How to Get Rid of Candida Naturally
Do you have a white coating on your tongue? Circular skin rashes with a white centre? Bloating? Constipation? Vaginal irritation? You’re always craving sweets? You could be suffering from a yeast overgrowth.
What is Candida Albicans?
Candida albicans is the most common kind of yeast that co-exists with humans. It is normally harmless to people when it is present in small amounts. There are many other strains of yeast that can inhabit your gut. There are almost 200 known Candida species, although few of them are a threat to humans. The most important species are C.
However, as anyone who’s ever baked bread knows, yeast likes to grow. It is a fungus, after all. Candida is considered to be an “opportunistic pathogen”. This means that if it gets the opportunity to cause disease, it can. Under normal conditions in your gut, your healthy gut bacteria keeps intestinal yeast growth in check. This maintains a balance between bacteria and yeast.
The fragile balance between your gut bacteria and yeast
This delicate balance is, however, easily upset. For example, we can lose beneficial bacteria from taking even one round of antibiotics. We can encourage yeast growth by bingeing on sugar and refined carbs. Estrogen dominance, birth control pills and stress all allow yeast to multiply. The result? Yeast overgrowth.
Is gut Candida overgrowth the same as a yeast infection?
Most people are familiar with a couple of the different kinds of local yeast infections.
A Candida yeast infection in your mouth is called oral thrush.
Symptoms of oral thrush include:
- white, bumpy patches in your mouth
- a white coating on your tongue
- if you try to scrape the white coating off your tongue, there are pinpoint bleeding spots
- cracks at the corners of your mouth
- difficulty swallowing
Vaginal Yeast Infections
The symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include:
- vaginal redness
- vaginal swelling
- itchiness of the vagina and surrounding area
- an unpleasant white, chunky discharge
These reactions are typically immediately noticeable – and very annoying.
In contrast, a gut Candida overgrowth can be much more subtle and difficult to determine. Candida overgrowth’s impact may be more troublesome and even life-threatening. When your good gut bacteria decreases and yeast multiplies, the overall effect on your body can be far-reaching.
How does Candida overgrowth work?
Disease-causing yeasts have properties that allow them to overcome your defenses. These include the ability to stick to the gut wall and invade tissues. Also, certain strains of yeast have developed escape mechanisms, to avoid being eliminated by your immune system.
When Candida grows unchecked, it attaches to and sends roots through the lining of your intestine. This creates “leaky gut” syndrome where the barrier of your intestinal wall is weak. As the name suggests, leaky gut syndrome allows undigested food, bacteria, and toxins to “leak” from your intestine into your system.
When your immune system is faced with undigested food, bacteria and toxins, it sees them as unknown invaders. That causes it to kick into overdrive trying to neutralize these things it doesn’t recognize, things that it perceives as a potential threat. This immune system hyper-activation leads to a number of symptoms ranging from inflammation to autoimmune diseases.
Candida overgrowth is often overlooked or misdiagnosed because the symptoms vary so widely. It is also not something that conventional doctors would ever test you for. If you’re experiencing autoimmune symptoms, having a foggy brain, or dealing with digestive issues, it’s possible that a gut Candida overgrowth could be the underlying problem.
Who is most at risk for Candida overgrowth?
Certain populations are more susceptible to yeast overgrowth. These include premature infants, elderly, pregnant or menopausal women, diabetics, alcoholics, and anyone taking immunsuppressants or antibiotics.
What are the symptoms of Candida overgrowth?
So how would you know if you have a Candida overgrowth? Here are the signs and symptoms:
- Despite your best intentions, you have strong cravings for sugar and carbohydrates. Candida wants to keep eating and multiplying, so a taste of sugar will leave you wanting more!
- You feel itchy all over, especially, and certainly embarrassingly, in your anal or vaginal areas.
- Fungal infections. You suffer from athlete’s foot, toenail fungus or other unexplained itchy foot rashes.
