What is Candida
Candida Albicans is a fungal infection caused by a type of yeast (fungus), called Candida. Certain species of Candida can cause infection in people. The most commonly known form of Candida is Candida Albicans however there is more than one type of candida and many other well known yeasts such as Candida glabroata, candida tropicalis, Rhodotorola, Geotrichum and Micropsporidium
Candida commonly lives in the skin and inside in areas such as the gut, vagina, throat and mouth. If this fungus starts to grow exponentially, or if it enters deep into the body, such as the bloodstream or internal organs (kidney heart or brain) it can start to cause infections, known as Candidiasis.
What is the difference between a yeast and a fungus?
Fungi and yeast are closely related and both belong to the ’fungi’ categorisation of orgainsms. Yeast is a single celled, rounded-shape organism whereas fungi is a multicellular organism.
How do Yeasts/ Candida cause a problem?
In a normal gut the good bacteria in the intestines compete for space with yeasts and keep them in check. If the good guys are compromised by eat a high sugar diet yeasts can flourish. Taking antibiotics or steroids is another way that yeasts can get out of control as these tend to knock out the good guys allowing the yeasts to spread out and cause problems. The single celled yeasts can then meta morphasis in to the multi cellular fungal form. This fungal form of candida has roots – called mycelia – these can penetrate through the gut wall – and is associated with leaky gut/ intestinal permeability.
Symptoms of a candida overgrowth
- Fatigue due to nutritional deficiencies (such as magnesium, Vitamin B6 and EFA’s)
- Frequent infections (due to a compromised immune system)
- Digestive issues – constipation, diarrhoea, nausea, flatulence, cramps and bloating.
- Vaginal thrush – if present locally in the vagina – 75% of women experience this at least once and Candida species causes almost all cases. (ref)
- UC or Crohn’s disease diagnosis.
- Fungal nail infections
- Joint pain
- SIFO – small intestine fungal overgrowth
Possible contributing factors?
Possible contributing factors are:
- Taking antibiotics / Frequent antibiotic use
- Eating a highly processed diet, including high sugar foods and refined carbohydrate.
- High alcohol intake
- Weakened immune system (Ref)
- Chronic or high stress
- Birth control pill
- Low nutrient dense diets
- Frequents use of NSAID’s
- Poor digestion
Once candida has been confirmed the functional medicine, nutritional therapists at IBS and SIBO clinics can help you with a diet and supplement plan to support immunity and address the candida or yeast overgrowth. We can support you through all of the stages of a programme and would include supporting leaky gut and any possible die off – which may happen if the yeasts are killed off more quickly than your body is able to deal with the toxins this can create – there is no need to suffer and we will support you with the necessary supplements to help your body deal with these toxins.