Candidiasis in Lyme Disease Sufferers
Most lyme sufferers are immunocompromised and have often taken multiple types of antibiotics over prolonged periods. The combination of the antibiotics wiping out all the bacteria in the digestive tract and the weakened immune defenses within the body often contribute to an overgrowth of yeast (most notably candida albicans), also known as candidiasis. Their growth is usually limited by the immune system and competition with other bacteria and in case of the skin its dryness (candida requires moisture to thrive). It is important to note this as everyone has some yeast in their body (mainly in the colon), along with millions of other types of ‘good and ‘bad bacteria in the digestive tract, which when in balance create an ecosystem allowing optimal digestion and protection from infection. If certain “bad” bacteria get out of balance, such as candida (which is a yeast-like fungi) and create an overgrowth, then the body’s balance is thrown out causing problems for the bowel and gut (and subsequently the immune system as its believed that 70+ % of our immune system resides in our digestive tract.). Candidiasis can be broken into mucosal (including thrush and vaginitis), cultaneous, onychomycosis (nail infections) and invasive (which occurs in severely immunicompromised patients and is either systemic with one organ involved or disseminated with multi system involvement). Symptoms of yeast overgrowth may manifest physically and behaviourly with various signs and symptoms.
- Thrush in the mouth including white coating on tongue
- Thrush on the genitals
- Skin rash or eczema
- Red ring and itchiness around the anus
- Rash or cracking between toes or joints
- Nail infections
- Itchy genitals
Symptoms of Candidiasis:
- Emotional instability from unknown origin
- Stomach pain
- Sleep disturbance
- Lack of sphincter control (wet pants)
- Sugar cravings
- Boating / gas / digestive issue
- Confusion / fogginess
Causes of Thrush:
Causes of yeast overgrowth include anything that affects the delicate balance of our digestive tract and/or immune function allowing yeast to proliferate such as poor diet/nutrition (especially excess sugar), dehydration, stress (physical, chemical or emotional), medications, lack of or poor quality sleep, poor detoxifying capacity, hormonal imbalance (e.g. from the pill and hormone therapy) and allergies to name a few. Candida in relation to chronic illness is not a new topic but allopathic medicine is slow to to agree that yeast can cause chronic conditions and also be caused by chronic conditions that have left the immune system weakened.
Testing for Candidiasis:
There is no definitive way to test for yeast overgrowth. A useful diagnostic blood test or stool test for yeast overgrowth. Skilled practitioners may use Live Blood Analysis (Darkfield therapy), and some may blood test for antibodies to intestinal yeast or conduct stool tests but none of these methods are an exact science. The best way to diagnose yeast infections is clinically with history and symptoms. The Healing Arts partnership use a screening questionnaire (see http://www.treatlyme.net/storage/documents/yeast.pdf and i have also included it in the appendix) which is a great tool to use to evaluate the likelihood of a yeast infection based on risk factors and symptom type and intensity. A score is 140 or higher is considered significant and treatment is recommended. Yeast infections may have many similar symptoms to Lyme Disease and herx reactions symptoms so it is important to get rid of it not just to improve healing capacity but so you can eliminate some of the symptoms that may be overlapping or exacerbating each other.
Douching with Loalson (which can be purchased on the www.tbmseminars.com website) for those with vaginitis or genital thrush and soaking feet and hands for those with fungal nail infections works a treat. Douche or Soak – 3 times a day for for 3 days, once a day for 4 days and once a week for a few weeks. You will then need to look at replacing the beneficial flora using a yoghurt or even probiotic douche after. Using TBM and kinesiology can fast track your treatment but generally you need to follow a yeast free diet for somewhere between 2-8 weeks to facilitate your body in addressing yeast overgrowth / infection. I adapted my yeast free diet from the TBM manual and Adele Reising. Ask you Health Space practitioner for a copy of a yeast free diet.