- Irritable bowel syndrome. Your digestion feels out of whack. You experience a lot of gassiness, constipation, diarrhea and bloating.
- You experience mood swings and frustration for no obvious reason. Or you frequently feel anxious or depressed, even though you are doing your best to look after your emotional well-being. Did you know that depression is considered by some to be an inflammatory condition of the brain? Candida overgrowth may be the stimulous for that inflammation.
- Unexplained joint pain that makes it hard to keep up with your exercise routine. Sadly, that lack of exercise is only worsening your other symptoms. You want to work out and you know that you should, but it’s painful.
- Fatigue. If other causes of fatigue like hypothyroidism, iron deficiency and allergies have been ruled out, yeast overgrowth may be the issue. Particularly if there are other symptoms pointing to a yeast problem.
- Allergies. Studies show that animals whose guts are colonized with yeast develop allergic reactions.
Diagnostic testing for gut bacteria and yeast
Boxed Candida cleanse “kits” may be popular, but in
Once we have an accurate picture of what’s really going on in your system, we can work on a plan to restore health and balance.
Our holistic approach to managing Candida
There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Our holistic approach means taking an in-depth look at various aspects of your lifestyle.
Specialized Candida diet
In general, the first step of Candida treatment consists of dietary changes. You knew that was coming, right? Together we can work on a diet plan that works for you to starve out the yeast.
Dietary changes should be realistic and manageable for you over the long term. After all, we want to create a sustainable solution, not a quick fix that may be too difficult to stick with.
Say goodbye to sugary sweets
To get Candida under control, patients have the greatest success by limiting all processed sweets from their diet. We also recommend cutting back on starchy carbohydrates. Low-sugar fruits such as berries are the best options for a sweet treat.
Eliminating all fermented, yeasty or moldy foods and drinks, including alcohol, will help control yeast symptoms. This includes well-known fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kombucha. It also includes the less-obvious ones, like soy sauce or peanuts. If your immune system is sensitized to yeast, it will also react to these food sources of yeast, mold and yeast metabolites.
Add extra fibre
Adding more fibre to your diet and drinking lots of water (2-3 litres per day) improves your intestinal “transit time”. This means that things move through your gut more quickly, so that nothing lingers too long in your system.
Carbs in moderation
It’s important to note that carbohydrates aren’t necessarily completely forbidden on a Candida diet. Although processed flour can contribute to to a Candida overgrowth and slower transit time, whole food carbohydrates such as rye or quinoa can add good fiber and minerals to your system. We can work together to look at your carb consumption and make any necessary adjustments.
The steps above can slow the growth of Candida which may improve some of your symptoms, but as always tackling one side of the issue isn’t enough. You also want to increase the number of good bacteria in your gut. An effective way to do this is by consuming more probiotics or “healthy bacteria”. A high quality supplement of the right kind of probiotic for you is usually recommended, as they are able to rapidly populate the gut and restore balance.
Foods that kill Candida
Research has found that many substances aid in the killing off of stubborn overgrowth. Studies have found turmeric to be effective as well as coconut oil, some essential oils and much more. In order to determine the right solution for your body, help from your naturopathic doctor is recommended. We can talk about the best treatment plan to eradicate this overgrowth and eliminate the problems Candida overgrowth can cause in your system.
The effect of stress on Candida
In addition to dietary changes, reducing your stress levels can help. When we’re stressed, our bodies produce more of the stress hormone cortisol, which over time will increase blood sugar.
Since Candida feeds off sugar, stress can make us more vulnerable to Candida overgrowth. It’s not always easy to lower stress levels – life often gets in the way. However, we can change the way we react to stress through science-backed stress reduction techniques such as meditation and yoga.
Candida overgrowth is one of the more common reasons people seek holistic care. The good news is that we are experts in treating digestive issues.
If you suspect that you may be experiencing an overgrowth of Candida, give us a call at 416-481-0222 or book an appointment online any time here.
Together we can make an effective plan to get your health back on track.