Candida is yeast that is natural to the digestive tract. It is normal to have small amounts of this yeast in the digestive system but when they grow out of control they present many problems for the body. Candida becomes harmful when it turns into the infectious filamentous form that can escape the immune system.
Candida can become a chronic problem in otherwise ‘healthy’ people with the presence of antibiotics, a processed diet and a stressed and toxic body. Drinking a lot of alcohol, taking oral contraceptives and eating lots of sugar are factors which encourage the growth and mutation of Candida.
The problem is that Candida releases toxic by-products that can cause many symptoms across the whole body. It also “pokes” holes into the intestinal lining and this may lead to “leaky gut syndrome”. The common symptoms include: skin and nail infections, chronic fatigue, migraines, IBS, brain fog, eczema and psoriasis, thrush, itchy ears, allergies and strong carbohydrate cravings.
Risk factors for Candida overgrowth are:
• Use of antibiotics and steroids
• Chronic stress
• Diet high in carbohydrates
• Weakened immunity
• Use of the contraceptive pill
One can test for this by using a blood test to check for Candida anti-bodies, although a stool test to check for Candida in the gut may be more accurate and can even tell you the species of Candida that is growing.
The key to treatment is to turn it back to its original, budding form. To do this one must use natural anti-fungal treatment while at the same time removing its food source: simple sugars. This includes any refined foods as well as fruits and fruit sources. All foods containing yeast must be avoided, such as bread, vinegar, etc. Mushrooms (a type of fungi) must be excluded as well as fermented products like beer and wine.
A low carbohydrate, high fat diet is perfect for getting rid of Candida. Coconut oil has compounds that are strongly anti-fungal.