What is Candida?
It’s definitely not something we learned about in nursing school. Some might think of the dreaded vaginal yeast infection…something I thankfully have never experienced. It turns out we all have yeast in our bodies….some just more so than others. Antibiotics, birth control, stress, consuming a lot of alcohol and/or carbohydrate rich foods can lead to an overgrowth. I had my fair share of each of these, but the antibiotics for lyme pushed me over the edge. When overproduced candida breaks down the wall of the intestine and penetrates the bloodstream, releasing toxic byproducts into your body and causing leaky gut. A leaky gut is literally just like it sounds, the holes in our intestines enlarge and vitamins and minerals don’t all make it through the absorption process. Food particles also pass through these holes and this is where food allergies and sensitives develop. I took probiotics (good bacteria) EVERYday, but clearly it wasn’t enough.
10 common candida symptoms
- Skin and nail fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus
- Feeling tired and worn down, chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
- Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea, foul smelling gas
- Autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis
- Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD and brain fog
- Skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, hives, rashes, acne, sweating
- Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression
- Vaginal infections , urinary tract infections, rectal itching or vaginal itching
- Allergies, itchy ears, popping ears, or feeling underwater/stopped up
- Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings
I had read online of people curing cystic acne and decided to give the candida diet a try. Since candida thrives on sugar, eliminating all forms is a must which meant my favorite candy, desserts, alcohol, and fruits were out. Also anything inflammatory or genetically modified since these can damage your already inflamed intestines, so corn, soy, gluten, nuts, and rice were eliminated as well. Within a week and a half I was improving. But as the candida started to die hundreds of toxic byproducts dumped into my bloodstream at once. The liver is the number one organ that processes these toxins with the skin being number two. It made sense that my skin was riddled with inflammation considering what my liver had already been through processing months of antibiotics, years of aluminum deodorant, fluoridated toothpaste, and gmos. Eventually as my liver healed with the help of milk thistle more and more symptoms dissapeared.
After a year of detoxing, supplements, herbs, organics, and probiotics I feel better than I have in at least ten years. One supplement I still take is caprylic acid which comes from coconut oil and basically “pokes holes” in the yeast cell wall, causing it to die. Once you clear out the overgrowth and allow the intestines to heal it’s a must to restore the healthy bacteria that typically keep your candida population under control by taking probiotics on a regular basis. Taking anywhere from 25 to 100 billion units of probiotics should help to reduce the Candida levels so you can restore your levels of good bacteria. Kefir, Kombucha, & Homemade Sauerkraut are a few ways to increase your good bacteria, more on that later…
*If you decide to give it a go, just remember since candida feeds on sugar, you will have INTENSE cravings. If you give in, you feel great initially, crash later, and the vicious cycle will start again. If you can stick with it long enough you’ll beat the candida and the cravings and you’ll start to feel sorry for all the addicted shoppers at your local grocery store.*