What is Candida?
Candida is a fungus, which is a form of yeast and a very small amount naturally inhabits your mouth and intestines. Primarily it’s a resident in the digestive tract, and its job is to aid with digestion and nutrient absorption, but when it is overproduced it breaks down the wall of the intestine and penetrates the bloodstream, releasing toxic by-products into your body and causing leaky gut. This can lead to many different health problems ranging from digestive issues to depression. Everyone who has an overgrowth of Candida will have some form of leaky gut, the more severe your Candida infection, most likely the more severe your leaky gut is.
Candida is definetely a condition that divides opinion. There is the conventional wisdom that says it only affects those who have a compromised immune system and those that label any sign or symptom to Candida without any testing and these are where the issue begins. Immune competent people can also get Candida, and all though there is a lot of systematic Candida cases with those patients who have suppressed immune systems, there are a whole host of variables that come into play which we will see on the website and that, you need to be aware of.
Another popular theory is that many people think of candida yeast infections as a woman’s problem, and not affecting the digestive tract. The truth is that, in fact candida can affect women, men and children equally, and the main area this little yeast will inhabit is actually the gut. I am sure you have heard the phrase “all disease starts in the gut”, well this particularly applies to Candida. Candida overgrowth can manifest itself in many ways in or on a person’s body and can result in athlete’s foot, dandruff, vaginal discharge, irritable bowel syndrome, a heavily coated tongue, and colic in infants.
What causes Candida?
What triggered your Candida? Was it chronic and continued stress, your diet, a course of antibiotics, too much refined carbs?
There are a number of causes including, a high sugar diet, antibiotics, chronic stress, a standard high inflammatory diet we have in the Western world and too much alcohol. And it can take just one of these to trigger it. As mentioned, we all have naturally Candida in our digestive tract already. Both conventional and alternative medicine agree on this. It is a microorganism that is naturally present in your digestive tract and has been part of our evolutionary eco-system, and when we speak about Candida in the term of being a problem, we are referring to simply the overgrowth that has occurred. The good news is that our gut is kept in check with healthy bacteria for most of the population and that stops overgrowth and its related health issues.
One of the unfortunate problems with Candida, is its recognition within the current conventional medical community and it’s still not seen, or more importantly recognized and therefore not given the required resources for proper testing.This is why functional and integrated medicine treatments/testing are being sought after, as its recognised by these practitioners as an extremely difficult condition.
The Most Common Signs and Symptoms of a Yeast Infection
There is an absolute myriad of different symptoms, both inside and outside the gut and that’s one of the reasons to get tested. There are people who are ordering numerous supplements and self diagnosing, rather than getting tested. Do yourself a big favour and get tested. It will be the best money you spend. Test, don’t guess should be something you adhere to as it could be anything from SIBO to H Pylori, parasites or Candida, who have all similar symptoms but require slightly different approaches. Here is a list of the most common signs and symptoms that can be related to Candida.
- Very common are digestive issues such as bloating, diarrahea and/or constipation
- Reoccurring vaginal infections, urinary tract infections and/or rectal itching
- Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears
- Strong sugar cravings
- Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, ulcerative colitis, lupus and psoriasis
- Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, brain fog
- Skin issues like eczema, hives, and rashes
- Mood swings, anxiety, or depression
Not so common symptoms
- Blurred vision
- Loss of self confidence
- Ear aches
- Poor concentration
- Alterations or disturbances of smell, taste, sight or hearing
- Irritability, can have a very short fuse, impatient.
- Nervousness and panic attacks.
- Poor concentration
- Mood swings
- Dizziness, light-headed
- Drowsiness, especially when inappropriate
- Numbness and tingling
- Poor memory – especially short term
- Hyperactivity – especially with children
- Crying or emotional spells
- Depression – especially the week before a period in women
- Spaced feeling