Have you got or suspect you may have a candida overgrowth and want to know how to get rid of it?
First let’s look at what candida overgrowth is and how it affects you day to day, then I’ll give you 4 simple steps to get rid of it.
What is a Candida Overgrowth?
Candida albicans is a species of yeast that lives naturally on your skin and in your gastrointestinal tract. Normally, Candida is kept in check by your “friendly” gut bacteria, but sometimes, it can multiply out of control.
The resulting infections can cause pain and inflammation throughout the body, both on the skin and in the gut or genitals. Candida overgrowth is most often noticed on the skin, mouth, and in vaginal infections.
An intestinal Candida overgrowth can inflame and weaken the walls of the intestines, releasing toxic byproducts that may lead to many different health issues, from digestive disorders to depression.
So Candida is Bad, Right?
First off it’s important to realise, a little Candida is normal and essential for life, it’s when the misbalance in your gut gets out of control it becomes a problem.
Think of your gut as a factory and your micro biome as the workers in that factory. You need exactly the right amount of each different type of worker to ensure the factory runs correctly.
Now in essence there is no such thing as good workers or bad workers…all do an essential job. But if we start to feed one specific type of worker more, give them all a pay rise and change the work environment to one they thrive in. You’ll suddenly find you have a lot more applications from this type of worker as word gets around this is a great place to work whilst many of the other workers will leave to find employment elsewhere.
This has disastrous effects on the factory itself as now you have an over abundance of one type of worker and not enough of the other workers so production grinds to a halt as bottlenecks appear.
So it is with Candida, we NEED a little candida to survive, the problem isn’t the Candida itself its the imbalance in the gut which a Candida overgrowth creates.
What Causes Candida Overgrowth?
Most people chalk Candida overgrowth down to too much sugar in the diet, antibiotics, chronic stress, the contraceptive pill, chemical exposure, and diabetes. What I see more and more is that it is nearly always several of these factors (and often others which are much more difficult to detect) working together which cause the problem, hence we need to identify which of these are causing the problem and address all of them at the same time if we are to reverse the situation.
Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth
1. Fatigue/Mood Swings
Your gut is where nutrients are broken down, processed, and absorbed. It’s the processing factory of the body. If Candida is running riot through this factory, your digestion suffers.
Candida overgrowth is associated with deficiencies in important nutrients like essential fatty acids, magnesium, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin B6.
Why? Because if you have a candida overgrowth foods pass through your gut without being properly broken down, you don’t absorb the nutrients in that food, so no matter how well you eat you don’t notice the benefits.
Over time, this leads to fatigue and a general lack of energy as your body simply doesn’t get the fuel that it needs.
Added to that most of the feel good hormones are produced in the gut, and Candida really messes with this process leaving you suffering emotional imbalances at best, outright depression at worst.
The nutrients you absorb today will build your body of tomorrow.
If you’re not absorbing nutrients well it means you lack the fundamental building blocks to build a strong body. Leading to increased risk of injury and poor performance in general as your body is incapable of working at 100%.
2. Brain Fog
Its not just the imbalance of bugs in your gut you need to worry about, its the fact that these bugs are excreting waste products as a natural process of their metabolism (much like we need to pee, poo, sweat etc) and these waste products have an effect on your body.
Candida’s metabolic processes produce a wide variety of chemicals, many of which are toxic to us. Again when the population in your gut is in balance this isn’t a problem as the body can easily deal with it. When we have an overgrowth this can cause serious problem as these chemicals include a neurotoxin named acetaldehyde, the same chemical that causes hangovers. The liver can become overworked as it struggles to process and break down larger amounts of acetaldehyde.
This build-up of acetaldehyde, ethanol, and other toxins can slow down various processes in your body, particularly those of your nervous system and brain. Confusion, difficulties with memory, and poor concentration are typical signs.
3. Digestive Issues
Because your gut micro biome is not properly balanced it stops working as efficiently, this means that food is not broken down as efficiently, more gases are produced as a result of food sitting around longer in the gut and food can sit so long in the gut without being broken it literally starts to rot in the intestines.
Digestive issues related to Candida can include diarrhoea, gas, bloating, constipation, cramps, nausea, and more. Researchers have linked Candida overgrowth to Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, gastric ulcers, and duodenal ulcers.
The truth is you should eat and as soon as the food disappears as far as you’re aware that’s the end of the process, no gases, no bloating not really any sensation in your belly that you’ve eaten you just feel energised and satiated.
4. Recurring Yeast Infections
Repeated vaginal yeast infections are a clear sign that something is wrong with your microbiome. The key here is repeated, a one off infection with none of the other surrounding symptoms may just be an infection, if you keep getting them and are suffering from some of the other symptoms I mention thats when to start thinking this may be Candida.
Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection will vary from person to person, but they can include itching, swelling, white discharge and pain during intercourse.
5. Oral Thrush
The same environmental changes that cause an intestinal overgrowth in the gut can also lead to an oral Candida infection. If you take antibiotics or eat a high-sugar diet, you are unwittingly altering the environment in both your gut and your mouth, making both locations more appealing for the Candida fungus. Signs include white bumps or lesions on your tongue, throat, or elsewhere in your mouth.
