Chances are, you’ve either had a yeast infection, know someone who has, or at the very least, you’re familiar with the condition. Did you know, however, that candidiasis is the medical term for a yeast infection? And Candida can affect both men and women, causing a slew of problems in nearly every system of the body.
Candida albicans are yeast organisms that are totally harmless at normal levels. In fact, they perform an important function. They aid with digestion as well as the absorption of key nutrients in your food. However, a Candida overgrowth (candidiasis) triggers all sorts of problems, from depression and fatigue to skin rashes and a weakened immune system. Unfortunately, our modern world — with the overuse of antibiotics/steroids, high-stress lives, and high-sugar diets — essentially creates the perfect storm for yeast overgrowth by upsetting the body’s natural pH balance. Throwing off your pH balance can allow Candida to grow completely out of control.
Sound scary? Well, the first step to avoiding these issues is to identify whether or not you have a Candida overgrowth. And the good news is, there are many ways to treat it naturally.
Beauty, there’s no reason whatsoever you should live with this chronic health condition. Read on to find out more about Candida causes, symptoms and treatment.
Signs you have Candida
There are many ways to tell you if have a Candida problem on your hands. For one, if you stick out your tongue and see a thick white film, that plaque is a typical sign of this condition. You could also try spitting in a glass of water when you wake up in the morning. If your saliva sinks or forms strings as opposed to floating, you may have an overgrowth. You can also try a diagnostic Candida test. There are blood, stool, and urine tests that can identify an overgrowth of Candida. Yet unfortunately, these tests are never 100 percent accurate.
What is often more telling (and easier) is looking out for some common Candida symptoms. These include the following:
Fungal infections on the skin/nails:
There are many bacteria living on your skin that work to prevent Candida albicans from spreading out of control. But when the environment of your skin changes, these flora/ microbiotas can diminish, giving Candida the power to take over. In turn, this can cause all kinds of rashes and other fungal infections, particularly in moist areas of the body. For example, one 2004 study suggested that Candida may cause Athlete’s foot .
Food sensitivities/Leaky Gut:
Feel like you’re suddenly developing an intolerance to certain foods? You’re probably not imagining things. And while food allergies and sensitivities can emerge for a variety of reasons, Candida is very often the culprit. When Candida is able to penetrate the walls of your intestines, food particles are able to escape the intestines and enter the bloodstream.
This, in turn, leads to “Leaky Gut Syndrome,” a condition that can trigger a powerful immune response that includes inflammation. Essentially, your immune system recognizes the food particles and other bacteria as foreign substances. It then treats them as an invasive threat. So again, while a yeast presence in the gut is normal, an overgrowth of Candida can contribute to Leaky Gut Syndrome .
Gas, bloating, constipation — these are just a few of the digestive issues that can signal you have a Candida overgrowth. A healthy gut depends on maintaining a balance between the “good” and “bad” bacteria.
However, a number of things (including antibiotics or a diet high in sugar/refined carbs) can kill off the good bacteria, causing an imbalance that then spurs these pesky digestive problems. Moreover, recent research has revealed that a Candida overgrowth is linked to a number of gastrointestinal tract diseases, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis .
When Candida enters the bloodstream and is left untreated, it leaves behind a toxic byproduct called uric acid. When uric acid builds up over time, it can eventually infect your joints, leading to swelling, stiffness, and pain.
In fact, a 2016 study reported that Candida can even cause arthritis . Meanwhile, other research has shown that it may lead to bone infections that involve pain and tenderness throughout the affected area .
Difficulty concentrating/Brain fog:
Having trouble focusing or concentrating lately? Experiencing difficulties with your memory? Feeling overall confused or in a “fog”? One of the other toxic byproducts of Candida is acetaldehyde. And this chemical can be the source of all these cognitive problems.
When there’s an excess of acetaldehyde in your bloodstream, red blood cells move slower. And they aren’t able to carry as much oxygen to the brain. On top of that, acetaldehyde can wreak havoc on your nerve cells. This also induces a deficiency in vitamin B1 (which plays a key role in brain health).
