Feeling a little under the weather? Can’t put your finger on what is causing a seemingly random collection of symptoms? If you tick a few (or more!) of the symptoms below, you may like to speak to your doctor or a natural health professional to check whether you might have a candida overgrowth. First things first though, you may be asking…what on earth is candida?
Candida is a fungus and a very small amount of it lives in your mouth and intestines. Its job is to aid with digestion and nutrient absorption but, when overproduced, candida breaks down the wall of the intestine and penetrates the bloodstream, releasing toxic byproducts into your body. This can lead to many different health problems, ranging from digestive issues to depression. 7 common candida overgrowth symptoms include;
- Skin and nail fungal infections
- Feeling tired or suffering from chronic fatigue
- Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhoea
- Skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes
- Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression
- Vaginal infections , urinary tract infections, rectal itching or vaginal itching
- Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings
So how do you treat candida overgrowth? Effectively, treatment involves stopping the yeast overgrowth, restoring the friendly bacteria that usually keep them in check, and healing the gut so that candida can no longer enter your bloodstream.
Getting rid of the candida overgrowth primarily requires a change in diet to a low carbohydrate diet. Sugar is what feeds yeast, so eliminating sugar in all of its simple forms like lollies, desserts, alcohol and flours is essential. It is also important to reduce daily consumption of complex carbohydrates (e.g. pasta, grains, potatoes and fruit).
Using diet alone could take three to six months before the candida is back under control. For this reason, most natural health practitioners recommend commencing an anti-candida supplement protocol in conjunction with changes in the diet. This usually entails the use of a high quality anti-fungal treatment and a quality probiotic (to restore beneficial bacteria).
Natural supplements that help to manage a candida overgrowth commonly include a combination of the following;
- Oregano oil
- Grapefruit seed extract
- Olive Leaf
- Pau d’arco
- Caprylic acid (from coconut oil)
Before self-diagnosing or treating a potential candida overgrowth, it’s important to speak to a doctor or registered natural health professional (such as a naturopath). They can then provide you with more specific dietary guidelines and suggest the best supplement treatment protocol for you.