An overgrowth of Candida albicans, a type of yeast, can cause a variety of chronic health problems in men and women, not the least of which are yeast infections. Candida albicans exists on the skin, in the digestive tract and in the vagina. Good bacteria in the intestines should keep the yeast under control and in a healthy balance. However, if the balance is disrupted due to antibiotics, birth control pills or eating too much sugar and grains Candida cells rapidly develop and overpower the good bacteria.

Candida Overwhelm

When the body has too much yeast the lining of the intestines weakens allowing allergens and toxins into the bloodstream. This can manifest into sugar and carbohydrate cravings to feed the large amount of yeast and becomes a vicious cycle of more carbs and more yeast growing out of control. Eventually, this will weaken not only the intestinal lining but the entire immune system as well and can lead to:

  • Food allergies
  • Vaginitis
  • Migraines
  • Asthma
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Depression
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Weight gain

Signs And Symptoms

When Candida dies-off there are seventy-five different toxins released. This is why people with yeast overgrowth often feel so sick when the Candida toxins are entering their bloodstream. Two of these toxins, alcohol and acetaldehyde (the breakdown product of alcohol that causes hangovers), are in such high amounts in people with chronic yeast problems that they may actually feel drunk. In addition, acetaldehyde also reacts with the neurotransmitter dopamine causing those with yeast overgrowth to experience mental and emotional disturbances such as anxiety, depression, poor concentration, and feeling foggy headed.

How To Know If You Have Candida Overgrowth

  • If you're suffering from some of the above symptoms and nothing seems to help there's a fair chance Candida is involved
  • Close to seventy-five percent of women have had at least one yeast infection in their life time. This common condition occurs when the normal acidity of the vagina changes allowing Candida to multiply. Hormonal changes can encourage yeast infections, as can pregnancy, diabetes and the use of antibiotics
  • As with all yeast-related problems, the infection is caused by Candida that already exists in your body. When the immune system becomes run down from stress or the flu and gets out of balance the Candida multiply out of control
  • Thrush is Candidiasis of the mouth. This infection causes whitish, yellow patches in the mouth, and is most common in people with compromised immune systems, such as those with AIDS or those undergoing chemotherapy or other cancer treatments
  • Thrush can also occur in newborns (and then be transferred to the mother's nipples during breastfeeding), in people with dentures, and in those who use inhaled corticosteroids
  • Candida overgrowth can also spread to your esophagus, where it can cause pain and difficulty swallowing
  • Even diaper rash can be caused by a yeast overgrowth and manifests as a red, itchy rash on a baby's bottom
  • Candida-related skin infections can also occur on adults, particularly between folds of skin, such as in your arm pits, groin and under the breasts in women
  • Candida can actually burrow into the intestinal wall, creating tiny gaps in the membrane lining. Then yeast produces toxic by-products that leave the digestive system and enter the bloodstream and are delivered throughout the entire body
  • Partially digested food particles also go along with the toxins. This is called "leaky gut syndrome" and can pave the way for a host of illnesses from psoriasis to depression and bladder infections

Leaky Gut Syndrome

As the toxins enter the bloodstream due to leaky gut syndrome an allergic response is triggered. This results in:

  • Food cravings (especially for carbohydrates yeast's favorite food)
  • Bloating
  • Liver overload as it tries to deal with all these toxins
  • Decreased thyroid function and metabolism because the liver is busy elsewhere
  • Tremendous fluid retention to try to dilute the toxins
  • Fat cells swelling as they trap toxins to try and protect the rest of the body
  • Gas from yeast due to its normal metabolic functions
  • Hormonal imbalance on all levels known as pseudohormones (false hormones) caused by environmental chemicals blocking receptor sites
  • The stress of toxins, weight, and feeling awful create excessive release of cortisol, the chronic stress hormone, which has an added negative effect of making it nearly impossible to lose weight

Let's Make It Difficult For Yeast To Thrive

Try making these lifestyle changes:

  • Eat a diet rich in meats, chicken, eggs, seeds and nuts, vegetables, and healthy oils – free range and organic if possible
  • Avoid sugars and carbohydrate-rich foods. Be aware that you may feel worse for a week or two because the Candida are dying and releasing their toxic byproducts into your bloodstream
  • Once a healthier diet has been established exercising will also help to rebalance the levels of neurotransmitters in your brain and improve your mood
  • Increase your probiotic (good bacteria) intake with a high-quality probiotic supplement or by eating cultured and fermented foods such as fermented vegetables, kefir and good quality yogurt. These contain the good bacteria that will keep the gastrointestinal tract healthy and will ultimately replace the Candida
  • Where possible avoid antibiotics, corticosteroids and birth control pills. Also avoid paints, household cleaners, perfumes as chemical sensitivities are very common in people with yeast overgrowth
  • Because yeast multiplies so quickly it is wise to restrict not only sugar and refined carbs but also all yeast and mold-containing foods such as alcohol, vinegar and vinegar-containing foods like mustard and salad dressing, bread, carrots, potatoes and beets (high-sugar veggies), fruits, peanuts and corn which often contain mold, mushrooms (fungus) and aged cheeses

Healthy Additions

  • Take digestive enzymes to support digestion
  • Use herbs that help to balance your intestinal bacteria and fight yeast growth such as oregano oil, black walnut, grapefruit seed extract, garlic (eat this in the form of fresh raw cloves, slightly crushed), cinnamon essential oils – laboratory tests have shown that growth of yeasts that were resistant to the commonly used anti-fungal medication fluconazole were often stopped by cinnamon extract

Remember, if yeast overgrowth feels like it's taking over your life your body is more than capable of fighting back if you give it the right tools to naturally overcome this aggressive condition.