Fungi possess a diverse and dramatic mode of existence which enable them to survive in heterogeneous environments. Simply stating, some fungi have the potential to adapt to the environmental changes and therefore, can survive through modification of their behavior. Those fungi are termed scientifically as ‘diamorphic fungi’and the phenomenon is referred to as diamorphism.
Difference between Mold and Yeast
Diamorphism literally means existing in two forms. Those two forms are commonly known as Mold and Yeast.
Mold is the form of fungus which possesses spectacular characteristics of existing and growing in the environments outside animal or human body. These therefore, survive in the temperatures at around 25 degree celsius. Mold form of fungus anatomically presents as filamentous, hyphae and are multicellular. These also germinate spores exhibiting different qualities. Because of their phenomenal feature to grow on inanimate objects and food substances, they are also named as saprophytic fungi.
Yeast, however, is the form which is unicellular and grows in colonies inside human body or at 37 degree Celsius in laboratory techniques. Because their primary mode of survival depends upon extracting nutrition from living organism like humans and animals, these are also termed as parasitic fungi.
What is candida mold?
Candida is a fungus which have almost 20 different strains with different qualities peculiar to each specie. There are some strains which inherit the quality of diamorphism, existing as mold and yeast. Mold form of candida grows in damp environments and at low temperatures as opposed to yeast which grows at human body temperature. They grow by spreading their finger like projections, filaments or hyphae, on the surface of object, wherefrom they derive their nutrition. Mold form of candida has inbuilt enzymes which warrant them to denature the food substance for their nourishment and survival.
Can black mold or exposure to mold cause candida?
Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly known to general population as Black Mold is named after its peculiar dirty-green to black colored appearance. Although, there is no direct link between the infection of black mold and candida, it however, can make the body vulnerable to infection with candida. It happens in two ways:
Suppression of Immune system: Intactness of our immune response is integral to resist against growth of microorganisms. Black mold is toxic to our immune system and it leads to suppression of immunity and therefore, making our body prone to any infection. Candida, being a fungus, is honored by the opportunity and inflicts the body without any delay.
Hypersensitivity: Once inflicted by black mold, it sensitizes our immune response to the antigenic spores and the mold itself. Memory is created in our immune system and therefore, when such a person is exposed to candida, their body shows a fulminant response due to hypersensitivity reaction.
Can House Mold cause Candida?
Candida is not among the most commonly found, Penicillium, Alternaria, Aspergillus and Cladosporium, household molds. Nevertheless it is not rare at all. House mold can lead to candida infection by one of the following ways:
Candida Mold to Yeast: If candida exists in the mold form at your home, then the likelihood is that your body might get contaminated with the infection and it converts to yeast infection. Remember, we talked about, yeast is the form fungus which exists at body temperature, as opposed to mold which exists at room temperature. If one form of mold exists in the household area, there is quite considerable chances that candida mold might also be present in the vicinity.
Immune suppression: Just like black mold causes immune suppression, other types of molds acts by suppressing immunity and thereby, making the body conducive for candida infection.
Allergy to Molds or Candida Molds
Despite a frequently occurring phenomenon, allergy to molds is one of the least recognized pathology worldwide. Many patients are kept on being treated their whole life as having Asthma without having to conceive the idea that its underlying pathology might be curable. Molds germinate spores in their cellular structure and shed it on to the saprophytic object or substance on which they survive. These spores are carried by the air current and spreads to the surrounding environment. These spores, once shed, follow one of the two fates:
Inhalation by the exposed person: When a person is exposed to the places where there is germination of spores by the molds, there is considerable plausibility of inhaling these spores. Upon first time exposure, these spores get stuck to the mucosal lining of the upper respiratory tract, nose, larynx and trachea, causing direct irritation and leading to an immune response. When immune system comes into play its role in fighting against the intruding body– that is spores, it causes the mucosal lining to secrete more of mucous and therefore, symptoms like post nasal dribbling, flu and stuffing of nose occurs. One time exposure is enough for the immune system to get primed and sensitized to the antigenic nature of the spores. Therefore, when seconds exposure is experienced, by the person who is already sensitized, a full blown hypersensitivity reaction occurs which resembles like attack of asthma.
