What is Candida?
Candida is an opportunistic fungal pathogen (yeast). There are numerous forms of candida, and this post will be referring to CANDIDA ALBICANS.
It lives in the human body in small amounts and aids in digestion, however, several factors can lead to overgrowth, also known as Candidiasis. With this overgrowth, intestinal permeability is compromised, and the fungus leaches out into the blood, causing a systemic candida infection.
Often occurring in people with compromised immune function, antibiotic use, highly processed foods, refined and added sugars and reduced gastric acid secretion, candida can wreak havoc on the body.
Candida produces pyruvate and acetate within the gut. It also increase cytokine IL-17, in turn resulting in high inflammation of the gut.
Symptoms of candida overgrowth include
- Eczema, dry, itchy, red and flaky skin
- Reduced appetite
- Headaches and migraines
- Fatigue and brain fog
- Poor focus and concentration
- Low energy
- Mood and behavioural disorders (anxiety, depression, ADHD)
- White coating on the back of the tongue (can be scraped off)
- Food intolerance
- Sugar cravings
- Constipation and diarrhea
- Abdominal distention, cramping, bloating, flatulence
- Recurrent and/or chronic ear infections
- Reduced libido
- Joint and muscle aches and pain
- Lowered blood sugar, diabetes
Reducing candida can take some time, however, it responds well to alkalizing of the gastrointestinal tract and body, oxygen and nutrient levels and increased bile secretions. The goal of treatment is to modulate bacteria within the colon and improve and heal the gastrointestinal wall.
What can help reduce candida overgrowth?
- Digestive enzymes. Especially those that contain cellulose, hemicellulase, bromelain, papain, peptidase, amylase, lipase and protease. These help to break down the biofilm (protective covering) of candida so it can be eliminated
- Olive leaf extract and coconut oil (caprylic acid)
- Apple Cider Vinegar (unfiltered) taken before meals
- Foods = thyme, oregano, garlic, paprika, rosemary, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, ginger, flax seeds, celery cucumber, spinach, zucchini, avocado, asparagus, broccoli, artichoke, basil and sunflower seeds
It is important that while following a candida reduction, to use Vitamin C, fish oil and Epsom salt baths daily. This will assist in detoxification and reducing side effects of the ‘die-off’ that occurs with candida.