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Posts tagged ‘Arthritis’

Fungal Arthritis

I’ve just added this article to the Candida Library and thought you should know about it since over 40 million Americans are affected by some form of arthritis.

Fungal arthritis

Marta L Cuellar, Luis H Silveira, Luis R Espinoza

Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 1992

Why This Article Matters

“There is never a lack of research or information available about the pervasiveness of fungal infections in our society today. There is however, a lack of awareness that this is an ongoing problem in society at all ages, as this research article demonstrates. Fungal infections can cause arthritis of any joint in the body. When treated properly, fungal arthritis cases improve and disappear. The use of antibiotics continues to be the primary cause of this problem, followed by, or in conjunction with steroid use. The best approach is to avoid these problems by avoiding use of these medications whenever possible.” – Dr. Jeff McCombs, DC

Excerpted from the research article:

Although healthy subjects may host fungal diseases, various predisposing factors that depress the immune system have been implicated in most patients developing fungal infections or fungal arthritis, or both. Alcoholism, cirrhosis, diabetes, tuberculosis, cancer, prematurity, treatment with corticosteroids, cytotoxic drugs, prolonged use of intravenous antibiotics, intravenous drug abuse, granulocytopenia, and marrow hyperplasia are among the predisposing factors. Neonates are the first group of patients in whom haematogenously originated Candida arthritis can occur. The illness is a hospital acquired disease of sick children with underlying diseases such as the respiratory distress syndrome, and gastrointestinal defects. C albicans, which is responsible for more than 80% of the reported cases, and C tropicalis are the species responsible for this disease. Arthritis is usually present with accompanying metaphysial osteomyelitis. Bone infection might originate from the infected synovium or via the metaphysical vessels. Polyarthritis occurs in most patients and the knee is the joint most often affected. Arthritis originated by haematogenous dissemination beyond the neonatal period is usually a complication of disseminated candidiasis in patients with serious underlying disorders or intravenous drug abusers. C albicans is again the causative organism in about 80% of cases, and C tropicalis is responsible for most of the remaining cases. Two distinct clinical presentations can be observed: (a) acute onset of constitutional and synovial symptoms (about two thirds of patients), with the aetiological diagnosis established within the first week, and (b) indolent presentation, with mild systemic and arthritic symptoms, and delay in the diagnosis for months or years.

View this article in the Candida Library and download the Full Text PDF

Lookup the definition of Arthritis in the Glossary

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Candida and Inflammation in the Athlete

There’s a certain sense of loss in realizing that the best of each us is being eroded away, or lies wasting away, as hidden potential within the cells of our bodies. The gradual erosion of potential is often found in cases where there is an underlying imbalance in the body that creates chronic inflammation and the inability to absorb nutrients for normal function and repair. When chronic inflammation and nutritional imbalances are combined, degeneration of tissues advances at a far faster rate than it normally would. I have found this to repeatedly be the case in people who have been exposed to antibiotics and as a result suffer from the system-wide imbalances that are created from their usage.

In many people, this may look like a normal aging process. In the athlete, it usually is associated with excessive wear and tear on joints and failure of the muscles and the body to respond and perform as they once did. Athletic careers and pursuits can end prematurely, and the hopes and dreams of what could have been, remain forever as hopes and dreams.

Under these types of constant inflammatory conditions, the serious athlete or weekend warrior who pushes the limits of his body’s ability in pursuit of personal records and goals, will end up driving the inflammatory machinery that will eventually rob them of their potential for excellence. Exercise produces pro-inflammatory immune system responses and oxidative stress that play a role in repair and remodeling of muscle tissues. Intense exercise carries this response further, and over the long-run can produce immune system suppression and autoimmune-type responses. The following excerpt from Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition helps to explain a little more on this topic:

“DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) typically occurs after unaccustomed or high-intensity exercise, most commonly anaerobic. Soreness is usually noted at 24 hours post-exercise and can last as long as 5 to 7 days post-exercise. Although several models of DOMS have been suggested, researchers generally agree that muscle damage initiates a cascade of events leading to DOMS. The muscle damage and oxidative stress response following anaerobic exercise have been deemed necessary to promote skeletal muscle remodeling to gain benefit from the exercise, but enhanced recovery may be advantageous for more rapidly promoting an anabolic environment.

