Candida is not inherently bad, but when left unchecked, when it takes over the gut and is allowed to flourish, it will damage the intestinal wall. Then Candida, along with other microbes, will migrate outside of the intestinal tract and into the body, flourishing everywhere, fed by all the sugars and damaged cells that are also entering the bloodstream. The immune system will react to the Candida (and gluten, with those two similar proteins) as it should, fighting invading pathogens that do not belong in the blood.
Large molecules that weren’t able to permeate the gut before, like bacteria, undigested proteins, undigested sugars, can now leak out of the gut. These antigens leak into the bloodstream and are labelled by the immune system as alien. Antibodies are made for these antigens, and when later exposures occur, the immune system mounts an inflammatory response, which targets tissues and organs.
Leaky gut and Autoimmune Diseases
Leaky gut has been found in association with asthma, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel (inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), lupus, hypothyroidism, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, eczema, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, heart failure, and coeliac disease.
An autoimmune disease is defined as an irregular response of the body’s immune system against substances and tissues normally present in the body (like when the immune system appears to be attacking the body, be it a specific part like an organ, or an entire system like the lymphatic system, or the whole body).
Leaky Gut and the Immune System
The body’s immune system doesn’t just attack the body like many conventional health practitioners believe. If the body is filled with all kinds of gut microbes and other harmful antigens that belong in the gut (and Candida is typically the most abundant of all of them in these cases), as well as sugars that feed these microbes, and proteins that are considered foreign due to the fact that they are undigested, then the body will appear to be attacking itself when it is attacking these foreign invaders. When infectious or toxic particles penetrate intestinal walls, they trigger a cascade of events that can culminate in any number of ailments.
Candida, and other micro-organisms we consider “bad” are pathogens, or infectious agents, that cause disease or illness to the host. Flora that benefits us can become pathogenic when the gut is unbalanced. These infectious bacteria or fungi live off sugars we feed them and the decomposition of our cells. The easier it is for these symbiotic microorganisms to become pathogenic, the more they reproduce out of control and feed off of your body.
A leaky gut allows for infection to set in anywhere in the body that is most susceptible to infection. This is the most common reason why old injuries often flare up. Infection sets in wherever there is food to eat. Scar tissue and other damaged tissue provide food for opportunistic infectious microbes like Candida and many other parasites. An organ that is toxic has irritated, damaged, decaying cells within it that provide food for these microbes. The more damaged the body, the more easily infection can take root inside the body. What gets leaked, where what gets leaked, and where in the body infection is most susceptible all play a role in defining the symptoms that define autoimmune diseases.
Healing a Leaky Gut
The process of healing the gut can be sped up by (but not replaced by) supplementation that kills Candida and other parasites and by probiotics that are strong enough to penetrate stomach acid in order to benefit the gut. The beneficial bacteria in most probiotics and fermented foods are not strong enough to survive stomach acid.
Most ailments from autoimmune disease are lessened or eliminated very quickly when Candida is brought under control and the gut begins to heal. But, it can take many months for the gut lining to fully heal, and Candida spores can lie dormant in places that antimicrobial compounds and our immune system cannot get to. For this reason, it’s imperative to follow a strict diet and follow any sweets, even a homemade healthy fruit smoothie, with a salad or supplements for gut health.
If you are suffering from an autoimmune disease, any chronic disease, frequent infections, or a weak immune system, chances are you are suffering from a leaky gut whether you experience digestive disturbances or not. So focus on the gut. Since 80% of the immune system is in the gut, this alone makes gut health a priority. Once the gut is healed, the rest of the body can heal as well. Check out Kill Candida and Balance the Gut Quickly.