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Yeast Infections & Excess Mucus

What it Means when you Notice Candida in your Mucus

 
Yeast infections often do not cause excess mucus; however, yeast debris can be in your mucus. Candida, the fungi causing these infections, has a white color and solid consistency. If yeast is in your mucus, it will not be gel like.
Yeast infections often do not cause excess mucus; however, yeast debris can be in your mucus. Candida, the fungi causing these infections, has a white color and solid consistency. If yeast is in your mucus, it will not be gel like.

If you are seeing Candida in your mucus, chances are you have an infection of Candida that your body is clearing out. The main role of mucus in the respiratory system is to keep the airway clean, and free of pathogens. Mucus helps to do this by entrapping microbes. Once a microbe is trapped in mucus, it can more easily be cleared away by the small cillia (protruding hair like structures from cells) that sweep the mucus away. If Candida is, in fact, in your mucus, this means an infection has likely occurred; and, the body is trying to resolve this problem.

The question really becomes: "Is Candida in your mucus?" Candida, in appearance, is a white substance. It forms long germ tubes when it is allowed to grow. If enough Candida is present, say in the case of severe oral thrush, white plaques will form on the mouth that bleed when they are scrapped away. If you have enough Candida in your digestive system, and you use some type of antifungal treatment, you may see long white strands (the germ tube growths) of Candida in your stool; or simply small white specks (often stained by the feces) of the yeast. Yet, it can be difficult to tell if your mucus contains Candida without a laboratory test.

You should know that Candida is not going to be gel like; as mucus is. Enough Candida will have the aforementioned characteristics, and be a firm substance. Candida strands and clusters will not wash away with water, as they are literally cellular—not gel—material. It is likely, if you see Candida in the mucus from your mouth or nose, you have oral thrush. It is rare that Candida will ever invade the lungs of an individual.

The reason why you may have an excess amount of Candida in your mucus, is because mucus contains food for Candida to grow. The main component of mucus are mucins; which are glycoproteins. Mucin is a glycoprotein that has a large amount of carbohydrates attached to it. A critical role of these carbohydrates is to provide binding sites for pathogens; like cheese in a mouse trap. Once Candida latches on to a carbohydrate in mucin, it can become entrapped, and unable to attach to the surface of the oral or intestinal cavities and cause infection. The mucus is then swept out by the cilia; and, along with it goes the pathogenic yeast cells.

Although mucus does not kill Candida, it does reduce its virulence. However, yeast can still live and grow in mucus; eating the carbohydrate rich mucin. As a result, if you have enough mucus in you containing Candida, in time the yeast will multiply and grow. The result is, you can then see some Candida in your phlegm when you spit or blow your nose. Although, this may be quite rare; as oral thrush does not commonly cause a great deal of mucus to form. If you are noticing unusual mucus from your respiratory system, and you suspect it's Candida, you may have this yeast infecting your sinuses or throat. The good news is, it may be, since mucus helps to mitigate a yeast infection, that your infection is not too severe at this point; and, treating it may cause it to go away quickly.

Candida can cause inflammation to occur; and, inflammation is one key factor that causes the mucus membranes of the body to secrete more mucus. It may be you are not seeing Candida in your mucus, but rather you have a yeast infection in your oral cavity or sinuses, and your body is responding by secreting more mucus. In such cases, of course, some white Candida plaques may become dislodged and come out when you blow your nose.

To learn why Candida can grow and develop in mucus, we will discuss research related to the composition of mucus. Also, the relationship of Candida in regards to mucus will be discussed. You will see that Candida can indeed live in mucus, and dissolve it to cause infection. Finally, two essential oils, lavender and thyme, will be discussed as possible therapies for helping to clear out mucus that has yeast in it.

Scientific Research on Mucus Gel

It may be quite difficult to determine if you have Candida in your mucus without a laboratory test. There are many things that are similar to Candida; and you should look for other indicators of Candidiasis to be more certain about what is in your mucus.
It may be quite difficult to determine if you have Candida in your mucus without a laboratory test. There are many things that are similar to Candida; and you should look for other indicators of Candidiasis to be more certain about what is in your mucus.

