5 signs You have Candida Overgrowth

 

What is Candida?

Candida Albicans is an opportunistic fungus (or form of yeast) that is the cause of many undesirable symptoms ranging from fatigue and weight gain, to joint pain and gas.

The Candida Albicans yeast is a part of the gut flora, a group of microorganisms that live in your mouth and intestine. When the Candida Albicans population starts getting out of control it weakens the intestinal wall, penetrating through into the bloodstream and releasing its toxic byproducts throughout the body.

What causes Candida?

Firstly, its important to realize that everyone has Candida already. It is a microorganism that is naturally present in your gut, part of the balanced system that helps you to digest food and stay fit and well.

When people talk about Candidiasis the illness, they are really talking about the excess growth of Candida. So if Candida is not something that you ‘catch’ like a virus, what are the causes of this excess growth of Candida?

Candida has only recently been recognized by the medical community, but there has been a surprising amount of research conducted into this illness. The consensus is leaning towards a handful of medical and lifestyle factors that seem to be triggers for a Candida overgrowth.

Candida and your diet

The modern diet is like a feast for Candida, since it is a yeast that needs sugar to thrive and multiply. That includes sugar itself, foods containing sugar and also anything that converts to sugar. Refined carbohydrates like processed food made with white flour, other refined grains and alcohol can all contribute to Candida growth.

A healthy immune system should be able to keep Candida at bay. However, a diet rich in sugar actually depresses your immune system, leaving it vulnerable and allowing the Candida yeast to proliferate. Moldy and yeast-containing foods must also be avoided, as they can aggravate symptoms of Candida too. This means some vegetables, condiments, sauces, coffee, tea, and packaged and processed foods.

Candida and antibiotics

The most common culprit in an outbreak of Candida is antibiotics. A full course of antibiotics kills the harmful bacteria for which it is prescribed, but it also destroys beneficial and friendly bacteria that live in your gut. This can leave your body defenseless to harmful bacteria and fungi, such as the fast-growing Candida yeast that quickly dominates the small intestine and causes problems.

Of course there are times when you do need that antibiotics prescription, but the truth is that doctors prescribe it for for many health issues unnecessarily, like the common cold or a sore throat. Make sure there is no alternative treatment to your condition and, if you must take them, be sure to take an good probiotic supplement during and after the treatment to replenish the healthy bacteria population.

Buying organic food can help to reduce your exposure to antibiotics. An astounding 55% of the antibiotics used in the US are in the livestock industry. Herds of cattle are fed antibiotics to keep mortality rates low and profit margins high. Some of these antibiotics make their way on to our plates in the form of beef and milk. This has become so widespread that the European Union has banned it completely, and won’t even import beef that has been raised in this way.

Candida and stress

Stress affects your body in two ways, both of which can lead to excess Candida. One of your body’s first reactions to a stressful situation is to release Cortisol, a hormone that depresses your immune system and raises your blood sugar level. The Candida yeast feeds on the extra sugar, while your weakened immune system is powerless to stop it. Quickly it overpowers the balanced mixture of microorganisms in your small intestine.

Prolonged stress can also weaken your adrenal glands, which are an important part of your immune system. These small organs release hormones that regulate several different systems within your body, and they are responsible for production of the ‘fight or flight’ hormone adrenaline. If your adrenals become drained you will feel constantly tired, and probably find yourself drinking cup after cup of coffee. Your immune system becomes similarly drained and unable to respond properly to pathogens like the Candida yeast.

Candida and the Pill

In other sufferers, an outbreak of Candida can be traced to the contraceptive pill. The stomach is a delicate organ, containing a precise mixture of microorganisms and yeasts that help process and digest food. They depend on the right balance of chemicals to support them, but this equilibrium can be thrown off by the hormonal imbalances caused by the Pill.

By disturbing this balance, the Pill opens the door for Candida to once again outgrow its competitors in the gut. Estrogen, the major ingredient in the Pill, is known to promote the growth of yeast. If you need evidence of how this can happen, see how many women get regular yeast infections while on the Pill, its exactly the same principle.

Another contraceptive device that may cause Candida is the copper IUD. It has been shown that copper can increase yeast growth in much the same way as Estrogen does. So be very aware of these problems when choosing your contraceptive technique!

How do you get candida overgrowth?

The healthy bacteria in your gut typically keep your candida levels in check. However, several factors can cause the candida population to get out of hand:

  • Eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar (which feed the yeast)
  • Consuming a lot of alcohol
  • Taking oral contraceptives
  •  Eating a diet high in beneficial fermented foods like Kombucha, sauerkraut and pickles
  •  Living a high-stress lifestyle
  •  Taking a round of antibiotics that killed too many of those friendly bacteria

How do you test for Candida overgrowth?

Blood test

You'll want to check your levels for IgG, IgA, and IgM candida anti-bodies. These can be checked through most any lab. High levels indicate an overgrowth of candida. I find in my clinic that these can often be negative even when the stool or urine test is positive.

Stool testing

I find this to be the most accurate test available. This will check for candida in your colon or lower intestines. The lab can usually determine the species of yeast as well as which treatment will be affective. (Note: be sure that your doctor orders a comprehensive stool test rather than the standard stool test.)

Urine Organix Dysbiosis Test

This test detects a waste product of Candida yeast overgrowth known as D-Arabinitol. An elevated test means an overgrowth of candida. This test will determine if there is candida in your upper gut or small intestines.

Here are 5 common candida symptoms

1.Skin and nail fungal infections (such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus)

2.Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea

3.Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD and brain fog

4.Skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression

5.Vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, rectal itching or vaginal itching

Here a list with foods that kiss Candida:

 
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A very long time ago, the Father of medicine Hippocrates, was pointing out for the first time the importance of maintaining human health. He used to say "You are your first doctor! You are what you eat!". Therefore, treat your food as it is your medication and your medication as it is your food!
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