If you are suffering from reoccurring thrush, it is extremely likely that you have candida/yeast overgrowth. Thrush is one of the main symptoms of candida overgrowth, along with tiredness and fatigue, oral thrush, reoccurring urinary tract infections (UTIs), digestive issues, sinus infections, fungal infections, joint pain, anxiety, sugar cravings, allergies, hormonal imbalance, itchy skin, nutrient deficiencies, thinning hair, brain fog, and discharge.
If you’re thinking, ok I’m suffering from a few of those symptoms, but what even is Candida? Don’t worry, I’ve got you…
WHAT IS CANDIDA?
All of us are born with different strains of candida in the gut, which is a yeast. That yeast is beneficial because it manufactures vitamins and minerals and helps maintain balance in the gut’s microbiome.
This is the same with E. coli – it is supposed to be there in SMALL amounts because it helps manufacture Vitamin B12. We want these bacteria and yeast in our gut, but the trouble begins when they overgrow!
So, Candida is always part of the body and, believe it or not, it outlives us. After our physical body dies, the candida still lives! This is because it is a fungus and it grows, just like a mushroom would, in nature.
Candida is typically found in small amounts in the mouth, intestines and on the skin – at normal levels, this is not problematic. The beneficial bacteria in your body is there to keep the balance and keep Candida levels under control. However, if this balance is disrupted or the immune system is compromised, then the equilibrium is broken and Candida can begin to multiply.
Believe it or not, I’ve seen antibiotics to be one of the most common causes for candida overgrowth in clinical practice and the reason for that is very simple; antibiotics are anti-bacterial not anti-fungal which means that: 1) it will wipe out a lot of the good bacteria in the gut and 2) it will leave space for yeast to overgrow and flourish.
Candida overgrowth is the most common cause of fungal infections and thrush. So, if you keep getting thrush, the first thing you should look at are your candida levels.
WHAT CAUSES CANDIDA OVERGROWTH?
- Taking antibiotics
- Stress and increased cortisol levels
- Compromised immune system (often caused by gut health issues, inflammation in the body and/or stress)
- Hormonal contraceptives
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Poor diet (i.e. sugary and processed foods)
- Taking steroids
- Tap water
HOW DOES CANDIDA OVERGROW?
When the good bacteria in your gut is depleted, yeast starts to set up camp and proliferate, and spread. As a result, you have candida overgrowth where you previously had good bacteria.
The good bacteria’s ability to grow is then stifled because candida has taken its space. It amazes me how little education on this is shared!
DO CANDIDA DIETS WORK?
The short answer? No. Eventually, people on candida diets are going to need some carbohydrates, and whenever they reintroduce some fruit or starches, they will start to suffer the symptoms of candida overgrowth again.
In my Private Practice, I do not eliminate all starches, and still allow for about a dozen different (specifically chosen) fruits. I look at levels of fructose, lactose and sugar alcohols in each individual food. I also consider the lectins and the body’s ability to produce histamines.
Once you are suffering from candida overgrowth, you typically have allergies because of the increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut).
There are so many different moving plates to take into account when eliminating candida overgrowth, and this is what so many practitioners miss. It’s not just one product that will magically remove the candida, it is truly a combination of many different nutrition and lifestyle changes over a period of approx. 12 weeks. This is how you achieve long-term results.
Check out my blog post on “Why Candida Diets Don’t Work” to dive in deeper into this topic.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM CANDIDA OVERGROWTH
Constantly suffering from thrush and/or the above listed symptoms, but don’t know for sure that Candida Overgrowth is at the root cause? Test, don’t guess!
I highly recommend doing an Organic Acid Test, from the comfort of your own home. If you can afford to, I also recommend running a 3 Day Stool Test, to look for parasites, H.pylori and bacteria.
Don’t just do a stool test though! Yeast is often missed in stool tests because it doesn’t survive in the lab, and it has a protective biofilm layer which conceal its presence in this test.
THE BOTTOM LINE
If you are suffering from multiple bouts of thrush, it is highly likely that you have Candida Overgrowth. To know for sure, you need to test.
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