If you have found your way to this article, odds are you have done a little research on Candidiasis or Candida overgrowth, are wondering if you suffer from Candida overgrowth, and are looking for some more information. Here you can learn all about Candidiasis including causes, signs and symptoms, and treatment.
What is Candidiasis?
Candidiasis, also known as thrush, is a fungal infection and the overgrowth of Candida (all types of yeasts). Systematic Candidiasis occurs where you have Candida overgrowth throughout your body. Your gut is filled with naturally occurring good bacteria and Candida. When everything is in balance, your digestive system is fine. However, when the good bacteria is killed off due to use of antibiotics or the Candida thrives due to a diet high in sugar and yeast, your system becomes imbalanced and you are at risk of systematic Candidiasis.
Causes of Candidiasis
There are numerous causes of systematic Candidiasis; however, it is basically caused by the killing off of the good bacteria in your gut which allows yeast and fungi to thrive. The common causes of Candida overgrowth include:
- High Sugar/Carb Diet
- Birth Control Pill
- Weakened Immune System
- Worms and Parasites
Signs & Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth
When doing research regarding Candidiasis, many people are surprised to learn that they do not suffer from one or two symptoms of Candidiasis, but that numerous symptoms they believed were unrelated could all be attributable to Candida overgrowth. (On a personal note, after suffering a few symptoms easily attributable to Candida overgrowth including sebborrheic dermatitis and a painful fungal ear infection, I was shocked to learn that nearly every condition or complaint I suffered in the past few years could be attributable to Candida overgrowth.)
The following signs and symptoms can be attributable to Candida overgrowth:
- Recurring Yeast Infections
- Jock Itch
- Fungal Infections of Nails & Skin
- Athlete's Foot
- Thrush (white coating on tongue)
- Acid Reflux
- Skin Problems (Acne, Eczema, Dermatitis, Psoriasis, Night Sweats, Hives, Cysts)
- Rectal/Anal Itching
- Inability to Focus/Foggy Brain
- Memory Problems
- Mood Swings/Anger Outbursts
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Cravings for Sweets, Carbs, and Alcohol
- Panic Attacks
- Dry/Chapped Lips
- Bad Breath/Halitosis
- Chronic Post-Nasal Drip
- Sinusitis/Sinus Congestion
- Low Sex Drive
- PMS & Menstrual Irregularities
- Cold Hands & Feet
- Food Sensitivities/Allergies
- Thyroid Problems
The list above includes the most common signs and symptoms of Candida overgrowth, but there are even more Candida symptoms.
People who suffer from Candida overgrowth are commonly misdiagnosed with the following conditions:
- IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Chronic Fatigue & Immune Dysfunction
- Diaper Rash
- Athlete's Foot
- Crohn's Disease
- Lupus Hypothyroidism
- Leaky Gut Syndrome
- Celiac Disease
- Chronic Sinusitis
- Atopic Eczema
- GI Dybiosis
- Adrenal Dysfunciton
- Macular Degeneration
- Barret's Esophagus
- Lactose Intolerance
- Meniere's Disease
Candida overgrowth is also believed to contribute to the conditions listed above. It is further believed that Candida overgrowth may be related to Autism, ADHD, ADD, headaches/migraines, fatigue, and Schizophrenia.
Test for Candidiasis
Find Out At Home If You Have Candida Overgrowth
A "spit test" is an effective means to determine if you have Candidiasis. Simply fill a glass with bottled water and spit into it. Continue to check the glass every 15 minutes or so for an hour. You likely have a Candida problem if any of the following occur: you observe strings/"legs" traveling down into the water from the saliva floating on the top, "cloudy" saliva sinks to the bottom of the glass, or cloudy specks appear suspended in the water. If any of those three occur within the hour you likely have Candidiasis. If they do not occur within an hour, you likely do not have a problem with Candida overgrowth.
Treatment for Candidiasis
If you have determined that you have a problem with Candida overgrowth, your next question is probably "How do I treat it?" Candidiasis can be treated through modifications to your diet and the use of probiotics and/or antifungals.
In order to fully rid your body of Candida, many people recommend a Candida cleanse or detox to flush all of the Candida and related toxins out of your system. The most popular Candida cleanse involves psyllium husks, bentonite clay, and water. The psyllium husks and bentonite clay are mixed in water and drank immediately. The psyllium husks are a type of fiber that aid in digestion and cleaning out your colon. The bentonite clay will absorb toxins from your body. Many advocate an initial period of only taking this detox liquid and vegetable broth in order to fully cleanse your system. Another option is to take the detox liquid twice daily while maintaining a strict diet of only raw vegetables.
Anti- Candida Diet
The key to fighting off Candida is ensuring that you do not give anything for the yeast/fungi to feed off of. Therefore, a strict sugar-free, yeast-free, and gluten-free diet must be adhered to in order to starve the Candida and allow it to die off. You should also ensure that your diet includes plently of Candida fighting foods. Please be warned that in the first few weeks you are on the Anti- Candida Diet your symptoms may actually increase as the Candida die off and the toxins are flushed into your system. Be patient and eventually these symptoms will subside. Once you have regained balance in your system and no longer have Candida overgrowth, you can begin to reincorporate foods with sugar, yeast, and gluten. However, it is wise to still restrict these foods where possible and be prepared to omit them from your diet again if the Candida flares up.
Probioitics are the healthy bacteria that live within our digestive system. When you experience Candida overgrowth, the healthy/"good" bacteria have been killed off and there is an imbalance between the good bacteria and Candida. Probiotic supplements can help to restore the good bacteria to your gut and regain the balance in your digestive system.
Candida overgrowth is a fungal infection. Therefore, antifungals are effective in treating Candida. You can use natural antifungals such as garlic, oregano oil, or aloe vera to fight Candida overgrowth. Your doctor can also prescribe prescription antifungals such as Diflucan or Nystatin.