By definition, Candidiasis is “a yeast infection that is a fungal infection that affects different body parts“.
Candida Albicans is a type of yeast. It is in the same family as molds, fungus, and mildew.
Bacteria is in a different family, and good bacteria in the intestinal tract work by helping with food digestion, production of vitamins, particularly vitamin K and some B vitamins—folate, B12, and biotin. This is particularly important since these vitamins are microbially derived, meaning these vitamins are synthesized by a large diversity of bacterial cells that make up the microflora in the intestinal tract. Without this microflora, these vitamins cannot be naturally made and absorbed by the body.
Why discuss the good bacteria making up the intestinal microflora? Because this is what keeps the yeast—Candida Albicans—that is also present in the intestinal tract in check. It prevents overgrowth of the yeast.
Unfortunately, when the good flora is interrupted it can no longer keep the candida yeast in check. The yeast begins to grow beyond normal levels.
Once the yeast (Candida Albicans) outnumber the microflora and are no longer kept in check, they multiply and become rampant within our intestinal tract. The good flora numbers are kept well below the normal amounts due to the yeast killing them off.
So now instead of the good flora protecting the body from the candida yeast and helping in food digestion, the candida yeast has taken over. It spits out toxins (poisons) that make us sick and weakens our immune system.
Causes of Candidiasis
Most likely the number one cause of yeast over-population in the intestinal tract is the over-use of antibiotics given to treat any illness or symptom. Also, the intentional injection of antibiotics in our food supply passes them on to use when we eat. These antibiotics cause the bacteria (microflora) to die-off and the yeast to grow—double whammy!
In addition to antibiotics, overgrowth can be caused by:
- Birth control pills.
- Cortisone drugs/steroids.
- Consistently eating large amounts of white sugar and refined carbohydrates.
- Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy.
- High alcohol intake.
- A weakened immune system.
These are only some of the causes.
Candidiasis is particularly difficult to properly diagnose since many of its symptoms are the same as other diseases. Causes and symptoms are unique to the individual, meaning that candidiasis does not have a set of strict symptoms. One person can display constipation and stomach cramps while another can display diarrhea and attacks of anxiety without any stomach cramps. All of these symptoms also belong to a variety of other health issues that must be considered for a correct diagnosis.
This is by no means an extensive list. However, if you are consistently plagued by any or all of the following, please consult a qualified physician who can properly diagnose you:
- Constant fatigue
- Poor memory
- Inability to make decisions
- Feeling mentally foggy or spacy
- Muscle aches
- Abdominal pain
- Bloating, belching, or intestinal gas
- Vaginal burning, itching, or discharge
- Attacks of anxiety or crying
- Shaking or irritable when hungry
- Numbness, burning sensation, or tingling
- Cravings for sugar, bread, or alcohol
As you can see, many of these symptoms can be associated with other medical diagnoses and should not be self-diagnosed as candidiasis. Consult your physician and discuss this so you can be properly evaluated and diagnosed.
What to Avoid
There are certain foods that the candida yeast thrive on, resulting in an overgrowth.
- Sugar, particularly processed white
- Wheat (depending on Candida severity)
- Cow Dairy (milk, some cheese)
- Some vegetables
- Some fruit
These are the major foods, listed from worst to least, that everyone with Candidiasis should avoid. However, as each person has a particular set of symptoms, he or she might also have particular foods that are unique to the individual. Again, seek medical advice about the food you should avoid while regaining balance in your intestinal tract.
Avoid stress as much as possible.
Foods to Eat to Fight Candida Yeast
- Yogurt – One of the most important foods that you can eat if you have a problem with yeast infections. However, it is not the common grocery store yogurt—fruit-flavored with large amounts of white sugar or corn syrup. This type of yogurt actually has the opposite effect, contributing to the yeast problem. Yeast loves sugar and if you are eating or using yogurt with sugar in it, you are not going to be doing yourself any good. Use natural plain yogurt, preferably goat yogurt, or perhaps even make your own and eat it every day.
NOTE: If you have a yeast infection now, you can also apply PLAIN yogurt directly to the area or dip a tampon in it and insert it for 20 minutes or so.
Plain yogurt promotes good bacteria growth in your body that naturally combats the yeast.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – use on a regular basis to improve your health overall. You should be drinking about two tablespoons every day in a large glass of water. Don’t try to take it directly, always mix it in water. Taken daily it aids in weight loss, lowers blood sugar levels, improves symptoms of diabetes, and reduces cholesterol, as well as helps rid the body of candida yeast.
NOTE: After ingesting apple cider vinegar, you MUST brush your teeth. Apple cider vinegar eats away your tooth enamel. By brushing after the apple cider vinegar, you ensure healthy teeth.
- Garlic – All-natural garlic patents should be used whenever you have a problem with yeast infections. You should eat garlic every day to help conditions of the heart and blood system
NOTE: If you have a vaginal yeast infection, inserting a tab of garlic can provide you with some instant relief.
- Water – You need to drink eight to 10 glasses of pure water every day. Dehydration is a major cause of yeast infections. To cure the problem “from the inside out”, you need to re-hydrate and get into the habit of drinking water every day.
- Kombucha and other fermented food are also good for balancing the intestines.
In addition to these foods, you MUST take natural supplement specifically targeted to help balance your intestinal tract including those that remove the excess Candida yeast, increase the number of good flora, and rebuild the balance to keep the Candida yeast in check.
Remember, by increasing the number of good flora, you have a better chance of keeping the Candida yeast under control.
What Do I Do?
- If you think you have yeast overgrowth, the first step (and the most important) is to consult with your physician and/or a physician who specializes in Candidiasis. You must be correctly diagnosed for this to work!
- Keep in mind that Candida Albicans affects people differently…different symptoms, different food “allergies”, different rate of healing, different levels of severity, and more. So this means that you might not be able to eat wheat but another affected person might be able to eat small amounts of wheat.
- Learn how stress affects yeast production and contributes to other health issues.
- Learn about your immune system and how to keep it strong.
- Learn about the endocrine system and how yeast overgrowth affects it.
- Learn about leaky gut and what to do for it. In addition or instead of yeast overgrowth you might have a leaky gut. Remember, yeast overgrowth mimics other disease symptoms, so maybe your health issue is a different health problem and not Candida. Again, consult with your doctor and/or a specialist.
- Keep an open mind and do NOT develop extreme thinking that boxes you into one belief only. Be open-minded about possibilities that might improve whatever you are suffering from.
- Be aware that diet is only a portion of what you need to do to correct your yeast overgrowth.
For more information about Candida yeast, check out these reputable options.
Candida Crusher by Dr. Eric Bakker. A 720 Page Solution For All Candida Yeast Infections. He has degrees in Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine, and Homeopathy with 25 years experience. He has successfully treated over 15,000 patients for yeast conditions. Note that he is from New Zealand and has his own approach to treating Candidiasis.