Table of Contents
What Is Candida?
Candida can indeed be very serious. Candida albicans happens to be the most common type of yeast infection found in the mouth, intestinal tract and vagina (vaginal/genital candidiasis), and it may also affect the skin and other mucous membranes. If the immune system is functioning optimally, this type of yeast infection is rarely serious. However, in case the immune system is not functioning properly, the candida infection can rather spread to other areas of the body, including the blood and membranes around one’s heart or brain, thus causing serious candida symptoms. This is usually referred to as invasive candidiasis.
Candida happens to be a fungus that does aid with nutrient absorption and digestion when in proper levels in one’s body. When it overproduces, typical candida symptoms may also appear. In the digestive tract, if left unchecked, it does break down the walls of the intestinal lining and also penetrates into the bloodstream. This does release byproduct toxins and other toxins from one’s system, causing the leaky gut syndrome.
When one’s body’s natural pH balance is upset, the candida yeasts can also grow out of control, creating a systemic problem as well as unpleasant candida symptoms. Good healthy bacteria and a properly functioning immune system are indeed essential when fighting this stubborn infection.
Candida overgrowth syndrome, or COS, is the term much used when candida has grown out of control in one’s body. Make no mistake: This is a chronic health condition. In addition to candida symptoms, individuals who have never experienced a serious yeast infection can find they have also developed new sensitivities, allergies or intolerances to a variety of foods. These foods include dairy, eggs, corn as well as gluten.
What Causes Candida Infections?
There are indeed many possible causes of candida, including a diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates and alcohol that help feed candida.
Sometimes, antibiotics are required to fight a stubborn infection to kill the offending bacteria in one’s system. The problem with antibiotics and with overusing them (often creating antibiotic resistance) is that they do not just kill the bad bacteria; they also kill the good ones, too.
The good bacteria in one’s system are responsible for digestion and keeping candida under control. After a long course (or multiple courses over a short period), antibiotics can also rather make one’s body a literal breeding ground for candida.
2. Birth Control Pills
Unlike antibiotics, birth control pills do not directly cause a yeast infection or candida overgrowth syndrome. However, when a woman does consume a diet high in refined sugars and has had a course of antibiotics, birth control pills can adversely affect her body, leading to a candida infection.
Some women find that birth control pills seem to instigate yeast infections — and even long after the initial infection is gone, once they start taking the birth control pills again, candida can take the required root.
3. Oral Corticosteroids
Individuals who do treat their asthma with corticosteroid inhalants are at an increased risk of developing candida in the mouth, leading to systemic candida overgrowth. It is imperative that individuals making use of corticosteroid inhalers for asthma follow the directions for swishing the mouth out after each use. If oral candidiasis is indeed detected, it can also be treated with the gargling of coconut oil and a drop or two of essential clove oil.
4. Cancer Treatments
Candidiasis can also become invasive in cancer patients and present a serious complication. Chemotherapy and radiation can both work to kill cancerous cells and tumors; however, they also kill off the healthy bacteria that does naturally fight candida.
In Type 1 diabetic or a Type 2 diabetic, sugar levels in the mouth and other mucous membranes are by tradition higher than in an individual without diabetes. Since candida is a type of yeast and sugar does feed yeast, it is understandable that those with diabetes are at a greater risk for developing candida overgrowth syndrome.
6. Weakened Immune System
Any individual with a weakened immune system is, in fact, more likely to develop candida. This includes infants, small children, the elderly, those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, and other inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.
Candida yeast overgrowth can indeed be difficult for a physician to diagnose. Possible methods of testing include stool testing, serum testing, candida DNA test, stool PCR testing as well as microbial organic acids testing. This type of systemic yeast infection presents different ways in different people. Below are nine of the candida symptoms to watch for if one is concerned one has candida, or candida overgrowth syndrome.
