Candidiasis (also known as ‘thrush’) is an overgrowth of Candida Albicans, a parasitic, yeast-like fungus in the mucus membranes of the intestines, genital tract, mouth and throat, as well as the skin or nails. We ALL carry this fungus, but occasionally it can grow out of control due to lack of competition from healthy bacteria. Over-use of antibiotics is the number one contributor to Candida overgrowth, with the use of oral contraceptives, NSAIDs and corticosteroids also helping to bring about it’s growth. Under-active stomach, depressed immune function, and poor diet must also be addressed when healing from Candidiasis.
These are my Top 10 Signs that you may have a Candida overgrowth:
- Cravings for sugar, bread and alcohol
- Abdominal Gas and Bloating
- Itchy Ears, Nose or Rectum
- Finger or Toenail Fungus
- Brain Fog or Memory Loss
- Mood swings, irritability, anxiety
- Recurrent Vaginal Infections
It might be difficult to believe that your anxiety or your PMS is connected to a fungal infection, but its worth checking out! Candida creates its own acetaldehyde toxins in the body, which can affect your nervous system, your joints and muscles, and your metabolic, immune and hormone systems in the body. These toxins interfere with acetylcholine receptors necessary for memory, motor, and autonomic function. They also stimulate histamine release, increasing allergy and inflammation. Candida produces estrogen-like substances, contributing to Estrogen Dominance, which can lead to PMS, cysts, fibroids, tumors, and endometriosis.
A specific protocol is often necessary to bring your flora back into balance in the body. This involves improving digestion, and possibly ‘killing-off’ Candida using anti-fungal agents, such as Caprylic acid. Following the elimination, you must reculture and heal the gut. Prior to engaging in any type of Candida cleansing, it is imperative that the body is prepared to deal with the Candida ‘die-off’, with the organs of detoxification and elimination functioning well to avoid a cleansing crisis. You can find out more about preparing for cleansing on my blog HERE.
There are certain foods that ought to be avoided when dealing with a Candida overgrowth:
- Sugar, alcohol and refined carbohydrates most definitely need to be avoided, as Candida thrives on sugar. Stay clear of excess fruit (more than 2 pieces/day), fruit juice and dried fruit as well.
- Coffee should be avoided as well as it interferes with healthy bacteria growth necessary to crowd out Candida
- Nuts naturally contain mold spores. I advise to avoid peanuts and pistachios in particular.
- Yeasted products such as breads should be avoided while cleansing Candida.
- Vinegar also eliminates healthy gut bacteria, and we need healthy bacteria right now!
- Keep away from leftover food as these contain mold spores.
So what foods SHOULD you eat?
Veggies that inhibit Candida growth include raw garlic, onion, asparagus, avocado, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, kale, okra, radish, spinach, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil and butter and tomato. The cellulase in raw vegetables and wheat, millet, apples, papaya, pears, and melons is a great fiber for improving the elimination of toxins.
Once the overgrowth is cleared, probiotic or fermented foods like kimchi, traditional saurkraut, kombucha, kefir, miso, tamari and sprouts can be very helpful to reculture the gut and avoid a recurrence. A high-fiber diet that is low in sugar and refined carbohydrates will also help keep your gut bacteria in balance.
If you have any questions about whether you may have a Candida overgrowth or how to go about healing from Candidiasis, I offer free 20-minute phone consultations for you to get your questions answered – with no strings attached! You can book your appointment HERE.
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