Exercise elicits mechanical and hormonal reactions from the body. The resulting muscle damage from these reactions elicits inflammatory and oxidative responses that may exacerbate muscle injury and prolong the time to regeneration. The hormonal contributor to muscle damage during exercise is derived through basic neuroendocrine responses to exercise demands. High intensity exercise triggers the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis leading to the release of cortisol and other catabolic hormones. These hormones function to meet increased energy needs by recruiting substrates for gluconeogenesis via the breakdown of lipids and proteins. Through their catabolic nature, these hormones also indirectly lead to muscle cell damage.

Inflammation following anaerobic exercise functions to clear debris in preparation for muscle regeneration. The magnitude of the increase in inflammatory cytokines (such as IL-6) varies proportionately to the intensity and duration of the exercise. However, a prolonged inflammatory response can increase muscle damage and delay recovery by exacerbating oxidative stress and increasing production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The increased ROS production seen with high intensity training can lead to oxidative stress such as lipid peroxidation (1).”

While intense exercise is usually associated with greater degrees of DOMS, inflammation, immune system suppression, and oxidative stress, mild-to-moderate exercise is typically associated with boosting the immune system and supporting greater health in the body. If however, there is an underlying state of chronic inflammation due to an infectious agent, then even mild-to-moderate exercise may result in many of the symptoms commonly found with intense exercise, as fuel is added to an already burning fire. Over a period of months and years, this can lead to shortened productivity and limited excellence in today’s athletes. In one sense, it is the equivalent of driving with the brakes on.

The most frequent infectious agent that fits this model is Candida albicans. C. albicans commonly exists as a yeast organism in the human body and is considered a normal part of healthy tissue flora. Due primarily to the effect of antibiotics, this yeast organism transforms into a pathogenic, problematic fungal form that has been associated with a multitude of conditions and diseases in the body.

Since the introduction of antibiotics in the late 1940s following WWII, there has been a remarkable increase in the research of candida-related conditions and diseases (2) with over 24,000 research articles being published since 1949. On average, that is enough for one research article per day in the last 51 years, with enough left over to fill another 6 years of daily research publications. With a one-to-one association between antibiotic use and the development of systemic fungal infections, implications exist for society as whole being afflicted with a post-antibiotic syndrome of fungal candida and immune system dysregulation.

In systemic fungal candida infections, ongoing pro-inflammatory reactions from both systemic and localized immune system responses combine with the virulence mechanisms of fungal candida to create a constant state of oxidative stress, pro-inflammatory hormonal imbalances, chronic tissue inflammation, and tissue degeneration. This type of smoldering, nonresolving inflammation becomes a constant component of the microenvironment within and is implicated in many diseases and conditions.

Joint restriction, pain, swelling and inflammation, weight gain, fatigue, blood sugar imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, slower post-exercise recovery periods and other symptoms are commonly associated with this underlying condition in today’s athletes and others.

In response to patients who had these problems, I developed a well laid out plan to counteract this post-antibiotic syndrome and subsequent systemic imbalances. Athletes who have followed the McCombs Plan have seen a decrease in the degree and amount of inflammation experienced during exercise, as well as pre- and post-exercise inflammatory responses with faster recovery times. Many of the conditions associated with fungal candida that impact human performance have been diminished and resolved. Marathon runners and Tri-atheletes found themselves competing without “hitting the wall.” Wrestlers, weight lifters and others found that their joint pains and restrictions decreased and disappeared. Increased energy and vitality that is sustained throughout the day has been a common response.

If we are to achieve the best that we can be, we must rid ourselves of these types of physiological limitations, or settle for less and be happy with what could have been.

1. The effects of theaflavin-enriched black tea extract on muscle soreness, oxidative stress, inflammation, and endocrine responses to acute anaerobic interval training: a randomized, double-blind, crossover study

Shawn M Arent, Meghan Senso, Devon L Golem and Kenneth H McKeever

Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2010, 7:11doi:10.1186/1550-2783-7-11

http://www.jissn.com/content/7/1/11

2. SciTrends of Biomedical Sciences

http://rzhetskylab.cu-genome.org/cgi-bin/trendshow?MeSHID=1191

Is Candida Making Your Life Miserable?

