Candida is a yeast like fungus, present normally in our digestive tract and is part of our normal microflora. It resides usually on mucous membrane which are warm and moist like vagina, oral cavities, armpits and groins. It is not dangerous or do not cause any harm till it overgrows because of dysbiosis (higher pathogenic microflora) and other factors.
Many symptoms possibly confirm the Candida overgrowth as depicted in the diagram below
It is very likely if you have any of these conditions, candida overgrowth is highly suspected. Even Autoimmune disorders have a strong connection with possibility of Candida Overgrowth because of Leaky Gut Syndrome connection.
Initially candida was considered as a disease of women as vaginal candidiasis but more research has confirm the colonisation of candida in the gut which then leads to Leaky gut syndrome and hence connected to Autoimmune and Digestives diseases such as IBS, IBD, Crohn’s disease and Obesity.
Causes of Candida Overgrowth
- Frequent Antibiotic use – Frequent and long term use of antibiotics kills the healthy microbe present in the gut which is repressible to keep the candida growth in check.
- Excess Sugar intake – Excessive sugar consumption change the pH of our digestive tract which prevent healthy bacteria to flourish and they population decreases, giving a chance for candida to grow. Candida itself is a yeast and two very well the diet consisting of excessive yeast and sugar products.
- High stress – People having excessive stress have usually weakened immune system, energy and blood sugar dysregulation. All these factors lead to excess consumption of caffeine, sugar products or alcohol which promote the candida growth. Alcohol is a sugar and promote candida growth
- Medications – Certain medication like Corticosteroids used orally in bronchodilators (asthma pumps) and birth control pills have been linked to higher chances of getting oral thrush and Candida overgrowth.
How to Control Candida Overgrowth?
- Dietary Changes – First of all we need to remove all those foods which promotes candida growth such as sugar, starchy grains & vegetables, fruits (contain fructose), dairy products and yeast containing foods like wine and breads. Include more of raw vegetables, leafy greens, seeds, nuts, beans and legumes in your diet.
- Lifestyle changes – Reducing the stress and cortisol response is important if you want to treat it from root cause if stress being a contributing factors, balancing blood sugar levels, promoting calmness by using breathing techniques, asanas, meditation, yoga or calisthenics. Any kind fo physical activity or light music lower stress intolerance
- Nutritional support – Garlic and Apple cider vinegar are proven anti candida agents. Raw garlic has anti bacterial and anti fungal properties while apple cider vinegar changes the stomach of digestive tract which prevent overgrowth of candida. Clove oil, oregano oil and coconut also helps in eradicating excess candida. We can also replace the candida yeast with a more healthier yeast known as Sacchromyces Boulardii in the form of supplement along with a good probiotic supplement to promote healthy flora in digestive tract.
Many times Healthcare Practitioner intervention becomes integral when treating candida, especially when conditions or symptoms are worse and debilitating your life and health.