Candida is a yeast is typically found in small amounts in our gut and on our skin. It typically isn’t harmful when it is at normal levels. However, a course of antibiotics, chronic stress, or poor diet, can cause candida grow to grow out of control and cause a whole bunch of unwanted symptoms.
Did you know…
- Our gut is home to billions of microorganisms, both good and bad
- 70% of our immune system is found in the gut
- Over 90% of serotonin production is in the gut
Candida overgrowth is very difficult to diagnose because it has so many symptoms and can affect people in different ways. Since candida presents such a wide variety of symptoms we are often given prescription medications to treat the symptom instead of the toot cause. This is especially common if you have a doctor who is unaware of the importance of gut health. For example, you may go into your doctor with some headaches and brain fog, and leave with a prescription for a pain killer. Or how about you go in with symptoms of bloating and constipation and he/she writes it off as Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Too often, the root cause of so many of these common health concerns is just an imbalance in your gut microflora which can easily be treated with diet, supplementation and detoxification. Instead, these prescription pills we take exasperate our the root cause of the issue by damaging our intestinal lining, creating an opportunity for candida to thrive.
Typically, the healthy bacteria found naturally in your body keeps Candida levels under control. However, when the healthy bacteria is disrupted, candida moves in and takes control.
Below are a few factors that can lead to Candida overgrowth:
High stress lifestyle
High sugar and carbohydrate diet
Eating a diet full of inflammatory foods
High alcohol intake
A weakened immune system
Taking a round antibiotics
Medications that damage the intestinal lining
Taking the pill
When Candida begins to overproduce, it can lead to various health problems. Here are 10 of the most common Candida symptoms that you may be experiencing:
1. Chronic Fatigue:
Chronic fatigue is a common symptom of candida. When Candida albicans overproduce they begin to feed off nutrients in the gut. Foods also passes through the gut lining without being absorbed, this condition is known as leaky gut. Over time, this can lead to fatigue as your body isn’t getting the essential nutrients it needs.
Candida also produce a wide variety of toxins and chemicals what are released into the body. One neurotoxin - actealdeyde - (the toxin that causes a hangover) is released into the body and left for the liver to process. Unfortunately the liver becomes overworked and cannot keep up with processing large amounts of it. This slows down various systems in the body, making you feel sluggish.
2. Brain Fog:
Brain fog, difficulty concentrating and poor memory are another result of candida. As we know acetylaldehyde Is a toxin that is released into the body when candida is present. If you feel permanently foggy and struggling to focus, acetaldehyde could be the culprit.
3. Digestive Issues:
The digestive tract is compromised when candida is present. It causes malabsorption of nutrients, which can affect all areas of our mental and physical health. It also causes inflammation in the small and large intestines. This is where you get symptoms such as constipation, bloating, diarrhea and nausea.
4. Recurring Yeast Infections:
Most yeast infections are caused by a candida overgrowth which is localized in the vagina. If a yeast infection keeps coming back, it is a sign that there is a gut imbalance to blame. It is estimated that more than 75% of women will get a vaginal yeast infection during their lives. And almost 40% will have two or more yeast infections (11). Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection will vary from person to person, but they can include itching, pain during intercourse, swelling, and white discharge.
Male yeast infections may be less common, but they certainly happen. Symptoms of a penile yeast infection can include a thick, smelly discharge from the foreskin, pain in pulling back the foreskin, an itchy rash around the genital area, redness, and pain when urinating or during sex.
5. Sinus infections:
It used to be assumed that most chronic - long term - sinus infections were caused by bacteria. Newer research is suggesting that chronic sinusitis have some link to a fungal infection instead.
The most common treatment for a chronic sinus infection is antibiotics. This is not the best option as antibiotics are pretty much useless for a fungal infection. Even worse, antibiotics kill off the good bacteria in your gut that is needed to keep candida under control. If you suffer from chronic sinus infections and want to heal, a good place to start would be rebalancing your gut microflora.
6. Food Sensitivities:
Food sensitivities are linked very closely to the gut and the permeability of your intestines. A healthy gut monitors which particles are allowed to pass through the intestinal lining into the blood stream. They keep larger food particles that haven’t been broken down yet and harmful pathogens out of the body.
When candida is present, it grows long branched that produce holes in the gut lining. Larger food particles and bacteria enter the blood stream through these holes and are seen as foreign objects by the immune system. When the immune system is triggered it sets off an inflammatory response which causes headaches, bloating, tingling sensations and more. Your immune system’s reaction to escaped food particles can potentially lead to food sensitivities.
7. Fungal Infections On The Skin And Nails:
Since candida can also localize on the skin and nails you may see symptoms such as toenail infections, athletes foot, finger nail infections and rashes. Natural topical treatments such as coconut oil or diluted oregano oil will help to combat candida in on the skin. However, it is best to combine this with changing your diet and treating candida from the inside-out.
8. A Weak Immune System:
Around 70% of your immune system lives in your gut and gut bacteria help your immune system’s T cells develop—teaching them the difference between a foreign substance and the body’s own tissues. When we have leaky gut syndrome it provokes inflammation and food sensitivities and our immune system becomes overworked.
9. Joint Pain:
Uric acid, is another toxin that is released when candida is present. If It builds up, it can lead to pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints. If candida overgrowth is left untreated, the build up of uric acid can do damage to the tendons and joints.
10. Anxiety and Depression:
Around 90% of serotonin production is in the gut. When candida is present in the gut. Serotonin production is slowed down. Low serotonin levels have been linked to anxiety, depression and many other mental illnesses and cognitive concerns. Dopamine is another important neurotransmitter which is strongly associated with depression. Acetyladehyde (produced from candida) binds with dopamine so it can’t do its job.
Finally, when the liver is overworked it is unable to store and use vitamin B12 which is a very important vitamin for brain and nervous system health. Low levels of B12 have also been linked to mental illness.
Other symptoms of candida:
- Acid reflux
- Bleeding gums
- Body odor
- Cracked tongue
- Cravings for sugary snacks
- Crying spells
- Flu-like symptoms
- Fungal skin rash
- Inability to focus
- Inability to lose weight
- Itchy anus
- Itchy eyes
- Low libido
- Mucus in stool
- Muscle aches and stiffness
- Panic attacks
- Persistent extreme fatigue
- Poor coordination
- Poor memory
- Sensitivities to fragrances and chemicals
- Sensitivity to light
- Stomach cramps
- Water retention
If you are experiencing a few of these symptoms, along with any other the more common symptoms listed above, you should consider treating your gut. If you have many of these symptoms, candida may be to blame.
We have gone over a wide variety of symptoms related to candida which include fatigue, brain fog, poor digestion and more. For long term relief of many of these symptoms you may want to heal the gut and treat candida. The anti-candida diet is a low sugar, anti inflammatory diet that helps to starve out candida. In my Love your guts 28 day program, I teach you all about candida, the three phases to healing the gut, and how dietary changes and supplements will work into your treatment.