Reposted from www.AskTheHealthLady.com

Have you been searching for answers to health issues that seem to evade all treatments? Does your doctor dismiss your concerns and questions, or tell you that you’re just aging? Do you feel as though nobody has a clue as to what’s happening to your health and your body?

Chances are that you’re dealing with the effects of a fungus called Candida Albicans. Candida Albicans is the most frequent opportunistic and costly fungal infection in man.

Candida Albicans is a dimorphic organism, meaning that it can exist in 2 different forms, as a yeast or as a fungus. In its yeast form, Candida Albicans is a beneficial member of the normal flora of the human digestive tract and other tissues, but in its fungal form, it is capable of causing acute and chronic problems ranging from diarrhea and life-threatening colitis to obesity, cancer, and other illnesses and diseases. Research shows a link between diabetes, hypertension, and immune system suppression and the mechanisms that Candida uses to spread throughout the body.

Some of the other conditions commonly associated with Candida include allergies, skin conditions, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, sugar cravings, gas and bloating, acid reflux, headaches, arthritis, depression, irritability, exhaustion, brain fog, anxiety, and sinus infections.

Antibiotics are the primary cause of fungal Candida. They can change the health of your body permanently. Antibiotics take a normal physiological response to an imbalance in the body and turn it into a pathogenic, disease producing process. Antibiotics destroy the natural bacterial flora that helps to keep candida in check. Eliminating large bacterial colonies eliminates the competition and enables the candida to have a bigger share of the pie.

One study showed that 98% of the Candida yeast had converted to its fungal form within 24 hours of being exposed to antibiotics. Another study showed that from 4-72 hours later, it was destroying tissues within the liver and pancreas.

As bacteria are destroyed by antibiotics, they break down and release substances from within their cells that promote inflammation and tissue break down. One of these inflammatory substances, peptidoglycan (PGN) has been found to directly stimulate candida to change from its yeast to fungal form.

Antibiotics also suppress immune system responses and function, which enable the fungal candida to evade immune cells and grow unchecked throughout the body.

When antibiotics indiscriminately destroy the good and bad bacteria of the intestinal tract, they affect the normal pH of the gut. The bacteria help to keep the pH of the intestinal tract in an acidic range through secretions of acids and enzymes. Without these acids, the pH becomes more alkaline. This creates an environment that stimulates and promotes active fungal growth. Candida continually demonstrates an amazing ability to adapt to changes in its environment at lightening-like speeds.

Research shows that a deficiency of nutrients can also stimulate the yeast-to-fungal change, as the candida will go in search of nutrients elsewhere in the body’s tissues, much as you or I would go shopping if there were no food in the house. The fact that candida grows on the nutrient barren plains of our body’s skin surface is a good example of how well it can survive under different conditions.

To restore health and vitality in the body, the candida needs to be reduced to its yeast form once again. Additionally, the body needs to detoxified, the immune system boosted, and the beneficial bacterial flora needs to be re-implanted into the body’s tissues. The intestinal tract is considered to be the densest ecosystem of bacteria on the planet.

There are an estimated 100 trillion cells that reside within it. Restoring and maintaining the balance of this system will have a tremendous impact on our health and how we age. We now have enough information to enable us to activate the life force within us and make the right choices for leading a healthy vibrant life.

Dr. Jeffrey S. McCombs, DC, is a 3rd generation Doctor of Chiropractic, author of the book: LifeForce, and developer of the McCombs Plan for Health, Vitality, and Transformation . His 25 years of ongoing research and practice emphasizes addressing the nutritional, environmental, emotional, structural, and biochemical aspects of acute and chronic health conditions in his patients.

Dr. McCombs will be answering your questions about Candida on a free one-hour teleseminar Thursday October 22, 2009. Sign up and submit your question at: www.AskTheHealthLady.com. The call with be archived so you may replay it later.

