Most people think candida is just a vaginal yeast infection. My old doctor could not even pronounce it correctly. She called it Canada. Doh! The truth is that we need a little bit of Candida in our gut to help with our digestion. The challenge with this mischievous yeast is that when it’s overgrown and lurking like a parasite in your gut, it throws the good intestinal flora out of balance and can wreak havoc on your body.
Candida is a fungus, which is a form of yeast, and a very small amount of it lives in your mouth and intestines. Its main job is helping digestion and nutrient absorption. We all need Candida. Candida is a yeast that works in your gut to help you digest your food. Candida albicans is a yeast germ that ordinarily exists in balance with the trillions of bacteria that inhabit a healthy digestive tract.
Candida can mutate from its yeast state to a fungal form when the gut flora balance is thrown off. Once it has mutated, Candida can be severely damaging to the body.
When Candida is overproduced, it can break down the wall of the intestine and penetrate the bloodstream — releasing toxic by-products into your body and causing leaky gut. This can lead to many different health problems, from digestive issues to depression and worse.
The good news is that the healthy bacteria in your gut typically keep your candida levels in check. However, a few factors can cause the Candida population to grow out of control:
- Eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar
- Consuming a lot of alcohol
- Taking oral contraceptives
- Living a high-stress lifestyle
- Taking a round of antibiotics that killed too many of those friendly bacteria
What are common symptoms of candida?
- Skin and nail fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus
- Feeling tired and worn down, or suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
- Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
- Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma, or multiple sclerosis
- Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD, and brain fog
- Skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes
- Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression
- Vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, rectal itching, or vaginal itching
- Severe seasonal allergies and recurring ear or sinus infections
- Itchy ears, armpits or scalp
- Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings
These are only the symptoms most commonly reported and documented for candida. It can be an underlying condition in many diseases, but is often not diagnosed, misdiagnosed, disputed to even exist, or disregarded altogether.
Candida yeast/fungal overgrowth has been found to be a common occurrence in many disorders and is also present in millions of other people who cannot figure out what is wrong with them, or what to do about it.
How do I know if I have Candida overgrowth?
There are several ways to test for candida overgrowth. Know that your doctor probably won’t tell you about these tests or even consider that candida could be the cause of your symptoms. Doctors will treat your symptoms for another ailment when the true root cause of your symptoms is candida overgrowth.
The common tests for candida include blood tests (these usually are not very accurate), stool tests or urine tests (the stool and urine tests are the most accurate tests). If you are testing the stool or urine make sure that your doctor orders a comprehensive stool test, rather than the standard test.
There is an easy, free and simple test to check for Candida is the Candida spit test. I used to send my clients to their doctors for a stool test to check for Candida and when they would take this simple spit test at the same time, the results were the same.
Save your money and your time by checking for Candida with this simple test.
- When you go to bed, put a clear small glass filled with about 8 ounces of water on your nightstand.
- First thing when you wake up–and before you put anything in your mouth or brush your teeth–gather about a tablespoon of saliva in your mouth and spit it into the cup.
- Get ready for your day and check the spit in the glass twice: once at 20 minutes after you spit and once at 45 minutes after you spit. (Set a timer so you remember. Remember, one of the symptoms of Candida overgrowth is brain fog.)
- If the spit sinks, you have Candida.
- If the spit develops legs like with wine, and the legs move into the water like spider webs, you have Candida.
- If the entire blob of spit sits at the top of the water without moving, you’re likely clear of Candida overgrowth.
To successfully treat Candida, you need to do three things:
- stop the yeast overgrowth
- build up the friendly and healthy bacteria
- heal your gut so that candida can no longer enter your bloodstream and throw you out of balance