The interlocking pieces of the human body form one of the world's few living and breathing puzzles. Each piece, or body system, is designed by a natural order that has used its form to create one unified image. Sometimes, this image is distorted by invaders like candida and health issues are born. Candida has a multitude of underlying causes many of which directly link to potassium deficiency.
The term "candida" encapsulates a range of yeast-like fungi that live in the mouth, skin, vagina and intestinal tract. Candida is usually harmless because it is used as food by healthy bacteria and other microorganisms in the body. When your immune system is disrupted by illness, antibiotics or a lack of healthy bacteria, the overgrowth of candida is highly probable. Medical conditions, such as thrush, female yeast infections and diaper rash are commonly seen in cases of candida overgrowth.
pH and Candida
Dr. Paul Eck of Analytical Research Labs says potassium deficiencies create a favorable alkalizing environment that perpetuates candida overgrowth. As an electrolyte, potassium also helps to regulate nerve and heart functions throughout the musculoskeletal system. Smooth muscle contractions, heart rhythm and peristalsis -- wave-like contractions in the digestive tract -- are three areas where potassium is vital. Potassium's role in maintaining candida by aiding in the production of hydrochloric stomach acid and bile excretion is lesser known.
The universal symptoms of candida overgrowth are often misdiagnosed. While fatigue, abdominal cramping, skin irritation and severe itching are common symptoms of candida, lesser known symptoms include irritable bowel syndrome and depression or mood swings. A candida outbreak actually mimics many of the symptoms of potassium deficiency and so falls under the radar during doctor visits. In his book "Lifeforce," Dr. Jeffrey McCombs says that sugar and carbohydrate cravings are definitive tell tales in candida overgrowth.
Candida overgrowth is sometimes a reflection of lacking digestive enzymes. In this case, enzyme therapy that utilizes fresh fruits -- pineapple and papaya are the best -- and vegetables along with daily probiotic supplements that offer many different strands of bacteria. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that diets rich in salt -- i.e. processed foods -- may require increases in potassium to maintain the sodium/potassium balance required by cells to function at an optimal level.
As a byproduct of sorbic acid, potassium sorbate is often used to stop fermentation processes in foods and beverages. Potassium sorbate is actually the salt of sorbic acid used in many commercial products for its purported yeast haltering action. Along with potassium sorbate, McCombs recommends avoiding all sugars and carbohydrates as they feed candida helping them to grow throughout the body and create serious medical conditions. In addition, aerobic exercise or sauna sessions will help remove excess toxins that candida disperses.