What Is Candida?
The good news is that treating candida naturally is possible.
Living in the digestive tract, and coexisting with other bacteria, Candida Albicans is a fungus or type of yeast. To function right, your body relies on bacteria.
Various types of microorganisms pack your gut, of which Candida Albicans is the most common.
To learn more about good and bad bacteria and their effect on gut health, click here.
A combination of factors, such as a round of antibiotics, high-stress lifestyle and a diet high in the wrong types of carbohydrates, can lead to the Candida Albicans population growing out of control.
Once it does , it quickly establishes colonies and bio films and begins dominating your gut. However, there are ways of treating Candida naturally and getting an overgrowth back under control.
Candida Albicans helps out with digestion and nutrient absorption as its main role in the gut. However, when there’s an overgrowth of candida, known as yeast infection or candidiasis, it can wreak havoc on your digestive tract.
I had comprehensive stool testing carried out when trying to find out the root cause of my chronic fatigue syndrome and it showed one of my gut problems was a Candida overgrowth.
What Are The Symptoms Of Candida Overgrowth?
Depending on where Candida Albicans spread, you can experience a variety of different symptoms, including skin and nail fungal infections (such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus).
Common symptoms of candidiasis include feeling fatigue and weight gain. Skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, rashes, and hives can also show up.
Some people report feeling more irritable and suffering from prolonged mood swings, anxiety or depression. Seasonal allergies may be exacerbated as a result of the candida overgrowth.
As it normally resides in the gut, Candida Albicans can cause a range of digestive issues. Overgrowth can make you feel bloated or constipated, or cause diarrhea.
These nasty symptoms are usually the first warning signs that you might be dealing with an excess of candida in your digestive tract.
Because yeast feeds on sugar, you may also experience strong, almost out of control, cravings for sugary foods and refined carbohydrates. Candida Albicans wants you to keep feeding it so that it can keep on growing.
How Candida Albicans Affects The Digestive System
Spreading and building colonies in your gut it can begin to affect your digestion, while weakening your immune system at the same time.
If left untreated, it can damage the intestinal wall and allow the toxic byproducts of candida to escape into the bloodstream and spread throughout the body. If this happens it can cause candidiasis in the eyes, heart, bones and more.
Acetadehyde, the major waste product of the candida cell activity is a neurotoxin that promotes free radical activity in the body. Normally, acetaldehyde is broken down into acetic acid by a process occurring in the liver.
However, if too much acetaldehyde is released, for instance, due to a spurt in the number of Candida Albicans in the body, it can circulate through your bloodstream and result in headaches and nausea.
Bloating, gas and intestinal cramps can be the result of a candida overgrowth. Rectal and/or vaginal itching is another common symptom of Candida Albicans. Constipation, alternating with severe diarrhea can also be experienced.
How To Find Out If You’ve Got It
If you suspect you might be suffering from candida overgrowth in your digestive system, first look at your diet. Sudden cravings for sweets and processed foods are usually a good indicator that you’re dealing with an overgrowth.
A useful first step to asses the likelihood of a yeast infection is by using a Candida questionnaire. Current symptoms and risk factors that may have caused the health issues will be reviewed. For example if you have recently completed a round of antibiotics.
However, many of the candidiasis symptoms overlap with other common health problems. The only way to know for sure if you have a candida overgrowth is having a series of tests carried out.
One of the most reliable ways to test for Candida Albicans is comprehensive stool testing. Specialty labs can analyze your stool for yeast overgrowth. Over the course of two days, stool samples are collected to ensure you have a representative sample.
After that, you can place the samples in a bag provided by the testing facility and send them off to the lab for analysis.
An alternative Candida Albicans test is serum testing. A lab practitioner can test for IgG, IgM, and IgA antibodies to Candida. This is usually faster and easier to collect but it lacks the high-reliability comprehensive stool analysis offers.
Lastly, you can have a Candida DNA test done – it’s performed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and can detect up to five different species of Candida in the bloodstream.
3 Tips For Successfully Treating Candida Naturally
Dealing with a candida overgrowth can be unpleasant and if left untreated, the condition can pose a real threat to your health.
To treat it, first, you need to stop the yeast overgrowth. Switch to a low-carbohydrate diet and avoid processed foods and refined sugars, including candy, desserts, alcohol, as well as flour.
If you are really serious about starving the candida you need to avoid all fruit too. Particularly avoid high sugar fruits like mangoes, dates and grapes etc.
You need to starve the yeast of any form of sugar that it feeds on to grow. A cup of mango has a whopping 23 grams of sugar.
The next step is to hit it with effective natural anti fungals. Some of these are pau d/arco, black walnut, olive leaf extract, barberry and oregano oil. Start by choosing three of them and rotate them to make sure the candida doesn’t become resistant. The oregano oil I use is this one.
Once you have deprived the Candida Albicans of its food source and started reducing the overgrowth with some natural anti fungals, you can start re-building the friendly bacteria in your gut.
Which Probiotics Are Most Effective?
Usually, candidiasis flares up after a round of antibiotics since they don’t discriminate between the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in your gut flora.
Aim to take anywhere between 25-100 billion units of probiotics on a regular basis. Doing this will build the population of friendly bacteria that normally keeps the Candida Albicans’ population under control.
Research shows that some particular strains of Lactobacillus strains are more effective than others in overcoming candida overgrowth and helping prevent formation of biofilms.
I have used L rhamnosus 5.2 as part of my treatment as it also helps with food sensitivities. However, L paracasei 28.4 and L fermentum 20.4 where also found useful.
As a final step, pay attention to your gut. Candida Albicans can have a severe impact on the digestive tract so make sure you eliminate any inflammatory foods that can harm it.
Yeast infection can be a complex health issue and one that often goes undiagnosed or neglected. The overgrowth of Candida Albicans as a result of poor diet or a combination of factors can lead to general feelings of fatigue and a myriad of digestive problems.
More often than not, once the overgrowth clears, you will experience not only relief from the symptoms but a great increase in your general health, energy and well-being
Putting It All Together
Carry out testing to determine if you have Candida Albicans overgrowth. Adjust your diet to starve it and rotate natural anti fungals to knock out the overgrowth. Flood your digestive tract with probiotics to get your gut back in balance.
If you have any questions or would like to leave a comment, please feel free.