Candida is a fungus that lives in small quantities inside out mouths and in our intestine. It helps with digestion and the absorption of nutrients. However, it is capable of tearing our gut wall and penetrating out bloodstreambut when it reproduces too much. When it happens, it releases toxins into our organism.
This phenomenon can produce several symptoms, from depression to digestive problems. There are many factors that may contribute to the disorderly growth of candida:
- A high sugar diet (sugar includes breads and pasta);
- Too much alcohol
- Oral Contraceptive Pill
- Fermented foods (usually healthy) like sauerkraut, pickles and kombucha;
- Chronic stress
- Antibiotic treatment, which may kill beneficial bacteria
You May Have Candida if you:
- Feel bloated, have constipation, or diarrhea;
- Have an auto-immune disease;
- Have skin and nail fungal infections;
- Feel constantly tired or have chronic fatigue;
- Find it difficult to concentrate, have poor memory and brain fog;
- Feel anxious, irritable or depressed;
- Have cravings for sugar and carbohydrates;
- Have eczema, psoriasis, hives, and/or rashes;
- Have recurrent vaginal infections or urinary tract infections;
- Have frequent allergies or hay fever.
TESTing for candida:
- Stool Test: This is the gold standard test for you to get if you suspect that you are suffering from a Candida overgrowth. It is also very useful to check if you are deficient in any of the ‘good bacteria’ that are usually found in the gut (ex.: Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium). Based on these results, you can make adjustments to your diet and supplement regimen to balance your gut microbiota.
- Urine Test: Candida Albicans creates certain organic waste products (especially D-arabinitol that can be detected in your urine).
- Blood Test: Basically, it will look for three different types of antibodies: IgG, IgA, and IgM. This type of testing is relatively easy and simply involves collecting some blood but may give negative results, even when stool and urine tests give positive results.
How to curb the uncontrolled growth of candida?
The most effective treatment would be to restore the intestinal and vaginal flora, causing an increase in beneficial bacteria. It’s important to reestablish the gut’s lining, so candida will not be able to cross the intestinal walls and enter the bloodstream. Most important thing: change your diet, make it low in carbohydrates (it will ha an anti-inflammatory effect).
Sugar feeds fungi (I’ve spoken about this before in the article “SUGAR – THE TRUE VILLAIN!”). The solution is a diet free from refined sugars (as well as sugars which are obviously present in breads, pastas, starch and alcohol). Other carbohydrates (grains, beans, fruits, for example) should be consumed in moderation.
Fermented foods (pickles, sauerkraut, kombucha), despite being considered healthy, must also be removed from the diet. If you intend to control a super population of candida only through your diet, then it should be followed for 3 to 6 months.
Other than that, it’s important to take probiotics regularly, because they are important to the restoration of the beneficial bacteria, which usually keeps your levels of candida under control.