If you have ever experienced health issues like brain fog, UTI, weak immunity, hormonal imbalance, chronic sinus issues, cravings for sweets, exhaustion, white coating on the tongue, loss of sex drive, gas and bloating, you may have Candida.
Candida can be very serious especially because of multidrug resistant strain – Candida auris – that is a dangerous health threat causing serious illness.
When the natural pH of your body is disturbed, candida infection can develop and cause unpleasant symptoms. Good immunity and having healthy bacterial flora can help fight off the infection. However, if the immune system is weak, the candida infection can spread to other areas of the body resulting in serious symptoms.
Mentioned below are nine common symptoms of candida to watch for.
1. Oral Thrush
This is actually a yeast infection caused by the same strain of candida that affects other mucous membranes, including the vagina. It’s most often caused by the use of corticosteroids. Left untreated, it may spread through the body, including the digestive tract, lungs, liver and heart valves.
Oral candida is communicable. Newborns can get thrush during birth. Children can get it from sharing toys with other children and adults can pass it back and forth through the saliva.
2. Recurring Vaginal and Urinary Tract Infections
When an individual experiences recurring infections in the urinary tract or vagina, candida may be at the root of the problem. It is important to realize that candida can be sexually transmitted, and partners can spread it back and forth.Women can reduce the risk by avoiding tight-fitting undergarments and avoiding hot baths during an active infection.
3. Mood Disorders
Individuals with candida overgrowth may experience:
- dramatic mood swings
- panic attacks
4. Chronic Fatigue
If you have fatigue or exhaustion that you simply cannot shake, regardless of the number of hours you sleep, you may have chronic fatigue syndrome. The disease is characterized by fatigue that lasts a minimum of six months and is often accompanied by other candida symptoms, including headaches, joint pain, difficulties with memory and concentration, and sore throat.
Often one of the symptoms is chronic fatigue. While a candida infection is not the only cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, many physicians believe it heightens the risk of CFS.
5. Sinus Infections
As with many of these other candida symptoms, sinus infections are common today, and it can be difficult to pinpoint the root of the cause. Candida affects the sinuses and can, therefore, result in a persistent cough, post-nasal drip, an increase in congestion, seasonal allergies, and general flu-like symptoms. So, if you experience consistent problems with your sinuses, it’s time to check for a candida infection!
6. Brain Fog
Along with mood changes and chronic fatigue, brain fog is often overlooked as one of the candida symptoms. However, candida overgrowth can cause a lack of focus, poor physical coordination, difficulty in concentrating on tasks and poor memory.
7. Intestinal Distress
Ongoing intestinal distress is one of the more uncomfortable candida symptoms. Persistent flatulence, burping, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, and stomach cramps may be caused by a lack of healthy bacteria in your digestive tract.
When yeast overtakes the intestines, healthy bacteria are undermanned, and cannot fight off the infection alone. When the bacteria in your gut are out of balance, it’s known as dysbiosis. Many individuals experience dramatic relief of chronic intestinal distress when effectively treating a candida infection..
8. Skin and Nail Fungal Infections
Athlete’s foot and fungus in the toenail are common yeast infections, which stem from the same strain of candida. Continued infections may be a sign that you have a systemic candida infection.
9. Hormonal Imbalance
A hormonal imbalance is one of the candida symptoms that presents in many other health conditions. However, it is important to recognize how an infection can cause early menopause, PMS, a low sex drive, migraines, endometriosis, water retention, mood swings and an inability to lose unwanted pounds.
While in the midst of candida overgrowth, your body becomes inflamed, causing the yeast to grow and spread beyond the digestive tract. One of the byproducts of candida actually can mimic estrogen, leading to a serious hormonal imbalance.
Causes of Candida
Candida can be due to multiple reasons, including high-sugar diet, alcohol, refined carbs. Some other potential causes are mentioned below.
Although antibiotics kill the disease-causing bacteria, the problem is that they also kill the good bacteria. These good bacteria are important for digestion and also help in keeping candida under control.
Long-term use of antibiotics or multiple short courses can cause over growth of candida.
Weakened Immune System
Candida is an opportunistic infection which develops when your immune system is weak. Individuals with AIDS/HIV, inflammatory diseases, and autoimmune conditions are more likely to suffer from candida infection. Similarly, infants, children under 5 and elderly are more prone due to weak immunity.
Related article: 18 Research Proved Foods that Boost Your Immune System
Individuals who treat their asthma with corticosteroid inhalants are at an increased risk of developing candida in the mouth, leading to systemic overgrowth. It is imperative that individuals using corticosteroid inhalers for asthma follow the directions for swishing the mouth out after each use. But they can treat oral candidiasis with the gargling of coconut oil and a drop or two of essential clove oil.
In a Type 1 or a Type 2 diabetic, sugar levels in the mouth and other mucous membranes are traditionally higher than in an individual without diabetes. Since candida is a type of yeast and sugar feeds yeast, it is understandable that those with diabetes are at a greater risk for developing candida overgrowth syndrome.
