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10 Symptoms of Candida and How To Get Rid of It

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Have You Ever Had a Candida (Yeast) Infection?

Candida albicans, also known as candidiasis, is a common type of yeast, or fungus, found in various parts of the body (mouth, gut, and vagina). When candida growth increases and overwhelms the good bacteria residing in the gut, men or women may be troubled with menacing symptoms.

These symptoms may not appear to be related to any health issue at all. However gas, belly bloat, a white coating on the tongue, brain fog, red rash around the fingers and toes, and moodiness are all symptoms that can be directly related to candida.

For this reason candida yeast overgrowth is not always easy to diagnose. Symptoms of a yeast infection will present differently in different people.

Candida overgrowth can be caused by a high sugar diet, hormone imbalance, medical conditions that weaken the immune system and medical treatments.

What Causes Candida Yeast Overgrowth?

When candida is balanced in normal amounts, it is helpful for digestion. There are certain factors that can change the landscape from a healthy candida balance to out-of-control growth. Factors that promote unhealthy Candida growth include:

A High Sugar Diet

Yeast thrives on sugar. Sugar helps yeast to multiply and grow rapidly. Eating too much sugar can also have a negative impact on the immune system, which leaves one more susceptible to yeast overgrowth. So sugar has a dual role with candida. ( 1) It can lower the immune system and it feeds the yeast, causing it to multiply.

Antibiotics

When antibiotics work, they kill both good and bad bacteria. This imbalance may contribute to candida overgrowth, as frequent antibiotic use has been linked to increased risk of candida overgrowth. ( 2)

High Estrogen Levels

Any disruption in hormone balance that might cause a spike in estrogen can also contribute to candida. Pregnancy and birth control pills (BCP) are two examples. BCPs contain a synthetic form of the hormone progestin. This unnatural form of the hormone disrupts normal estrogen/progesterone balance, leading to a higher risk of yeast overgrowth ( 3).

Uncontrolled Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are medical conditions that are associated with candida. When blood sugar is not controlled and there is excess sugar in the tissues throughout your body, it provides for the perfect environment for candida to grow ( 5).

Medical Conditions and Treatments

Medical conditions that are known to compromise the immune system — such as AIDS ( 4) or cancer and certain medical treatments (steroids, cancer treatments) — can lower immunity. When the immune system is weak, the risk for candida becomes stronger.

10 Symptoms of Candida and How To Get Rid of It

10 Symptoms of Candida

When at proper levels, candida is a fungus that aids in nutrient absorption and digestion. However, if the balance is disrupted, typical candida symptoms may appear. Often the symptoms are general and more of a nuisance than anything else. Over time, however, if not treated candida can spread into the bloodstream. At this point, it can be deadly ( 6).

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may have candida.

  1. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Are you tired, regardless of how much you sleep?
  2. Mood Disorders: Are you moody? Do you feel irritable, depressed or anxious?
  3. Vaginal Yeast Infection: Do you have vaginal itching? Are you getting an abnormal or smelly discharge?
  4. Oral Thrush: Is there a white coating covering your tongue?
  5. Sinus Infections: Have you experienced a persistent cough or post-nasal drip, an increase in congestion, or seasonal allergies? Have you developed new food sensitivities, especially to dairy, eggs, corn and gluten?
  6. Intestinal Distress: Do you suffer from bloating, gas, belching, constipation or diarrhea?
  7. Brain Fog: Do you lose focus easily or find it hard to concentrate?
  8. Skin and Nail Fungal Infections: Do you suffer from frequent athlete’s foot or toenail infections?
  9. Stubborn Weight that Won't Come Off: Is it more difficult to maintain or lose weight?
  10. Leaky Gut: If yeast is untreated it can release toxins, break down the walls of the intestinal lining, and penetrate into the bloodstream.

10 Symptoms of Candida and How To Get Rid of It

Candida Testing

Any of these symptoms may not draw specific attention to the underlying cause of candida. So if you have any of these symptoms, consider candida testing.

