Updated: Jan 25
At this point in my practice I consider myself to be somewhat of a Candida specialist. I want to share some of the Information I find to be most helpful for patients with chronic or recurrent Candida overgrowth.
First, we should talk about what Candida is. When we say Candida, we are mostly referring to Candida albicans, which is the most pervasive type of yeast affectinf humans. When people first hear Candida they usually think of yeast infections, athletes foot, or jock itch. All of these conditions are caused by Candida overgrowth but will likely return if they are only treated externally. This is because most Candida overgrowth start in the gut and symptoms of bloating, sugar cravings, fatigue and inflammation appear long before any external infections or rashes.
Risk factors for Candida overgrowth:
1. HORMONE IMBALANCE specifically PMS, estrogen dominance, or long term use of birthcontrol. I also see estrogen creating an issue in menopausal woman as estrogen levels are going up and down for sometime before periods stop. 2. High carbohydrate/ HIGH SUGAR DIET. Candida LOVE sugar, even more than you! So much so Candida bugs can actually secrete hormones that make you crave sugar! This also applies to alcohol since most beer and wine have both yeast and sugar, drinking on a regular basis is another good way to grow Candida in the gut. 3. Long term ANTIBIOTIC USE. Use of antibiotic long term or several times over a short period of time. Antibiotics work to kill off bacteria, all bacteria, good or bad. This is an issue because it allows yeast (candida) to overgrow unoposed by the good gut bacteria (our natural flora).
Signs and Symptoms of Candidal Overgrowth
First there are many areas of the body that can be afffected by candida. Many times it will be toe nails, itchy skin rashes (diaper rash, cradle cap, jock itch, tinea versicolor, etc.), vaginal yeast infections, chornic siutitis or post nasal drip, or chornic gas and bloating. When you can candidal overgrowth in the gut you will likely experience strong sugar and carbohydrate cravings as well as worsening of symptoms when you indulge in these foods. Some ladies will notice horrible bloat and gas after pasta or a sugary treat. Others will have itchy ears or rash that are worse when they have wine (full of yeast and sugar). Many perople with candidal overgrowth will have a thick white tongue coating, indigestion, and brain fog.
GUT: Chornic abdominal bloat and gas, indigestion and acid reflux, always feeling hungry, strong sugar and carb cravings, thick white tongue coat.
SKIN: Itchy rash anywhere on the body (Jock itch, under th breasts, groin, inner ears, baby bottoms), tinea versicolor, toe nail fungus, and chornic or new eczema.
NERVOUS SYSTEM: Brain fog, increased anxiety, insomnia.
RESP TRACT: Chronic Sinusitis or post nasal drip. Allergies, especially mold allergies.
3 Steps to Sucessful Candida Treatment:
Anti-Candida Diet: You can not fully recover from candidal overgrowth without changing your diet. The most improtant thing for sucessful treatment, meaning no recurrence, is diet chagne.
Anti-fungals. Im my practice I use both natural and pharmacuticle anti-fungals depending on the symptoms and what lab testing shows me. Some of my favorite natural antifungal products are Undecyn (by Thorne), Berberines, and Oil of Oregano. For the skin I like to use coconut oil and tea tree several times a day. You can also use apple cidar vinegar. There are several pharmacuticles and anti-fungal nasal sprays that can be use - this should be discussed with your healthcare provider.
Pro-biotics. After treatment of the gut with anti-fungals and diet you want to repopuate the gut with bacteria that will control candidal populations in the future.