Candida is a very common yeast found in the mucous membranes of the intestines, mouth and genitourinary system. Everyone has this type of yeast in and on their body. You wouldn’t generally know it’s there when it is balanced, as it is benign. The issue arises when this yeast overgrows and creates problems in the gut and the immune system. This triggers an imbalance in beneficial bacteria and the not so good bacteria. Coincidentally, that’s when trouble begins to brew.

There are several reasons this occurs:

Use and overuse of antibiotics – Even though antibiotics are given to fight infections and kill bacteria, they also kill the beneficial bacteria you have that keep your immune system in check. This bacteria aids in the absorption of nutrients and keeps you healthy. When beneficial microbes diminish, the overgrowth of yeast can wreak havoc on your health.

Corticosteroids – As mentioned, you have beneficial bacteria within your mucous membranes, especially your mouth. So imagine having asthma and using your oral steroid inhaler. This can contribute to overgrowth of yeast in the mouth, known as thrush.  Without proper care, this can also lead to candida overgrowth, not only in your mouth, but systemically as well.

Poor diet and high stress levels – A diet full of refined carbohydrates, sugars, sweet beverages and highly acidic foods are a breeding ground for yeast. They feed on sugar and grow exponentially. Couple this with high stress levels, which deplete minerals, B vitamins and causes digestive disturbances, which could jeopardize your digestive health.

Compromised immune system – We would like think that everyone’s immune system is functioning at optimal levels, but sometimes that just isn’t so. Many individuals have a weakened immune system due to chronic long-term illness, viruses, cancer treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation and autoimmune diseases. These disorders put you at a much higher risk for yeast overgrowth. Therefore, it’s critical that these be addressed and an alkaline diet be taken into serious consideration so as to not fall ill.

Common symptoms caused by candida overgrowth include:

Brain fog
Joint pain
Gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea
Skin rashes
Nail infections
Cravings for sugary foods
Mood swings
Chronic sinusitis or post-nasal drip
Food sensitivities
Thrush (white coating on tongue)
Vaginal yeast infections

Although yeast overgrowth can cause serious issues, it can often be treated naturally, through diet, lifestyle, herbs and other specialized supplementation. Something to remember is that this condition does not happen overnight. It grows steadily over time and isn’t something that can be remedied quickly. Approaching it from the root cause allows for a healthier and stronger recovery.