Candida is a common health issue that occurs as a result of a weakened immune system or as a consequence of using treatments for various ailments. Although it may not be very serious, this condition can give rise to a number of symptoms that you may never have associated with an underlying fungal infection. These could be as common as bad breath, fatigue, hormone imbalances, or allergy issues. Here's all you need to know about candida.
First of all, what is candida?
Candida Albicans is a yeast infection that develops in the mouth, intestinal tract and vagina. It can affect the skin and other mucous membranes in the body and is generally not that worrying. However, there are cases where it spreads and reaches other areas of the body, including the blood and membranes around the heart or brain, especially if immune system function is low. To avoid this, we should look out for the following symptoms:
(Symptoms will be explained in more detail further down)
If you're experiencing a number of the above symptoms in conjunction, you're likely to have candida. However, before you panic, telling your doctor that you're experiencing them might just be enough to put your mind at ease. This is because the individual symptoms can be attributed to a number of different things. In any case, candida is actually the most common type of fungal infection, and there are even natural remedies to treat it - they could start from a specific change in your diet.
The candida fungus is actually beneficial to your health when it's found in normal levels in the body - it aids digestion and nutrient absorption. The problem arises when there's overproduction of it, causing it to break down the walls of the intestinal lining and enter the blood stream, possibly leading to leaky gut syndrome. This overproduction can be triggered by changes in the body's natural pH balance, which can occur for several different reasons as outlined below.
First and foremost, it is important not to confuse Candida Albicans with Candida Overgrowth Syndrome (COS). The latter is a chronic condition that is set off by the aforementioned overproduction. In that case, symptoms are markedly worse, and could include the development of new sensitivities, allergies or intolerances to certain foods, such as eggs, dairy, gluten and corn.
What are the causes of candida infections?
Candida infections can result from a range of causes, such as our choice of our diet. Excessive consumption of sugar, refined carbohydrates and alcohol are possible contributors to yeast growth. Other causes include the following:
What are the symptoms?
People who have candida usually experience more than one symptom simultaneously, making it difficult for them to identify a definite underlying cause, as well as making it for harder for doctors to diagnose it definitively. While symptoms vary from one person to another, here is a list of the most prevalent ones:
1. Chronic fatigue
People who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are more susceptible to candida. They experience constant exhaustion that is impossible to overcome, regardless of how much sleep they get. It lasts for a minimum of six months, and it is often associated with joint pain, headaches, sore throats, concentration and memory problems.
2. Mood disorders
It's quite common for people suffering from candida to experience drastic mood swings. The infection can also cause irritability, anxiety, panic attacks and even depression. Although these symptoms can be attributed to a variety of ailments, they are common in individuals that have candida. This is especially true if they experience them in conjunction with the other symptoms in this list.
3. Recurring vaginal and urinary tract infections
The presence of candida can trigger infections in the vaginal and urinary tract. Visit your doctor if you happen to be experiencing them frequently - it could be candida that's triggering them. Candida can also be sexually transmitted, so ensure that your underwear or pantyhose isn't too tight. In addition, you should avoid hot baths if you're diagnosed with candida, because it can worsen then problem.
4. Oral thrush
Oral thrush is a yeast infection that develops in the mouth, potentially affecting other mucous membranes in the body, such as the vaginal membrane. It can be brought on by the use of medications for other ailments, as aforementioned. It can also be transmitted through saliva and even when giving birth. If the problem is not treated promptly, it can spread to other organs such as the lungs, the liver, the digestive tract, and even the valves of the heart.
To treat oral thrush, combine three drops of clove oil with a tablespoon coconut oil. Swish the mixture in your mouth for 20 minutes. You can also reap further benefits from doing this by adding lavender essential oil. The latter halts candida growth, thus stopping it from spreading.
5. Sinus infections
Another symptom of candida can show up in your sinuses. Problems with your sinuses can trigger other symptoms, such as congestion, a persistent cough, seasonal allergies, postnasal drip, and general flu-like symptoms. If you frequently experience such problems, you should get checked by your doctor for a possible candida infection.
6. Intestinal distress
If you happen to observe unusual intestinal changes in your body, such as burping, bloating, persistent flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, or stomach cramps, it's possible that the root cause is candida. These symptoms arise as a consequence of yeast disrupting intestinal function. Normally, individuals who suffer from candida feel a huge difference after it has been treated successfully.
7. Brain fog
Although it's often omitted from lists of symptoms of candida overgrowth, brain fog, just like mood swings and chronic fatigue, can actually be one of the most pronounced effects of the infection. Brain fog is characterized by poor physical coordination, a lack of focus, poor memory and concentration difficulties.
8. Skin and nail fungal infections
Fungal infections on the skin or nails may be as a result of candida. These include athlete's foot, toenail fungus, and other common infections. If you observe these along with other common candida symptoms, especially over a prolonged period, make sure you get checked for candida by your doctor.
9. Hormonal imbalance
One of the byproducts of candida can mimic estrogen, and an overproduction of this can potentially lead to hormonal imbalance. This means you might experience more migraines, mood swings, PMS, a low sex drive, water retention, endometriosis, difficulty losing weight, and in some cases, even early menopause.
May also interest you:
How can it be treated?
There are some procedures you can use to effectively eliminate a candida infection from your body. The good news is that it can be done naturally. The idea is to supplement your body with enough candida-fighting foods and liquids that can flush out unwanted bacteria from your system. Here are three highly recommended ways of doing this:
You can cleanse your body in one of two ways - either using liquids, or salads. These to provide you with enough bacteria to fight candida.
Option 1: Liquids-only candida cleanse (1-2 days)
Option 2: Raw salads and steamed vegetables (3-5 days)
This remedy is designed to boost the immune system by substituting certain foods, which contribute to the growth of the infection, with healthier alternatives.
These steps guide you in using the right natural products to expunge or prevent candida growth in your body.