Candida Overgrowth Symptoms and Digestive Issues -Bloating, IBS, Reflux
Bloated? Weight gain? Fatigue? Food sensitivities? Depression? Skin problems? Brain Fog? Fibromyalgia? Spastic Colon? Sinusitis? IBS? Diarrhea / Constipation (less than 2 well-formed bowel movements per day)? You could be suffering from an imbalance in healthy gut bacteria which can lead to yeast (i.e., candida) overgrowth.
These are just a few of the symptoms of candida. Less known symptoms such as anxiety and depression can also be caused by candida.
Let’s back up.. What is yeast overgrowth exactly?
Yeast is a microscopic organism that usually lives harmlessly in our bodies, particularly our guts.
Normally our intestines should have 100 trillion healthy bacteria and a very small amount of yeast. Unfortunately this balance can become disrupted allowing yeast to become more dominant. This is called Candida overgrowth. According to a study from rice university approximately 70% of all people are affected by this imbalance to some extent. But for some, when yeast grows unchecked, life becomes pretty miserable…
How Do I Cure Candida Overgrowth?
Before we consider how to cure Candida overgrowth naturally, I think it’s important to understand what causes it in the first place. The short answer is years of the typical American diet. Today we are so concerned with bacteria being the “bad guy” -we pasteurize, sterilize and radiate virtually all of our food so it almost completely lacks healthy bacteria which keep yeast in check in the first place. This may prevent the next E.coli outbreak, but wreak havoc on our health as yeast can grow out of control in the absence of normal flora!
Bacteria should make up the majority of our normal flora and are critical to our health. They regulate everything from our digestion and energy levels, to blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. They also make the building blocks of serotonin a neurotransmitter which is our natural antidepressant and melatonin which helps us sleep. In addition they decrease systemic inflammation which is linked to practically every disease process and are responsible for about 80% of our immune system function so to say they’re important would be an understatement!
Processed grains (think bread pasta tortillas, etc.) flour, sugar, artificial sweeteners, coffee, alcohol all contribute to the imbalance. I think it’s important to understand we’re not talking about what you ate last week or even last month, but the sum total of everything you’ve eaten over a lifetime. This, along with prescription drugs like birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, acid reflux meds and anti-inflammatory meds (e.g., Prednisone)- All can kill healthy bacteria allowing the invasion. Ironically, this imbalance causes symptoms that tend to lead to more medications that, in turn, worsen the candida overgrowth!
The largest contributor to the problem however is antibiotics. In fact, just one round of antibiotics can kill up to 80% of the healthy bacteria in the gut allowing yeast to take over. This might be a round of antibiotics for tonsillitis we took as a kid or an ear infection, or dental work years ago all of which can set the stage for problems later in life.
And while rounds of antibiotics we take can certainly do damage, our largest exposure to antibiotics is in the food we eat every day which eventually leads to Candida overgrowth.
When you consider the typical American diet is virtually devoid of healthy bacteria which are needed to keep yeast in check, you can see how this sets the stage for Candida and a multitude of symptoms.
Candida and Weight Gain
When we lose the proper number of healthy bacteria in our gut and yeast begin to take over we don’t digest food well. Our pancreas then pumps out extra hormones to help with the digestion process. Unfortunately, these are powerful fat storage hormone so when our gut is out of balance we tend to gain weight. That’s just the beginning… Higher hormone levels over time lead to prediabetes and ultimately type 2 diabetes!
As we gain weight and blame ourselves for not having enough “willpower.” Your willpower is not the issue. It is difficult, if not impossible, to out-willpower your physiology! When yeast craves sugar and carbs it secretes chemicals so that you will also!. You might avoid them for a while, but when you slip up just once the colony grows back, and you just look at food and gain weight.
Also, since yeast in our guts don’t digest food, we begin to have digestive issues like bloating. If you’ve ever baked you’ll notice when you add
yeast to dough it expands- correct? The same thing happens in the gut which produces bloating. gas and reflux etc.
Even worse, the by-product of yeast digesting food (yeast poop) is ethanol and acetaldehyde. These two substances are very toxic. As they ‘leak’ into our systems, we begin to feel fatigued, stiff, achy, get brain fog and feel generally toxic.
Next, yeast will grow roots and literally pry the gut wall apart allowing larger food particles to leak into the bloodstream. This is called leaky gut syndrome. It creates allergies and autoimmune diseases such as fibromyalgia, celiac disease (gluten sensitivity) Hashimoto’s thyroid disease, chronic fatigue, autoimmune diseases, and about a hundred others.
Yeast / Candida Cleanse Diet
There are hundreds if not thousands of candida diets, supplements, etc., out there today that each promise “amazing results in a 10-day kit”, for example. I have not found this to be accurate in my 25+ years of practice.
In my opinion, it takes commitment, time, and a multifaceted approach to completely heal a candida overgrowth. Our focus is on healing the gut through the use of the right food, supplements, and different therapies.
First, do no more harm if at all possible – antibiotics and acid reflux medications should be the last resort as they kill healthy bacteria and promote yeast growth. While nobody wants to hear this, coffee, alcohol, processed grains and dairy also lead to yeast growth. I’m just the messenger 🙂
I think It’s also important to understand your problem might have developed years ago. For instance, one round of antibiotics for dental work or tonsillitis even as a kid can kill 80% of the healthy bacteria in your gut setting this process in motion.
Next, since yeast thrives on carbs/sugar it will need to be reduced for a period of time while healthy bacteria can be reestablished with the right probiotics. We also use a combination of organically grown herbs which kill and slow the replication of yeast while the normal balance is restored.
While taking probiotics is important, it is absolutely essential to re-establish a healthy environment for the bacteria to colonize first. This involves first cleaning out the gut. Why? It’s estimated the average American has somewhere between 5 and 30 lb. of undigested fecal material in their gut. This is a breeding ground for yeast so step one is the right herbal supplements to remove this material.
Another important thing to consider is cleansing the body of heavy metals which yeast feed on. Unfortunately most Americans have been exposed to large amounts of heavy metals so thoroughly cleansing our bodies helps tremendously. Doing these therapies definitely helps decrease yeast die off. This is an aggravation of symptoms as balance is restored.
We use modalities such as whole-body vibration and far infrared sauna to cleanse and purify the blood, lymphatic system, liver, kidneys, etc. This multi-prong approach has helped thousands overcome candida overgrowth and restore their health.
Wondering if you might have a candida issue?
While it can be difficult to diagnose, a thorough consultation with a few simple tests can shed some light. If I think we can help I’ll tell you. If not, I’ll help you find someone who can.
Questions? Feel free to reach out you can reach me at DrInfantino.PlatinumWellness@gmail.com