Candida, or candida albicans is a natural yeast that lives and grows in your gut. It is a single-celled yeast, which is essentially a type of fungus, and it is merely one type of the several hundred different species of microorganisms residing in the gut. Generally, the presence of these microorganisms poses no threat to our health, but when an overgrowth of Candida occurs, a serious condition known as candidiasis can result.
Symptoms to Watch For
Unfortunately, there are a wide range of symptoms that can accompany the presence of candidiasis, which makes it somewhat difficult to diagnose. Should you notice any of these symptoms, particularly if you are suffering from most or all of them, consult your physician for a thorough examination. It is never a good idea to try to diagnose yourself.
- Abdominal bloating
- Chronic fatigue or muscle weakness
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Joint pain
- Lower abdominal pain
- Urinary tract infection
Candida is most commonly diagnosed in women, but men are also at risk, so everyone should be aware of just how serious a condition candida overgrowth can be.
One of the reasons this condition has become so prevalent in modern society is because of the overabundance of refined carbohydrates and sugars in our diets. Why is this such a problem?
When we eat sugar-laden foods the Candida in our guts ferments, which produces carbon dioxide. This results in bloating, gas, and general abdominal discomfort. In addition, alcohol and other chemicals are produced that irritate the lining of your gut. The ultimate result of this chain of events is either diarrhea or constipation.
It is important to note that Candida can spread throughout your body and is not simply limited to your gut. As Candida spreads through your body it begins to produce increasingly large amounts of toxic byproducts. These byproducts have a terrible effect on the body, causing a variety of mental and physical symptoms.
If you have Candida (or suspect that you do) there are some positive steps you can take to help control and eventually eliminate this serious health problem. One of the first things you should do is start reducing your carbohydrate and sugar intake. For many people this is not an easy thing to do, so it may require a gradual tapering off from many of the foods or beverages that you are accustomed to consuming.
Do not feel discouraged if you need to take a more gradual approach to changing your diet. The reality is that gradual changes generally tend to stay with us over the long run, while sudden diet and lifestyle changes only make us feel deprived, and usually wind up failing.
You should try to eliminate dairy products and foods containing yeast, as these products will only serve to aggravate your condition. So, what should you eat? The best things you can add to your diet are salads, fresh vegetables (but not starchy ones), fish, chicken, and red meat. When at all possible choose organic foods so that you can avoid consuming the antibiotics that are added to some foods, particularly meats.
Another thing you should do is take some nutritional supplements that are designed to help people who are suffering from Candida overgrowth. Grapefruit seed extract, aloe vera juice, acidophilus, and milk thistle are excellent supplements to take for eliminating this problem. You should also try to drink lots of water every day to help remove the built up toxins from your body.
By Andrew Van Vooren