Candida is a fungus, a form of yeast. You normally have small amounts of it living in your mouth, and it helps aid digestion of certain foods. Sometimes, however, Candida can proliferate and move further into your digestive tract, causing digestive problems, and potentially causing your intestines to become leaky – a condition aptly referred to as “leaky gut.” When this happens, the intestines become more permeable and allow toxins that otherwise would be eliminated to enter your bloodstream, causing a whole host of unpleasant and unhealthy symptoms.
So how does this happen? Well, there are several possible ways. Usually you have a lot of friendly bacteria in your gut and intestines that keeps the candida in check and under control. If you expose your system to powerful or prolonged antibiotic use, this bacterial flora can become unbalanced, allowing the candida to get an upper hand. Also, candida feeds on sugar and refined carbohydrates, so if you have a diet high in these, it can lead to an overabundance of candida in your digestive tract.
There are some specific symptoms that may indicate a candida issue, and also specific tests your practitioner can do to find out if you have candida in your system. Click the link below to see a great article on this issue with the specifics listed.
Treating candida overgrowth often involves a combination of diet, probiotics, and sometimes oral antifungal agents to get things under control. Certainly avoiding refined carbohydrates and sugars is a great first step. By eliminating the food that candida feeds on you will reduce the amount in your system. Restoring proper bacterial flora is also very important. Taking a high quality probiotic daily will help to restore the balance of friendly bacteria and keep the candida at bay.
So if your feeling out of sorts, and experiencing symptoms such as fatigue,difficulty concentrating, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation, you may want to ask your practitioner to test you for candida overgrowth. As always, if you have any questions, give us a call.
Michael Lenz RPh, is a partner in Fallon Wellness Pharmacy of Saratoga. He has over 10 years experience in custom compounding. Michael has received extensive training in Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) and Adrenal Fatigue. He is an advocate for healthy eating and proper nutritional supplementation, and speaks frequently on the subjects of hormone health, nutrition and wellness. Michael is currently enrolled in the Institute For Functional Medicine’s Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner Program. He lives in Saratoga Springs, NY with his wife and 4 children.
sources: natural standard database; eatlocalgrown.com