Candida, essentially yeast overgrowth, is a difficult condition to diagnose because it can affect each person in a different way, on a different part of their body. For this reason, the symptom is often treated instead of the underlying issue. Let’s explore the potential underlying causes of this condition as well as some natural treatment options!
What is it?Candida Albicans are yeast pathogens. They exist in our intestines (also in the vaginal area and skin). Most of the time, they are completely harmless (a benign sugar-fermenting yeast), as they are kept under control by the other microorganisms (ideal ratio is 1 yeast: 1 million good bacteria).
What can go wrong? Candida only becomes a problem when there is a change in gut organism balance, leading to an excess growth throughout the body (known as systemic candidiasis). When an overgrowth occurs, normal yeast multiplies and changes into other (fungal) forms, where they take root in tissues and colonize.
This leads to damage in the gut (making it permeable) and leakage of over 70 harmful toxic and hormone-disrupting by-products (mycotoxins) into the bloodstream (known as candida septicemia) along with undigested food particles (hence food sensitivities).
This leakage causes a range of localized symptoms throughout the body and poisons the nervous system, joints and muscles. It can affect metabolic, endocrine and nervous system function. The immune system forms antibodies and responds with an inflammatory reaction (associated with an auto-immune response).
- Antibiotics –kills good bacteria so yeast has an opportunity to take over.
- Birth Control Pill or Pregnancy - disrupts hormonal balance and promotes yeast growth.
- Eating a High-Sugar Diet/ Diabetes– elevated sugar levels feed candida and allow it to multiply.
- Weak/Suppressed Immune System – due to toxic metal exposure (mercury, chlorine, and fluoride), poor digestion or liver function, chronic stress, cortisone drugs, etc.
Poor memory, Brain fog, Irritability, Anger, Depression, Anxiety, Fatigue, Cravings, Insomnia, Poor Coordination, Digestive Issues (indigestion, bloating, heartburn, gas, belching), Skin Problems (itching, acne, rash, hives), Thrush (white coating on tongue), Bad Breath, Canker Sores, Persistent Cough/Cold/Flu, Sinus Congestion, Vision Problems, Allergies, Food Sensitivities, Recurring Yeast or Bladder Infections, Inability to Lose Weight, Water Retention, Headaches, Chronic Body Pain & Stiffness, etc.
1.Specific Diet – Stop Feeding the Culprit! Cutting out sugars is key. This includes added sugars, naturally occurring sugars (like in fruits) and any ingredient that breaks down into sugars (i.e. carbohydrate foods). Also avoid common allergens (dairy, gluten). Be sure to drink lots of water!
2. Probiotics – Stock Up On Good Bacteria! Probiotics compete with candida yeast in the gut (crowd them out), protect digestive lining, maintain proper acidity in the stomach (preventing candida growth), and boost the immune system.
3. Antifungals – Attack the Invader! These help kill candida pathogens. Natural examples include Caprylic Acid (naturally found in coconut oil), Oregano Oil, Garlic, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Agrumax (Citrus Blend), and Olive leaf Extract.
4.Binding Agent – These “trap” harmful substances in the body as they attract and absorb toxins produced from candida. Examples include Activated Charcoal or Bentonite Clay.
5.Extra Fiber – This helps to form bulk and promote bowel movements, ensuring that toxins are removed from the body. For example, flax & psyllium are sources of fibre!
6.Improve Digestion – Enzymes help your digestive system break down food, speeding up transit time, preventing candida from feeding off of it. Look for one that contains lysozyme (which helps to break apart candida cell wall). Also, consider nutrients to repair & soothe the intestinal lining such as L-glutamine, C-NAG, Zinc L-Carnosine, Marshmallow, etc.
7.Support Immune System & inflammation – Plant sterols and Vitamin C help support the immune system and essential fatty acids (such as a in fish oils), help control inflammation!
8.Extra Recommendations – Wear loose, cotton underwear. Reduce exposure to chemicals, perfumes, dyes, scents. Be aware of chemical toxicity. Consider doing a liver detox to ensure proper functioning and removal of toxins.
Candida can be tricky to deal with but once it is eliminated, can allow someone the freedom to live a normal life again! Ask your local health food store advisors for a list of candida diet foods and supplement suggestions that are right for you!
This column is sponsored by Good 'n' Natural in Steinbach.