Candida is a natural organism that can be found in everyone’s gastrointestinal tract. It becomes a problem when it overgrows and progresses to a systemic yeast infection that is also known as candidiasis and affects many organs at the same time. When candida cells excessively multiply it can cause a chronic or recurrent yeast infection.
Candida Albicans is responsible for the majority of Candida infections. Symptoms of candida infection in women can be silent or evident and vary from person to person. It can cause multiple negative effects and symptoms of candida such as skin rashes, dry itchy skin, stomach bloating, chronic diarrhea, arthritis, constipation, food cravings, brain fog, chronic sinus issues and headaches.
Systemic candida is difficult to diagnose with standard tests. The best way to evaluate if you have candida is to use a candida questionnair and check your exposure to the risks factors. Women who were using birth control pills, were taking antibiotics and/or corticosteroids frequently and for prolonged periods of time, were on any steroid drugs, had cologne issues (colitis, diverticulitis), repeated vaginal yeast infections and/or chronic fungus infections of the skin and/or nails are at higher risk to develop a systemic candida. Birth control pills actually destroy good bacteria in your intestines making you more prone to candida overgrowth, weaker immune system and infections.
Why Candida Is Dangerous?
In fact, Candida yeast infections can be very dangerous if left untreated. It is known to produce more than 100 toxic substances that can poison the human body and have a negative effect on the brain. Many symptoms of candida in women such as unexplainable allergies, chronic inflammation, digestive disorders, loss of energy and inability to concentrate can be mistaken for other diseases.
Most pharmaceuticals are intended to treat symptoms of candida only for digestive system and vaginal infections, however nearly all of them become ineffective as soon as candida has left a gastrointestinal tract and spread throughout the body. The drugs that can achieve better results can be used only for a short period of time due to potentially dangerous side effects.
There is a lot of misinformation about candida on the Internet. A special anti-candida or yeast free diet with strictly limited consumption of refined sugars and starches can provide some relief and reduce symptoms of candida in women, however it won’t solve the problem long-term. Diet is only one factor that affects systemic candida overgrowth and in most cases it cannot be successful as a treatment alone as well as many popular natural remedies such as garlic, citrus seed extract, oregano oil, immune stimulants and herbal preparations.
Intestinal dysbiosis and yeast infections drive each other. High potency probiotics can be very effective for a local treatment if candida did not leave the digestive system yet as well as for of vaginal infections. However, once the infection comes into the bloodstream and becomes systemic, probiotics alone cannot heal it because probiotics cannot reach common areas of candida accumulation such as sinuses, throat, lungs, ears, bronchus, skin, nails and urinary tract.
All these approaches are not successful for the treatment of systemic candida because they are addressing only the effect and symptoms of candida but not the root cause of the infection, however all of them have a potential to make you feel better temporarily.
Could Candida Be Your Problem?
If you have candida your body is out of balance. People with autoimmune and thyroid diseases are more susceptible to recurrent and chronic candida overgrowth. In most cases the following symptoms of candida in women are often overlapping with thyroid complaints and remain undiagnosed:
- brain fog
- inability to concentrate
- joint pain or swelling
- memory and learning issues
- menstrual irregularities and PMS
- low libido
- muscle aches and many others
There is a direct link between candida, adrenal function, hypoglycemia, thyroid and depression in women. According to Dr. R.Wunderlich, a very high percentage of people he treats in his practice for depression have candida overgrowth and/or thyroid disease. While up to 75% of this group have thyroid disease there are even more people who are affected by candida.
Stress can make candida worse due to high cortisol suppressing the immune system and making it not able to prevent candida multiplying. If a person has multiple health issues it is important to eliminate candida first because many symptoms that initially were attributed to other conditions, can clear up after the treatment of candida overgrowth.
One of the biggest problems among people with autoimmune conditions including Hashimoto’s disease is a leaky gut syndrome when the space between the cells of the intestinal lining become larger than normal. It allows toxic substances such as bacteria, parasites, fungi, viruses, large food molecules and chemicals to pass through a damaged protective barrier of intestine, enter the blood stream and move througout the body. If candida enters the bloodstream it nearly always results in systemic infection.
Most people with overreacting immune system have leaky gut because other factors such as nutritional deficiencies, infections, food allergies, ongoing inflammation, high levels of heavy metals and environmental toxins are always present in patients with autoimmune diseases and contribute to increased intestinal permeability. Malfunction of the immune system can be a cause of candida infection but also a result of it.
Holistic Nutritionists Explain How To Cure Candida
Candida overgrowth is one of the factors that can lead to leaky gut syndrome and increased autoimmunity due to its ability to create an imbalance in the microflora of the gut, increase toxicity of gastrointestinal tract and reduce benefits from nutritional therapies.
Many patients feel lost in the conflicting information overload about candida treatments and don’t know what guidelines to follow and trust. In the following guest article written by Functional medicine practitioner and Holistic Nutritionist Karen Brimeyer she explains how candida overgrowth can cause leaky gut and what you can do to eliminate candida and improve your autoimmune condition.
