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How to Treat Candida Overgrowth

Candida albicans is commonly referred to as candida and is the organism that naturally resides within our digestive tract, oral cavity and vagina. Under certain conditions, candida overgrows and becomes infectious which is when it's known as the fungal infection; candidiasis.


This usually occurs in the presence of excess sugar, poor digestive function, antibiotic use, or when individuals are under stress and immunity is low. When an overgrowth occurs in the small intestine it translocates to other areas of the body, resulting in a wide range of unwanted symptoms and health conditions. The thing to remember is that no two individuals will experience symptoms of candida overgrowth in the same way. It can range from mild to severe but is nearly always chronic.


COMMON SYMPTOMS

  • Brain fog

  • Bad breath (Halitosis)

  • White coating on the tongue or inside the mouth

  • Allergy flares

  • Skin rashes

  • Acne

  • Vaginal infection (thrush)

  • Fatigue

  • Bloating and diarrhoea

  • Gassiness

  • Cravings for sweet food

  • Food intolerances

  • Headaches

  • Joint pain

  • Fungal toenails

  • Tinea

  • Bladder infections

  • Eyesight deterioration

  • Low mood and or anxiety

  • Mood swings that fluctuate

  • Exacerbation of hormonal issues

It's also important to note that candida overgrowth has a damaging effect on the intestinal wall which causes food sensitivities and what is known as 'leaky gut'. In a person with overgrowth, we also see the liver becomes overworked as it struggles to process a by-product called acetaldehyde which in turn slows our energy production. Acetaldehyde is an organic chemical compound that can cross our blood-brain barrier and inhibit brain function, heighten our stress response, and increase inflammation.


What To Consider When Treating Candida

  1. Temporarily eliminate foods that promote candida growth (specifically carbohydrates)

  2. Use antifungal and gut-protective supplements to eradicate overgrowth.

  3. Optimise the immune system and strengthen the microbiome against re-curring infection.


But remember..


Treating candida is not just about antifungals and removing sugar. This simplistic approach will almost always result in feeling significantly worse. This is because the digestive tract must first be healed to protect against any reabsorption during the die-off phase. It's then key to ensure that your anti-fungal treatment is capable of penetrating the candida biofilm or your efforts may be futile.


What's a biofilm?

A biofilm is a protective layer that microorganisms develop in order to protect themselves when inhabiting the human body. Essentially it's a barrier of defence against antimicrobial drugs and herbs. Thankfully there are specific herbal formulations that are capable of penetrating the biofilm and eradicating candida. In Australia, we use an effective practitioner-only product called Intestaselect. It's collection of ingredients are particularly beneficial because they don't kill off good bacteria while trying to eradicate the nasties.


The Die-Off

As a living organism, when treated correctly, candida will have a significant 'die-off' period.

During this time which usually coincides with adherence to the anti-candida diet plan, you

usually experience a mild exacerbation of symptoms which, while a bit uncomfortable, is indicative of progress towards restoring your gastrointestinal balance. Note that these symptoms should not be severe. Severe symptoms are an indication that you're going to hard with the antifungals or that your digestive tract is not in a healthy enough state to handle the diet. Ie. Slow, down and reassess.


If you would like the guidance of an accredited naturopath to eradicate your candida overgrowth, I recommend booking the Gut Healing Package. Feel free to also connect for a free 10 minute call if you'd like to ask questions or better understand the process.

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