The mucus of the respiratory system performs a number of vital functions; however, the primary role of mucus in the respiratory system is to protect the tissue it covers. Epithelial cells (cells which line the surface of an organ or body structure) with small hairs, known as cilla, propel mucus in the respiratory system. These ciliated epithelial cells form somewhat of an "escalator" through which mucus is moved through the respiratory system. This process of mucus movement is essential for unobstructed, and sterile, air ways.

According to a study, published in the Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society [1.1 (2004): 54-61], there are some factors that can lead to excess mucus production. These factors are as follows: inflammatory cytokines, chemical secretions of bacteria, host proteases (enzymes which break down protein), and ATP (adenosine triphosphate; a critical chemical in the krebs cycle, whereby the body produces energy).

Inflammatory cytokines are a type of signaling molecule, which triggers a reaction in the body. Inflammatory cytokines can be secreted by immune system cells; such as helper T cells and white blood cells. These molecules are primarily produced by inflamed tissues; and, their presence helps to stimulate more inflammation.

A proinflammatory cytokine, known as interleukin-1, is an example of these cytokines. When this cytokine is administered to humans, it causes fever, tissue destruction, inflammation; and, can also cause shock and death. For people with rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease, blocking interleukin-1 has been a highly successful treatment (Dinarello, C.A.; 2000).

What is Mucus Made of?

The major gel forming component of mucus are mucins, which are glycoproteins. A glycoprotein is a protein that has a chain of sugar molecules attached to it; i.e., a carbohydrate. Glycoproteins are ubiquitous in nature, and serve a wide array of functions. There are glycoproteins in hormones, enzymes, blood, cell membranes, secretions, and in connective tissue. The carbohydrate component of glycoproteins can vary greatly between each glycoprotein. In some instances, the carbohydrate section comprises less than 1% of the total weight of the glycoprotein; while other glycoproteins can have over 80% of their weight comprised by carbohydrates (Kornfeld, R; Kornfeld, S; 1976).

The American Thoracic Society [1.1 (2004): 54-61] study states that mucins are glycoproteins which are dominated by the carbohydrate section of the molecule. In some cases, 80% of the glycoprotein weight is comprised of carbohydrates. The carbohydrate section of this molecule can have great diversity. A key function of these carbohydrate sections is to cause microbes to attach to them. Once a bacteria, or microscopic fungus, attach to a sugar chain in the mucin, it can be transported out of the area by the mucus "elevator." The study states that the diversity of carbohydrates in the mucin (and mucins are glycoproteins), is likely present to increase the chances bacteria will attach to these sugar structures; and, thence, be transported out of the body. The mucins may also help to stop microbes from attaching to body surfaces; and, prevent them from colonizing and forming a biofilm in the area. The following picture shows the molecular structure of the glycoprotein mucin.

Pictured above are mucin molecules. Cysteine is an amino acid, and you can see that the ends of the protein contain cystein. The oligosaccharide are carbohydrates; they are polymers of simple sugars.  These oligosaccharide chains are what bacteria and fungi can attach to; and, when they do attach, they become entrapped within the mucus. As the mucus is carried away, the microscopic invaders, attached to the oligosaccharides, are carried away as well.
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Pictured above are mucin molecules. Cysteine is an amino acid, and you can see that the ends of the protein contain cystein. The oligosaccharide are carbohydrates; they are polymers of simple sugars. These oligosaccharide chains are what bacteria and fungi can attach to; and, when they do attach, they become entrapped within the mucus. As the mucus is carried away, the microscopic invaders, attached to the oligosaccharides, are carried away as well.

The size and concentration of mucins are critical factors in the gel formation of mucus; but, mucus is more than just mucins. Concentrated solutions of mucin are not totally the same as the mucus gel in the respiratory system. Mucus is a complex mixture of other glycoproteins besides mucin, ions, proteins, lipids, and mucins (Thornton, D.; Sheehan, J.; 2004). In short, mucus is a complex soup of various chemicals.

