Do I have Candida?
Guest post by: Steven Chedore, Joycelyn Ba, Ariela Shahvar
You may be asking yourself, what is Candida and why should I care? Perhaps you’ve never even heard of Candida before and surely something you’ve never heard of couldn’t possibly be affecting you. Well, I’m here to inform you that you actually do have Candida in your body at this very moment, but don’t freak out, everyone does!
What is Candida?
Candida is a type of yeast that is commonly found in your digestive tract and is capable of living commensally within your body. However, trouble arises if there is an overgrowth of Candida. This yeast overgrowth can lead to a condition called Candidiasis, which is basically just a technical term for a fungal infection. Candidiasis can cause adverse effects to both your digestive and hormonal health, causing symptoms such as:
- Persistent burping
- Chronic fatigue
- Stomach cramps
- Lack of focus
- Mood swings
- Gastrointestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease (extreme cases)
- Skin irritation and rashes
- Bad breath and oral thrush
- Sugar cravings
- Muscle and joint pain
- and more!
Given that Candida already exists in your body, Candidiasis is not something that you can ‘catch’ like the common flu. This also means that there are several reasons why an overgrowth may occur. For example, a common cause is the overuse of antibiotics which kills the good bacteria in your digestive tract, creating space for Candida to grow and spread as yeast are unaffected by antibiotics.
Another reason could be a diet that is high in carbohydrates or a disease such as Diabetes Mellitus which leads to an increase in blood sugar. Candida thrive off of sugar/carbs, so the more that is provided, the more their growth is supported.
Lastly, your hormonal health is directly linked to both the cause and effects of Candidiasis. Specifically, if you are taking oral contraception or are pregnant, you are at a higher risk of experiencing Candidiasis as they cause hormonal imbalances. These hormonal imbalances can result in high levels of estrogen which have the ability to induce Candida overgrowth.
Constipation caused by Candidiasis also has a significant effect on your hormonal health. This is because regular bowel movements are necessary to relieve your body of toxins and excess hormones. Therefore, constipation results in the reabsorption of hormones such as estrogen, which can lead to estrogen dominance.
Estrogen dominance is a condition that has its own array of consequences such as accelerated aging, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and more.
Thankfully, there are several ways to combat Candidiasis, primarily through changes in diet and supplementation:
- Avoid sugars and refined carbs
- Consume foods with natural antifungal properties such as garlic or olive oil
- Eliminate dairy and yeast-containing products such as alcohol
- Use probiotics to reintroduce healthy bacteria into your gut
- Use antimycotics (antifungal medication)
- Follow an Anti-Candida Diet
Supplementation that may be supportive:
- B Vitamins
- Liver SAP
- Digestive enzyme or bitters
- Candida specific formulation that contains things like berberine, Pau d’arco, caprylic acid and more
Candida Friendly Coconut Yogurt
Coconut yogurt is a great snack, breakfast or dessert. With its great source of probiotics, it is also supports gut health! Try out this coconut yogurt recipe and let me know what you think!
- 1/2-1 cup of yogurt
- 1 tbsp of chia seeds
- 1 tbsp of toasted coconut flakes
- 1 tsp of cacao powder