Research has shown that 70 percent of all people are affected by Candida (yeast) overgrowth, a systemic fungal infection. It’s a known fact, that low levels of yeast naturally occur in our intestines and co-exist with healthy bacteria as part of our bodies natural balance. Candida can live harmlessly in our system and aids in digestion and nutrient absorption. Candida has over 56 strains and is associated with a myriad of concerns including digestive issues, acne, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, vaginal yeast infections and thrush (a yeast infection of the mouth and throat originating in our intestines) to name a few. When levels of Candida and bacteria fall out of harmony, the yeast emits toxins that travel through our body’s bloodstream resulting in a variety of physiologic imbalances such as leaky gut syndrome, a major cause of disease and dysfunction.
Most of the time, healthy bacteria in the gut can keep Candida levels in check. There are certain factors that can cause it to overgrow to include: alcohol consumption, eating a diet high in sugars and refined carbs, a high-stress lifestyle, taking oral antibiotics or oral contraceptives. Oral antibiotics, which are prescribed in excess for a variety of ailments such as acne and rosacea, kill off too much “good” bacteria leading to Candida overgrowth. It can be difficult to diagnosis as it presents itself in a variety of ways within different people. Here are some specific signs to watch for if you feel you’re experiencing an overgrowth of Candida.
Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth
Persistent intestinal issues like bloating, gas, constipation, stomach cramps or diarrhea are a tell-tale sign that something is out of balance in your digestive tract. One cause may be an insufficient level of healthy bacteria, which can be the result of Candida overgrowth.
Acne, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis have been linked to Candida overgrowth. In the case of acne, Candida-related acne presents in breakouts in the upper region of the face such as upper cheeks and forehead.
Candida can also result in a hormone imbalance. When Candida overgrowth occurs, our body becomes inflamed, causing the yeast to grow more and spread beyond just the digestive tract. One of the by-products of Candida mimics estrogen, that can lead to a severe hormonal imbalance causing acne in the lower regions of the face such as jawline, chin, neck, and on the chest and back, pre-menstrual syndrome, lowered sex drive, early menopause, endometriosis and the inability to shed excess pounds.
One of the more common signs of a Candida infection is feeling exhausted or fatigued most of the time. While it’s not the only cause of chronic fatigue symptom (CFS), many health experts believe Candida significantly raises the risk of developing it. CFS is characterized by constant fatigue lasting at least six months and often accompanied by joint pain, headaches, difficulty concentrating and memory problems.
Mood Swings, Irritability and Other Mood Disorders
Scientists are now uncovering how connected our digestive system is to our brain, and we know that Candida overgrowth can affect the neurological system. A large portion of our body’s hormone production happens in the intestinal tract. In fact, 90 to 95% of serotonin, or the “feel-good” hormone known for regulating mood is produced there. When Candida levels get out of control, it suppresses the production of important neurotransmitters like serotonin –without enough of it, anxiety, depression and other mental disorders can occur. A by-product of Candida known as acetaldehyde also reacts with the dopamine neurotransmitter which can lead to feeling spaced out, concentration issues, and depression or anxiety.
Recurring Urinary Tract and Vaginal Infections
Recurring urinary tract, vaginal infections, and rectal/vaginal itching all indicate an issue with Candida.
How Can You Control Candida?
Eliminate things that contribute to Candida growth. The first step is to eliminate sugar, alcohol, refined carbs and milk (contains sugar lactose) from your diet. Candida thrives on sugar and survives well in a more acidic environment. Foods high in sugar, including processed and refined foods like fast food, packaged baked goods, cookies and crackers all create the perfect environment for Candida.
Replace “bad” foods with healthier choices. Replace all the processed junk and sugary foods with more complex carbohydrates such as organic fruits and vegetables, beans, and grains like quinoa and barley. Also, feed your body with foods that have healthy fats and are high in protein like wild-caught salmon, chia, and use healthy cooking oils such as coconut oil. This will help prevent Candida from growing, eventually causing it to die off.
Take antifungal herbs to help kill off Candida. Using potent antifungal herbs such as olive leaf extract, grapefruit seed extract, oregano oil and garlic can help. Garlic is well-known to be a powerful antifungal agent – in fact, Candida can’t survive when garlic is present. Add it to as many of your regular meals as possible or consider taking an odorless garlic supplement.
Take milk thistle to support liver function. If you have a Candida infection, it’s imperative to ensure your liver is functioning at its best. The liver is our body’s filter, and when you eliminate Candida, it must function optimally to help the body rid itself of the abundance of yeast. Candida has also been linked to liver damage, making it even more important to give the liver the support it needs.
Take a daily probiotic to balance the good bacteria in your gut as well as take digestive enzymes such as Osmosis Complete with meals to help breakdown food aiding in better digestion.
Neutralize toxins in the gut before they enter the bloodstream by taking the Osmosis Environmental Detox supplement containing Diindolylmethane (DIM) and activated charcoal. Also, cancel out the negative frequency of Candida with Osmosis Inner Harmony and/or Skin Perfection Harmonized H2O.
Candida may be the cause of your issues and it’s worth making the effort to control its population for better skin and overall wellness! The Osmosis internal wellness supplements have an integral part in your success and can be found at Skintuition Holistic Skincare Studio in Manassas, Virginia.
7/24/2017 01:57:58 pm
Olive leaf extract, oregano oil and grapefruit seed extract kill off good bacteria too so probably not the wisest choice. Everyone knows Candida diets DON'T work and don't solve anything long term. Avoiding dairy didn't help me any and probably doesn't help most people overcome Candida issues. The sugar in dairy products is naturally occurring just like the sugar in fruits. Raw dairy also has enzymes good for your body despite the sugar in lactose.
7/24/2017 02:23:07 pm
Thanks Christine:). Candida is certainly complicated. These are simply suggestions I have compiled from numerous sources. From what I have learned studying gut health...there are many different opinions about anything gut related. I have had a problem with candida my entire life and it continues to be a struggle. Limiting things that fuel it, seem to "help". Taking a daily probiotic and limiting alcohol consumption is providing relief at the moment.
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Tracy Childs, Licensed Master Esthetican with a holistic focus