Candida albicans is one of 70 different species of Candida yeast. The term candidiasis is applied to excessive proliferation of Candida albicans in the mouth, oesophagus, intestines or vagina. Systemic candidiasis involves the over-proliferation of Candida albicans throughout the body.
Candida albicans is a natural resident of the human gut, but usually only in small amounts. However, Up to 33% of the people in the Western world suffer from Candida albicans over-proliferation.
The problem with Candida is that it secures itself in the body by rooting itself through the gut wall. This breach of the gut lining can then lead to the development of leaky gut which causes even further problems. For more information on leaky gut click here .
A Candida infection can be identified via a simple Candida Saliva Test Specialist dietary advice and supplements are then required to eliminate the Candida and restore healthy gut function.
The typical symptoms of a Candida infection include
- Digestive complaints
- Recurrent thrush/cystitis
- Cravings for carbohydrate, sugar, alcohol or yeast
- Hormone imbalances (PMS)
- Foggy thinking
- Itching / Skin problems
- Mood swings
Poor diet – A diet high in sweet and refined foods creates the ideal home for sugar loving Candida! Luckily, a nutritional therapist can not only help to address Candida overgrowth they can also help you to make key changes in your diet which will help to prevent it reoccurring.
Frequent use of antibiotics, steroids or the contraceptive pill – All these medications can compromise immunity and gut flora making it easier for pathogenic organisms such as Candida to proliferate in the gut. If you regularly use these drugs and have any of the symptoms above, a simple Candida Saliva Test will be able to identify an infection. This can then be addressed with a nutritional therapist who will also be able to help you restore bacterial balance in the gut and deal with any other underlying problems that may be contributing to your need to use these substances.
Alcohol and drugs – Excess alcohol can directly destroy friendly bacteria and allow Candida to overgrow. Maltose the sugar in beer is very potent and can feed Candida cells very quickly. Drugs can also cause Candida overgrowth particularly if they disturb the digestive system. Any medication or drug that can cause a gastrointestinal side effect may cause Candida growth by disturbing friendly bacteria. If you use alcohol of drugs regularly you may like to consider a simple Candida Saliva Test to check to see if you have an overgrowth. In fact a Candida overgrowth can actually make you crave alcohol, so addressing the underlying problem can help you to reduce your overall intake.
High blood sugar levels – The high level of sugar in the blood of diabetics and people with metabolic syndrome creates the ideal environment for Candida. In fact it is almost impossible to eliminate Candida without first reducing blood sugar levels. Problems with blood sugar level can be detected via a simple fasting blood test carried out with your GP. If this is found to be a causative factor in your condition, Smart Nutrition can work with you to address the blood sugar imbalance and then effectively deal with the Candida overgrowth.
Insufficient digestive enzymes and/or stomach acid – Low stomach acid and enzymes leads to improperly digested food in the gut and constipation. Candida proliferates by fermenting simple sugars from our foods so if our digestion isn’t working properly the undigested food becomes a banquet for our unwanted guests! In addition, a digestive tract which is constipated is slow moving and becomes very alkaline which favours Candida overgrowth. A Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis Test can be used to test for any irregularities in the digestive process and a hydrochloric acid test carried out with the help of Smart Nutrition can help to determine whether stomach acids levels are optimal. Smart Nutrition could then write a protocol for you that will improve you digestion and eliminate the Candida infection.
Food allergy or Intolerance – A food allergy or Intolerance can lead to an immune response that causes inflammation in the colon, which in turn encourages Candida overgrowth and candida itself can also cause food Intolerances. This is because it damages the gut wall allowing food particles into the blood stream which the immune system then reacts to. Consequently Candida can lead to a vicious cycle in which it causes food Intolerances, which in turn inflame the colon, leading to more Candida growth. If you think you may have a food allergy or Intolerance you might like to consider A Food Allergy or Intolerance Test. If you find you do have an allergy or Intolerance Smart Nutrition can advise you on how to avoid the offending foods as well as how to repair your gut and eliminate any overgrowth. In many cases food can be reintroduced once the Candida infection is eliminated and the digestive system has healed.
Low thyroid function - The thyroid gland has an important effect on the immune system and also helps the digestive system operate correctly. Consequently, low thyroid function can lead to low digestive secretions and constipation both of which encourage Candida overgrowth. Body temperature will also drop if thyroid function is low and this stops many different chemical reactions from taking place. Some of these chemical reactions stop Candida overgrowth. If you feel that low thyroid is contributing to your condition A Thyroid Test can help pinpoint the problem. Smart Nutrition could then put together a treatment plan for you which will improve thyroid function as well as dealing with the Candida overgrowth.
Stress - In a healthy gut, friendly bacteria occupy every little space on the gut wall making it difficult for pathogenic bacteria to make a home there. However, long term stress can deplete our levels of friendly bacteria and weaken our immune systems making it easier for pathogens to take hold. If you think stress may be a causative in your condition, An Adrenal Stress Test can help pinpoint precise imbalances. Smart Nutrition could then tackle these imbalances alongside the Candida protocol to help prevent the chances of reoccurrence.
Hormonal imbalance - It has been long recognized that an imbalance between the female reproductive hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, can be a causative factor in Candida overgrowth. In order to support friendly intestinal flora, adequate amounts of both hormones are needed. Any upset in this balance can cause yeast overgrowth. A Complete Female Hormone Assessment can be helpful for detecting any imbalances that may be contributing to a Candida overgrowth. Smart nutrition could then devise a special program for you to attend to the Candida overgrowth and rebalance any hormonal abnormalities.
Parasites and intestinal worms – Researchers have estimated that over 85% of all people living in the Western world have parasites. Parasites can be large worm-like creatures or small microscopic organisms. Either type destroys friendly bacteria in the intestines making Candida overgrowth possible. Parasites can be detected in the Traveller’s Tummy Test. Smart Nutrition could then work with you to remove both the parasites and concurrent Candia overgrowth.
Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy not only kills cancer cells it also damages our own body cells and gut bacteria, leaving us open to overgrowths of pathogenic microorganisms. If you are currently undergoing chemotherapy or are recuperating from treatment, Smart Nutrition can design specialist protocols to support you. In addition A simple Candida Saliva Test can be used to identify any candida which may be contributing to your symptoms.
Heavy metals toxicity – Toxic metals such as mercury, cadmium, arsenic and lead in our environment collect in our cells and when present in elevated concentrations, suppress our cell’s normal ability to utilize oxygen. This often triggers increased proliferation of yeast such as Candida to compensate for this reduction in energy production. Candida overgrowth in bodies challenged by high toxic metal levels, can be understood as the body’s desperate attempt to protect itself against the effects of heavy metal poisoning. If you have mercury fillings or are frequently exposed to toxic metals it is advisable to have A Hair Mineral Analysis Test before embarking on an anti-candida treatment. This is because individuals with high levels of heavy metals are likely to suffer if attempting to clear Candida overgrowth, before first addressing their elevated heavy metal levels effectively.