A continuation of How to Confront a “Super Fungus” In An Increasingly Pathogen-Friendly World from www.moldfreeliving.com
Excerpt from Part 1.
To break things down as simplistically as I can, Candida auris (C. auris) is a species of fungus which grows as yeast (single-celled fungi). In people with healthy immune systems, cells called macrophages and neutrophils engulf these pathogens, nipping them in the bud. But when the immune system is weakened by disease or drugs, fungi can grow unchecked.
Candida auris is one of the few species of the genus Candida which can cause candidiasis (fungal infection) in humans. Many of the yeast infections with which we are most familiar are localized and can be treated. Less often, a fungal infection can enter the bloodstream and become systemic and fatal. Candidiasis infections are most often acquired in hospitals by patients with already weakened immune systems.
Since C. auris is a pathogenic fungus that can cause invasive candidiasis (fungemia) in which the bloodstream, central nervous system, and internal organs are infected, it is especially dangerous to the most at-risk hospital patient population.
What Can We Do?
I have thought long and hard about this question and about offering any sort of insight or advice, especially since I am not a licensed medical practitioner of any kind, nor am I qualified to give medical advice. But, since I do feel that putting some actionable steps out there is beneficial for everyone’s sanity and well-being, I didn’t want to only leave you with facts and nothing to do about them.
Thus, the only way for me to weigh in is to anecdotally offer the things I am doing in our home to protect us from fungal pathogens as well as the things that I would do, should I or one of my loved have to be admitted to a hospital, to safeguard against acquiring a fungal infection of any kind.
Everyday Action Steps to Prevent Fungal Infections
- Try to eat organic produce that is not sprayed with pesticides or antifungals. I realize that this is easier said than done. It can also be an expensive endeavor. My advice is to just do your best and to eat the organic variety whenever you can. I have also started growing some of the fruits and veggies we eat most often in a small garden in our yard. This have given us access to lettuces, squash, berries, watermelon, radishes, and herbs that have never been sprayed or treated.
In the past, I was overwhelmed at the prospect of growing anything, much less food, but I took a free class at our library and started small. It has been easier, cheaper, and more rewarding than I ever imagined. Farm-shares and community gardens are also less expensive local options for organic produce.
- Clean your produce with a natural antifungal and antibacterial to remove pesticide and microbial build-up. In our home, this is a no-brainer. Everything we eat is washed and soaked in CitriDrops Dietary Supplement prior to being cooked or eaten. HERE is my post on my fruit and veggie wash.
- Take a probiotic with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria to strengthen your microbiome for protection against pathogens. This is especially important if you have taken many courses of antibiotics or have had gut dysbiosis, both of which make you more susceptible to fungal overgrowth and infection.
- Avoid drinking tap water from municipal water supplies.All treated water contains chemicals, like chlorine, pesticides, antibiotics, and potentially heavy metals. All of these things can disrupt the microbial balance inside your body. We now know that when this happens, bacteria, fungi, and parasites can flourish. Whenever possible, try to only drink purified (with added minerals) or spring water that has not been supplied from a municipal source.
- Use hand-sanitizing and home cleaning products that are naturally-derived and that have an antifungal component. HERE is my post on making your own antifungal hand sanitizer. It is important to always be vigilant both inside your home and outside of it for bacteria and for fungi that can pose a threat to your health.
I clean our home with non-toxic cleaning agents that have a proven fungal component. For us, that means first cleaning with a “soap and water” application and then treating and wiping or cleaning with something, like high-heat steam, and hydrogen peroxide.It is important to note that many bacteria and yeasts also produce biofilm, much like Candida auris. The only products that have been proven effective against biofilm in the long-term have been steam and natural antifungals.
- Eat a low sugar, low carbohydrate diet. Not only will this type of diet help to combat inflammation and type-2 diabetes (a precursor for Candida auris in hospital settings), it will prevent Candida and other opportunistic yeasts from flourishing in your gut. If you already have Candida, this weakens your immune system, making you even more prone to other disease and chronic illness.
- Make sure the air you are breathing is not a hidden source of illness and inflammation. This includes testing often for indoor mold, using air purification and filtration systems in your home, avoiding the use of toxic chemicals in your home, and employing some general mold maintenance, like frequent HEPA vacuuming and use of EC3 Products to maintain indoor air quality and homeostasis. The air you breathe is 90% more important to your overall health than your genetics. Take control of your health by securing that the air you are breathing is clean and safe.
Action Steps After Possible Exposure:
Only a few short years ago, I was frequently in the hospital for major gastrointestinal problems and distress. I stayed overnight on most of my visits. Every time, I was hooked up to an IV, where I received antibiotic medications, nutrition, and fluids.
I don’t like recalling those days of sickness and confusion, but to write this section, I made myself really go back there, knowing what I know now to answer this question. In other words, knowing about fungus in general, and now about the threat of Candida auris, here is what I would do to help prevent acquiring such an infection when in a hospital setting:
In the Hospital
If you are being given antibiotics for your condition, ask that your doctor also put you on a high-dose probiotic and an antifungal. You could also bring some CitriDrops Dietary Supplement with you to the hospital to use 2-3 times per day, mixed in water.This will help to prevent yeast overgrowth in your gut and will help to combat oral thrush.
Bring Mold Wipes and Antifungal Hand Sanitizer with you and use them often in your room and on the things around your room. Also make sure that any family members visiting employ good hand washing and hygiene practices to prevent the spread of infection.
Ask to be put on a diabetic or low-sugar, gluten-free meal plan. Hospital food tends to be full of sugar and sodium and is definitely not whole-foods centered. Since food is medicine, I am still in disbelief that this aspect of medical care has not caught up with acute care, but it is severely lacking. As much as possible, try to take charge of what is going into your mouth, as it can make or break your recovery. This is not always easily controlled, but sometimes letting your doctor know that it is a concern alerts them to the fact that attention does need to be made to your diet.
When You Get Home
Take matters into your own hands and do what works well to support your body. As you gain your strength back, you can do things like the following:
- Throw out or carefully clean anything you wore in the hospital with an oxygen-based cleaning detergent and EC3 Laundry Additive to kill any bacteria or fungi that you may have picked up.
- Do a yeast cleanse, with a product like Candida Rid to remove yeast and fungal “bugs” from your body.
- Continue to support your immune system with a healthy diet made up of whole foods and nutrient-dense meals.
- Take a full-spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement to replace deficiencies that could cause immunosuppression. I like Complete Thymic Formula.
- Continue using probiotics to help regain a strong gut microbiome and to address yeast and pathogens.
- Try to get outside in the fresh air as much as possible. Breathing recycled indoor air and staying only in confined spaces does not help your health or recovery. Pathogens exist more readily indoors, because they can survive easier without threat.
- Continue cleaning your environment frequently with non-toxic products proven against fungus. You need to prevent exposure as much as possible, especially in the early days when your immune system is still weak after leaving the hospital.
- Monitor your symptoms and let your doctor know immediately if there are any negative changes in your health. The earlier you catch a potential infection, the better.
Please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or input on this subject. For more helpful information about mold, visit Catherine at www.moldfreeliving.com. To read the entire article, click here.