How To Kill Off A Candida Infection
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What is Candida?
Commonly known as yeast, candida is a parasitic fungus that can be found in the mouth, vagina, and intestinal tract. While many people discern yeast as unhealthy, it is actually beneficial to us when regulated.
This fungus helps the body to absorb and digest nutrients when it's properly functioning. However, when its growth spirals out of control, individuals are at-risk for leaky gut syndrome and a yeast infection.
Understand that everyone has some level of candida albicans in their intestines. In fact, they are a very normal part of our gut microbiota and coexist with other bacteria and yeast.
However, when ones digestive health is compromised, the growth of candida albicans can be so powerful that it takes over the gut. The result of candida overgrowth is a weakened immune system, damaged intestines, and toxins spreading throughout the body.
These toxins can ultimately damage other parts of the body and affect one's overall quality of life.
The Cause of Candida Overgrowth
Candida infections occur for a variety of reasons. For women, antibiotic and steroid use is the most common reason for yeast overgrowth. (3) Menstruation, pregnancy, and birth control can also lead to a yeast infection.
To put it simply, any change to the environment of the vagina can lead to an overgrowth of candida for even the healthiest of women.
Individuals with weakened immune systems are also at risk for candida infections. Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and/or radiation risk killing not only the cancerous cells but also the healthy cells.
The latter makes it difficult for the remaining healthy bacteria to fight candida. (4) In addition, those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS are at a higher risk of developing esophagitis, due to the yeast overgrowth. (5)
Those who treat their asthma with oral corticosteroids are at an increased risk of getting candida in the mouth. This is also known as thrush. It is highly important for individuals to appropriately swish their mouth after the use of oral corticosteroids.
Lastly, individuals with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are at an increased for candida overgrowth in comparison to others. This is because the sugar levels in their mouth are higher and sugar feeds yeast.
Signs and Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth
Contrary to popular belief, candida is not easy to diagnose because it presents itself differently in everyone. Some people may show extreme symptoms and others may not really notice them at all.
However, the symptoms mentioned below are ones to watch for in regards to candida overgrowth syndrome:
Those having panic attacks, anxiety, depression, and extreme irritability may have candida overgrowth syndrome. One clinic found that the number one cause of mood imbalances were gut issues.
This is because the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood is produced in the gut. So when there are gut infections, one may also struggle with mood imbalances due to the deficiency in serotonin. (6)
Individuals with recurring sinus infections may actually have a candida infection. In a 1999 Mayo Clinic study, researchers found that 96% of the chronic sinusitis sufferers had fungi in their mucus. (7)
Those with a sensitivity to fungi in the nasal cavity would have typical sinus infection symptoms. This is because the body would send off an immune response, which resulted in irritation and inflammation of the sinuses.
Traditionally, antibiotic has been used to treat sinus infections. However, based on the aforementioned study and others that have been conducted, it is thought that antifungals should be used instead. (8)
Researchers believe that antibiotics may actually make sinus infections worse.
Those constantly suffering from bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, and more may have a candida infection. (9) As previously mentioned, the overgrowth of candida in the gut can damage one’s intestines.
The damage to the intestinal wall and the lack of healthy bacteria leads to the digestive system not working as efficiently. This intestinal distress is considered to be one of the most uncomfortable candida symptoms.
Other Signs and Symptoms
Individuals that have an underlying candida infection may also have migraines, recurring skin and toenail infections, poor physical coordination, brain fog, and urinary tract infections. (10)
Lastly, if someone feels exhausted despite having plenty of sleep, they may have a candida infection.
Treating Candida Overgrowth
Having a candida infection doesn't mean one has to be treated using pills and creams. In fact, people have been treating it naturally for years. The key is to get your gut health back on track by making a few crucial, but necessary lifestyle changes.
A Better Diet and Exercise Routine
William Cook, the author of The Yeast Connection, suggests that a balanced diet will hinder the amount of fuel the yeast in your intestine has available to it. (11)
By incorporating a diet that's rich in vegetables, eggs, chicken and healthy oils, one can reduce or reverse a candida infection. It is also important to limit the amount of sugar and carbohydrate-rich foods that you consume.
Adding exercise to the mix will help bring your serotonin levels back up, which will improve your mood.
Getting More Probiotics
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for our health. They actually fight candida by restoring the good bacteria that are lost when candida overgrowth begins. It also releases lactic and acetic acid, which helps maintain the stomachs acidity. (12)
For those looking to up their probiotic intake, consider these foods that are naturally high in probiotics: (13)
Adopting The Candida Cleanse
Individuals with a candida infection should consider doing a 1-2 day liquid cleanse. One can do this by making a vegetable broth from organic onions, garlic, celery, kale, sea salt and water. (14)
After it has simmered and been drained, throw out the vegetables and refrigerate the broth. Sip on the broth throughout the day to cleanse the body of toxins.
Some people decide to also do a steamed vegetable cleanse for 3-5 days. This requires the elimination of grains, sugars, fruits, starches and alcohol from one's diet. (15)
The use of bentonite clay is also beneficial in removing toxins from the body. (16)
Whether you do the liquid cleanse or the steamed vegetable cleanse, it's important to drink plenty of water.
Try Using Supplements, Essential Oils, and Coconut Oil
Those dealing with candida infections can also turn to the use of certain supplements and oils. For example, milk thistle supplements are often used to help cleanse the liver of prescription drugs, pollution, and chemotherapy/radiation. (17)
For women suffering from yeast infections, this is a great way to rid the body of birth control and antibiotics.
Coconut oil is also beneficial due to its antimicrobial properties. The lauric acid and caprylic acid in coconut oil allows it to fight off candida. (18)
Essential oils such as lavender oil, clove oil, oregano oil, and myrrh oil are also great for candida overgrowth. Their functions include:
Killing off fungi like candida
Preventing the spread of candida
Inhibiting the growth of candida
For oral thrush specifically, clove oil with coconut oil is a great option for treating the condition.
Kicking The Candida Infection
Something to also keep in mind when fighting off candida is the symptoms that may come along with it. The killing off of candida in the body leads to the release of 70 different toxins into the body.
If you have the following symptoms, then the cleanse is working: (19)
These symptoms should subside after 7-10 days and will be replaced with an increase in energy and brain function.
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