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
It refers to the condition when a yeast infection develops on the inside of one’s mouth and tongue. The strain of candida that impacts the other mucous membranes such as vagina is responsible for oral thrush.
One of the major causes of oral candida is the use of corticosteroids. It can spread to other organs such as the liver, lungs, heart valves, and digestive tract if left untreated.
Moreover, this condition is transmissible. It can affect the newborns during birth. Kids can catch it from sharing toys with others. Adults can transmit it back and forth through saliva.
2. Recurring Vaginal and Urinary Tract Infections
If an individual has been experiencing recurring infections in the vagina or the urinary tract, candida may be the cause of them. Another important fact about this disease is that it can be sexually transmitted and passed back and forth. However, women can be relatively safer from the risk by steering clear of tight-fitting undergarments and hot baths while having an active infection.
3. Mood Disorders
Individuals with Candida overgrowth may experience:
- dramatic mood swings
- panic attacks
4. Chronic Fatigue
If one suffers exhaustion or fatigue that he/she cannot shake off even after having enough sleep, it may be due to chronic fatigue syndrome. This fatigue would last at least six months and would eventually accompany other candida symptoms, such as difficulty with concentration and memory, joint pain, sore throat, and headache.
One of the candida’s telltale signs is chronic fatigue. However, you should remember that CFS does not necessarily occur due to candida infection. Nevertheless, many physicians maintain that a candida infection makes a person more prone to CFS.
5. Sinus Infections
Sinus infections are one of the common occurrences these days, just like other candida symptoms. With all these symptoms, the root cause is difficult to identify. However, candida can be the reason for sinus infections as it affects the sinuses and may cause post-nasal drip, persistent cough, seasonal allergies, increased congestion, and common flu-like symptoms.
Therefore, if one has been experiencing persistent problems with their sinuses, it is a call to action for a candida infection check.
6. Brain Fog
Brain fog is usually considered a candida symptom like chronic fatigue and mood changes. Although not necessary, brain fog may occur because of candida as its overgrowth can result in poor physical coordination, poor memory, lack of focus, and difficulty concentrating on tasks.
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
Common yeast infections like fungus in the toenail and Athlete’s foot are another signal that you should go to your physician to check for candida. Persistent infection may have their roots in systemic candida infection.
9. Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalance is also a symptom of candida just as it points toward many other health conditions. Nevertheless, one should be able to acknowledge how an infection results in premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menopause, migraine, water retention, endometriosis, stubborn weight gain, and mood swings.
Individuals in the middle of candida overgrowth experience inflammation that causes the yeast to grow and gain roots in other organs as well. In fact, one of the candida’s products has the ability to mimic estrogen and can lead to a grave 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 overgrowth 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 the elderly are more prone due to weak immunity.
Related article: 18 Research Proved Foods that Boost Your Immune System
Use of corticosteroids is one of the causes of candida. Individuals who use corticosteroid inhalants to treat their asthma have a high risk of developing oral candida, which eventuates in systemic overgrowth. Therefore, these individuals should religiously abide by the instructions for rinsing the mouth after each use.
Furthermore, gargles of the solution of coconut oil and a drop or more of essential clove oil can help in treating oral candida.
People with diabetes are at higher risk of developing candida overgrowth syndrome as compared to others. Individuals with diabetes (be it Type 1 or a Type 2) have higher sugar levels in their mouth and other mucous membranes as compared to others. Because sugar feeds yeast and candida is a yeast form, it is obvious that people with diabetes are more prone to the risk of having the said syndrome.
Birth Control Pills
The combination of a high-refined-sugar diet, a course of antibiotics, and birth control pills does not bode well for a woman. Birth control pills, when taken with the aforementioned combination, may lead to candida infection.
Research shows that cancer patients usually have low immunity. It is because chemotherapy and radiotherapy used to treat cancer kill not only the cancerous cells but also the healthy bacteria that aid in fighting candida. The individuals tend to acquire an invasive form of candida infections that can result in potential complications.
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 acidic nature of apple cider vinegar and enzymes found in it help us to get rid of harmful yeast amounts in the body.
As mentioned earlier, sugar feeds candida. Therefore, it is imperative to opt for different sweeteners like stevia, which is highly suitable for people on a candida diet.
