Candida is a type of yeast that can cause infections in various parts of the body, including the mouth, throat, and genitals. When the balance of good bacteria in the body is disrupted, candida can overgrow and release toxins that can cause a wide range of symptoms. Symptoms of candida overgrowth can be diverse and can include fatigue, digestive issues, and allergies. Candida is often misdiagnosed and can be difficult to diagnose due to its wide range of symptoms.

What are the symptoms of candida?

  • Digestive: abdominal gas, bloating and pain, diarrhea, constipation, acid-reflux, GERDS, IBS and IBS-C, undiagnosed digestive complaints
  • Immune system: slow to heal wounds, frequent colds, or flus, recurring cold sores, infections, worsening symptoms for asthma, persistent cough, sore throat, sinusitis, post-nasal drip
  • Chronic infections: urinary bladder infections (UTIs), vaginitis, chronic or acute yeast infections, thrush, athlete's foot or slow to heal or recover from any infection
  • Pain: chronic pain, joint pain, muscle pain and stiffness, increase in overall inflammation, worsened pain in areas of previous injuries or arthritis
  • Neurological: fatigue, dizziness, loss of balance, brain fog, worsening of existing neurological conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, numbness, tingling and tremors
  • Mental health: anxiety, depression, irritability, mood swings, hyperactivity (especially in children)
  • Skin conditions: itching, acne, cystic acne, eczema, hives, rashes, boils, undiagnosed skin irritations, rashes
  • Allergies and sensitivities: an increase or new occurrence in allergies and sensitivities whether environmental, food or chemical
  • Hormone disturbances: (not always the cause of a hormone disturbance, but can make symptoms worse) menopause, PMS, low sex drive, thyroid disorders
  • Cravings: an increase in cravings for sugar, carbohydrates, alcohol and salt
  • Poor nutrient absorption: inflammation leading to poor absorption (especially of iron and B12)

What causes candida?

There are multiple causes of a candida overgrowth. Candida is natural in the human body, and certain things or situations can cause an imbalance in the bacteria in the gut, thereby causing candida to take over. These causes include, but are not limited to:

  • Antibiotic use (including antibiotics in meat)
  • Poor diet and nutrition (especially diets high in sugar, alcohol, and carbohydrates)
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Cortisone use (steroids, including inhalers)
  • Use of pharmaceuticals that suppress the immune system
  • Autoimmune illnesses
  • Ulcer medication
  • Antacids and acid reflux medication
  • Synthetic estrogen, the birth control pill
  • Dental amalgams (silver fillings)
  • Heavy metal toxicity
  • Environmental toxins (including pollution and chemical exposure - can be as simple as household cleaners)
  • Excessive stress
  • Digestive disturbances
  • Chlorinated water
  • Insufficient levels of hydrochloric acid or pancreatic enzymes
  • A body pH level that is too acidic

What is "leaky gut syndrome?"

Leaky gut syndrome, also known as increased intestinal permeability, is a condition in which the lining of the gut becomes damaged, allowing undigested food particles and toxins to leak into the bloodstream. This can lead to a range of symptoms, including autoimmune disorders, food sensitivities, and chronic fatigue. Candida overgrowth is one potential cause of leaky gut, as it can damage the intestinal lining, allowing for the leakage of harmful particles into the bloodstream. Additionally, Leaky gut can also develop as a result of other factors such as chronic stress, infections, and chronic use of certain medications.

Can candida be cured?

Candida overgrowth can usually be treated with a combination of herbs, probiotics, and dietary changes. The duration of treatment may vary depending on the severity of the overgrowth, and it can take several months to fully eliminate the infection. However, relapses can occur if the underlying causes are not addressed such as poor diet, antibiotics, or weakened immune system. It's also important to note that some people may require a longer treatment time to completely eradicate the infection. It's important to work with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment for an individual case.

How do I know if I have candida?

If you have symptoms that suggest candida overgrowth, you can speak with a healthcare professional to determine if you have the condition. Testing for candida overgrowth can be done using several methods, including:

It's important to note that some of these test results may not be specific for candida and can be influenced by other factors. Therefore, it's important to work with a healthcare professional to interpret the results and determine the best course of treatment.

How is candida treated?

Treatment for candida overgrowth typically involves restoring the balance of good bacteria in the gut, killing off the overgrowth of candida yeast, and making dietary changes. This can involve a combination of antifungal medications, probiotics, and dietary changes. Some of the common treatment options include:

It's important to note that treatment should be tailored to the individual, and that treatment should be done at a slow pace to avoid overwhelming the body. Symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and rashes are normal during the treatment process, which is called detox or die-off symptoms, but treatment should not be so debilitating that the patient cannot function.

How can acupuncture help treat candida?

Acupuncture can be a helpful addition to the treatment of candida overgrowth. Acupuncture works by stimulating specific points on the body, called acupoints, which can help to regulate the body's functions and balance the body's energy.

In the context of treating candida overgrowth, acupuncture can be helpful in several ways: