The Effects of Prolonged Use of Antibiotics, Steroids, & Birth Control : The Public Deserves to Know
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Stories related to Candida in the News
New York Times: Stomach Bug Crystallizes an Antibiotic Threat April 13, 2009
Our Sponsor, Peter Simon
A warm welcome to our well known sponsor, Peter Simon, a nationally acclaimed photographer, photojournalist, author, music historian, instructor, and the son of Richard Simon, co - founder of Simon & Schuster. Peter, through his talents, is capturing the imagery and story of a silent epidemic, which is affecting nearly 30% of the world population. It is by no accident that Peter landed with us here. Fate brought him here with a job to do, a job that is truly Peter's specialty. He has personally suffered for over 10 years from a condition caused by taking too many antibiotics, known as systemic candida. Read More about Peter
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- GI Tract problems, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Constipation, Diarrhea
- Extreme Tightness in the Shoulders and Neck
- Bronchitis/Build up of mucous, feels like a bad cold/allergy that won't go away
- Flu-like symptoms
Pain in the Joints and Muscles
- Hyperacidity, Acid-Reflux
- Blisters in the mouth, tongue, throat
- Unrefreshing Sleep
- Back Pain, Discomfort, Problems
- Thyroid Disease
- Adrenal Failure
- Irritable Bladder Syndrome
- Localized Yeast Issues: Oral Thrush, Vaginal Yeast Infection
- Prostrate Problems
- Skin Sensitivity in the Sun: Skin Swelling
- Bloated Stomach/Abdomen
- Fatigue, an Incapacitating Fatigue, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Sensitivity to Chemicals
- Weight gain (Over time you may start to look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy)
- Cravings for Sugar, Carbs, and possibly Alcohol
- Whitish-like Coating on Tongue
- Aversion to being Touched or Jumping
- Crawling Skin
- Menstrual problems including PMS and Endometriosis
- Recurrent Yeast infections
- Recurrent Ear infections
- Rashes and Dry, Flaking skin
- Skin Discoloration and/or Blotchiness
- Allergies and Sensitivities to noise/sound, foods, odors, chemicals
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
- CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction)
- Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS)
- Leaky Gut Syndrome
- Crohn's Disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Celiac Disease
- Chronic Sinusitis
- Atopic Eczema
- Seborrheic Dermatitis
- Tinea Versicolor
- GI Dysbiosis
- Adrenal Dysfunction
- Macular Degeneration
- Barrett's Esophagus
- Lactose Intolerance
- Gluten and/or Casein Intolerance
- Meniere's Disease
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Panic Attacks
- Recurring Obsessive Thoughts
- Personality Changes and Mood Swings (irrational rage or crying for no reason - fear of talking to people, any kind of confrontation, isolation)
- BiPolar Disorder (Candida is a bi-polar look alike)
- Short-term Memory Loss
- Problems with Concentration
- Brain Fogginess
- Shortness of Breath
- Dizziness and Balance Problems
- Sensitivity to Heat and/or Cold
- Alcohol Intolerance
- Gluten and/or Casein intolerance
- Irregular Heartbeat
- Painful Gas and Abdominal Bloating
- Low-grade Fever or Low Body Temperature
- Numbness, Tingling and/or Burning Sensations in the Face or Extremities
- Dryness of the Mouth and Eyes
- Difficulty Swallowing
- Projectile Vomiting
- Weight changes without changes in diet
- Muscle Twitching and Muscle weakness
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Low Sex Drive and/or Numbness in the Genital area
- Chronic Sinus Problems and Headaches including Migraines
- Chronic Dental Problems
- Visual disturbances may include blurring, sensitivity to light and eye pain.
- Chills and Night Sweats
- Jock and Rectal itching
- Chronic Athlete's foot
- Chronic Toenail and Fingernail fungus
- Ringing in the Ears
Are you craving sweets, breads, or alcohol? Are you suffering from mood swings or anxiety? Are you constantly tired and exhausted? Do you feel foggy brained and have trouble concentrating? Have you taken antibiotics, steroids, or birth control pills? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is possible that you have a condition known as Candidiasis, or systemic Candidiasis, or more commonly known as Candida.
Many people are suffering from this health condition, and don't even know it. This is an often overlooked, misdiagnosed, and undiagnosed health condition. Many medical professionals are simply not aware, are not fully informed, or have been misinformed about the facts. While holistic medicine has been treating this condition for years, conventional medicine still believes that Candidiasis can only exist as a local infection, such as a vaginal yeast infection, or oral thrush, and that only individuals with a severe immune system issue like HIV or AIDS, can suffer from this systemic condition. This is a huge void between holistic and conventional medicine, and many of us are suffering because of it.
IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WITH ONE OF THESE SYMPTOMS, YOU MIGHT SAVE A LIFE TODAY: Have you gained weight? Are you depressed? Been diagnosed with Bipolar? Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Bladder Infections? Yeast Infections? Fibromyalgia? Muscle & Joint Trouble? Fatigue? Bronchitis? Sun Sensitivity? Chemical Sensitivity? Trouble Sleeping? Sinus Problems? Short Term Memory Loss? Brain Fog? Thyroid Disease? Adrenal Failure? Back Problems? Eat a lot of Sugar and Carbs? Ever Crave Alcohol? Are you Bloated? Any Panic Attacks ? Been treated for Lyme Disease? Are you a Diabetic? Having Prostate problems?
Has your immune system been compromised? Do you have Candida?
Hope is the thing with Feathers,
It perches in the Soul,
It Sings the Tune,
Without the Words,
And never stops at All.
This exquisite poem hung on my mirror all during my illness. And thanks to Howard, I never gave up hope. My deep and heartfelt thanks go to my dedicated, caring, and extraordinary doctors in Integrative Medicine, Dr. Bernardo Merizalde, and Dr. John Ricci. They saved my life. With the help of the internet, I was able to find the needed information on available treatments by searching for support from Candida survivors, who are reaching out via various websites. I just did a google search for Candida, Candidiasis, Candida Cleanse and Candida Treatment. There is not a universally agreed upon treatment plan, so you need to be your own judge of what works best for you. Be empowered with your health. For information on how I healed personally,read the 'How I Healed' section above.
For information on my background and history, see the About Me section above.
In the spirit of helping others, please email this site to a friend. This is a huge void between holistic and conventional medicine, and many of us are suffering because of it. Tell someone you know. You might save someone's life.
What are the Effects of Prolonged Use of Antibiotics, Steroids, and Birth Control?
A Compromised Immune System.
A compromised immune system ? How? Well, we all have good and bad bacteria in our GI tract, where most of our immune system resides. They are meant to stay in balance. Antibiotics kill not only the bad bacteria when we take them, but they also kill the good bacteria. Bad bacteria, in this case, candida yeast, then grows into the voids, exponentially. Over time, your immune system suffers. Too many bad guys and not enough good guys. What happens then? Your immune system can no longer fight the bad bacteria that live in your gut. Candida, or yeast, which we all have a small amount of, can then overgrow and get into your bloodsteam, and this is one serious problem. That is when it becomes systemic. Then, it begins to wreak havoc in your body. Steroids and Birth Control also damage your immune system over time.
Normally, candida begins to spread in the GI tract, and symptoms begin to develop, such as gas, bloating, cramping, indigestion, heartburn, nausea, constipation and/or diarrhea. You will likely begin to have major cravings for sugar, starches and possibly alcohol, which are the foods that candida thrives on to grow. The more of these foods that you eat, the worse you begin to feel as candida grows, releasing toxins, such as acetaldehyde, and interfering with digestion and the absorption of nutrients. The yeast begins to eat your nutrition. The process has begun to wreak havoc, and over time, more and more varied symptoms may begin to appear, and will become more diffuse and convoluted.
Now that the immune system is compromised, the yeast can enter the blood stream and spread throughout the body. This is when it becomes a systemic problem, and the immune system begins to fail. You may notice that you become more prone to infections. Bladder infections, vaginal yeast infections, tooth infections, sinus infections, and respiratory infections, as a few examples. You may notice you are more sensitive to the presence of perfumes and chemicals. Depression may set in, and mood swings may begin to occur, appearing like bipolar disorder. You may begin to have thyroid dysfunction. It may become difficult for you to concentrate, more difficult to get a good nights sleep, and you may wake up feeling tired, and unrefreshed. Short term memory will begin to suffer. It will just keep getting worse, unless you seek treatment. Take a look at the list of symptoms to the right, for a more comprehensive list of symptoms.
Systemic Candida: My Journey to Wellness
This is a newsworthy topic. It happened to me, and it is happening to others around our great country. It is estimated that as many as 30% of the world population is suffering from this condition to a greater or lesser extent. It is being called the "Silent Epidemic".
My case was very serious. That's because my doctor had me on antibiotics nightly for years for treatment of my pelvic kidney. I cannot possibly relay the depth of my pain and suffering to you, but I am telling my story to help others from such a fate. One of the many horrors of the experience for me, and others who suffer from this condition, were the unrelenting negative thoughts that pounded in my head constantly, and I couldn't get them to stop. I had always been a positive person, and this new condition was shocking. I would pray at night for God to take my soul. The yeast toxins inflamed my brain tissue, and everything went out of whack, beyond your imagination. It looks like mental illness. It happened so suddenly that my doctors first thought it was a buried childhood trauma which had suddenly awakened. Much later I was diagnosed with depression (which didn't seem to capture my experience or seem to fit), and then a year later, bipolar disorder. My mood constantly shifted, and I cried a lot, with panic attacks seemingly coming out of nowhere. I was so angry I could feel it coming out of my pores. I couldn't leave my house for about the first 6 months. I was nearly incapacitated. My boyfriend cooked all of my meals for me, and coached me through all of my fears and challenges that I was experiencing, minute by minute. I didn't feel like me anymore. I am thinking now of the pain, and sigh in relief that it is finally over.
A very small example of this problem is for the women who have ever taken an antibiotic, and then immediately after experienced a vaginal yeast infection. This is the effect of antibiotics on the body. When it's a local infection, it is much less serious than when it goes systemic. This illness affects 80% women, and 20% men. People with diabetes are also at risk to have a candida problem, due to their inherent compromised immune system. People who have been treated for lyme disease are also serious candidates for this condition.
It could all be prevented, if our doctors would just say two words to us, when prescribing these drugs. Those two words are "Take Probiotics". Probiotics replenish our good bacteria, and allow our bodies to fight infection naturally.
Systemic Candida will steal your life, one moment at a time. It will steal it in many ways, and on all levels. It will steal your capacities mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physiologically. By stealing these aspects of "self", it becomes an identity crisis of enormous proportions, and probably beyond your imagination. We are no longer who we used to be. We can't think the same, as our bodies have been invaded and interfered with, our emotional balance goes out of whack because of this, our bodies begin to fail in many places, we begin to lose hope, and it is difficult to pray through the chaos. We can call it biochemically identity challenged. It's nearly impossible to work, maintain a relationship, bring in an income, or be who we once were. And stripped of who we once were, we are in a position to try to save ourselves, with virtually no help from the conventional medical community. Some of us are lucky enough to find our way to Holistic Doctors. And, in the meantime, we try to save ourselves, our jobs, our relationships, and our own health, when we no longer have the same survival capacities we once had. Systemic Candida not only steals your life, it steals who you are, one moment at a time.
In my case, early on, before everything went haywire, I had a chest cold that seemed to last forever, and later some problems in my abdomen, constipation and diarrhea, and I was landing on bathroom floors in serious condition, my body all locked up, and my skin would begin to feel like it was on fire. Doctors could not diagnose it. I had a colonoscopy and was tested for all major diseases. Nothing. They thought it was irritable bowel syndrome, and they gave me a pill to take. I wish I knew then what I know now, because a couple of years later, the toxins went straight to my brain. I was treated for childhood trauma through counseling, as I had all of the symptoms, but no memory of a trauma. I was later put on medication for depression, and then put on bipolar medications. (Candida is a bipolar look alike.) I had 75% of the symptoms listed above, which was horrific if you can imagine it. You are going to find this hard to believe, but it's true, and the medical community is missing this diagnosis. I wasn't bipolar. I had a problem with yeast overgrowth!
This illness masquerades as many illnesses, and shows up as many varied symptoms. And, many conventional doctors are treating the illness they think they see, but it's a masquerade. Candida is hiding underneath, playing a joke on all of us. And, the joke is unfortunately on you. It's the con artist of the medical community.
I am well again, after 8 years of struggle, and I have begun my journey to help others, as I get back on my feet. After losing my home in Cincinnati, my relationship of eight years, recovering from the medical debt for all of my years of medical care, I am trying to recover my life as I once knew it. I suffered greatly, and so did those around me who supported me. My condition was severe. All of these problems have now disappeared, and my health has returned, because we nailed and treated the right root cause: systemic candida. I am hoping to reach others to help educate the public about this debilitating condition.
Prior to all of this, I worked in corporate America for over 20 years in various sales and marketing management roles within Honeywell, and within AlliedSignal, ExxonMobil, and Owens-Corning Fiberglas. For the past eight years, I continued to work while suffering. I was diagnosed with many illnesses, and treated, but my condition just kept worsening. That is because none of my many conventional Doctors ever got to the true root cause.
It finally worsened to the point that I had to leave my job. I was so fatigued that I could not move. I was trying to work from home, but it became impossible because I could no longer lift up the phone. It was too heavy for me to lift. With more time available to dedicate to my search for wellness, my doctor's in integrative medicine and I worked more closely to identify the root cause of my condition. These two extraordinary doctors helped me figure it out, after years of searching for answers to my health concerns through conventional doctors.
Dr. Bernardo Merizalde, with his very systematic and scientific methods, determined that I suffered from additional complications, and that I had several types of thyroid disease, adrenal failure, and serious food allergies, which I never had before. He was the reason that I knew that this went far beyond the initial mental illnesses diagnosed by other doctors. He figured out that this was a systemic problem. Thank God for his brilliance.
I am eternally grateful that he asked me if I thought I could have chronic fatigue syndrome. Fatigue had suddenly shown up and was leaving us both curious. I thought, this too? What on earth happened to my health? I went home and read about it on the internet, and the first link that came up said "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Major Cause: Candida". As soon as I saw it, and read it all, I knew. My diagnosis was then confirmed for systemic candida through both of my doctors in integrative medicine. Without their diagnostics , I would never have found the answer. Many people are still going undiagnosed, and this is the rule rather than the exception. At that time, to my surprise, I discovered the root of all of my health problems began with taking too many antibiotics. It's probably a surprise to you too.
I became empowered and took many actions to recover my own health. First, I went on a Candida diet, and I eliminated sugar, white carbs and alcohol from my diet. I found 10-undecenoic acid as a highly effective method to eliminate Candida. And, I learned how to detoxify my body, and began taking probiotics. I also used a hyperbaric chamber (pressurized oxygen chamber), which helps to rebuild the immune system. I went to a local holistic Doctor and did weekly IV's of sodium bicarbonate and Vitamin C to raise my alkalinity. I hired a Russian Trainer who helped me to exercise even when I could barely move, and he taught me how to detox properly. I began eating more nutritious foods. To learn more about what I did to heal personally, go to the tab above on "How I Healed". I would encourage anyone with this condition to become empowered in your own health care. Listen to your body, and your own inner voice. Seek assistance through different Holistic health professionals, and do your homework on the internet.
How can the pharmaceutical companies help? Educate the medical community and the general public about the risks of prolonged use of antibiotics, steroids, and birth control. Why not recommend that clients take probiotics when using antibiotics, steroids, or birth control? If this was a standard procedure, this condition would be prevented. Shouldn't it be a standard operating procedure when taking antibiotics and wouldn't it make sense to have the prescribing MD recommend probiotics to his/her patients? Taking probiotics is an excellent health initiative. There should be a warning on the pharmacy label about this, and a recommendation to take probiotics along with the warnings.
What can the conventional mental health community do? Simply assess their clients for this condition prior to declaring someone mentally ill. I have concerns that we have people with this condition being treated for mental illness and in mental institutions with a mental illness, which was declared by a psychiatrist by his/her observation only. No testing is required to declare a patient bipolar. They simply observe it and declare it so. My psychiatrist fired me when I persisted in my belief that I was not bipolar. Thank God for that small favor. I found another doctor-a holistic psychiatrist. And that has made all the difference.
And, I have to wonder with the widespread diagnoses of bipolar for so many people today, is systemic candida a possible cause? Are antibiotics the culprit? What about other mental illnesses? Is candida possibly causing some of these too? These are just some of my questions.
What can the conventional medical community do? Why not consider yeast overgrowth as a possibility? Can we get this on their radar screen? Since we all have some candida in our gut, and most of us have taken antibiotics, it is possible that this is the culprit. Why not have an inital screen? There are even online questionnaires to help one get an indication if yeast overgrowth is the problem. I have provided one on page 3. Seems so simple. There is one Doctor in my area that does this. He checks clients for yeast overgrowth before proceeding to anything else. Compliments to Dr. Tom Bilella, founder of The Nutrition Treatment Center in Red Bank, NJ.
The key to keep in mind is that one may have one or several of these symptoms, and one symptom may show up now, and others later. They will appear to be unrelated issues, yet they are all related in that they all have one underlying problem: yeast overgrowth. Misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis may happen. Conventional Doctors may treat you for thyroid disease, or depression, or any other ailment when in reality, it is a candida problem. It happened to me over and over again. Wrong diagnosis, wrong treatment. Conventional Medicine will give you a pill to medicate you. If only I had known that it began with what felt like a horrible chest cold that lasted for months. I thought I had developed an allergy.
It's a great masquerade. Systemic candida can fool even the best of doctor's. I know of a woman with this condition, and conventional doctor's did surgery on her urethra to enlarge the opening. Why? They thought she needed a larger pee hole, she said. She joined my National Survivor Network for Systemic Candida and called me from Missouri to tell me her story. After her surgery, she was later diagnosed to have systemic candida. Her body had been inflamed due to the bacterial infection from the yeast. They did surgery to make her pee hole bigger. What she really needed was treatment for yeast. This illness will unfortunately make conventional doctors look foolish. Conventional doctors are taught to fix the problem by suppressing symptoms (or doing surgery in this case), which is why they give you a pill--to suppress the symptoms, not to get to the root cause. If they were able to diagnose the problem, and get underneath it to identify the cause, an antifungal drug will help, but there is much more that needs to be done for treatment. The biggest issue is that they are not trained to recognize or diagnose a serious yeast problem.
Integrative Medicine, which is a holistic approach to treatment looks at the whole body, the whole person, and looks at getting to the root cause of the problem. Integrative medical doctors are MD's who went far beyond the standard medical training, and have cross trained with their peers for more advanced knowledge. I wrote to all of the conventional doctors that missed my diagnosis, so that they would keep it in mind with their future patients. Conventional Medicine is not taught about this, and does not recognize candida, except for localized yeast infections like oral thrush and vaginal yeast infections. They apparently do not understand that yeast can become systemic.
This is a huge void between holistic and conventional medicine, and many of us are suffering because of it. The emergency room doctor that treated me last Fall wanted to know what was wrong with me. I told him I had systemic candida, verified by other MD's in integrative medicine. He said systemic candida is normally associated with HIV/AID's patients, which they contract due to their compromised immune systems.He said he found it hard to believe, and he wanted to know why I thought I had a compromised immune system and could have contracted this. I told him I had been on antibiotics for years, nightly for my pelvic kidney, as recommended by my Doctors. He nodded and understood, his eyes shifting from confusion to clarity. Emergency room doctor learns something new. Thank goodness he was open minded enough to agree.
For information on my background and history, see the About Me section above. For information on what I did to heal personally, see the How I Healled section above.