1. Chronic Fatigue
Fatigue or exhaustion cannot be got rid of, regardless of the number of hours one sleeps. One may suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome. The disease is characterized by fatigue that does last a minimum of six months and is often accompanied by other candida symptoms, including headaches, joint pain, difficulties with memory and concentration as well as a sore throat.
Often one of the candida symptoms is chronic fatigue. While a candida infection is not the only cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, many physicians believe it heightens the risk of CFS.
2. Mood Disorders
One of the reasons why it is difficult to diagnose candida is because so many of the candida symptoms are common to other conditions, including mood disorders. Individuals with Candida overgrowth may also experience dramatic mood swings, anxiety, irritability, depression, and even panic attacks.
3. Recurring Vaginal and Urinary Tract Infections
When an individual does experience recurring urinary tract infection or vagina, candida may perhaps be at the root of the problem. It is important to realize that candida can be sexually transmitted, and partners can spread it back and forth. Women can reduce the risk by avoiding tight-fitting underwear or pantyhose and avoid hot baths during an active infection.
4. Oral Thrush
Oral thrush happens to be a yeast infection that is caused by the same strain of candida that does affect other mucous membranes, including the vagina. It is most often caused by the use of prednisone or other oral corticosteroids. Left untreated, it may spread through one’s body, including the digestive tract, lungs, and liver as well as heart valves.
Oral candida is communicable. Newborns can rather get thrush during birth; children can suffer from it from sharing toys with other children, and adults can pass it on back and forth through the saliva.
5. Sinus Infections
As with many of these other candida symptoms, sinus infections are quite common these days, and it can be rather difficult to pinpoint the root of the cause. Candida does affect the sinuses and can also, in fact, result in a persistent cough, post-nasal drip, and an increase in congestion, seasonal allergies, and also general flu-like symptoms
6. Intestinal Distress
Ongoing intestinal distress happens to be very uncomfortable candida symptom. Persistent flatulence, burping, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, and stomach cramps may indeed be caused by a lack of healthy bacteria in one’s digestive tract.
When yeast overtakes the intestines, healthy bacteria are undermanned, and cannot fight off the infection alone. When the bacteria in your gut are out of balance, it’s known as dysbiosis. Many individuals experience dramatic relief of chronic intestinal distress when effectively treating a candida infection.
7. Brain Fog
Along with mood changes as well as chronic fatigue, brain fog is often overlooked as one of the candida symptoms. However, candida overgrowth can rather cause a lack of focus, poor physical coordination, and difficulty in concentrating on tasks and poor memory.
8. Skin and Nail Fungal Infections
Athlete’s foot and fungal infections in the toenail are common yeast infections, which stem from the same strain of candida. Continued infections may also be a sign that one has a systemic candida infection.
9. Hormonal Imbalance
A hormonal imbalance is also a candida symptom that does present in many other health conditions. One needs to be aware that an infection can cause early menopause, PMS, a low sex drive, migraines, endometriosis, water retention, mood swings and an inability to lose unwanted pounds.
Treatment 1: The Candida Cleanse
The candida cleanse does help to rid the body of excess candida through the flushing of the digestive tract, and the introduction of healthy candida fighters found in fermented vegetables as well as kefir.
One has two options for a cleanse: liquids-only cleanse or a gentler cleanse with food. One can go in for a most thorough gut
reboot: starting with step one cleanses and then moving on to step two cleanse.
Option One: Liquids-Only Candida Cleanse (Duration 1–2 Days)
Start by preparing a vegetable broth from organic onions, garlic, celery, kale, sea salt, and pure water. Let it simmer and strain.
Discard the vegetables and then refrigerate the broth.
Throughout the day, sip on the warm broth; it is also imperative that one drinks lots of water to help one’s body expel all the toxins in one’s system. While this is not actually a long-term cleanse, it can be repeated as needed every few weeks.
Option Two: Steamed Vegetables (Duration 3–5 Days)
By avoiding grains, sugars, fruits, starches, and alcohol from one’s diet for three to five days, one can make great headway in one’s fight against candida overgrowth.