Antibiotics and Candida

I often get asked about antibiotics and systemic candida. Antibiotics are definitely the best way to create systemic fungal infections and lifelong intestinal flora imbalances in the body, as well as an unlimited number of other problems. Although the medical profession doesn’t even acknowledge this, scientists and researchers state this obvious fact over and over again.

 

Antibiotics kill good and bad bacteria. Killing these bacteria causes a massive hemorrhaging of the internal components of all bacteria. This is particularly problematic because our bodies respond to these internal components by producing acute and eventually chronic long-term inflammation that can affect all tissues and cells throughout the body. This massive inflammatory cascade can breakdown tissues and interfere with cellular function. One of these internal substances, Lipopolysaccaharide (LPS) is common in gram-negative bacteria and is a substance that most researchers use in laboratory testing due to the overwhelming reliable strong immune response that it causes.

 

Some of these intracellular bacterial components, like Peptidoglycans (PGN) also act directly on the cellular membrane of the yeast Candida Albicans causing it to transform into its pathogenic fungal form. This is in addition to antibiotics eliminating millions of beneficial bacteria that help to keep the Candida Albicans yeast within ratios that benefit the overall health of the intestinal tract and therefore the rest of the body.

 

Antibiotics can also suppress the immune system response. This primarily affects the macrophages which go around cleaning up pathogenic organisms that would otherwise harm us. By suppressing macrophages, antibiotics can reduce the pro-inflammatory cascade which macrophages play a big role in initiating. While this may seem beneficial, it actually aids in the spread of the pathogenic fungal form of C. Albicans. First, with antibiotic-induced suppression of the immune system, the fungal candida now can spread more rapidly without macrophages to inhibit it. Secondly, by suppressing the macrophages and the inflammatory response, the liver does not release positive acute-phase proteins which are necessary for preventing the spread of pathogenic organisms throughout the body. Three of these acute-phase proteins (Ferritin, Ceruloplasmin, & Haptoglobin) function by binding iron and making it unavailable to pathogenic fungal candida. Without these 3 proteins, fungal candida can now attach itself to our blood cells and feed on an unlimited source of iron in the form of hemoglobin to help it spread throughout the body. This also goes for other pathogenic microbes that will be spreading as a result of the effect of antibiotics in the body. 

 

By killing off the beneficial bacteria that inhabit and help to regulate the normal healthy intestinal flora, we lose the beneficial enzymes and acids that these organisms produce. This causes the pH of the intestinal tract to become more alkaline. An alkaline intestinal pH also promotes the conversion of C. Albicans into its pathogenic fungal form. When the intestinal pH is acidic, candida remains in its normal yeast form. 

 

The above examples are just some of the ways that antibiotics promote and maintain the ongoing growth and spread of fungal candida throughout the body.

 

Killing off the beneficial bacteria also leads to decreased absorption of nutrients that our cells and tissues need to function in a healthy state. Certain strains of acidophilus help to synthesize B vitamins. A deficiency of these alone would create innumerable problems within the body.

 

There are an estimated 100 trillion micro-organisms within the intestinal tract. For many years, researchers were able to identify some 300-500 species of micro-organisms that were responsible for making up the 100 trillion cells. Recent advances in the use of technology have now identified close to 6,000 species in the large intestine alone. Most of what these organisms do and how they interact is unknown. As long as there is a sufficient amount of beneficial bacteria to keep everything in balance, then we have a better chance at staying healthy. Research now tells us that some these species are permanently eliminated from the body by the use of antibiotics – http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081118121941.htm.

 

Apart from the use of antibiotics being responsible for thousands of deaths and over 144,000 visits to emergency rooms each year in the U.S. alone, the incidence of antibiotic resistance continues to escalate worldwide to the point that we are rapidly approaching a new era where antibiotics won’t be useful for most people – http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090128183925.htm.

As this continues to happen, we will see an increase in the use of natural methods that help restore balance without creating additional problems. This is the goal of the McCombs Plan for Health, Vitality, and Transformation – http://mccombsplan.com/.

A “S.A.D.” Lifestyle

As our country deals with the effects of past deregulation and the current financial crisis, I am struck by how America has also become deregulated in the area of its dietary choices and the resultant health crisis that is developing as a result. Sound dietary practices have been dismantled and replaced by eating whenever, whatever, and however it suits us in the moment. Common sense management of our food choices has been neglected in favor of fad diet fixes and Flintstone vitamins.

