Intestinal Bacteria, Yeast / Candida, and Parasites

Published date: March 15, 2012 | Modified date: July 13, 2016

At the IBS Treatment Center we have expertise in the detection and treatment of deficiencies in good bacteria, as well as the detection and treatment of unwanted bacteria, yeast (Candida) and parasites.

Your body is not yours alone. You are sharing it with over 100 trillion bacteria. This fact makes many people uncomfortable.

“I have germs living inside me?” you may ask, aghast.

Yes, inside the orifices of your body, and primarily in your digestive tract, live an enormous number of bacteria – single-celled organisms that have colonized areas of your body and exist happily there. This may alarm you, because we have been trained to view bacteria as the enemy. However, we are not sterile beings.

Our internal bacteria are actually critical to our health- so critical, in fact, that we cannot survive without them. They are fundamental to the development of our immune system, they help break down our food, and they even create nutrients that we need for good health. And most importantly for you, they play a large role in whether or not we experience diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, abdominal pain or IBS.

intestinal bacteria yeast parasitesThe bacteria inside us form a teeming, busy ecosystem. Changing or harming one species will have repercussions on the other species and on the host itself. While we are used to thinking of the earth’s ecosystems in this way, it may seem strange that these same principles govern our internal environments.

This environment is all too easily altered, especially in our world of antibiotics. And many people suffer from IBS due to a microbial imbalance in their digestive tract.

There are three major categories of bacteria:

  1. Good bacteria, such as acidophilus and bifidobacterium.
  2. Bad bacteria, too numerous to mention but rarely tested for in most clinics.
  3. And then the ugly bacteria, so dangerous that you’ve probably heard about them before.

It’s also important to know that yeast (Candida) and parasites can also be a significant cause of IBS symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain.

A deficiency of good bacteria and/or the presence of bad and ugly bacteria, yeast (Candida) or parasites will cause a variety of digestive problems, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and even nutritional deficiencies. There are tests to diagnose each of these problems. And once diagnosed, all these conditions are readily treatable.

The Bad and Ugly Bacteria

What makes a bad bacteria bad? The worst bacteria (the ugly) either directly destroy tissue by feeding upon it or produce a toxin that destroys tissue. Other bacteria (the bad) react negatively to food, or are poor fermenters of food, creating IBS symptoms like gas and diarrhea.

And some species of yeast and bacteria are bad simply because they take up space, thereby crowding out the good bacteria and depriving your body of all the health-giving benefits that friendly bacteria provide, resulting in the poor digestion of food and the poor absorption of nutrients.

The ugly bacteria are never regarded as normal flora within the body. They are not usually considered to be causes of IBS, but they do cause severe, often life-threatening, conditions.

Ugly bacteria include:

  • Salmonella
  • Shigella
  • Yersinia
  • Vibrio cholerae
  • Campylobacter
  • Certain strains of E. coli

Just a tiny amount of the most virulent strains of bacteria in a person’s body is enough to begin the process of infestation.

The symptoms of these bacterial infections usually include severe watery diarrhea, which is often bloody. Some cause:

  • Vomiting
  • Muscular cramps
  • Dehydration
  • Permanent intestinal damage

If untreated, they may even cause death. In short, they are nothing to fool around with. Luckily, the medical community is generally good at identifying and treating these kinds of bacterial infestations.

Less dangerous, but still unwelcome, are the bad bacteria, which include the Enterobacteriaceae family of:

  • Citrobacter
  • Enterobacter
  • Klebsiella
  • Proteus
  • Serratia
  • Clostridium difficile
  • Pseudomonas

At very low populations, these bacteria may be considered normal flora in the intestinal tract. However, being normal doesn’t make them good.

Each has been documented as causing IBS-type symptoms, and they often need to be eliminated. Unfortunately most doctors rarely test for them, since the symptoms they cause are usually not immediately dangerous. But, if a bad bacteria has managed to increase its population and gain territory in your intestinal tract, you may experience gas, bloating, abdominal pain, or loose stools. You’re probably not dying, but you are very uncomfortable.

You may be surprised to learn that another bacteria considered normal flora is one strain of E. coli. Due to some recent well-publicized cases of E. coli infestation, the name itself now seems scary. Some types of E. coli are scary, but the strain of E. coli normally found in the intestines is not the toxic strain that causes bloody diarrhea and other symptoms. In fact, we all have E. coli living in our intestines.

At the IBS Treatment Center we have expertise in the detection and treatment of deficiencies in good bacteria, as well as the detection and treatment of unwanted bacteria, yeast (Candida) and parasites.