Candida: The Root to Many Health Problems
Candida is enemy #1 for me. It has been my personal health battle for years.
I was like so many of you, struggling with health issues that no doctor could figure out. I was constantly bloated, constipated, exhausted, my brain was foggy and all I wanted to eat was sugar and carbohydrates. It took me a few years to diagnose myself, even after entering the world of natural health. I was experiencing all the telltale signs of systemic Candida.
Once getting rid of the Candida, my symptoms disappeared and I felt like a new person. However, if I am not diligent and spend a weekend eating desserts, Candida tries very hard to sneak back up on me. But you too can find the root of your Candida problem. By getting rid of the plaguing Candida symptoms, you will feel like a new person again.
The Silent Epidemic
One in three Americans have systemic Candida. But most have absolutely no idea what is causing their wearying symptoms. I have a file full of clients that struggle with Candida. Women are the majority of those who deal with Candida, but many men do, as well. I have actually gotten to the point where I am surprised when a client doesn’t have Candida. Truly, it has become nothing short of an epidemic and, unfortunately, a silent one.
Candida could also be disguised as picky eating, rashes, warts, dry skin, constipation and even bed wetting.
Do you suffer from any of these symptoms?
- Sinus issues
- Urinary infections
- Digestive problems
- Joint pain
Chances are very real that you may struggle with Candida, a chronic yeast infection. Candida is rarely talked about in mainstream medicine. Unless it manifests as a vaginal yeast infection or thrush (a rash on the tongue, mouth or throat), you may not know that you have a Candida infection. But Candida is often a source of other health issues, causing everything from weight gain to migraines.
What is Candida Exactly?
Candida starts out in the body as a simple sugar fermenting yeast. It is naturally found in the human intestine in small amounts. It aids with nutrient absorption and digestion when in proper levels in the body. But in some people it can grow out of control. If given the right conditions, it can turn into a fungus that produces something called rhizoids.
Rhizoids are long, root like structures that can penetrate the intestinal walls, allowing particles, bacteria, and yeast (including Candida) to pass through from the gut into the bloodstream. This releases by-product toxins and other toxins from your system, causing leaky gut syndrome.
Typically, our friendly bacteria keep Candida in check. However, antibiotics, birth control pills, sugar, and even stress can throw the whole intestinal flora system out of balance. Candida is most prevalent in the vaginal canal, gastrointestinal tract and your mouth.
How do you know if you have a Candida infection? It’s important to know because now scientists are linking Candida to all kinds of conditions and diseases. This is far more serious than most people think.
The good news? If you test positive, there’s a natural strategy you can use to cure yourself of this scourge.
Identifying whether or not you suffer from Candida is a great first step on the road to overcoming your health issues.
Let’s get started.
How to Know if YOU Have Candida
Candida can be found several ways. The first is via lab work on your saliva, feces and hair.
In my practice, I offer both saliva and feces kits that test for an overgrowth of Candida. I also use hair mineral analysis, which tests the ratios of minerals present in the tissues. An imbalance of certain minerals can be a sign of Candida.
Honestly, I feel like these tests are rarely necessary. With the prevalence of Candida and its easy-to-identify symptoms and causes, it’s not hard to spot a Candida candidate.
There are two very simple and easy ways to check for Candida.
- Candida questionnaires
- The spit test
Candida QuestionnaireThere are many questionnaires you can take that will give you an idea whether or not you are a candidate for Candida. However, these questionnaires are not foolproof. You could fail the questionnaire and still have Candida. If you need further confirmation, then you’ll want to use lab work.
Dr. William Crook, author of the famed book about Candida, The Yeast Connection, created one of the shorter, but still very accurate questionnaire testsHave you taken repeated or prolonged courses of antibiotics?
- Have you been bothered by recurrent vaginal, prostate or urinary infections?
- Do you feel “sick all over,” yet the cause has not been found?
- Are you bothered by hormone disturbances, including PMS, menstrual irregularities, sexual dysfunction, sugar cravings, low body temperature or fatigue?
- Are you unusually sensitive to tobacco smoke, perfumes and colognes, and chemical odors?
- Are you bothered by memory or concentration problems? Do you sometimes feel spaced out or in a brain fog?
- Have you taken prolonged courses of prednisone or other steroids, or have you taken birth control pills for more than three years?
- Do some foods disagree with you or trigger your symptoms?
- Do you suffer with constipation, diarrhea, bloating or abdominal pain?
- Does your skin itch, tingle, or burn; or is it unusually dry; or, do rashes bother you?
- Do you have regular headaches or migraines?
If you answered yes to many of these questions, then you are most likely to be struggling with Candida.
The Spit TestMany practitioners recommend the “spit test” to get an idea of whether or not someone has Candida. It only requires a glass of water and saliva.
- Fill a clear glass with clean water and place it beside your bed at night.
- In the morning, immediately spit in the glass before brushing your teeth or drinking or eating anything.
- Note how the saliva looks.
- Check back in 2 minutes and again in 3 minutes.
Healthy saliva will float on the top and eventually dissolve into the water without any cloudiness or sinking. There may be some bubbles and foam.
Candida saliva may have strings that go down the glass, cloudy saliva that sinks or cloudy specks that float. See the image for a good visual.
The Battle of Overcoming Candida
Although you can’t totally eliminate Candida in your body, you can keep it under control.
I have concluded that once someone struggles with Candida, they must always be careful. I have a file full of personal testimonies to prove it. Candida is not something that you get rid of and continue eating sweets and carbs. Candida will be fed by bad habits, eventually multiply and take over.
2 Steps: Starve it and Kill it
The best way to get rid of Candida is to both to starve it and kill it. Just starving Candida takes too long. Trying to kill Candida while still feeding it is pointless. You must do both.
The Candida diet is the best way to starve Candida. Essentially, it is a diet that cuts out the main foods that feed Candida: carbohydrates and fermented foods. The Candida diet consists of:
- No sugar of any sort
- Limited grains
- No fermented foods or drinks
My favorite website for the diet is www.thecandidadiet.com. It also contains great recipes that won’t leave you feeling so deprived.
Following this diet is often the most difficult thing for people in their journey to get their health back from Candida. The results are amazing and make it worth the challenge. The first 3-5 days are typically the most challenging. Candida is starving and tells your body it NEEDS to be fed. But once those first few days are over, you will begin to feel a new sense of well-being. You have essentially begun to take your body back!
Crucial Supplements in Killing Candida
Natural antifungals work best at keeping the Candida fungus under control. Thankfully, there are many to choose from. Here’s a list of my favorite Candida-killing natural antifungals.