If you are serious about getting rid of your candida infection I recommend you to visit Leaky Gut Cure program created by Karen Brimeyer that includes a step-by-step guide to address the root cause of candida. Unlike many other programs which only offer a temporary relief of candida symptoms by using different approaches to treat it locally in a particular part of the body, this program helps to “heal and seal” the intestine first in order to prevent its systemic spread and only then use a special diet and supplements to cure candida permanently.
If this step was skipped and the intestine did not heal properly as soon as you go off the yeast free diet your symptoms of candida overgrowth return and can be even worse than before. Missing this important step in addressing systemic candida won’t bring a long-lasting result.
Body Ecology diet is one of diets that can help to starve candida after the healing of intestine is completed. This diet was created by Donna Gates who is a nutritional consultant, author and lecturer that has helped thousands of people to overcome candidiasis, improve with disorders of the immune system and to treat autism in children.
In the following video Truth Calkins from Body Ecology talks about symptoms of systemic candida overgrowth such as allergies, UTI, depression, constipation, sinus infection, brain fog and how it develops slowly over the years and also can affect your thyroid health. He explains the approach introduced by Donna Gates that he personally used to treat and recover from systemic candida yeast infection and what results you can expect from The Body Ecology Diet.
In the following article Karen Brimeyer introduces her approach to treatment of systemic candida infection.
Can’t Cure Your Candida? – I’ll Tell You Why and How!
Guest Post by Karen Brimayer, Holistic Nutritionist and Functional Medicine Practitioner
Candida is one of my favorite Leaky Gut symptoms because health care practitioners rarely really understand the nature of the beast.
You might be aware of some of the typical symptoms…
1. Digestive Problems: gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn
2. Chronic Fatigue
3. Headaches & Brain Fog
4. Overall Sick Feeling
5. Reoccurring Illness and Infections
6. Cravings or addiction to sugar, bread, or alcohol
7. Irritability & Anxiety
8. Foul Body Odor
9. Joint and Muscle Aches and Pains
10. Skin & Nail Conditions: Ringworm, Athlete’s Foot, Dandruff, Eczema, Nail Fungus
First, let’s set the record straight.
We all have Candida. In fact, we are all born with it. What is commonly referred to as “Candida” is actually the overgrowth of a naturally occurring yeast in your digestive tract.
How Does One Get a Candida Overgrowth?
When the internal ecosystem or gut flora loses its balance (again, it is all about balance!) then the internal environment allows Candida to thrive. It’s best to think of Candida as an opportunistic organism. It can only overgrow or thrive when the opportunity or condition is right.
How Does Candida Start?
Commonly, Candida is the result of one or more of the following…
1. Use of antibiotics
2. Use of birth control pills
3. High sugar and/or low fiber diet
4. Overuse of alcohol
5. Parasite and/or bacterial infection
6. High stress
Coincidentally, many of the same factors that lead to Candida also lead to Leaky Gut. In fact, Candida and Leaky Gut are commonly found together because they both drive each other.
The important thing to remember is that once Leaky Gut develops, then Candida is free to enter the bloodstream and travel anywhere in the body. In this circumstance, Candida becomes extremely difficult to control.
Typically this is seen with people who try everything but they can’t get rid of their skin and nail conditions. This is because the problem/condition is being fed from the inside, not the outside.
What Can You Do About Candida?
When dealing with Candida, it is pertinent to first heal Leaky Gut. Otherwise, Candida will continue to leak through the intestinal lining and into your body. But the catch is that you also have to get your Candida under control before you can effectively heal Leaky Gut.
Focus first on getting it under control by starving it. Makes sense right? This means cut out all sugar, grains, starches, processed foods, and alcohol for at least two weeks. This is by far the most effective way to get it under control. If it has nothing to eat, it can’t survive.
Then, if needed, use some supplements to help speed up the process. There are many you can use depending on the circumstance but for example, oregano oil is known to effective fight Candida.
At this point, you have to heal Leaky Gut or all that work you did against the Candida will be lost. But seal up your gut with the proper diet, lifestyle factors, and supplements and you can take control of your Candida once and for all.
Get FREE Gut Healing Techniques used by the leading natural medicine doctors at Leaky Gut Cure
Karen Brimeyer is a Nutritionist, Functional Medicine Practitioner, and Health Consultant who has helped over a hundred personal clients heal their Leaky Gut and digestive problems, lose weight, and resolve their chronic health conditions.
Learn more about how to heal Leaky Gut and resolve your chronic health symptoms and conditions.
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The Food-Mood Connection: Nutrition-based and Environmental Approaches to Mental Health and Physical Wellbeing by G.Null, PhD, A.McDonald, Seven Stories Press, 2008
I Was Poisoned By My Body: The Odyssey of a Doctor Who Reversed Fibromyalgia, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity – Naturally! by Dr. G.Gilbere, ND, Lucky Press, LLC, 2000
Leaky Gut Cure is a book written by Karen Brimeyer where she gives step by step guidance how to heal leaky gut syndrome and candida permanently and improve your digestive and/or autoimmune symptoms. Watch a video about her systematic approach to diagnosis and healing leaky gut and get FREE Gut Healing Techniques here
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