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Candida – what you need to know


Do you ever experience:

  • Exhaustion
  • Cravings for sweets
  • Bad breath
  • White coating on the tongue
  • Brain fog
  • Joint pain
  • Digestive problems (gas and bloating)
  • Weak immune system

If you have said yes to more than two, you could have a fungal infection, known as candida. Read below to find out what causes candida, symptoms and treatment.

There are many different types of Candida yeast; Candida Auris, are very rare but life-threatening. The most common infection is Candida albicans, and is usually found in the mouth, intestinal tract and vagina; in some cases, candida can affect the skin and other mucous membranes.

When in normal, healthy amounts, Candida aids in nutrient absorption and digestion; however, an overgrowth in this fungus can cause disturbances in physiology. In the digestive tract, candida can break down the walls of the intestinal lining and penetrate into the bloodstream. This releases byproduct toxins and other toxins from your system, causing conditions like leaky gut syndrome. An out of balance body pH can also result in candida growing uncontrollably.

When Candida yeast change to its virulent fungal form, it grows long branches (hyphae) that can extend into your soft tissue. These can break through the membrane that surrounds your intestinal tract and release those waste products. As a result, an immune response is triggered that causes allergies and other health conditions, including autoimmune illnesses. The toxic byproducts that are released include acetaldehyde, ammonia, and uric acid. In a healthy individual, small amounts of acetaldehyde produced by Candida are easily processed by the liver. In a person with a Candida overgrowth, the liver becomes overworked as it struggles to process larger amounts of acetaldehyde. This build-up of acetaldehyde, ethanol, and other toxins can slow down various processes in your body, energy storage for example.

These byproducts begin to cause symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, mood disorders, recurring vaginal and urinary tract infections, sinus infections, digestive problems (flatulence, burping, bloating, food intolerances, constipation or diarrhoea, and stomach cramps), and headaches

A high-sugar diet and antibiotics are the two of the common causes of Candida. Other risk factors of candida include chronic stress, long-term use of the contraceptive pill, oral corticosteroids, chemical exposure, diabetes, weakened immune system and heavy metal toxicity.

Methods of testing candida yeast overgrowth include stool testing, serum testing, candida DNA test, stool PCR testing and microbial organic acids testing.

Candida treatment is very individual-based and depends on what symptoms you are experiencing.

Diet is the most common cause of an intestinal Candida infection. A high-sugar diet, full of inflammatory, low-nutrient foods, is exactly what Candida albicans needs to grow. A low-sugar, anti-inflammatory diet, you can reduce inflammation in your gut and starve the Candida of what it needs to survive. Some basic principles of the Candida diet include avoiding added sugars, eating non-starchy vegetables, low-sugar fruits, healthy proteins and lots of fermented foods. Probiotics help to maintain acidity in the gut and reduce Candida yeast by competing with it for resources. Natural antifungals like oregano oil and caprylic acid help to break down the biofilms that Candida uses to protect itself. When used in combination with probiotics and a low-sugar diet, they work alongside your immune system to restrict and reverse the growth of Candida albicans.

Killing off candida in your body creates a metabolic reaction that releases different toxins into your body. Symptoms that show the candida cleanse and the candida diet are working include impaired brain function, headaches, fatigue, nausea, in short hangover/flu-like symptoms. Candida die-off symptoms are a good sign showing the Candida is leaving your body.

A Nutritionist or Functional Medicine Practitioner can help work with you to eliminate Candida and restore healthy digestive system by taking a comprehensive health history, obtaining lab tests necessary (comprehensive stool test, intestinal permeability screening, food intolerance, etc) and then guide you through a treatment plan, using the 5R treatment (remove, replace, reinoculate, repair and rebalance). This can include removing all food toxins from your diet, maximising digestive capacity using supplemental acid and enzymes, encouraging consumption of fermentable fibres, fermented foods, treating intestinal pathogens and managing stress.

So you can see that avoiding stomach pain is achievable with the right guidance and expert attention to detail, you can get the pain-free outcome that you deserve.

If this resonates with you then…

Take advantage of our 15-minute sessions either with a Nutritionist or Functional Medicine Practitioner, designed to give you the support you need with your concerns and to get you started on your road to recovery. Find very quick and effective results!

This article was written by our team of specialist therapists at Perfect Balance Clinic. If you would like more specific advice about how our team can help you with this condition or symptoms you may be having, please complete the contact form below and one of the team will get back to you shortly.

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