Did you know that your alopecia and skin disorders could be caused by Candida overgrowth? And that oral contraceptives and antibiotics could create this microbiome imbalance?
There’s more to Candida overgrowth than this though. The list of causes and symptoms may surprise you. Happily, there is a solution to getting your microbiome back into balance and reverse these symptoms.
What is Candida?
Candida Albicans is a common yeast/fungus found in absolutely everyone. It’s a natural part of our microbiome. It lives in our mouth, gut, skin and vagina.
What are Common Causes?
Imbalance happens when our good bacteria is compromised. When this happens, the fungus moves right in to where that good bacteria was.
- antibiotic use
- high alcohol intake
- oral birth control
- chronic stress
- sugar and high carb foods
- high mercury in the body
- Mycotoxin exposure through food or air
What are Common Symptoms?
- Urinary Tract and Vaginal Infections – This is one of the more common ways you might see a Candida overgrowth. You might see white discharge that smells a bit like yeast and experience itching and burning or you might experience pain and burning while urinating.
- Thrush – This is an oral overgrowth of Candida that appears as white bumps that can be sore and even bleed when scraped. This is more common in newborns and elderly who may have a compromised immune system.
- Hair Loss – Yeast overgrowth can also cause hair loss. Many people with alopecia areata (universalis and totalis) and scarring alopecia will also have a Candida overgrowth.
- Skin Issues – These can appear as toenail fungus and skin rashes usually in folds of skin like around toes and under arms. Eczema is another skin infection caused by a yeast called Malassezia sympodialis. Malassezia can also cause dandruff.
- Gut Issues – Candida overgrowth has also been linked to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. But it may appear simply as diarrhea, constipation, gas, cramps and bloating.
- Fatigue – Candida overgrowth has been linked to low B6 vitamins and magnesium which results in fatigue. In one study, prolonged Candida overgrowth has been linked to chronic fatigue syndrome.
How to Test
The best test I’ve found for checking on gut imbalances including Candida overgrowth and Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO) is the Organic Acids Test. You can work with your health provider to order this test which is a simple urine test.
If you have any of the above symptoms and tested positive for Candida Overgrowth, there are a number of dietary approaches and supplements that can support your recovery.
Here are the basics.
Sugar feeds yeast. In addition to cutting out refined sugar, be sure to cut out natural sugars like honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar as well or save these for special occasions only.
You can replace these with monkfruit or stevia. Both are sweeter than more conventional sweeteners but don’t feed yeast.
Wine, beer, cider and champagne all are high in sugar as well as yeast (during the fermentation process).
Alcohol is also toxic for your body and causes inflammation. If, however you want to have an occasional drink, opting for a clear distilled liquor like vodka or clear tequila will be less likely to cause a candida party in your body.
If you’re having difficulty shaking the Candida overgrowth, try cutting out fermented foods. Instead take a soil probiotic like Megaspore to help repopulate your gut with good bacteria.
I don’t want you to accidentally go into ketosis especially if you’re already at a low weight but limiting starchy vegetables and grains to no more than 1/2 cup each for lunch and dinner may be where you should start. These carbs turn into sugar pretty quickly in your body and feed the yeast so try to limit these. Instead, focus on other colorful vegetables like broccoli, purple cabbage, red bell peppers, tomatoes and lettuce.
Now that your foods are figured out, it’s important to look at supplements that may help you to get rid of the overgrowth.
FloraFilm– This is an enzyme formula designed to disrupt biofilm to expose pathogens that surround yeasts and viruses like a protective barrier. By disrupting these your body is better able to get rid of excess Candida.
Probiotic – As you work to kill off the overgrowth of Candida, it’s important to repopulate the gut with beneficial probiotics. I’m a big fan of soil based probiotics as they survive stomach acid more effectively than more common probiotics do. My favorite is MegaSporebiotics.
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