Candida Overgrowth

What is Candida Overgrowth?

Candida is the short name often used to describe a condition of yeast overgrowth in the body, the technical term is Candidiasis.

Candida albicans is understood to naturally exist at a low level in all mucus membranes – intestines, eyes, ears, bladder, stomach, lungs, and vaginal mucosal membranes. When Candida is in balance with our other healthy bacteria and micro-organisms, it is understood to have important functions for our health such as playing a role in recognising harmful bacteria.

Effects of Candida Overgrowth

If something upsets this delicate balance, Candida may ‘overgrow’ and ‘take over’ their environment. If this occurs, Candida may change from a natural and non-pathogenic yeast, into a pathogenic and potentially health-harming fungal condition known as Candida overgrowth.

When Candida overgrowth occurs, the Candida yeast may multiply rapidly, changing into a harmful fungal colony with long, root-like structures which may be invasive and may penetrate the intestinal walls. This may be associated with inflammation of the intestinal lining, may reduce nutrient absorption, and may also lead to increased intestinal permeability, or ‘leaky gut syndrome’.

Systemic Candida infection or overgrowth is when Candida spores progress through the microscopic holes they have created in the intestinal walls and circulate throughout the body via the bloodstream; this is understood to only occur in severely immunocompromised patients.

A mild Candida overgrowth patient will usually have no idea that this is occurring within their body but may experience symptoms such as generalised fatigue, headaches, depression, fuzzy thinking, skin conditions, bloating, flatulence and sugar or carbohydrate cravings.

More About Candida Overgrowth

Symptoms of Candida

Typical Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Sugar Cravings
  • Weight Gain
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Allergies
  • Low Mood
  • Digestive Disturbances
  • Vaginal Thrush
  • Bloating
  • Wind/Flatulence
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Irritability
  • Headache/Migraines
  • Mental Confusion
  • Foggy Thinking
  • Poor Memory
  • Poor Concentration
  • Respiratory Problems
  • Pain/Tightness in Chest
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Bladder Symptoms
  • Ear Problems
  • Yeast/Fungal Infections
  • Skin Disorders
  • Vaginitis
  • Acne
  • Lowered Immune System
  • Blurred Vision
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Joint Pain
  • Hormone Imbalances
  • Low Libido

Common causes of Candida overgrowth may include:

  • Lowered immune system strength.
  • Medications such as antibiotics, corticosteroids and the oral contraceptive pill.
  • Meat, poultry or dairy industries which utilise antibiotics in their farming methods.
  • A diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates (white breads, pasta, etc), as this is understood to ‘feed’ Candida overgrowth.
  • Poor digestive function, such as low stomach acid, low digestive enzymes or a lack of healthy digestive bacteria.
  • High stress levels.

In general, a healthy immune system, healthy digestive tract and diet free of excess sugar intake will keep Candida levels in balance.

 

How do you test for Candida overgrowth?

There are several Candida testing options, including comprehensive blood and saliva methods which provide precise Candida antibody levels, and stool testing for digestive tract Candida presence.

The saliva Candida antibody test costs $100 and provides both a ‘current’ Candida antibody level and a ‘past reading’ of Candida antibody levels (IgA and IgG). This allows us to understand how severe the Candida overgrowth is right now, and well as how it has been affecting you in the past. Blood testing for Candida antibody levels is approximately $200 and includes IgA, IgG, IgM as well as Candida antigen. Stool testing for digestive Candida presence ranges from $100-$350.

 

The key steps to eradicate overgrowth of Candida:

  • 1. Aim to eliminate the current overgrowth of Candida species using powerful and specific natural medicines.
  • 2. Re-establish healthy digestive micro-organism balance with specific probiotic strains understood to prevent Candida overgrowth.
  • 3. Eliminate excessive sugar and simple carbohydrates from the diet for a specified period of time whilst completing steps one and two, as Candida is understood to thrive on these.
  • 4. Repair intestinal membrane integrity with natural medicines, aiming to repair any damage caused by Candida overgrowth and strengthening the mucosal lining against future Candida overgrowth.
  • 5. Repair poor digestive function, such as low stomach acid or digestive enzymes, which may have played a role in the Candida overgrowth.

We would love to be able to assist you with, or to test for, Candida overgrowth! Contact us today for more information or to make an appointment.

Let us guide you to a happier, healthier you.