—some still unidentified—organisms which proliferate where there is an overgrowth of candida, and which are equally destructive to the body. These organisms produce virulent toxicity. When such toxins are experimentally injected into animals, they cause immuno-suppression as well as producing symptoms of osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, often provoking a myriad of other illnesses. Candidiasis is responsible for food allergies, food cravings, emotional disorders, leaky gut syndrome, and many other destructive processes which are blamed either on other diseases or believed to be psychological conditions for which people are prescribed psychotropic drugs.
Chronic Candidiasis can cripple an immune system so that it is no longer able to protect itself from invading chemicals and other destructive organisms. It also produces a leaky gut, making us highly prone to chemical poisoning and food sensitivities, as toxins from microorganisms and protein molecules enter the bloodstream. The body sees them as foreign antigens—invaders. This in turns brings about a phenomenon known as cross-reactivity, producing yet more food cravings, addictions and allergies.
Conventional medicine has only just begun to take seriously the consequences of chronic Candidiasis and its opportunistic behavior. Investigations in the last few years by the small number of doctors who are aware of the widespread nature of Candida overgrowth indicate that, by highly conservative counts, 10 to 100 million people in the United States alone are believed to suffer the condition. This verifies Truss’s own findings. The condition is just beginning to be accepted by an ultra-conservative medical establishment, and as yet few understand either its nature or its cause.
The medical diagnosis of chronic Candidiasis is almost impossible to make. There is no single specific diagnostic test for it. Most physicians still know little about it. Their medical training has taught them to diagnose and name specific diseases—“arthritis”, “diabetes”, “manic depression”. Such naming is only useful in identifying groups of symptoms and prescribing drugs for these named illnesses. Few physicians are trained to recognize underlying clinical distortions to the body’s biological terrain, which allowed the disease symptoms they do recognize and name, to develop. It is the body’s biological terrain that has to be changed for an effective cure to take place. That is what an effective anti-Candida program needs to do.
ARE YOU CANDIDIASIS FREE?
Here are some common symptoms which can give a strong indication of whether or not there is a Candida overgrowth in your own body. Check now and see what you find.
Score yourself: 1 = seldom; 2 = sometimes; 3 = often. Ignore those which do not apply to you.
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth
- Flagging Memory
- Genital itch
- Low libido
- Light headedness
- Menstrual irregularities
- Mood swings
- Muscle or joint aches
- Muscle weakness
- Poor concentration
- Recurrent infection
- Tingling or numbness
- Tummy ache
Now examine your present and your past. For each ‘yes’ answer to the questions below, add ten points.
- Are you a sugar lover?
- Do you react badly to the smell of perfumes and chemical fumes?
- Do you take or have you taken the Pill?
- Have you taken or are you taking HRT?
- Have you taken broad spectrum antibiotics for more than 10 days in the past 3 years?
- Do you crave alcohol?
- Have you taken steroid drugs in the past year?
- Do you frequently feel helpless?
- Has your interest in sex decreased?
- Do you often feel weak?
- Do you get mouth ulcers?
- Do you get pain in your stomach?
- Do you have trouble thinking clearly?
- Do you often feel light-headed?
- Does your heart beat irregularly?
- Do you get cramps with your periods?
- Do you feel worse when the weather is damp or you are in a damp house?
- Does cigarette smoke make you feel unwell?
- Have you ever had athletes foot or fungal infections on hands or skin?
- Do your muscles ache often?
- Do you often feel depressed?
- Do you get regular headaches?
- Do you have more than two mercury amalgam fillings in your teeth?
- Do you have joint aches at times?
- Do you have a poor memory?
Now total the number of points from both quizzes. If your score is less than 60, Candida overgrowth is unlikely to be a problem for you.
If it’s between 60-100, you may have more Candida in your body than is healthy. Staying away from sugar, sweets and too much fruit may well be enough to clear it within a few weeks.
If your score is above 150, you may need to take serious action to clear candidiasis from your system.
Next week we’ll look at how, by taking action to restore overall balance to the microorganisms in the body, you can clear overgrowths and thereby end all the food cravings, addictions, overweight and a myriad of emotional frustrations once and for all. See you then.