The epithelial layers of cells can change mucus production in response to pathogens. When pathogens invade, epithelial cells can respond by secreting more mucin, increasing production of antimicrobial chemicals, or altering the types of carbohydrates that are attached to the mucin protein chains (altering glycosylation). When carbohydrate attachment patterns are changed, this is done in an attempt to synthesize mucin that will be a target for binding by the pathogen; thus entrapping it and allowing it to be cleared away (Barr, Jeremy J., et al.; 2013). The diagram below was taken from a study published in Biochemical Society Transactions [46.5 (2018): 1099-1106]. The diagram helps to illustrate what happens in a healthy lung and diseased lung concerning mucus production and transport.

In this diagram, MUC5AC and MUC5B are both labels for two different types of mucin. The diagram on the left shows the epithelial (the cells that line the inside of the lung airways) lung cells and how mucus is created and transported in a healthy state. The picture on the right shows the lung tissue in a diseased state. Note that the mucus flow is impaired, and there is a buildup of mucus in the diseased lung tissue.
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In this diagram, MUC5AC and MUC5B are both labels for two different types of mucin. The diagram on the left shows the epithelial (the cells that line the inside of the lung airways) lung cells and how mucus is created and transported in a healthy state. The picture on the right shows the lung tissue in a diseased state. Note that the mucus flow is impaired, and there is a buildup of mucus in the diseased lung tissue.

The Microbiota of Mucus

According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [110.26 (2013): 10771-10776]; the mucus layers in the body are thoroughly colonized by bacteria; and, some are important symbiotic bacteria. Some things these "mucus probiotic" bacteria provide to their host include: antibiotic production, nutrients, and bioluminescence. Also, the study stated a key member of mucus microbiota are bacteriophages. Bacteriophages are specific viruses that attack only bacteria. These bacteriophages in the mucus may not ever infect human cells. There are many unique viruses that attack only very specific targets. Much of the life in the world has specific viruses that are equipped to only attack a specific cell type or bacteria.

And, it should be noted, a virus is a non living entity. It may sound hard to believe if you haven't studied viruses; however, they are not alive. They are essentially microscopic entities that "hijack" cells or microbes. Once a target has been compromised by a virus, the virus takes over the cellular functions of the target, and causes it to produce more virions. Each viron produced, then disseminates, and attempts to infect another host; and, the cycle repeats. A diagram, taken from the study, illustrates the microbiota of mucus (rich in bacteria and some viruses), and helps to illustrate the process mucus and cilia perform to keep an area sterile and free from infection.

This diagram shows bacteriophages labeled as "phage." The picture illustrates how these viruses exist in mucus, and attack bacteria that are also entrapped in the mucus. This makes the mucus secretions a diverse environment in terms of microbiota.
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This diagram shows bacteriophages labeled as "phage." The picture illustrates how these viruses exist in mucus, and attack bacteria that are also entrapped in the mucus. This makes the mucus secretions a diverse environment in terms of microbiota.

Candida & their Invasion of Mucus

Candida present in the phlegm may also allow the yeast to spread to other areas of the body. If enough Candida is in your phlegm, it may be able to cause inflammation of an area even though it is entrapped in mucus gel.
Candida present in the phlegm may also allow the yeast to spread to other areas of the body. If enough Candida is in your phlegm, it may be able to cause inflammation of an area even though it is entrapped in mucus gel.

A study, published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology [24.4 (1987): 333-341], discussed Candida and its association with the mucus membranes of the intestines. The study stated the gastrointestinal (GI) tract has been known to be a reservoir for Candida albicans (C. albicans is responsible for about 85% of all yeast infections; with other Candida species comprising the remainder). This GI resevior of Candida is a key source for the cause of recurrent vaginal yeast infections and perianal pruritis (unusual anal itchiness). The research also stated, the ability of Candida to colonize the GI tract mucus membranes, may also be an important factor in the yeast’s dissemination to other parts of the body.

