(Natural News) Did you know that the human body is home to a unique one-celled microorganism called Candida albicans? C. albicans is a yeast, and it’s normal for a person to have small colonies of these microorganisms in their body. However, when candida populations swell into an overgrowth, you can develop severe health problems.
Common signs of candida overgrowth or candidiasis can include the following:
- Aphthous ulcers (intermittent painful mouth sores)
- Chronic allergies and sinusitis
- Food cravings
- Joint pain
- Persistent weight gain
- Psychological and mental symptoms (e.g., confusion, depression, or mood swings)
What causes candidiasis?
These seven factors can make you susceptible to candida overgrowth.
Contraceptives, especially oral birth control pills, can eliminate “good” gut flora and cause yeast overgrowth. “The pill’s” main ingredient is estrogen, which encourages the growth of yeast.
Take note that intrauterine devices (IUDs) made of copper may also kill beneficial bacteria and promote the growth of yeast.
Fermented foods and stress
Fermented foods, such as kimchi, kombucha, pickles, and sauerkraut, are usually good for your gut health. However, they may also aggravate the symptoms of candida overgrowth. Experts suggest that you eliminate fermented foods from your diet while you’re still recovering from candida overgrowth.
Chronic stress and poor sleep habits can also trigger an overproduction of the “stress hormone” cortisol. High levels of cortisol may inhibit the immune system and increase your blood sugar. An increase in your blood sugar levels will provide more nourishment for candida cells.
Stress and insomnia may also affect the adrenal glands, which are crucial for a healthy immune system. (Related: Everything you need to know about candida overgrowth.)
Following a poor diet
If your diet contains processed foods, refined flours, and sugary drinks and treats, you have a higher chance of developing candidiasis since these foods can nourish candida cells. In particular, sugary foods may suppress immune function, which negatively affects the body’s ability to keep candida under control.
Candida overgrowth will compromise the digestive system, and this can affect the normal breakdown of food and the absorption of essential nutrients. Even if you eat organic foods, candida overgrowth can prevent you from enjoying any of their health benefits.
A sedentary lifestyle is also linked to yeast overgrowth in the body and a general lack of oxygenation. Without regular exercise, you are also at higher risk of obesity and diabetes. These two conditions can also contribute to candida overgrowth.
Natural health experts warn that the frequent or long-term use of broad-spectrum antibiotics is the primary cause of candidiasis.
According to studies, the average healthy adult may carry about 500 different strains of bacteria. Most of these are beneficial, and some of the bacteria in your body can regulate the growth of candida. Antibiotics kill pathogenic bacteria, but it also gets rid of the beneficial bacteria that prevent candida overgrowth.
Toxins and heavy metals
Heavy metals like mercury from “silver” dental amalgams can weaken the immune system and harm beneficial bacteria, which makes you susceptible to candidiasis.
Environmental toxins like chlorine and fluoride, which are both commonly found in municipal water supplies, can also kill “good” bacteria. To minimize your exposure to toxins like chloride and fluoride, use filters for tap water and natural, chlorine-free detergents.
Testing for candidiasis
If you think you have candidiasis, consult a healthcare professional and ask about an anti-candida antibodies test, which is also known as the candida immune complexes test.
This test will evaluate the levels of three different antibodies:
- Immunoglobulin A (IgA) – High concentrations of IgA can be found in the mucous membranes, especially those lining the respiratory passages and the gastrointestinal tract. Saliva and tears also have IgA.
- Immunoglobulin G (IgG) – IgG is the most abundant type of antibody. It can be found in all body fluids, and it protects against bacterial and viral infections.
- Immunoglobulin M (IgM) – IgM is found mainly in the blood and lymph fluid. This is the first antibody that the body produces when fighting a new infection.
These three antibodies may signify high levels of candida overgrowth. Comprehensive stool tests can help reveal high levels of yeast and pathogenic bacteria. Choose a test that samples stool over several days since a single test may not measure candida.
Another option is a urine dysbiosis test, which can show elevated D-arabinitol, the waste product of candida overgrowth.
Treatment options for candidiasis
The best way to treat candida overgrowth is by making dietary changes and taking probiotics like acidophilus to encourage the repopulation of good bacteria. Avoid baked goods, corn syrup, jellies, soft drinks, and sugary foods.
Natural antifungals can also help treat candidiasis. Caprylic acid (which can be found in coconut oil), grapefruit seed extract, and Pau D’Arco bark are some of the safest and most effective antifungals. Always consult a naturopathic doctor before making any changes to your healthcare routine.
Browse more articles about natural remedies for candidiasis at Prevention.news.