Candida albicans, or candida for short, is present in all of us and is a type of yeast. It is however really opportunistic and in a dysfunctional environment will overgrow.
Candida causes numerous symptoms including brain fog, gas, bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea/constipation, thrush of the mouth and throat, fungal nail infections, white coating on tongue, nasal congestion, vaginal itching/burning, depression, anxiety, irritability, headaches, migraines, rashes, eczema, psoriasis, food sensitivities, sugar cravings, joint or muscle pain, asthma and hayfever, sinusitis, weight gain and loss. Candida actually produces acetaldehyde (the same toxin you get from drinking alcohol), so the symptoms often resemble the feeling of being hungover. Pretty nasty stuff!
Why do you get it?
Because it’s opportunistic, if you are suffering with fungi or yeast overgrowth, it is likely due to something going wrong within your body. Examples include antibiotic use, a different primary infection/bacteria/parasite (these generate food for candida), a diet high in sugar (candida’s favourite! – candida even makes you crave sugar so you feed it more!), heavy metal toxicity, birth control pills, stress and lifestyle factors like lack of sleep, poor diet, alcohol, over exercise, lack of exercise, emotional stress, EMF exposure, and other internal stressors. You therefore need to work on these as well as diet and treatment.
It’s actually really hard to culture fungi and yeasts from your general stool pathogen test you get from your doctor. Therefore, if it is found in such a test, the overgrowth you have will be quite substantial. We can generally determine if you have candida by your symptoms alone but if you Google ‘Candida Spit Test’, there’s an at home screen that you can do. If you have another known infection, parasite or gut dysbiosis, then its pretty much a guarantee that you will also have candida. For this reason, an elimination protocol for yeasts and fungi forms part of any pathogen eradication program we advise on. We also suggest the eradication protocol includes support for the adrenals, liver, and gut mucosa as the treatment itself can generate further stressors on the body as die-off begins.
This should be carried out over a minimum of 60 days and include anti-fungal supplements, as well as Saccharomyces boulardii probiotics (avoid any probiotics that contain prebiotics like inulin as this will feed the candida). You also need to focus on your own health and lifestyle factors like those mentioned above, and make some dietary changes to starve the candida out. We can guide you through treatment and take a look at other contributing factors in our consultations.
Focus on eating:
Organic/grass-fed/pasture-raised animal protein (definitely don’t want any animal protein that contains anti-biotics)
Non-starchy “above-ground” vegetables
Healthy fats (EVOO, avocado oil, tallow, ghee)
Nuts and seeds (best if activated – avoid cashews and pistachios as often contaminated with mould)
Vinegar (ACV is ok)
Legumes/beans (includes peanuts)
High sugar fruit (berries are ok as are lemons and limes, the odd pear is also ok)
Grains and gluten
Fungi (mushrooms, blue cheeses etc)
Root vegetables (beetroot, carrots, corn, potatoes, squashes)
Image from Wikipedia