The study also cites other research that found the presence of bacteria associated with the GI mucus membranes appeared to reduce C. albicans ability to colonize the intestinal wall; limiting the ability of C. albicans to further colonize the GI tract. A study was cited that found mice not having a complete array of bacterial flora, including dense populations of bacteria in the mucus gel, were more at risk for Candida. These mice that lacked probiotics in the mucus were found to have Candida associating easily with the intestinal wall; and, Candida was able to pass through the mucus membranes to spread systemically in their bodies.

The study tested the ability of C. albicans to interact with mucus gel with mice. The study found C. albicans associated with the mucus membranes of the mice via several mechanisms. The yeast cells were observed to attach directly to the mucus, and were also seen embedded in mucus. The study also found depressions in epithelial cell layers (cells that line a surface). The research suggested this may be due to a Candida secreting a protease (an enzyme that dissolves proteins) and rupturing cells; allowing Candida to stabilize itself. This rupture of epithelial cells may be a way the yeast can penetrate the mucus membranes of an area; and, then spread to other body areas from the GI tract.

The exploration of the mice, in this study, also revealed C. albicans were attached to the villi (the small hair like projections) and were often associated with mucus. The study stated that the mucus gel, which forms a thick layer covering the epithelium, in these mice was not intact. This was possibly due to the yeast disrupting the mucus. To determine if Candida could interact with the mucus gel, mucus gel from antibiotic treated mice was applied to C. albicans in an in vitro (in a test environment, not in a living organism) experiment. This test revealed that large amounts of C. albicans were able to associate with the mucus very quickly. The C. albicans cells became embedded in the mucus, and would attach to it. The following quote was taken from this study, and summarizes how Candida interacts to invade the intestinal mucus membranes (mucosa):

The ecology of gut colonisation by C. albicans and the dynamics of lumenal and mucosal-associated Candida populations, therefore, is not completely defined. Nevertheless, these data, together with those reported previously (Freter et al., 1981 ; Kennedy and Volz, 1985a), emphasise the importance of three distinct but interdependent steps in the association and passage of Candida through intestinal mucosa. These include : (i) contact with the surface of the mucous gel; (ii) penetration or trapping in the mucous gel; and (iii) adhesion to and penetration of the epithelial surface.

Journal of Medical Microbiology [24.4 (1987): 333-341]

Another study discusses Candida’s ability to break down mucus; the study was published in the Journal of Medical and Veterinary Mycology [34.6 (1996): 401-406]. The aim of the study was to determine if C. albicans breaks down mucins. The study tested the fluid C. albicans produced against mucin to see if deterioration of the mucin occured.

Concerning other information shared, the research states that mucin is the main component of the mucus that coats the GI epithelium. This mucus layer helps to protect the GI tract from infection. The mucin in this mucus helps to do this by forming a gel, and via the diverse carbohydrate molecules that are part of mucin. The research states it is known that C. albicans can digest intestinal mucus. Candida species are also known to secrete proteases (enzymes that break down proteins) that can deteriorate skin collagen, epithelial keratin (keratin is found in hair, nails, and calluses), and other biological materials.

The study used a strain of C. albicans that was originally taken from the blood of a patient with systemic Candidiasis. This yeast strain was then grown overnight in a broth at 37°C. The yeast was then allowed to further develop in another broth. After the yeast had incubated, the cells were harvested. The remaining fluid was filtered; and, this resulting filtered liquid was concentrated. The resulting liquid showed a protease activity (protein breakdown) of about 20.6% against pig stomach mucin. The study concludes stating that mucin was able to be degraded by fluid from C. albicans; suggesting this degradation was caused to some extent by a protease enzyme C. albicans produces.

Mucus Reduces the Virulence of Candida

Another study looked at the role mucins play in regulating the virulence of C. albicans. The research was published in MBio [5.6 (2014): e01911-14]. The study used a strain of C. albicans and tested it on gastric mucins from pigs. When mucins were not present, the C. albicans cells clumped together and formed extensive germ tubes (i.e., hyphae). The C. albicans cells that were exposed to mucin only formed short germ tube structures (pseudohyphae) or oval shaped single cells that are different from the normal round cells (blastoconidia) C. albicans forms.