Mostly, eat fresh, organic vegetables that have been steamed. For this cleanse stage, keep away from any starchy vegetables such as carrots, radishes, beets, sweet potatoes, and white potatoes, which may contribute to sugar levels and feed the candida. Continue to drink plenty of pure water, a minimum of 72 ounces per day, to help flush the candida and byproducts from one’s system.
During this time — no more than once a day — one can eat salads made from leafy greens (like romaine) or bitter greens (like chard) and topped with just a bit of coconut oil and apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice).
During either of the candida cleanses above, one can use bentonite clay to help surround the toxins and efficiently remove them from your system.
Treatment 2: The Candida Diet
This is a diet is not simply meant to discourage candida as it is also meant to rid one’s body of candida.
- The first step of the diet is to boost one’s immune system through the elimination of sugar, alcohol and refined carbohydrates. These items are indeed contributing to the growth of the candida in one’s system.
- Step two is to replace these foods with organic vegetables that do include carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, and asparagus.
According to ancient Chinese medicine, warm starchy vegetables support the spleen in clearing candida from the body. The regular candida diet includes warming fall vegetables that do nourish the spleen, such as sweet potatoes, yams, peas, mung beans, lentils, kidney beans, adzuki beans, carrots, beets, corn, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, zucchini, yellow squash, rutabaga, and pumpkin. These should be the main sources of carbs that do satisfy one’s cravings for sweets as well.
What about grains? Some grains like quinoa, barley, teff, sorghum and amaranth and starch like corn can also help to dry the overly damp gut, so one serving a day (no more!) of those grains can work for most people with candida.
Keep fruit intake low as well as natural sweeteners like maple syrup or honey.
3. Add cultured dairy, preferably goat milk kefir, as healthy probiotic foods can be effective in getting rid of the candida in one’s system. Probiotics like kimchi and sauerkraut are also good additions to one’s diet, as well as unsweetened cranberry juice, as they create an acidic environment that makes it difficult for candida to grow.
Fermented vegetables do contain microflora that helps to protect the intestines. Regular consumption of fermented foods can also help improve the immune system, making the body less hospitable for candida. Begin with a half cup per day of sauerkraut, kimchi or other fermented vegetables as part of a new eating plan dedicated to bringing your body back into a healthy balance.
The candida diet does help to provide beneficial bacteria, regulate appetite, and reduce your cravings for refined carbohydrates and sugars.
Treatment 3: Supplements, Essential Oils, and Coconut Oil
Research shows that C. albicans, the strain of candida that does lead to systemic candida overgrowth is often resistant to both fluconazole and itraconazole, the antifungal medicines most often prescribed for candida.
1. Coconut oil can effectively fight candida due to its antimicrobial properties. The combination of lauric acid and caprylic acid found in coconut oil kills off harmful candida through both ingestion and topical application.
2. Milk thistle supplements do help to cleanse one’s liver from prescription medications (steroids, birth control, antibiotics, as well as others), environmental pollution, heavy metals, and the remnants from both chemotherapies as well as radiation.
Some prescription medications and cancer treatments can also lead to candida overgrowth. Milk thistle, along with the candida diet, can help one’s body to recover and create an environment where candida ceases to thrive.
3. Vitamin C does help to boost adrenal glands and also helps to restore one’s immune system.
4. Clove oil, oregano oil, and myrrh oil help to get rid of a variety of parasites and fungi, including candida, in the body. Lavender oil also prevents the growth of candida and is effective at preventing the spread of the infection.
Add a couple of drops of clove oil or lavender oil and mix it with coconut oil and use it during one’s cleanse, you can help to kill off the offending candida. As these essential oils are rather powerful, they should only be taken internally for 10 days or less.
Also, for oral thrush, make use of three drops of clove oil with one tablespoon of coconut oil and swish in the mouth for 20 minutes.
Do not give clove oil internally to children under 2 years of age. If one is pregnant or nursing, check with one’s natural health care provider before taking clove oil internally.