“There’s Fungus among Us!”
Integrative Healthcare
Written by Gallen O. Ballard   
Wednesday, 25 November 2009 00:00 Read : 1289 times

Dr. Mark Harris was baffled! In his fifteen years as a chiropractic physician he had never encountered this sudden influx of patients, whose symptoms and conditions defied his best efforts to alleviate.

First, there was Sally, who, in addition to chronic joint pain, complained of having continuous painful pressure in her sinuses. The adjustments he provided offered temporary relief but nothing seemed to relieve the sinus pressure.

Her son, Timmy, was a walking basket case of chronic allergies and sensitivities to various foods. Switching diets offered temporary relief but the allergies and food sensitivities soon manifested themselves again.

Bill, another patient, was not responding to any prescribed modality. He continued to complain of frequent back and abdominal pain, indigestion, and heartburn. Additionally, he had acquired a constant craving for sweets and was rapidly gaining weight.

Discussions with other colleagues made it apparent his situation was not unique. They, too, were seeing patients who did not respond to the protocols that had previously proven effective.

Clearly, it was time to do some serious research, Dr. Harris concluded. "There has to be some common thread in these seemingly unrelated maladies," he reasoned.

By cross-checking patient symptoms to their lifestyles, he finally discovered it! The common thread was . . . fungus! A systemic fungus infection was the one link that could account for the underlying cause for so many of the chronic health problems his patients were encountering.

 

The New Epidemic

 

The intestinal tract is inhabited by billions of beneficial or "friendly" bacteria, called probiotics, together with several strains of candida yeast and some parasites in a ratio of approximately 85 to 15. These bacteria and yeasts work together and aid in digestion.

However, when antibiotics and anti-inflammatories are introduced to the body, they kill off the "friendly" bacteria, but not the yeast. The yeast begins to multiply as the 85 to 15 ratio, which held them in check becomes unstable. This causes dysbiosis–an imbalance of the natural flora of the gut. Americans also consume more sugar and simple carbohydrates than any nation on earth. And candida yeast thrives on sugar. They are a sugar-fermenting organism.

 

The "Gremlins" come alive!

 

Remember the movie "Gremlins" where they were harmless, friendly little critters until they were fed after midnight–at which point they morphed into devious, destructive creatures? Candida yeast behaves in a similar fashion!

Like gremlins, when candida gets "fed" on a sugary fast food diet with few "friendly" bacteria to hold it in check, it morphes into pathogenic fungi which produce rhizoids, or tentacles, that bore into the intestinal walls, causing microscopic holes. These holes compromise the immune system by allowing toxins, undigested food particles and parasitic bacteria to enter the bloodstream–a condition known as Leaky Gut Syndrome. This syndrome may be responsible for a host of ailments which, at first, appear to be totally unrelated to fungal overgrowth.

This is why chronic fungal infections are one of the most misdiagnosed, and most under-diagnosed, health disorders today. Many doctors miss diagnosing a fungal infection because they presume it’s limited to a vaginal yeast overgrowth. But pathogenic fungi have no sexual preference and have been estimated to affect 40 percent to 60 percent of the population. Read below for symptoms of a possible systemic fungal infection.

Dr. Harris requested his patients to conduct a saliva test (See test in box above). Their reported results confirmed his earlier conclusion that pathogenic fungus was responsible for many of his patients’ health ailments.

 

Nature beats back the "Gremlins"!

 

In nature, there are a number of herbal based remedies which act to overcome dysbiosis by subduing pathogenic fungi and restoring the body’s natural 85 to 15 ratio of "friendly" bacteria to yeast.

The most powerful of the anti-fungal herbs is horopito leaf, a prehistoric plant native to New Zealand. The active constituent of this plant is polygodial, which has been shown to exhibit potent fungicidal activity against filamentous fungi.

Anise seed has always been utilized in the treatment of digestive disorders, such as gas, bloating, colic, and indigestion. The active constituent of anise seed is anethole which, when combined with polygodial, increases its activity against pathogenic fungi 32-fold.

Sage leaf (standardized extract) is a powerful antimicrobial known to kill fungi and other microbes such as salmonella. It is also sedating and soothing on the nerves.

Grapefruit seed extract has been demonstrated to be a broad spectrum compound against parasites, viruses, and fungi. This extract naturally detoxifies, enhances and supports the immune system.

Calcium ascorbate is an important antioxidant in alkalizing the blood. Fungi and pathogenic bacteria cannot survive in an alkaline oxygenated environment.

Other compounds found effective in combating fungi include chamomile, garlic, Pau d’arco, olive leaf extract, and oil of oregano.

 

Herbal based anti-fungal medicines can enter the blood stream where probiotics cannot. This is vital if the fungi has morphed and penetrated the intestinal lining. Probiotics, such as lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium bifidus, are recommended to replenish natural bacterial levels.

Now that Dr. Harris was aware of the underlying causes of his patients’ baffling ailments and the herbal compounds and lifestyle changes to correct them, his problem patients began to regain their health. They also began to refer their friends, relatives and associates to the health practitioner who had alleviated their ailments when the medical community had told them "nothing was wrong."


by Gallen O. Ballard


 
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