You may not realize but your mood swings, brain fog, digestive problems, recurring fungal infections, fatigue, skin infections and many more conditions may be caused by candida overgrowth.
Once you stop this overgrowth, you will experience vitality coming back, feel more energetic and restore the clarity of mind almost all at the same time. This kind of transformation can happen sooner than later if your treatment is correct. Most of the time just some natural remedies can stop the candida overgrowth.
You must now be curious to know about candida and how its overgrowth can cause such a havoc in your life. Dive in now to understand everything from causes, symptoms, test and treatments to prevention right here.
What is Candida and What Causes its Overgrowth?
Candida albicans is a fungus or yeast that lives as a friendly micro-organism in mucus membranes of your body. It is usually found in your mouth and intestine. It is also found in the vagina of women. The overgrowth of this micro-organism in comparison to the other friendly micro-organism causes many different problems in the body. In fact it is said that it causes hundreds of problems, however none have been substantiated with real scientific research.
Interestingly, candida or systemic yeast overgrowth has reached an epidemic state in America. with 80% of Americans (mostly female) suffering from the overgrowth.
So what causes this overgrowth?
A healthy immune system keeps Candida in balance with other micro-organisms in the mucous membranes. Unless your immunity is compromised, candida overgrowth will rarely occur. Anything that causes the immune system to become depressed can cause Candida overgrowth.
There are a number of condition that can trigger candida overgrowth. Diet still play a vital role in candida overgrowth as it does in many other ailments. High sugar diet is your biggest health enemy. Following are some of the most prominent causes of candida overgrowth. A few are under your control and others are environmental which also can be controlled.
- Diet (High Sugar) - A high sugar diet works to depress your immune system leaving the yeast to proliferate and conditions like brain fog and digestive problems may occur.
- Diabetes - Diabetes increases sugar content in the blood that causes candida overgrowth and the impact is increased as the immunity system also gets weaker due to diabetes.
- Chronic stress - Stress releases cortisol and chronic release of cortisol due to chronic stress can depress immunity causing candida overgrowth and other conditions in the body.
- Antibiotics - This is one of the biggest causes of the overgrowth of candida. It destroys the beneficial bacteria in the system which depresses immunity. Avoid antibiotics,which in most cases you certainly can, if you question your doctor and ask for alternative slow impact medicine or use natural remedies if possible. Doctors, sometimes give you antibiotics only because you want fast recovery.
- The contraceptive pill - The contraceptive pills contain estrogen. This hormone promotes growth of the yeast in the intestine. Unfortunately even the use of alternative contraceptive device IUD causes the overgrowth due to presence of copper.
- Mercury in your fillings - Dental filling containing mercury can induce candida overgrowth in the mouth. Fortunately better filling methods are available now. Make sure you use them.
- Chemical exposure - Chlorine and fluoride in the drinking water and certain drugs including cancer drugs compromises the immune system.
Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth
You can feel the signs of candida overgrowth in one or more of the following ways. These candida yeast overgrowth symptoms may mimic some other conditions therefore it is important to confirm them.
Your entire body can get impacted by it. You can experience the symptoms of candida overgrowth in intestines, mouth, skin, nails, genitals and other parts of the skin and the body.
- Brain Fog: Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD, and brain fog
- Mood Swings: Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression
- Oral Conditions: Oral thrush, bad breath , white coat on Tongue
- Allergies: Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears, Sinus infections, food allergies/intolerance
- Weak Immune System: Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma, or multiple sclerosis
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Exhaustion: Feeling tired and worn down, or suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
- Digestive problems: Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
- Cravings: Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings
- Skin Fungus: Skin and nail fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus
- Skin Diseases: Skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes
- Genital Conditions: UTI, Vaginal infections, recurring yeast infections, urinary tract infections, rectal itching, vaginal itching or Loss of sex drive
- Joint Pain: Joint pain, knee pain
How to Test for Candida Overgrowth?
Since symptoms of candida may mimic many other conditions, you may need to go for different tests for candida overgrowth syndrome
- Blood test for candida overgrowth - These blood tests involve checking the antibodies levels called IgG, IgA and IgM. The positive results of these blood tests are reflective of presence of candida overgrowth However, negative results do not guaranty absence of overgrowth. Therefore, other tests may be required.
- Gastrointestinal Candida Overgrowth Test - These are stool tests and are by for the most accurate indicator of candida overgrowth. These tests can give indication of the location of overgrowth as well as determine the species of yeast so that effective treatment can be given.
- Urine Organix Dysbiosis Test - Higher presence of a waste compound named D-arabinitol in the urine indicate the presence of candida overgrowth. It can also pinpoint the location whether it is the upper gut or small intestine.
