What is Candida Overgrowth? A beginner’s guide to internal fungus!
Candida is a type of yeast that naturally occurs in the human body, but when it overgrows, it can lead to a host of health problems beyond just the uncomfortable and annoying yeast infections.
In fact, recent research has shown that Candida overgrowth can contribute to a range of chronic illnesses, from digestive issues to autoimmune diseases. If left unchecked, this common fungal infection can wreak havoc on your body and negatively impact your overall health and wellbeing.
But don’t despair, there are steps you can take to keep Candida in check and restore balance to your body.
In this article, we’ll dive into the surprising effects of Candida on your health and explore ways to support and clear this common issue. Read on to learn more about this often-overlooked health concern and how you can take control of your health.
Today we will explore:
- What IS Candida?
- Signs of Candida Overgrowth.
- Why does Candida Overgrowth Happen?
- Candida and your Digestive Health.
- Candida and your Mental Health.
- Candida and your Skin Health.
- Wildcrafted remedies and supplements for Candida Overgrowth.
What is Candida?
Candida is a type of yeast that is naturally present in the human body. The yeast species is commonly called Candida Albicans. Candida issues are also called “Yeast Syndrome.”
It usually resides in the mouth, intestine, and genital areas, where it performs essential functions such as aiding digestion and nutrient absorption. However, when candida overgrows, it can cause a wide range of health problems. The most common form of candida overgrowth is a yeast infection, which is usually accompanied by symptoms such as itching, burning, and discharge.
Candida overgrowth can also result in other health problems beyond yeast infections. For instance, it can lead to digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and constipation. It can also cause skin problems such as rashes, and eczema. Moreover, candida overgrowth may be inked to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Candida overgrowth problems arise when this common yeast overgrows, in conditions that have low bacterial diversity. This yeast can be non invasive, unless it is long standing or there is a weakened immune state. This can happen with lowered gut bacteria.
Signs of Candida Overgrowth
Candida overgrowth symptoms vary from person to person. It can affect almost every system in the body. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Digestive Issues.
- Skin Problems.
- Mood Swings.
Candida overgrowth can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in your gut, leading to digestive issues such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. These symptoms can be particularly severe after consuming sugary or starchy foods. This happens when Candida was living in compatibly in the gut, yet overgrows due to a lowered immune system, or the lining of the digestive tract, the mucosa, has undergone some change. One of the top areas to focus on, if you suspect Candida overgrowth is your process of elimination. This is why many Candida diets focus on high fiber foods to create proper bowel movements and clearing of Candida.
Candida overgrowth can also cause skin problems such as rashes, and eczema (1). These symptoms are usually accompanied by intense itching and redness. Yeast can also cause issues on mucosal tissue, like vaginal tissue and within the mouth. When saliva is low, due to stress, age, or medications, yeast in the mouth can thrive. You may see digestive stress on your report, and this can be from different areas of your digestive tract.
Candida overgrowth can cause fatigue, brain fog, and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms are usually caused by the toxic byproducts produced by candida as it feeds on sugar and other carbohydrates in your body.
Candida overgrowth can also lead to mood swings, irritability, and depression. This is because candida can disrupt the delicate balance of neurotransmitters in your brain, leading to emotional instability.
Why Does Candida Overgrowth Happen?
Candida overgrowth can be caused by a wide range of factors, including:
Consuming a diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods can promote candida overgrowth. This is because candida feeds on sugar and other carbohydrates. There are many ways to approach your diet, when you suspect Candida, or resonate with it on a Scan. A simple start is to eliminate refined sugars in the form of simple carbohydrate, large amounts of honey or similar sweeteners, and fruit juices. Everyone’s body is different and the clearing of Candida depends on supporting many body systems.
Antibiotics an be long term, and broad spectrum and can kill the beneficial bacteria in your gut, leading to an overgrowth of candida. We are not saying that you do not need antibiotics! Unfortunately, we have gone through a period of antibiotic overuse in some cases, for multiple conditions, and in our food supply.
Stress can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to candida that is in the system. Stress can disrupt normal digestive function, including the secretion of stomach acid. Some people seem to have high stomach acid when stressed, and many others have low stomach acid. This is because stress is your fight or flight response mobilizing you to get ready to flee. Blood is moved to the brain, and the muscles, and digestion is not a necessary function at this time!
Hormonal imbalances, such as those caused by birth control pills, can promote candida overgrowth. PMS may be an issue for those with Candida overgrowth.
Low stomach acid:
We already touched on this. Low stomach acid allows more pathogenic species of micro organisms to over grow in the gut. Someone with lower stomach acid may be at risk for parasites as well. Certain medications can lower stomach acid. Pancreatic digestive enzymes work with stomach acid as a protection factor to prevent the absorption of Candida into any absorbing type surfaces like your gut mucous membrane.