Birth Control Pills
When a woman consumes a diet high in refined sugars and has had a course of antibiotics, birth control pills can adversely affect her body, leading to a candida infection.
Research shows that candidiasis can become invasive in cancer patients and present a serious complication. Chemotherapy and radiation can both work to kill cancerous cells and tumors; however, they also kill off the healthy bacteria that naturally fight candida.
Natural Remedies for Candida
Candida diet is best to get rid of the infection fast. Here are some foods you must try:
Apple Cider Vinegar
The acid and enzymes in apple cider vinegar help to kill and get rid of excess yeast in the body.
We know that sugar feeds candida. That’s why it’s important to use different sweeteners, and stevia is the perfect choice for those on a candida diet. Not only is stevia an antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic agent, but also helps balance the pancreas, which is often comprised when someone has candida.
Green Veggies & Drinks
Leafy green vegetables help alkalize the body, which fights against the acidic nature of yeast overgrowth. Greens contain no sugars but high amounts of magnesium that naturally detox the body, vitamin C to build the immune system, chlorophyll to cleanse the body, B vitamins to energize the body and iron to give the body full support.
Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties and the combination of lauric acid and caprylic acid found in coconut oil kills off harmful candida through ingestion and topical application.
Sauerkraut & Fermented Foods
Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi contain microflora that help protect the intestines. Regular consumption can help improve the immune system, thereby making the body less hospitable for candida.
Ground Flaxseeds & Chia Seeds
Polyphenols found in flaxseeds and chia seeds support the growth of probiotics in the gut and may also help eliminate yeast and candida in the body. But, what about grains? Some grains like quinoa, barley, teff, sorghum and amaranth and a starch like corn can help to dry the overly damp gut, so one serving a day (no more!) of those grains can work for most people.
Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice without added sugar helps to correct the pH levels of urine, helping to prevent the overgrowth of fungi like candida.
Spices like Turmeric & Cinnamon
Turmeric contains an active component called curcumin that has been shown to completely inhibit the growth of Candida Albicans (as well as lots of other fungal strains). Cinnamon can heal oral thrush because studies have shown that people who supplement with cinnamon generally suffer from less candida overgrowth than those who don’t.
Having cultured dairy, preferably goat milk kefir, for healthy probiotic foods can effectively kill the candida in your system and increase your healthy flora. Add cultured dairy, preferably goat milk kefir, because healthy probiotic foods can effectively kill the candida in your system. Probiotics like kimchi and sauerkraut are good additions to your diet, as well as unsweetened cranberry juice, because they create an acidic environment that makes it difficult for candida to thrive.
Garlic contains a large number of sulphur-containing compounds that have extremely potent, broad-spectrum antifungal properties. Raw garlic benefits the fight against candida specifically.
Non-starchy, cooked vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus provide valuable nutrients that fight candida.
Bone broth benefits so many different aspects of our health, and you can add treating candida to the list. In fact it’s one of the best food sources to destroy candida due to its positive effects on gut health.
Start by making a vegetable broth from organic onions, garlic, celery, kale, sea salt and pure water. Let simmer and strain. Now, discard the vegetables and refrigerate the broth.
Throughout the day, sip on the warm broth; it’s imperative that you drink lots of water to help your body expel all the toxins in your system. While this is not a long-term cleanse, it can be repeated as needed every few weeks. It can also be used as a jumpstart to the food cleanse below.
Your candida gut will heal most from warm nourishing foods.
Pau D’arco Tea
Pau d’arco tea is probably the No. 1 thing to add to your candida diet. It helps the body fight candida the natural way. That’s because it has antifungal compounds like lapachol, which has been shown to combat candida.
Continue to drink plenty of pure water, a minimum of 72 ounces per day, to help flush the candida and byproducts from your system.
Foods to avoid during candida infection
Sugar & Sugar Alternatives
These sweet items feed yeast, so you should avoid them at all costs.
Most alcohol contains yeast so it’s not surprising that it produces more of it when consumed and should be avoided.
Grains break down into sugar and can feed candida, yeast and bad bacteria.
Fruit & Fruit Juice
Even though fruit is generally healthy, it’s high in sugar and can make candida worse.
Avoid all types of vinegar in the case of candida overgrowth. Apple cider vinegar is, however, good. It is the only vinegar that provides an alkalizing benefit for the body and actually causes candida to die.
Food related to allergies
Some yeast infections are due to food allergies. Try to avoid foods that cause negative reactions of any kind. If you think you have a food allergy or sensitivity, try an elimination diet to figure out what foods are causing intolerances.
You ideally want to avoid dairy at least in the early stages of your cleansing. Fermented products are okay. Milk contains lactose, which is a sugar.
You should also avoid other foods like:
- Dried Fruits
- Ice Drinks
- Sweet potatoes