If you’re catching plenty of Z’s every night but still feeling tired a lot, note that Candida may be to blame. For one, a magnesium deficiency has been proven to cause fatigue . And candidiasis is typically associated with magnesium deficiencies . Also, it’s worth pointing out that the immune system is usually weakened when you’re experiencing a Candida overgrowth. And you’re likely to feel rundown when your immune system isn’t performing at its best.
One study in the journal Medical Hypothesis showed that prolonged candidiasis could even be a factor in the development of chronic fatigue syndrome .
Another thing to keep in mind is that Candida can negatively impact nutrient absorption. And when your body isn’t effectively breaking down the food you eat to absorb nutrients for the fuel it needs, you’re bound to feel fatigued.
Other common red flags that you have a Candida overgrowth include: intense sugar cravings, irritability/mood swings, skin issues such as psoriasis and eczema, UTIs and vaginal infections/itching, bad breath, worsened seasonal allergies, and chronic sinus issues. Also, chronic/recurring vaginal yeast infections could be a sign that your Candida is out of control.
How to treat candida (naturally)
Here’s where we dive into the good stuff: how to get rid of your pesky candidiasis once and for all. This involves halting the yeast overgrowth as well as repopulating your gut with the friendly bacteria to restore balance in the microbiome.
First of all, you’ll need to start paying attention to your sugar intake. Refined and processed foods create a more acidic environment in your digestive tract. And this is the ideal kind of environment for Candida to thrive. So make sure to eliminate as many sources of sugar as you can. That includes refined carbohydrates (like white bread/rice), candy/desserts, dairy products (particularly those high in lactose) and alcohol.
Now that you’ve eliminated some of the foods that are problematic, you’ll want to add some foods into your diet that can prevent candida from growing. For example, garlic contains allicin, an antifungal substance that has been shown to fight Candida yeasts [9, 10]. Turmeric contains curcumin, which studies have revealed is capable of reducing the growth of Candida [11, 12, 13, 14]. Meanwhile, coconut oil is chock full of lauric acid, an antimicrobial substance that can fight Candida infections, according to multiple studies [15, 16].
Most importantly, though, you’ve got to restore some balance to your gut if you want to keep the Candida under control.
This means taking probiotics — and I don’t mean just any kind, my love! Indeed, research has proven that probiotics can reduce Candida growth , but not all probiotics are created equal. Need proof? Recent research revealed that yogurt products only have minimal effects on gut bacteria .
So listen very carefully, Beauty.. Always, always opt for soil-based probiotics. They are overall hardier, more resistant to digestive acids and have a protective natural shell. This means they are more likely to survive their journey to the lower digestive tract, where they can flourish for long-term benefits. I created my own soil-based probiotics to contain the right ratios of clinically researched strains of SBO’s. The idea behind this formula was to mimic the actual probiotics found in nature. And for it to feature maximum variety and potency so you actually feel a difference.
Alright, ready to restore your digestive health? Now that you know what signs to look for that point to Candidiasis, as well as what to do about it, you’re one step closer to overcoming this nasty condition — and keeping it from coming back!
Lots of Love,
Thank you Kimberly for your wisdom and knowledge of these topics that have so many mixed opinions on the web. #FaithFocusFinish
Thanks so much Brendan! Lots of love! 😉
Hi – would coconut nectar Be considered a sweet and not good if you have candida?
Hi Beauty! While coconut nectar is a very low glycemic sweetener, it still contains fructose, which you will want to avoid if you are trying to overcome Candida. Wishing you all the best!
Is mushrooms and apple cider vinegar allowed in a candida diet? Thanks!
Hi Beauty! It is acceptable to eat mushrooms and apple cider vinegar while trying to overcome candida. Apple cider vinegar actually can be beneficial in ridding the body of candida because of its anti-fungal properties. Sending you lots of love! xx