The wisdom of the body as a temple that needs to be cherished and cared for has been replaced by the philosophy of the body as an amusement park and I’ve got a season pass.

It’s no mistake that the acronym for the Standard American Diet is S.A.D. When America exports the dietary principles of S.A.D. to another country, a decline in the health of its people quickly follows. It also holds true for foreigners who immigrate here, as they quickly find out that their health declines and their weight increases when eating as the natives do. In all fairness, America should have signs at its entry borders that warn of the risks that go with adopting our S.A.D. lifestyle.

Using the government’s Body Mass Index (BMI) standard, a calculation based on height and weight, over 66% of Americans are overweight and 34% are obese. If current trends continue, by 2015, it’s estimated that 75% of American adults will be overweight or obese. By 2030, that estimate increases to more than 86 percent of adults, and by 2048, well let’s just say that finding a normal weight person will be like finding a needle in a haystack. The BMI standard isn’t without just criticism, as other body measurements are not considered. When considering the overall trend, however, it’s obvious that Americans are getting fatter and the associated illnesses and healthcare costs that accompany this trend are also on the rise.

Being overweight increases our risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cancer, liver and gall bladder disease, osteoarthritis, infertility, and various other related diseases and conditions. All of these are signs of lifestyle mismanagement, not medication deficiencies.

I imagine that a pharmaceutical company’s Board of Directors looks upon America’s sedentary lifestyle and standard diet much in the same way that a cannibal looks upon a newly caught fat missionary prior to feasting. Our gains become their gains.

The pharmaceutical industry continues to propagate the philosophy of there’s nothing wrong with us. It’s not our fault. It’s just genetics, hormones, and other uncontrollable dysfunctions in our bodies that they will soon have a drug for. So, don’t worry, keep eating. For heaven’s sake, there’s no need to deprive your self of anything. Eat! You’ve earned it. Eat! You deserve it. Eat! It’s the holidays. Eat, eat, eat!

President-Elect Barack Obama keeps reminding us that we need to prepare ourselves for making sacrifices in order to correct the excesses of the past. This applies as much to our diet and lifestyle choices as much as it does to the economy. If sacrifices are to be made, then we can choose to sacrifice stupidity for wisdom. We can live up to our potential and leave behind the excuses and reasons for not taking care of ourselves.

Over half of Americans lead a sedentary lifestyle. The current government recommendation calls for 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. I have always thought that the government usually gets it half-right. Exercising 60 minutes 5 days a week is probably even better. Start where you are and go from there. Leave the “have to do it/be it/have it now” attitude behind. Evolve your desires to allow for gradual progress to have its impact.

In his book “What May Be” Piero Ferrucci states, “You must not follow your feelings. Your feelings must follow you.” We must begin to exhibit an emotional intelligence that directs our food choices. We must eat with a conscious awareness of how we wish to transform our bodies, for our bodies are transforming from moment-to-moment whether we like it or not. How it transforms can be up to us.

So as Thanksgiving approaches, I believe that it’s time to be thankful for the abundance and opportunities that we have as Americans. It’s time to invest in ourselves and our future. We can create something remarkable with our lives and share our life stories with others. We can be a nation of everyday heroes, ordinary people living extra-ordinary lives.

As an old adage states, “If not now, when? If not me, who?”

Dr. Jeffrey S. McCombs is a 3rd generation Doctor of Chiropractic, author of the book “LifeForce,” and developer of the McCombs Plan. His 25 years of ongoing research and practice emphasizes addressing the nutritional, biochemical, structural, emotional, and environmental aspects of acute and chronic health conditions in his patients.

He can be reached at www.mccombsplan.com or 888-236-7780.

God’s Hybrid

 

Somewhere along the primordial way, a bunch of micro-organisms became enclosed by, fewer in number, but larger “tissue” cells and the evolutionary race was on. This co-operative, bi-partisan effort allowed both types of cells to emerge from the primordial goo and the foundation for the human race was set. Through time, dinosaurs, and an ice age or two, this Human/Bacterial (HumBac) hybrid was able to go a lot farther than either party could have gone on their own.