It was found that the yeast cells, when in mucins, continued to grow over time. The research found that 3 types of mucins (MUC5AC, MUC2, and MUC5B) caused these changes to occur in C. albicans physiology. This finding indicated that mucins have a general ability to affect C. albicans, which likely can be seen on all mucus membrane surfaces.

The results of this research show that exposing C. albicans to mucins causes them to not grow germ tubes as well, not adhere as well to body surfaces, and not produce as much biofilm. Mucins therefore reduce the virulence of C. albicans. These results indicate that mucins play a key role in defending a host from C. albicans invasion. The authors of the study state, "We suggest that mucins are potent antivirulence molecules that have therapeutic potential for suppressing C. albicans infections."

Candida’s Adherence & Biofilm Production

Biofilm production is a quintessential aspect of Candida’s virulence. A study, published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy [(2012) 67 (3): 618-621], discussed Candida biofilm. The study stated that Candida, when it is protected by a biofilm, is about 1024 times more resistant to conventional antifungal drugs. Thus, biofilm can make a yeast infection very difficult for antifungal drugs to eliminate. And, the process of creating a biofilm begins with Candida cells adhering to a surface.

A study, further explaining Candida biofilms, was published in the journal Microbes and Infection [18.5 (2016): 310-321]. The study states that C. albicans biofilm creation begins by the round shaped (blastoconidia) cells first adhering to a surface. After the yeast has adhered, the next step is cell reproduction and early-stage germ tube growth. After this occurs, biofilm maturation occurs. Biofilm maturation consists of a complex network of various types of yeast cells. The length of Candida germ tube growth varies, and round yeast cells are also a part of the biofilm. These cells are covered in an extracellular matrix (a thick sludge). This sludge and mixture of yeast cells garners the sessile cells (those cells covered by the biofilm) a great deal of protection from outside elements in their environment. According to this study, C. albicans can develop a mature biofilm within 24 hours time. After a mature biofilm is produced, some round C. albicans cells will leave the biofilm to colonize new areas. The diagram directly below was taken from this study; and, illustrates C. albicans’ biofilm production lifecycle.

The above diagram shows the life cycle of C. albicans biofilm production; a critical aspect of the colonization of this yeast.<br />
A) Attachment of round (blastoconidia) yeast cells to a surface.<br />
B) Initial biofilm formation.<br />
C) Maturation of the biofilm; allowing for a thick sludge to build up.<br />
D) Round yeast cells begin to leave the biofilm to colonize other areas.
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The above diagram shows the life cycle of C. albicans biofilm production; a critical aspect of the colonization of this yeast.
A) Attachment of round (blastoconidia) yeast cells to a surface.
B) Initial biofilm formation.
C) Maturation of the biofilm; allowing for a thick sludge to build up.
D) Round yeast cells begin to leave the biofilm to colonize other areas.

Getting Rid of Candida Infected Mucus Naturally

Using steam inhalation of essential oils may be a great way to naturally decongest the sinuses. Some essential oils are expectorants and can help clear out mucus. Using steam inhalation in this fashion may help remove Candida from the mucus membranes of the nasal cavity.
Using steam inhalation of essential oils may be a great way to naturally decongest the sinuses. Some essential oils are expectorants and can help clear out mucus. Using steam inhalation in this fashion may help remove Candida from the mucus membranes of the nasal cavity.

Coral Miller, in her book Essential Oil for Beginners, suggests using an inhalation method for colds and chest related problems. Miller states that when a person inhales an essential oil, it moves to the linings of the lungs and is immediately absorbed into the bloodstream.

For colds, Miller recommends using steam inhalation of essential oils. According to the book, steam inhalation can be used for therapeutic purposes, but should be stopped right away if it causes irritation. For performing steam inhalation, Miller suggests boiling 1 cup of water and adding 3 to 7 drops of essential oil to it. Next, you simply lean over the bowl of steaming water and inhale it safely; deep and slowly.

If you are dealing with yeast in your mucus, you are going to want to use an essential oil that is an expectorant (will clear away mucus) and is also effective at stopping Candida. Two essential oils that might help in this regard are lavender oil and thyme oil. Both of these essential oils may be able to help clear out mucus from your sinuses; and, they are both certainly capable natural remedies for yeast infections. There is an extensive amount of information about each of these oils in the articles.

