Top Signs of Candida Overgrowth and How to Treat It
Your body is home to a diverse array of fungi and live on and inside it, and this includes a yeast called candida. When this fungus is present at normal levels it doesn’t cause any issue, but when it starts to multiply it can lead to a very uncomfortable infection called candidiasis. Usually found on the skin and in the mouth and intestines, studies have shown that candida is the most common cause of fungal infections in the human body. With this in mind, it’s likely that you’ll develop candidiasis at some point during your life, so I’m going to run through the top signs to watch out for and explain how you can treat it if it does develop.
In the best-case scenario, candida levels are kept in check by the healthy bacteria in your body. However, a compromised immune system or a disruption of these healthy bacteria levels can trigger the overproduction of candida, leading to overgrowth.
Some of the main culprits of candida overgrowth include:
- A high carb and high sugar diet
- A compromised immune system
- Period of high stress
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Oral contraceptives
Health Issues Associated with Candida Overgrowth and Signs to Watch Out For
Oral thrush happens when Candidiasis symptoms develop in your throat or mouth, and although it’s most common in infants and children it can happen to adults also – especially those who neglect their oral hygiene or have a weakened immune system.
Signs of oral thrush include white lesions with a cottage-cheese like appearance on your tongue, and also inside your cheeks, on your tonsils/throat, or gums. These can be bumpy, but not always, and will bleed if you try to scrape them off. You will also have redness, soreness, and even swelling that may make it difficult to eat or swallow depending on severity.
Although there is no direct link between candida and fatigue, it goes hand in hand with a weakened immune system which is a key trigger of candida in adults. This is actually a very common symptom and has also been linked in a study that suggests chronic candidiasis in the gut may cause chronic fatigue syndrome.
Regular Urinary Tract Infections
An overgrowth of candida in the vaginal tract can lead to a yeast infection (vaginal candidiasis) and this is extremely common with studies showing that 75% of women develop it at least once in their lives. Although men can also get genital yeast infections, it’s far less common, so it’s primarily a female complaint. The main symptoms to watch out for are swelling, itching, redness, and a thick white vaginal discharge.
This can also lead to a urinary tract infection which is recognizable by dark/cloudy urine, a burning feeling when urinating, pain/pressure in the abdomen, and a frequent urge to urinate.
Changes in Mood
Research has shown an evident link between the gut and brain and although further studies need to be done in this area it is evident that gut problems can have a serious impact on your mood.
With this in mind, issues such as depression, mood swings, and anxiety can often be attributed to an overgrowth of candida.
The optimal functioning of your digestive system is heavily dependent on maintaining a balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. When this balance becomes disrupted, you will experience digestive problems such as nausea, gas, constipation, bloating, diarrhea, and cramps. It’s normal to have small amounts of candida in your gut but if it starts to overproduce you will start to develop these symptoms.
Studies have shown that Candida overgrowth can cause the development of many gastrointestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease so it’s important to look after your digestive health as much as possible and watch out for the key signs of this issue before it progresses.
More than 30 million people in the US alone are diagnosed with sinus infections every year, so if you’re reading this you’ve probably experienced the symptoms of a runny nose, loss of smell, persistent headaches, and congestion, at some stage in your life.
Research from the Mayo clinic into chronic sinus infections found that they were fungal, with 96% of participants presenting with fungi in their sinus mucus. In the case of short-term sinus infections which are caused by bacteria, antibiotics are often prescribed, however, this won’t help chronic sinusitis and can in fact make it worse. Instances of sinusitis that last longer than 3-4 weeks are believed to be caused by fungi and candida is often to blame.
The best method for treating candidiasis is prevention. This involves managing your diet to reduce the amount of refined carbs and sugars you eat, as these can trigger the overproduction of candida. On the other side of things, foods such as garlic, coconut oil, kombucha, and pomegranate are beneficial in preventing candidiasis from occurring. However, dietary changes aren’t always enough and most people need a little extra help. This is why you should also add supplements such as probiotics (see our Advanced Probiotic here) to your dietary regime.
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