By August 16, 2013 4 Comments Read More →

10 Signs You Have Candida Overgrowth and What to Do About It

WIKI-candida-NephronDr. Amy Myers, Guest
Waking Times

You might be wondering, “What on earth is Candida?” Candida is a fungus, which is a form of yeast, a very small amount of which lives in your mouth and intestines. Its job is to aid with digestion and nutrient absorption but, when it is overproduced it breaks down the wall of the intestine and penetrates the bloodstream, releasing toxic byproducts into your body and causing leaky gut. This can lead to many different health problems ranging from digestive issues to depression.

How do you get Candida overgrowth?

The healthy or ‘good’ bacteria in your gut typically keeps your Candida levels in check. However, the Candida population can get out of hand if a round of antibiotics kill too many of those friendly bacteria, you have a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar (which feed the yeast), high alcohol intake, are taking oral contraceptives or any number of other factors including a high-stress lifestyle. Even a diet high in beneficial fermented foods like Kombucha, sauerkraut and pickles, can feed Candida causing an overgrowth.

10 Common Candida Symptoms

  1. Skin and nail fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, ringworm, and toenail fungus
  2. Feeling tired and worn down or suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
  3. Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
  4. Autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis
  5. Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD and brain fog
  6. Skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes
  7. Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression
  8. Vaginal infections , urinary tract infections, rectal itching or vaginal itching
  9. Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears
  10. Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings

How do you test for Candida overgrowth?

Blood Test
IgG, IgA, and IgM Candida Anti-bodies. These can be checked through most any lab. High levels of these antibodies indicate that an overgrowth of Candida is present. I find in my clinic that these can often be negative even when the stool or urine test is positive.

Stool Testing
I personally find this to be the most accurate test available. This will check for Candida in your colon or lower intestines. However, you need to make sure that your doctor orders a comprehensive stool test rather than the standard stool test. With the stool test, your stool is directly analyzed for levels of yeast. The lab can usually determine the species of yeast as well as which treatment will be effective.

Urine Organix Dysbiosis Test
This test detects D-Arabinitol a waste product of Candida yeast overgrowth. An elevated test means an overgrowth of Candida. This test will determine if there is Candida in your upper gut or small intestines.

How do you treat Candida overgrowth?

Effectively treating Candida involves stopping the yeast overgrowth, restoring the friendly bacteria that usually keep them in check, and healing your gut so that Candida can no longer enter your bloodstream.

Getting rid of the Candida overgrowth primarily requires a change in diet to a low carbohydrate diet. Sugar is what feeds yeast, so eliminating sugar in all of its simple forms like candy, desserts, alcohol and flours. Reducing to only a few cups a day of the more complex carbohydrates such as grains, beans, fruit, bread, pasta, and potatoes will prevent the Candida from growing and eventually cause it to die. I would recommend eliminating all fermented foods as well.

Using diet alone could take three to six months before the Candida is back under control. Because of this I use an anti fungal medication such as Diflucan or Nyastatin for a month or longer with my patients. If you are self-treating you can take a supplement of caprylic acid. Caprylic Acid comes from coconut oil and basically ‘pokes holes’ in the yeast cell wall causing it to die. You may read that some people recommend herbs such as oil of oregano. Oil of oregano can be very effective however it can kill good bacteria as well so I don’t recommend it. The anti-fungal medications and caprylic acid are very specific to yeast and will not harm your good bacteria.

It’s a must to restore the healthy bacteria that typically keep your Candida population under control, you should take probiotics on a regular basis. Taking anywhere from 25-100 billion units of probiotics should help to reduce the Candida levels and restore your levels of good bacteria. Finally, healing your gut, by eliminating inflammatory foods that can harm your GI tract and introducing foods that aid in digestion and nutrient absorption, will prevent Candida from working its way through your body, and will dramatically improve your overall health.

If you would like to find out for sure if you have Candida overgrowth, consider seeing a Functional Medicine Doctor who is trained in detecting and treating Candida.

About the Author

Dr. Amy Myers is the Founder and Medical Director of Austin UltraHealth, a functional medicine clinic in Austin, Texas. She is a medical doctor with extensive training in Functional Medicine, Integrative Medicine, and Nutrition. Dr. Myers has had a life-long passion for natural health and nutrition. After graduating Cum Laude from the Honors College at the University of South Carolina, she spent 2 1/2 years serving as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay, South America. There she taught organic farming, nutrition and cooking classes, and cultivated and exported Stevia to the USA and Japan. Prior to medical school, she researched Noni Juice and its anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties and currently holds a US patent for that research. Dr. Myers applies all of the principles of Functional Medicine to her own life. In that way, she is not simply a physician but rather a role model and mentor for her patients.

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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Waking Times or its staff.

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  • Ron

    i had the Fungus in my toe nails a few years ago and I got rid of it by painting my nails with paint thiner a few days in a row and it went away and hasnt returned. i told my Doctor who was talking about expensive treatments that went on for months and he just shook his head as if my input was intolerable. Theres another cause of skin erutions lately and that is because of the overamplification of the Electromagnetics we are being blasted with from the sun. The heavy metals we have absorbed over a lifetime makes for a physical presence that is partly metal in the shape of You and this metal you is reactive to the electricity in the atmosphere. This affects the skin and all the rest of the physical being as well, but just imagine your body firing off sparks from excessive amplification and what would the appearance be of the skin?

  • OziSteve

    I suffered from Candida overgrowth for approx. 5 – 6 yrs. trying all kinds of remedies, but as I am a type 1 Diabetic the no-sugar diet was very difficult to regulate. Eventually I found out from a retired Bio-chemist that the treatment from the old days was to soak some sugar cubes – 4 at a time – in a small amount of “Pure Gum Turpentine” made from the Turpentine tree of NZ – available at most hardware shops = and take one cube at B’fast and another at bedtime for 5-7 days, while limiting other forms of dietary sugars for that period. The following week have some Probiotics to restore gut flora. The Candida eats the sugar as food and is poisoned from within. It does not effect anything else. I was cured in 2 weeks !! Repeat process if you have to take antibiotics again, but for a shorter period.

    • Mariposa

      @ OziSteve…..Hey there! I’m really interested in your post about the pure gum turpantine as part of the treatment for candida. I can’t seem to find anything to back up this treatment (not that I therefore believe it’s not true), but definitely don’t want to dismiss it either! Have the ‘cured’ effect continued since you took the cubes? Any more info would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

      • wolvenwood

        I can’t speak to the cure mentioned here but I do know that taking tons of garlic will help, if not cure; I take it in garlic oil gel caps which you can find online. I had a horrendous case of candidiasis (didn’t know it then but was due to low thyroid) and garlic oil helped to keep it way under control until I found the cause. You can take up to 10,000 mg per day and may have a dieoff effect for a couple days but it goes away. You can ramp up garlic intake slowly to prevent the dieoff effects. Garlic is the most powerful anti-fungal I’ve ever found and I did alot of research.

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