Stevia is anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antifungal. Moreover, it helps maintain the pancreas balance, which is a concern in people having candida.
Green Veggies & Drinks
Leafy greens also play a positive role in candida infection. These vegetables help alkalize the system. As the yeast overgrows in an acidic environment, the alkalized body is able to fight against it.
Furthermore, these nutrient-dense vegetables contain vitamin C that builds the immune system and chlorophyll that cleanses the body. They also contain Vitamin B that gives energy and iron that provides full support to the body.
Coconut oil, along with having antimicrobial properties, contains the combination of caprylic acid and lauric acid, which decimates harmful candida through topical application and consumption.
Sauerkraut & Fermented Foods
Sauerkraut, kimchi, and other fermented foods are rich in microflora, which protects the intestines. If consumed regularly, these foods help strengthen the immune system and thus make the body less conducive for the development of candida.
Ground Flaxseeds & Chia Seeds
Flaxseeds and chia seeds contain polyphenols, which encourage the growth of probiotics in the gut. Polyphenols may also be helpful in the elimination of yeast and candida in the human body.
Grains such as teff, barley, quinoa, amaranth, sorghum, and starch-like corn can also be helpful with candida as they can dry the excessively damp gut. However, you should not take more than one serving of these grains in a day.
Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice with no added sugar helps prevent the growth of fungi such as candida as it helps maintain the healthy pH levels of urine.
Spices like Turmeric & Cinnamon
Curcumin, an active component present in turmeric, encumbers the growth of many fungal strains including Candida Albicans. Moreover, cinnamon comes in handy for healing oral thrush. Studies show that people who consume cinnamon tend to experience less candida overgrowth than the people who do not.
Cultured dairy products, preferably goat milk kefir, can decimate the candida in the body and also enhance the healthy flora. Probiotics have such properties so adding kimchi and sauerkraut to your diet will help even more.
Garlic is rich in sulfur-containing compounds, which have powerful, broad-spectrum antifungal properties. Moreover, raw garlic plays an active role in fighting the candida.
Non-starchy, cooked vegetables such as cauliflower and asparagus, and broccoli contain nutrients that help fight candida.
Apart from many other health benefits, bone broth effectively treats candida. It has a positive effect on gut health proves to be one of the best foods in eliminating candida.
You can make a vegetable broth by simmering organic garlic, onion, celery, sea salt, kale, and pure water. Strain it, remove the vegetables, and refrigerate the soup.
Drink the warm broth throughout your day. Also, drink enough water, as it will help in cleansing your body by expelling the toxins from your system. This may not be a long-term cleanse, but you can repeat it as required after a few weeks. You can also use this as an impetus to the food cleanse. Furthermore, there is nothing better than warm, nourishing food to heal your candida gut.
Pau D’arco Tea
Pau d’arco tea is one of the must-add things for your candida diet. It is a natural way to help your body combat candida. It can effectively fight candida because of having antifungal compounds like lapachol. Evidence shows that lapachol can fight against candida.
Also, ensure that you drink enough pure water, i.e., at least 72 ounces per day. It will help expel the candida and its byproducts from your body.
Foods to avoid during candida infection
Sugar & Sugar Alternatives
As mentioned earlier, sugar feeds yeast. You should also avoid sweet items as they may feed candida too.
You should avoid alcohol as it contains yeast and upon consumption, it may lead to candida overgrowth.
Grains are also harmful while fighting candida as they turn to sugar ultimately, which can feed candida, bad bacteria, and yeast.
Fruit & Fruit Juice
Although fruit is good for your health, it can render your candida worse because of its high sugar content.
All kinds of vinegar but apple cider are bad if one suffers from candida overgrowth. Apple cider is the only form of vinegar that has an alkalizing effect on the body. It helps in killing candida.
Food-related to allergies
Food allergies are a cause of some yeast infections. Therefore, you should abstain from taking any food that causes negative reactions of any sort. If you feel you are sensitive to some food, go for an elimination diet to identify the food that is causing you trouble.
When you are in the early stages of your cleansing, you should avoid dairy entirely. Lactose present in milk is sugar and is harmful to you. However, you can consume fermented products.
Other foods you should avoid are: Bananas
- Dried Fruits
- Ice Drinks
- Sweet potatoes