4 Steps to Get Rid of a Candida Overgrowth
There are four indispensable parts of any Candida treatment plan: a low sugar diet, natural anti-fungals, good probiotics and reducing stress. (Depending on the severity of the infection and your lifestyle you may need further interventions, if so drop me a Whatsapp).
These four things help deprive Candida albicans of the food it needs, prevent it from colonising your gut, and restore a healthy balance of bacteria. Avoiding foods that cause inflammation can also go a long way towards recovering your gut health.
Here are four steps to get rid of Candida overgrowth.
1. The NTX Fuel Plan
The NTX Reboot Fuel Plan is a low-sugar, anti-inflammatory diet that promotes good gut health. The plan includes non-starchy vegetables, some low-sugar fruits, good, healthy fats, grass fed meat, wild fish, fermented foods, and healthy proteins.
The plan endorses eating more of the anti-inflammatory foods that can reverse inflammation. This means vegetables, healthy proteins and fats, and fermented foods. Bone broth, for example, contains gelatine that can protect against damage to the intestinal wall. It contains glutamine has been shown to inhibit the inflammation and oxidative stress that leads to intestinal permeability.
Fermented foods like sauerkraut and yogurt naturally contain lots of probiotic bacteria. Terms that you should look for on the label include “live cultures,” “probiotic,” and “unpasteurised.” (But much better if you can make your own which is really simple and the plan shows you how to do that as well) These are a good sign that the product contains live bacteria.
The best foods include unsweetened yogurt, kefir, (as long as don’t have a lactose intolerance, don’t worry the plan shows you how to determine this as well) sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kvass, pickles, olives, and apple cider vinegar.
Avoid anything with added sugars, high-sugar fruits and grains and try to minimise your alcohol consumption, as these can cause inflammation in your gut and destabilise your blood sugar.
Candida uses sugar for cellular growth and to transition into its pathogenic, fungal form that is most likely to spread around your gut and elsewhere. It also uses sugar to form the biofilms that allow it to hide from your immune system. Deny it the sugar and you deny it the means to do this. Making it easier for your immune system to seek it out and destroy it.
More than 70 percent of your immune system is in your gut, which means that your digestive tract (and bacteria within it) plays a hugely important role in the prevention of infection and disease. The cells lining your gut interact with both your innate and adaptive immune systems, which makes your gut the first line of defence between your body and external pathogens.
Studies have shown that a healthy microbiome increases the effectiveness of your immune system and helps your body to fight off pathogens. Probiotics have been shown to offer protection from E Coli., reduce the frequency and duration of respiratory infections, lower the risk of UTIs, and prevent or treat infectious diarrhoea caused by illness or bacteria.
For those suffering from Candida, probiotics have been shown to prevent Candida albicans from creating biofilms and forming colonies in the gut. By rebuilding your immune system with probiotics, you can improve your body’s natural defences against Candida albicans. This is important not only to beat your Candida overgrowth but also to prevent Candida and other infections from recurring in the future.
Anti-fungals can also help if you want to get rid of Candida overgrowth. Although anti-fungal drugs are well-absorbed and have a strong anti-fungal effect, they have some unpleasant side effects. Even worse, yeasts and fungi tend to adapt to the drug and become resistant to it, which means the effect is significantly reduced.
There is a huge range of natural anti-fungal herbs and foods that are equally effective in treating Candida infections, which, in many cases, are even better. Natural anti-fungals don’t tend to lead to resistance and they generally have far fewer side effects.
Here are a few good examples of natural antifungals:
Caprylic acid is one of the active ingredients in coconut oil. It works by interfering with the cell walls of the Candida yeast. Its short-chain fatty acids can easily penetrate the cell wall of the yeast and then inhibit its growth by causing it to rupture. This effectively destroys the yeast cell.
In fact, studies show that oral supplementation with caprylic acid reduces the symptoms of Candida more quickly and efficiently than Diflucan.
Oregano oil not only inhibits the growth of Candida albicans but is also a powerful preventative if taken daily. It contains two naturally occurring antimicrobial agents: carvacrol and thymol. These agents work by reacting with the water in your bloodstream, which effectively dehydrates and kills Candida yeast cells.
Other studies report that the major terpenoids in oregano—carvacrol, thymol, and eugenol—have important antifungal activity. These important phenols are effective in not only killing planktonic cells but also the biofilms of Candida albicans, which are often resistant to many pharmaceutical antifungal drugs.
Garlic contains the powerful anti-fungal agent alacin, which has been found to kill off a variety of fungal infections. Its also delicious just make sure your boy/girl friend also eats it with you!
4. Reduce Stress
This is one which is almost always missed but to me it’s the most important piece the puzzle. If your running round stressed out of your mind all day, even if you’re doing everything I talk about above it won’t do anything as you are constantly creating an inflammatory environment which is perfect for the candida to thrive in, so even if your doing everything right, your candid a won’t shift.
So we have to make subtle lifestyle shifts to reduce stress and promote a non inflammatory environment within the gut so all the other things were doing can work their magic.
Candida overgrowth can be caused by a combination of lifestyle and dietary factors. It can be easily resolved at first, but it may start becoming problematic if left unattended. Just remember these tips on how to get rid of candidate overgrowth: have a low sugar diet, take natural anti-fungals, consume good probiotics and reduce stress in all its forms.