 

Today’s hybrid, you and I, are now more bacterial than human. It’s estimated that there are approximately 10 trillion human cells wrapped around a digestive system containing 100 trillion cells composed of bacteria, virus, fungi, mold, parasites, and others who have come along for the ride. Of course the human cells have evolved to send emails, text, watch TV, and many other “human” things. The bacterial guys, well they’ve evolved into a cohesive force that involves themselves in the more mundane issues of life and death.

 

Dr. Bernard Jensen once said that, “Death begins in the colon.” If that’s true, then life begins in the small intestine, or maybe even the stomach. The foods that we eat bring with them the nutrients that we need to survive and function on a daily basis. They also bring with them, other organisms who ride along on their meal tickets trying to crash the party. It’s up to the 100 trillion cells living in our guts to weed out the bad guys, and process the nutrients for us to function normally.

 

The digestive tract is an intricate ballet of organisms, pH, enzymes, nutrients, peptides, and hormones in a dance with its human interface of cells, nerves, blood, lymph, and other fluids. Centuries of evolution have created a delicate synergism that we tend to take for granted. The Ecosystem of the digestive tract is a harmonious balance of craziness. Disturb this balance, and one fruitcake can terrorize the entire HumBac world, causing it to live in fear for its life.

 

A good example of how this happens is when we take antibiotics. “Anti” means against, and “biotic” means life. For those paying attention, this should be a big clue. Today’s powerful antibiotics have been likened to a terrorist opening fire in a crowded market. The good and the bad both perish. The killing is indiscriminate. In the intestinal world of bacteria et al, this creates chaos, and in the midst of the chaos, a lunatic can take control. The one “lunatic” that commonly follows this scenario is fungal candida. In its normal form in a balanced digestive system, it is a yeast that contributes to the overall health of the system. In its Dr. Jekyll-to-Mr. Hyde transformation, it becomes an invasive fungal organism which further destroys more bacteria and crosses over into the human cells creating havoc and chaos. This seems only fitting, in a way, since a fungal toxin was the first antibiotic and many antibiotics are potentized derivatives of fungal toxins.

 

Antibiotics have been justly credited for saving lives, but they have also needlessly taken lives. Many people die each year from reactions to antibiotics. Well over 140,000 people report to hospitals each year from adverse reactions to antibiotics. Some people experience permanent disability. Everyone who has taken antibiotics will have altered the delicate balance of the digestive tract and the role it plays in our health for years to come.

 

When antibiotics were first used, it was a common practice to be prescribed probiotics (“pro” meaning for) to be taken along with the antibiotics. This wise practice fell along the way for some reason. It needs to be reinstated. Probiotics can help to minimize some of the negative effects of antibiotics. Protecting our natural resources is something that is important to all of us.

 

A digestive tract that is in a state of imbalance can lead to: digestive diseases; inflammation throughout the body; depression; arthritis; hormonal imbalances; headaches; skin conditions; rapid aging; fatigue; brain fog; and a host of other problems that involves every human cell, tissue, and organ. For those who have taken antibiotics, this imbalance needs to be reversed.

 

We need to pay more attention to the 100 trillion fellow passengers that accompany us on our journey through life.  We need to be mindful of what goes into the body via liquids, foods, and the air we breathe. Our fellow passengers require nutrient-dense foods and periodic detoxification to assist them with the vital roles they play for us.

 

John Knowles, the former President of the Rockefeller put it well when he said, “The next major advance in the health of the American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself.”

 

So whether we’re God’s hybrid or Darwin’s HumBac, we need to exhibit a conscious mastery of managing this intricate interrelationship of life, or its back to the goo, or worse, to the doctor.

 

Dr. Jeffrey S. McCombs, DC, is a 3rd generation Doctor of Chiropractic, author of the book: LifeForce, and developer of the Life Force Plan. His 25 years of ongoing research and practice emphasizes addressing the nutritional, environmental, emotional, structural, and biochemical aspects of acute and chronic health conditions in his patients.

He can be reached at www.mccombsplan.com, 888.236.7780.

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