Am overgrowth of candida is something that many either don’t know they have or are hesitant to get help for.

bacteria cellWhat is Candida?
Candida is a naturally occurring yeast within the body. An overgrowth of the the main strain of candida yeast (candida albicans) is known as candidiasis. Everyone (men and women) has a certain quantity of this yeast in their bodies, which is perfectly normal.

Usually, it is is kept under control by beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract. An overgrowth of candida may result in the yeast becoming a fungus.

Yeast cells attach themselves to the walls of the intestines. An overgrowth causes damage to the intestinal walls; which may then result in partially digested food particles passing directly into the bloodstream.

These particles may then cause an adverse reaction by your immune system – leading to a drop in beneficial bacteria levels and inflammation (causing symptoms like those listed below).

What Causes An Overgrowth?
Bacteria cellsThere is no one particular cause, however the following are most likely to be the root of the problem:-

  • diet – (see below)
  • prolonged use of antibiotics
  • oral contraceptives, estrogen replacement therapy, steroid use
  • extended periods of stress
  • hypothyroidism
  • diabetes
  • digestion issues (e.g. low stomach acid and enzyme deficiencies)
  • food allergies or intolerances

Possible Symptoms of a Candida Overgrowth
If you’re suffering from some of the following symptoms, you may have an overgrowth of candida.

swollen joints recurring sore throats depression nasal congestion
chemical sensitivities heavy bloating mood swings skin complaints
food allergies persistent fatigue gas or flatulence food intolerances
frequent headaches constipation oral or vaginal thrush rectal itching
athletes foot fungal nail infections

How to Avoid or Control an Overgrowth
 To minimise your chances of a candida overgrowth a low carb and low yeast diet is recommended. *Limit as many of the following as possible:-

  • vinegar
  • marmite
  • alcohol
  • pasta
  • bread
  • sugar and high sugar foods
  • sweeteners
  • dairy
  • fruit juices and sweet fruits

*Strengthening the immune system can also provide a barrier to candida overgrowth, whilst being advantageous for your health generally.

My recommendations are:-

Strengthening the Immune System

Eat a good selection from: oats, barley, dark green leafy veg, cauliflower, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, peas, onions, garlic, leeks, radishes, poultry, eggs, pulses, nuts, seeds, coconut oil.

When eating fruit, avoid the sweeter fruits due to their higher levels of sugar (which can contribute to a candida overgrowth). Some good fruits to eat are apples, pears, grapefruit, oranges, cherries, apricots, nectarines, pomegranates and lemons ( 1 or 2 portions a day).

Herbs – oregano, basil, thyme and rosemary.

A general increase in foods high in fibre.

Drink 1.5 to 2 litres of hydrating fluids daily to help flush toxins out.

Positive results have been found from the following in terms of strengthening the immune system, improving beneficial bacterial balance and containing candida levels :-

Olive oil – 2 teaspoons 3 times a day

Berberine and Grapefruit Seed

Aloe Vera

Vitamin C

B Vitamins and  Zinc

Probiotics – a high quality multi-strain probiotic containing lactobacillus acidophilus and lactobacillus bifidus has been found  to help to keep candida under control in many cases

Enzymes – cellulase, hemicellulase, protease, amylase and glucoamylase in combination with a beneficial probiotic organism called saccharomyces boulardii can help eradicate an overgrowth.

*When cutting down on foods and introducing measures to strengthen the immune system be careful to do it gradually.  A gradual change helps your liver cope with an increased workload without becoming overloaded.