Have you been feeling digestively and mentally imbalanced but don’t know why? Maybe you have other things going on like gas, bloat, skin rashes, mental fog, very low energy, constipation, diarrhea, bad breath, recurring fungal infections, frequent urination, fluid retention, loss of sex drive, mood swings, genital itching, vaginal inflammation, discharge and burning, painful intercourse, and harsh PMS. These are signs and symptoms that your body may be undertaking yeast overgrowth.
Candida is a fungus, or form of endogenous yeast in the human body that lives in mouths, the blood, the gastrointestinal tract, in vaginas, and even in the folds and creases of our skin. Candida takes up these places in very small amounts in order to aid with digestion and nutrient absorption. Normally, the intestines contain beneficial microorganisms that keep candida under control, however when candida is overproduced, it disrupts the balance of the microorganisms in the intestines. This balance of ‘gut flora’ is a crucial part of the immune system and digestive health. When the balance is lost, candida colonies expand rapidly until they control a large portion of the gut. Candida Albicans is an infection and can be diagnosed and treated through diet and lifestyle.
Candida shouldn’t be confused with some of the yeast organisms that assist in the type of yeast used to make beer, wine, and bread or even the yeast that is offered as a food supplement and offers B vitamins and some minerals, such as Brewer’s yeast or nutritional yeast.
Both men and women are affected by candida, although men have less incidences of it, they can be affected through unprotected sexual intercourse, or those who suffer from diabetes, AIDS or those who take antibiotics. Women tend to be the most susceptible if they are diabetic or pregnant, take or have taken antibiotics in the past, use birth control pills, are taking chemotherapy or steroids, eat a high sugar and white flour diet, or are under stress, (some of these go for men as well.) Those who are deficient in B-vitamins or who have lowered immune systems are also prone to developing candida.
I have found that most common complaints in women are vaginal inflammation, discharge, burning, pain, decreased sex drive, gas, bloat, chronic fatigue, decreased concentration, memory loss, mood swings, depression, cravings for sugar and bread, anxiety and insomnia, painful joints, headaches, skin rashes, increased sensitivities to food and environmental substances.
As resilient as the body is, the gut flora in the digestive system can be sensitive and can lean towards yeast overgrowth by many other factors as well as the ones stated above.
- Elevated hormone levels from chronic stress
- Excess dietary refined carbohydrates, alcohol, and sugars – feed yeast
- Biotin deficiency, which helps prevent conversion of yeast to fungus. And zinc deficiency, required for optimal immune function.
- Antibiotics disrupt gut flora. Either prescribed or from commercial meat and dairy.
- Low stomach acid (natural or caused by HCL-lowering meds, leading to altered pH throughout rest of system. To learn how to naturally increase levels. CLICK HERE
- Excessive alkalinity common in candida overgrowth
- Living in a damp, foggy climate
- Mold and fungus in the home
- Exposure to toxic metals, esp. mercury and lead
- Successive bacterial infections
- Food and inhalant allergies burden immune system
Eliminating refined carbohydrates and sugars from the diet is the first step in preventing candida from growing. Increasing healthy fats, protein, and anti-fungal vegetables will help to restore your immune system and strengthen your gut flora.
Coconut oil is highly recommended because it is a healthy fat that prevents bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. It contains caprylic acid, which kills off yeast overgrowth. It basically “pokes holes” in the yeast cell wall, causing yeast to die off.
B-vitamins, specifically B6 and B12 will help with the production of hydrochloric acid in the intestines. Biotin, another B vitamin role has the ability to prevent yeast, candida, from converting to its fungal form. B-vitamin rich food include eggs, liver, salmon, and avocados.
Vitamin C is needed for immunity support and protection from oxidative stress. Candida overgrowth releases a lot of toxins in the body therefore causing low adrenal function. Eating vegetables like parsley, bell peppers, radishes, and kale are full of antioxidants and will support both immunity and adrenal function.
Other synergistic nutrients are high-quality protein, selenium-rich foods like brazil nuts, yogurt, garlic, and the powerful anti-fungal herb pau d’ arco.
To get rid of Candida from the body, a disciplined regimen must be enforced. Anti- fungals are highly efficient but may only sometimes work in the short-term only. For a long-term approach in warding off candida, a healthier diet and a less stressful lifestyle may be in order as well as cleansing the bowel and liver for improved digestion and detoxification.
Book a Discovery Session with me today, if you think you are suffering from candida overgrowth.