Common Symptoms of Candida & What to Do About It?
Candida Albicans (Candida) is a fungus that is part of the normal microbiome of the digestive tract. When levels are balanced, candida can be beneficial and helps with nutrient absorption and digestion. Unfortunately, when levels of this fungus increase, it becomes pathogenic, causing many disruptive symptoms. Left unchecked, it can cause inflammation in the digestive tract that breaks down the walls of the intestinal lining and penetrates into the bloodstream. Toxins released by the fungus cause many common symptoms:
- Gas, cramping and bloating
- Recurrent yeast infections in women
- Constipation, or diarrhea
- Weight gain
- Depression and brain fog
- Skin issues like eczema and acne
- Food sensitivities
- Joint and muscle pain, chronic fatigue syndrome
What Causes Candida Overgrowth?
Candida overgrowth is very common amongst the general population due to antibiotic use, elevated sugar intake, heavy metals and chemical intake, birth control pill, increased stress, and poor diet.
These factors alter the normal flora of the intestinal tract, killing off healthy bacteria and allowing, opportunistic pathogens to colonize.
How Do You Know You Have Candida?
Having been in practice for 13 years I can honestly say that symptoms go a long way for diagnosing a Candida problem, however, we don’t only rely on symptoms.
There are several tests that can be done to rule in, or out, Candida. When I suspect that a patient has multiple food sensitivities along with Leaky Gut syndrome, I will often recommend that IgG Candida be added to the food Sensitivity test. When a sensitivity to sugar, and yeast is coupled with elevated IgG to Candida, you can be sure Candida is the culprit.
There are also stool tests and other blood tests, which test for Candida, and can determine if the exposure is chronic or more acute.
I use testing when a patient’s picture is not clear, or when the patient really wants it tested. There are other conditions that can be confused with Candida, so testing can be beneficial to quickly differentiate and treat accordingly.
How is Candida Treated?
The most effective Candida treatments are a combination of modified diet with supplements and/ or medications that kill the fungus.
There are many Candida treatments on the market, and I suggest that if they work for you use them! If you have tried them and haven’t seen the results you are looking for, then come in for a visit and I can get you on the right track.
The Candida elimination diet can seem intimidating; I can help work with you to make it easier so you are willing to give it a shot. At Vitalia Healthcare, we now have a nutritionist that can work with you in even more detail to help create a menu and shopping list, to make the journey that much easier.
When the holiday festivities have settled down, think about your health and what you would like to improve. Often starting with a Candida cleanse will get you on track faster and get you living a healthy, energetic, glowing life.
Dr. Natalie Waller, B.Kin, ND