When there is one thing, there seems to always be another. When Candida overgrows, usually, there is more going on, including issues that suppress the immune system. When the immune system is depressed, attention to improving the immune system, and looking for the roots of immune depression, is important (3).
The Link Between Candida and Gut Health
The health of your gut is closely linked to the health of the rest of your body. Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria that play a crucial role in breaking down food, synthesizing vitamins, and regulating your immune system. When the balance of bacteria in your gut is disrupted, it can lead to a wide range of health problems, including candida overgrowth.
This blog post here talks about the critical workings of your digestive system.
Candida overgrowth can cause leaky gut syndrome, a condition in which the lining of your gut becomes permeable, allowing toxins and undigested food particles to enter your bloodstream. This can lead to inflammation, autoimmune diseases, and other health problems.
To maintain a healthy gut and prevent candida overgrowth, let’s circle back to your consumption of whole, nutrient-dense foods. This includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins. Remember to limit your intake of sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods, as these can promote candida overgrowth.
Candida and Mental Health
Candida overgrowth has also been linked to mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and brain fog. This is because candida can produce toxic byproducts that can affect the balance of neurotransmitters in your brain. If it is hijacking your gut lining then are you absorbing nutrients, like amino acids in your protein sources, to make these neurotransmitters?
An important amino acid on your report would be tryptophan. Tryptophan helps build serotonin, which is important for mood (2).
Moreover, candida overgrowth can lead to chronic inflammation, which has been linked to a range of mental health problems. Inflammation can disrupt the balance of neurotransmitters in your brain, leading to mood swings, irritability, and other symptoms.
Candida and Skin Health
Candida overgrowth can also affect your skin health.
This is because candida can disrupt the delicate balance of bacteria on your skin, leading to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and fungi. Moreover, candida overgrowth can promote inflammation, which can exacerbate skin problems.
To maintain good skin health and prevent candida overgrowth, it’s important to take care of your skin, through non toxic, topical moisturizers, and by getting enough beneficial fats in your diet. Your skin (or integumentary system) is your first line of body defense, along with your mucous membranes.
Wildcrafted remedies and supplements for Candida Overgrowth.
To prevent candida overgrowth and restore balance to your body, you may need to add in supplements, beyond looking at your diet. This might mean probiotics, which can restore the balance of bacteria in your gut, and anti-fungal supplements such as Garlic, Oregano Oil or a tincture containing Berberine.
Let’s explore these, and a few other natural supplements and remedies below!
Apple cider vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar, or ACV, has anti-fungal properties that can help to kill candida. You can dilute apple cider vinegar in water and drink it, or apply it topically to affected areas. Many people use ACV for digestion, and this can be helpful. We do recommend come caution with this and you can learn more about that here. The post is geared towards practitioners, BUT, there are a lot of nuggets of helpful info there!
Garlic has anti-fungal properties that can help to kill candida. You can consume garlic raw, cooked, or in supplement form. Our Wild Bear Garlic is one of our simplest remedies to start working on candida through the digestive system. We like supplement form because the antibacterial activity of garlic is widely attributed to allicin, which isn’t present in raw garlic (4). Don’t worry, raw garlic still has its merits as a microbial busting powerhouse!
Coconut oil has anti-fungal properties that can help to kill candida. You can consume coconut oil or apply it topically to affected areas.
Essential oils for Candida Overgrowth:
Tea tree oil has anti-fungal properties that can help to kill candida. You can apply tea tree oil topically to affected areas. Wild Oregano Oil is effective for internal yeast issues, NEVER take oregano oil as a drop, or without a capsule. This oil is very “hot” and can damage delicate tissues and cause stomach pain.
Berberine comes from plants like Goldenseal, and Oregon Grape. Berberine works on Candida and the biofilm that it lives in. Berberine is also anti-inflammatory and antibacterial (5) Traditional Chinese Medicine uses Berberine to help with diarrhea. Our favorite is Physica Energetics Berberine Intrinsic.
Candida overgrowth is a common health concern that can cause a wide range of health problems beyond just yeast infections. It can disrupt the balance of bacteria in your gut, leading to digestive issues, skin problems, immune issues, and mental health problems. However, by making dietary and lifestyle changes, and using natural remedies and supplements, you can prevent candida overgrowth and restore balance to your body.
Remember to consume a diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods, limit your intake of sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods, and take care of your gut health.
Once you have implemented that for two weeks, then incorporate one of our remedies into your supplement routine. Consider taking a Full Scan to see if other systems, like your Liver, Gallbladder or Pancreas need support for clearing Candida.
- The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, 3rd edition, Michael Murray, ND and Joseph Pizzorno, ND
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