Candida Overgrowth Treatment
Nystatin is often the first drug prescribed to treat an overgrowth of Candida in the intestines, according to the Environmental Illness Resource. Because nystatin is not absorbed through the intestines, it is not effective in treating Candida infections outside of the digestive tract. Luckily nystatin does not induce unwanted side effects.
Amphotericin B is an anti-fungal medication that has a structure very similar to nystatin and is useful in treating the intestinal candida overgrowth. Amphotericin B can also be administered intravenously, but can cause a number of side effects such as fever, chills, confusion and anemia.
Natural treatments work better.
You can get rid of candida yeast overgrowth with the following natural methods. it takes time but it can completely clean your system from the overgrowth. Remember that treating Candida overgrowth in its early stages has several long term health benefits. If it remains untreated, it can confuse diagnosis and cure in most cases,as its symptoms mimic many other diseases.
There is a simple three step approach to candida overgrowth cure. The first step is to stop the yeast overgrowth. Second is to increase the build up of the friendly bacteria in the gut and the third step is to ensure that the candida doesn't enter the bloodstream.
- Stop The Yeast Overgrowth - In order to arrest the overgrowth you have to stop feeding the candida. You have to eliminate sugar in all forms that feeds candida. That means you have to switch to low carb diet. Give up all sources of sugar including candies, deserts, alcohol and refined flours. Move to whole grains, fruits, beans etc.
- Rebuild Good Bacteria - Consume probiotic to balance the good and bad bacteria in the gut. Greek Yogurt is your best bet.
- Stop bacteria to Go in Blood Stream - Eliminate all foods that can harm your GI tract so that the yeast doesn't move to rest of your body. Healing your gut is a very important part of that process to get rid of candida overgrowth from your system.
Diet for Candida Overgrowth
As stated above candida overgrowth diet is a simple diet with a discipline to avoid few foods and include a few foods to eat. The objective is to eliminate sugar containing food and inflammatory foods so that the gut health is improved and overgrowth of candida is stopped.
You can use the following guidelines for your Candida diet:
- Completely stop added sugars
- Do not eat any refined carbs such as white breads, white rice and other refined carbs
- Avoid starch and stick to non-starchy vegetables
- Add healthy proteins
- Eat small amounts of low-sugar fruits to maintain energy levels
- Use lots of healthy fats and oils
- Avoid junk foods
- Minimize your caffeine and Alcohol consumption
- Eat gluten free grains
- Eat Yogurt and other fermented products
Following are some specific candida diet items and other home remedies to stop overgrowth.
Natural Remedies for Candida Overgrowth
All remedies given under are powerful in treating candida overgrowth. They work differently in different body parts. In some cases you may require long term use before seeing significant result. However, each one will give immediate relief from the symptoms such as itching, irritation and pain if any.
Unadulterated plain yogurt is excellent treatment for Candida. Yogurt has probiotics which does the repair of candidiasis. Use yogurt with live culture. It keeps the candida in check as the live Lactobacillus acidophilus culture produces lactic acid which stops candida overgrowth.
Apply on all affected area of outer skin. Keep it there for an hour and wash it completely and dry it. It not only cures Candida from the skin but also reduces itch and weeping.
For curing vaginal infection dip a tampon in yogurt and insert it into the vagina. Do it twice a day for 3 days.
2.Tree Tea Oil
This is useful in candida overgrowth manifested as oral thrush. Add 10-15 drops of Tree tea oil in a glass of water. Take a mouthful from the glass and gargle for a minute. Repeat it until the entire solution is finished. Let the mixture touch all internal surfaces of the mouth while gargling. Ensure that you don’t swallow the solution. Do it twice a day – one just after waking up and the other before going to the bed.
For vaginal application apply 4-5 drops on a tampon and insert it into the vagina. Keep it there for couple of hours and replace it. Do it 3-4 times a day until the symptoms disappear!
3. Apple Cedar Vinegar
Again for the oral thrush, this is another good treatment for Candida. Mix 3-4 teaspoons of apple cedar vinegar in a glass of water. Gargle vigorously with the solution. Ensure that the solution is not swallowed. Don’t rinse it. This will leave traces of apple cedar vinegar on the affected area and cure candida overgrowth.
For vaginal infection apply 8-10 drops on a tampon and insert it into the vagina. Keep it there for 3-4 hours and replace it. Within 3 days the symptoms generally disappear.
Garlic is a natural anti-fungal and antibacterial agent. It has many sulfur-containing compounds to help fight Candida infections. You can add garlic in your daily diet. The best is to eat 2-4 cloves of garlic. Some people cant do that because of the pungent taste. You can take garlic supplements in that case.
