Common symptoms associated with candida infections include hypoglycemia and insulin resistance. These often occur together in many people. Hypoglycemia is low blood sugar and insulin resistance is high blood sugar. Left alone long enough in the body, they can develop into diabetes. So what’s the connection with candida?
To discover this, we need to know more about how candida functions in the body. Candida has an amazing ability to adapt to the various environments found in the body’s many organs and tissues. When sugar is absent, it switches to burning fat as it’s main fuel source. So much for all of the candida diets that heavily restrict sugar. More about that in another post. Candida can thrive on sugar however and uses whatever is at hand, as well as creating conditions that serve it’s ability to continue to grow and spread.
The main mechanism by which candida causes tissue destruction in the human body is via a group of protease enzymes called Secteted Aspartyl Proteases (SAPs). Protease enzymes are responsible for breaking down protein and protein structures. SAPs are also considered to be candida’s main mechanism of virulence or pathogenicity – how it spreads in the body and causes damage.
Researchers at UCSD discovered that protease enzymes can lead to diabetes, hypertension, and immune system suppression (3 common symptoms of candida infections). They create diabetes by destroying the receptors on cells that insulin binds to. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas gland. It works like a key in that it attaches to a receptor site on cells, which then opens gates in the cell wall that allow sugar to enter the cell and be used as a fuel. Without insulin or the receptors, sugar stays in the blood stream and continues to build up, leading to problems in regulating blood sugar.
Through SAPs, candida can destroy the protein-based receptors on the cell walls, leading to higher levels of sugar circulating in the body. These same SAP enzymes can destroy attachment sites on white blood cells that enable the ability of white blood cells to leave the blood stream and enter tissues where an infection is taking place. The mechanism of how they create hypertension is still not clear.
CATCH UP on more recent posts at our new blog – Candida Plan Blog