Additionally, it may help to boil a half cup of apple cider vinegar with three cups of water added to it; add essential oils to the steaming liquid; and, breath this in. Just be sure the steam is not irritating. Strong concentrations of apple cider vinegar (or any vinegar) can cause skin irritation and even chemical burns. Make sure you discontinue using this suggested remedy if you experience any irritation. You can learn more about apple cider vinegar in this article: Apple Cider Vinegar for Yeast Infection.

A 12 Hour, Safe, and Natural Yeast Infection Solution

Linda Allen’s Yeast Infection No More

As you may know, about 75% of all women will develop a yeast infection in the course of their lives. Many men also suffer from yeast infections; but, women are the predominant gender that suffers from this condition. And, a significant minority of these women, and a few men, will suffer from recurrent yeast infections. For women, this is often defined as 4 or more episodes of infection within a 12 month time frame.

One woman, Linda Allen, suffered from recurrent yeast infection for about 12 years. As you may have guessed, Linda had more than just a problem with isolated infections; she suffered from a systemic Candida infection—one where Candida had invaded her body.

Linda’s health problems began in her teen years; and, she at first sought out the expertise of medical doctors in hopes of solving her problems. She was prescribed an antifungal, and at first it worked just fine. Yet, after some time had passed, Linda found herself suffering from another yeast infection. This problem became quite a detriment to Linda’s life, and her health was deteriorating. The doctors simply prescribed her more drugs, put her on antibiotics, and even tried allergy medication. Yet, none of this solved her health problems or ended her recurrent Candida infections.

The cost of all the medical bills began to add up. At a time when Linda should have been able to afford a house, she was instead living in a cramped apartment. Those that knew Linda wondered if she was a hypochondriac; or, possibly, her situation of her health was much worse than she was admitting.

Finally, Linda made an appointment with a naturopath; and, the naturopath knew exactly what was wrong with her: systemic Candidiasis. Linda’s body had become invaded by Candida; and, this was the source of all her health problems. Armed with this knowledge, Linda began to study her condition and try to find a workable solution. She would spend a great deal of time reading, trying purported treatments, and she even would ask the advice of medical professionals who were generous enough to lend her some time.

Eventually Linda was able to develop a feasible cure for her systemic Candida problems, where nothing else had worked before. Linda then spent a year refining her treatment plan; and, then, tried it on herself. After she started her treatment plan, Linda found that her yeast infections went away; and, importantly, stayed away. As more time passed, Linda’s health began to improve. Soon, Linda’s health had fully returned and she was feeling great again; and, she was free from yeast infections altogether.

Linda showed her treatment plan to a medical doctor, and the physician thought Linda might have something. The medical doctor suggested giving her treatment plan to others, to see how they would respond. And, Linda did just that. Through the course of her 12 year journey, Linda knew exactly where to find people who were suffering from Candida as she had been. Linda found, that after the people used her treatment plan, they too were getting cured. Linda really had developed something novel and effective.

Linda Allen has since written a book detailing her treatment plan for systemic yeast infections. Included in the book is a natural remedy that will get rid of a yeast infection in 12 hours time. For those with a systemic problem, it will take longer to fully remove the Candida from the body; however, the symptoms of a yeast infection will go away in about 12 hours time. Not many people may have a complicated problem like Linda, yet her methods will naturally wipe out a yeast infection in a safe, natural, and expedient way.

Liinda’s book is published in a digital format (a PDF), and can be downloaded quickly and read on your computer or smartphone. Linda’s publisher is one of the largest electronic publishers in the world; and is a subsidiary of Keynetics Incorporated—a firm based in Boise, Idaho; USA. Linda’s publisher also offers a 60 day, 100% money back guarantee with Linda’s book. So, if you decide to try Linda’s book, you can quickly get all your money back if you are not satisfied. Linda’s publisher makes the refund process quite easy.

To learn more about Linda Allen’s personal story, or to find out more about her book, you can get more information at Linda Allen’s website.

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SOURCES:

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