5. Oil of Oregano
You can take oregano oil to get rid of your cadidiasis due to its anti-fungal and antimicrobial capabilities. A compound called carvacrol in the oregano oil stops growth of Candida yeast. Scientific studies also found that the oil’s agents can be effective in treating as well as preventing candidiasis.
make sure that you don't consume too much of oregano oil. 2-3 drops are enough. You can add in a glass of water and drink the mix. You can drink it twice daily until you begin to see results, then you can reduce the doses to once a day to prevent recurrence. Oregano oil also comes in capsule forms.
Cranberries are very healthy for your heart also. It contain an anti-fungal compound called arbutin to kill Candida albicans. You can get rid of the candida overgrowth within 2-3 weeks. Make sure that you drink non sweetened fresh cranberry juice. Drink a glass of cranberry juice 2-3 times a day for a couple of weeks to get fast results.
7. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has got prominence recently due to its many health benefits. Many medium-chain fatty acids like lauric, caprylic and capric acid are anti-fungal and antimicrobial capabilities. These fatty acids can kill candida. You can drink one teaspoon of unrefined virgin coconut oil daily to clear candidiasis.
All remedies may take from a few days to a few weeks to cure candida. In addition to the use of remedies to cure candida, you should also practice preventative methods to avoid getting candida yeast infection.
How to Prevent The Overgrowth
Preventing any condition is far better than treating it. It hold true for candida too. In fact, Candida overgrowth is completely avoidable. Following are the different ways to prevent candida overgrowth.
The best way to prevent Candida is to avoid the things that cause it. Candida infection is a condition of overgrowth of the friendly micro-organism in the body called Candida albicans. Following are the natural Candida prevention methods:
Avoid Dampness - Candida fungus thrives in the dampness and our body provides many opportunities to store moisture and make the area damp. The kind of clothing you wear can add more complications to retain moisture. There are many areas of the body that retain moisture. Dampness in the body area like pelvic area, armpits, area under the breast etc. where ventilation is limited should be kept dry. Candida thrives in moisture, so make sure that you dry these area after the shower, bath or visiting toilet.
It is not difficult to keep these area dry. You just need to be aware and develop a habit of keeping these area dry. You may forget initially, but once this becomes a habit, you will see the difference.
Maintain Healthy Immune System - Lack of nutrients, inadequate sleep and sedentary lifestyle are some of the bad habits that can weaken your immunity. Dehydration is another reason for weakening immune system. None of these things are beyond your reach. You may have to change your daily lifestyle. Changing habits are the toughest things to do. It requires you to break out of the comfort zone.
Eat nutritional diet and maintain a good exercise regime in your daily routine. Take enough rest and avoid stress. This is good advice not only for preventing Candida but also to prevent many other conditions and diseases.
Avoid Antibiotics - Both the doctors and the patients are responsible for overuse of antibiotics. Just to cure any condition quickly antibiotics are prescribed, where as other medicines or home remedies would have cured the condition. The excessive use of antibiotics develops resistance to it and when you really need antibiotics to cure your serious condition, it doesn't work because of resistance. In addition to developing resistance to antibiotics, the microbes also cause other complications such as candida overgrowth.
Use Antibiotics with discretion. Ask your doctor if it is absolutely must. In addition to killing bad bacteria antibiotics also kills so many other good bacteria that are required for remaining healthy. Death of other healthy bacteria causes the proportion of the Candida albicans higher. This causes the infection.
Avoid Sugar - Refined sugar is a major cause of many complications in the human body. Our current lifestyle of fast foods and over indulgence in carbohydrates increase blood sugar levels leading to diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes has become the biggest cause of organ failures in the word today. This leads to premature death.
Candida albicans thrives on sugar. Avoid sugar. Adding sugar to food and drinks really doesn’t add any nutritional value, it just adds taste.
Also reduce consumption of carbohydrates which produce extra sugar in the body. Learn to eat minimum carbohydrates in dinner. This will also help preventing diabetes as well.
Other Toxins - Immune system gets depressed by the toxic substances in drugs, medicines, birth control pills, vaccines, fluoridated water. Toxins are also present in personal care products like shampoo, body lotions, makeup, detergents, air fresheners, cleaning agents, synthetic carpets, etc. So minimize the use of these products.
Maintain proper hygiene, ensure that body parts have enough ventilation or they are dries frequently. Drink lots of water, take sufficient rest, get involved in excercise, avoid sedantary lifestyle and eat nutritious food, you will not only prevent candida overgrowth but also remain overall healthy.