Candida is another hot topic buzzing around the nutrition world these days. What is candida? How do I know if I have candida and most importantly, how do I get rid of it?
Of course, if you suspect that you need any sort of medical attention or plan to make big changes in your lifestyle or diet, consult your preferred medical professional. If you’re looking for a little information to get started, keep reading!
What is Candida?
Candida, or candida albicans is a yeast like fungus that is commonly found in the gut, however it can also live in your skin and other places in your body (your throat, mouth and vagina). In fact, our guts are home to around 300-500 different types of bacteria, including candida. That’s right, everybody has candida! But not everyone has an overgrowth – which is where issues can begin to develop.
Candidiasis is an overgrowth of candida in the body; if the overgrowth or infection is in the mouth or throat, it is called “thrush” and in vagina it is called a “yeast infection”. Of course, you can also experience an overgrowth in your gut, which unfortunately, is quite common but not as commonly recognized as oral thrush and yeast infections.
A candida overgrowth can cause a variety of symptoms, including but not limited to:
- Brain fog
- Joint pain
- Sinus infections
- Fungal skin and nail infections (including athletes foot)
- Digestive issues (bloating, cramps, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, gas)
- Anxiety and depression
There are many factors that may cause a candida overgrowth but often they are linked to lifestyle and diet.
- Antibiotic use (they kill the good bacteria too!)
- Consuming a diet full of refined carbohydrates, sugar or alcohol
- A weakened immune system
Rebalancing Gut Flora
One way to decrease the amount of candida in your body and increase the good bacteria is through diet. There are many different versions of the candida protocol available, many of which are quite restrictive – but the one thing they have in common is eliminating sugar, yeast and refined carbs from your diet. While some choose to do a carnivore diet and eat primarily meat, you can also have a more balanced protocol that includes a lot of vegetables, or you can choose a plan that is strictly vegetarian or vegan. The most important thing is to find a protocol that works for you and will help you reach your goals.
To learn about candida protocols, click here.