There are a few ways to identify candida yeast overgrowth.Blood, urine and stool testing is available.

A comprehensive stool test is the best method to use to identify what is happening in your gut. You simply collect the stool using a kit and mail it to the lab.

There are other ways to check for yeast as well. The candida antibodies test checks your blood levels of IgG, IgA, and IgM antibodies for an immune system response. An organic acid test checks urine for organic waste products left by the yeast.

Get Rid of Candida with a Keto Diet

Treating candida is not easy. It takes time to regain healthy candida balance. The focus should be on diet and supplements.

A keto diet containing low amounts of sugar and carbohydrates will starve the candida of the sugar it needs to thrive.

Eat less than 50 grams of carbohydrates and no added sugar each day, You are satisfying your own hunger and nutritional needs but helping to kill the bad yeast.

Eating foods that do not contain sugar or gluten and avoiding certain moldy and fermented foods will reduce giving the opportunity for yeast to multiply and help avoid recurrence.

A keto diet containing low amounts of carbohydrates will starve the candida of the sugar it needs to thrive. Avoiding gluten and fermented foods will reduce the likelihood of recurrence.

Keto Foods To Avoid if You Have Candida

If you do have candida, your diet must be a little more restrictive compared to a regular keto diet. Fermented and moldy foods that feed yeast should be avoided, as well as most cheeses and other dairy, wine, mushrooms, melon, peanuts, pistachio and cashews alcohol, vinegar and soy sauce. However, apple cider vinegar, kefir, mozzarella and goat cheese are allowed.

10 Symptoms of Candida and How To Get Rid of It

Supplements for Candida

Use supplements that are third-party tested or have the good manufacturing practice (GMP) label. There are a few items that can be used to kill yeast:

Oil of Oregano

Don't expect tasty Greek-style oregano oil. It's a natural insect repellent that has a potent taste. It is not a pleasant taste but may help in the treatment of candida.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is high in medium-chain triglycerides (caprylic acid, capric acid and lauric acid) that have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial properties.

American Biotics Silver

Liquid for oral use and gel as suppository, a natural option to prescription medicine. Research shows full recovery in 6 days. (7) In another study, there was a significant better response rate in women who were treated orally and vaginally compared with only vaginal treatment.

Probiotics

A probiotic will help bring back balance to the gut. Select an enteric-coated probiotic that contains multiple strains of at least a million good bacteria. Specific strains of probiotic that help control candida are: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus helvecticus, Saccharomyces boulardi (Brewer’s yeast), Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus plantarum and Bacillus subtilis and Bifidobacterium.

Take Home Message

More often than not, candida is lurking behind many general symptoms that most of us are feeling.

Candida overgrowth can be caused by a high sugar diet, hormone imbalance, medical conditions that weaken the immune system and medical treatments.

When the gut flora is thrown off balance by environmental triggers that upset the landscape of the gut, mouth or vagina, use a ketogenic diet with supplementation to heal naturally and effectively.

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Valerie Goldstein, MS, RD, CDE
Author and Health & Blood Sugar Expert

Valerie Goldstein

Valerie is a Dr. Atkins trained registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. She is acknowledged in his books, "Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution" and "Atkins for Life".

Valerie always says, "The ketogenic diet provides the most nutrient bang for the calorie buck" and so she uses this nutritional approach and personalizes it for all her medical, weight loss and athletic clients throughout the country.

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Comments (2)

I have Candida and took all the supplements and 3 years later I was not any better.  I started eating fermented foods and finally started to heal.  

Reply

That's interesting Terri, I'm also suffering from Candida as it's closely linked to Hashimoto's. I can confirm that in my case fermented foods don't seem to be causing any flare ups, at least not the amount I'm eating.
For me it's foods high in sugar and alcohol. The combination of the two is the worst and I instantly get sinusitis and other symptoms.

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