Stress, Sugar & their role in Candida Overgrowth

Candida overgrowth; what is it? Symptoms you may have it. What is causes it? What to do about it. AND why stress is a major factor!

Sounds sexy doesn’t it?!

In last week’s Journal I talked about the bacterium that makes up 90% of what we call our bodies. In continuing with this theme and finding the balance of good and evil I am going to address a common complaint of candida overgrowth. As many as 1 in 4 people have this condition and most are not aware.

Candida is yeast/ fungi that live within all of us, preferring to live in warm, dark and moist environment such as vagina, damp toes and even our intestines. When an overgrowth occurs, symptoms such as thrush and athletes foot occur but lesser known are the issues that occur on an internal level. When the candida spreads throughout our body and penetrate the lining of the intestines and bowels, it can result in “leaky gut “and the toxic byproducts of candida can enter the bloodstream.

Indication of Candida Overgrowth can be hard to pin point and often dismissed as a normal part of life, getting old or just endured as it’s always been that way. It doesn’t have to be that way. An appointment with a Naturopath with live blood screening can help diagnose and assess.

Symptoms include:

· Skin Problems; eczema, psoriasis, tinea, fungal infection- thrush/jock itch, body odour · Immunity; allergies, sensitivities and intolerance to foods that are normally ok · Mental: brain fog- feeling “spaced out” or flat, poor memory and concentration, mood swings, lethargy, unexplained depressive and anxious feelings. · Respiratory: hay fever, sinus issues, breathlessness and wheezing (non-asthmatic) · Nervous system: Numbness i.e tongue, tingling, tinnitus – ringing in the ears, muscular aches and weakness (not associated with exercise), fatigue · Gastrointestinal; bad breath, diarrhea/constipation, bloating, excessive wind, abdominal pain, oral thrush · Reproductive System; Vaginal thrush, jock itch, PMS and menstrual problems- heavy or light flow, UTI’s

What causes it?

STRESS is a major contributing factor as it affects the immune system by creating an imbalance of good/bad bacterium (see last week’s journal), allowing the Candida infection to flourish. Other causes:

· Anti-biotics; pre-dispose you to candida infections as they wipe out good bacterium along with the bad. As candida is yeast it survives the dose of anti-biotics and thrives on the change to microflora in the digestive tract and throughout the body. This includes those anti-biotics passed along the food chain- think cow’s milk, eggs, and meats. · Diet: a diet containing processed foods such as breads, cakes and snacks, sugar and excessive alcohol all promote an imbalance to gut microbiome and promote a yeast overgrowth. · Diabetics; A this is a condition that directly effects the blood sugar levels and candida thrives on sugar, diabetics are pre-disposed. · Other medication: the oral contraceptive pill and hormone replacement therapy can alter the pH levels within the vagina and make some women more susceptible to thrush. Anti-inflammatory such as cortisone can suppress the immune system and affect the ability to fight yeast such as candida.

What can you do? Foremost, book in to see a Naturopath with live blood screening. Or your GP and ask for blood test. They will be able to diagnose and assist with a plan of attack for treating a Candida Overgrowth. Treating requires you to starve the Candida overgrowth, re-introducing good probiotic bacteria, essentiall