According to Dr. Sausser, antibiotics may be the single greatest cause of candidiasis, because antibiotic treatment for infections is non desriminatory, killing the "good " intestinal chemistry-balancing bacteria, as well as the " bad " infection-causing bacteria.
Both acidophilus and bifidobacteria produce natural antifungal substances as well as antibacterial materials as part of their control mechanism over yeast. One of the activities of the good bacteria is the manufacture of a B vitamin, biotin, which exerts control over yeast. When biotin is lacking, as a result of damage by antibiotics to acidophilus, bifidobacteria, and the microflora ecology, yeast has a chance to change from it's simple yeast form into a different organism, an encroaching mycelial ( vegetative ) fungus.
Antibiotics can cause the altered inbalanced intestinal environment that candida requires to change into it's mycelial form. Dr. Chaitow explains, " Candida puts down minute rootlets which penetrate the tissues on which the yeast is growing. When this happens to be the inner wall of the intestines, it breaks down the barrier which exists between the closed world of the bowel and the body. Toxic debris, yeast waste products, and partially digested proteins are allowed into the blood stream, resulting in allergic and toxic reations."
Healthy bifidobacteria and acidophilus intestinal colonies can usually withstand one or two short episodes of antibiotics without serious harm. If, however, use of antibiotics is frequent or prolonged as with a course for acne treatment or an infection, then the spread of candida becomes inevitable. " A vicious cycle may develop as a result, antibiotics alter the balance of intestinal flora and suppress the immune system. An individual with suppressed immune function is much more susceptible, not only to candidiasis but to bacterial infections, which are then treated with antibiotics, which, in turn, increase the growth of candida and so on," says Dr. Chaitow.
According to Dr Susser, sugar in the diet can greatly contribute to candida overgrowth. When sugar is eaten, intestinal fermentation creates a toxin called Acetaldehyde which affects all of the body's physiological functions, including digestion and hormonal processes. Yeast thrives on sugar in order to grow, therefore, a high-sugar diet is one of the predisposing factors for candidiasis.
Candidiasis patients should also stay away from all alcohol since it is composed of fermented and refined sugar. It is also more toxic than sugar and feeds yeast. According to Dr Susser, alcohol suppresses the immune system, disturbs the whole adrenal axis, and you can say ampirically that it makes anyone with candida worse.
Some candidiasis sufferers will feel, and appear to be, intoxicated. An unsual symptom of certain people with severe candidiasis is the presence of alcohol in the blood stream even when none has been consumed. First discovered in Japan, and called "drunk disease," this condition creates strains of candida albicans which turn acetaldehyde (which is the chemical created by sugar and yeast fermentation) into ethanol. This is a process well understood by distillers of homemade brew. These candidiasis patients whose yeast turns sugar into alcohol are chronically drunk. They have developed what is only half-jokingly called "auto-brewery syndrome".
A medical test has been developed in which, after an overnight fast, the individual is given 100 grams of pure sugar. Blood samples taken both before the sugar loading, and an hour after, are mesured for alcohol. An increase of alcohol indicates yeast "auto-brewery" intoxication. Another connection between alcohol and candidiasis has been found in a study of 213 alcoholics at a recovery center in Minneapolis. Test and questionaire results indicated that candidiasis is a common complication of alcoholism due to the combination of high sugar content in alcohol and the inability of alcoholics to assimilate nutrients. Additionally, female alcoholics with candidiasis were significantly sicker than non alcoholic women with candidiasis.
Many of the symptoms exhibited in alcoholism such as insomnia, depression, loss of libido, headaches, sinusitis/post-nasal drip, digestion and intestinal complaints, overlap with those in candida overgrowth. Obviously, drinking alcohol increases levels of sugar in the system. But other habits of alcoholics are also at fault. Many alcoholics tend to be smokers and so are at risk for respiratory infections which are treated with ... antibiotics !