Regrow: second fate of the spore is that when it settles on the inanimate object or food substance, it grows into a form of mold and releases enzymes which are required to denature the object and draw nutrition for its survival and growth.
Candida and Mold Diet
Candida and Mold diets are aimed at achieving following goals:
- Starving the Mold and Candida
- Maintaining PH to restrict growth of Candida and Mold
- Nourishing lactobacilli bacteria in gut
- Empowering immune system
In order to achieve these goals, certain foods are allowed and others prohibited.
Prohibited Foods: Food substances which are rich source of sugar should totally be discarded from the diet. Sugar is the main source of survival for the candida and therefore, any diet rich in sugar would flourish the growth of candida and its spurt can proportionately be correlated to the amount of sugar in diet.
Permissible Foods: Diet abundant in proteins, seafood, vegetables and fruits is an excellent remedy for candida. When a person craving for sugar is provided with yogurt, it proves to be drastically harmful for candida. Meaning thereby, nothing acts as insulting to candida as depriving it of sugar when it needs the most. It is recommended against the use of canned or preserved food even for the allowed category of foods.
Candida and Mold sensitivity
There are laboratory tests which can establish if a person is sensitive to candida or mold. A preliminary screening questionnaire, http://www.yeastinfection.org/yeast-infection-evaluation-test/, can help you determine your risk of developing allergy and guide if you have underlying infection by candida or mold.
Candida Mold Symptoms
For the purpose of this topic, we shall restrict ourselves to describing symptoms of candida mold causing hypersensitivity reaction or allergy. List of symptoms is mentioned below;
- Rhinitis/ runny nose
- Post nasal drip
- Redness or itching in the eyes
- Watering of eyes
- Headache or pressure behind the eyes
- Breathlessness and/chest tightness
- Diarrhea, vomiting or flushing
IOM (Institute of Medicine) in 2004 conducted a study which proposed that there was a seemingly good evidence suggesting a link between the mold and upper respiratory infection in healthy adults, asthmatic adults and even in patients with hypersensitivity pneumonitis. There was evidence that indoor mold was linked to the upper respiratory infection in children who were otherwise healthy.
Mayo Clinic published a study conducted on 210 patients with sinusitis. Researchers were astonished to find a significant percentage of patients inflicted by mold or yeast infection presenting with chronic sinus infection.
Researchers, in another study, found a protein, HWP-1, in Candida resembling the structure of gluten. Therefore, suggesting that the patient’s alimentary tract sensitive to candida might show intolerance to gluten diet which persists even with the elimination of gluten from diet, a strong differentiating feature from celiac disease.
Does Mold feed Candida?
There is no evidence that mold feeds candida, however, the abovementioned discussion is enough of an evidence that infection by mold leads to deleterious effects on human immune system and thus creates a conducive and receptive environment for the growth and survival of candida.
Where is Candida Mold found?
If you’re looking for molds, find places with one of the following characteristics:
- Warm and humid
- Shady and damp
Molds and fungi thrives at places where there is humidity and warmth like in hot climate with humidity in the environment. To name a few, these places indoors can be found in washrooms, kitchens, walls and ceilings of storage rooms, water tanks, pipes and plumbing systems. Outdoors, these fungi can be found in shady tree areas with a damp ground and moisture in the environment.
It is worth mentioning here that Candida is found in human body as a part of normal flora. It is present in oral cavity, gut and skin. It, however, does not harm and remains dormant until a threat or insult causes breach in immune system. Therefore, manifestation of candida in a normal individual does not always mean that one is infected by it. A screening questionnaire, http://www.yeastinfection.org/yeast-infection-evaluation-test/, can help make distinction and identify infected individuals from those harboring normal floral colonies of candida.