So you’ve got some symptoms that indicate an excess of yeast in your body. What now?
The main functions of gut microbes include helping us digest and assimilate nutrients in our food, regulating metabolism, supporting the immune system and protecting the brain, so it’s easy to see how problems in the gut microbiome can have a huge impact on the body.
Before tackling Candida, it’s important to understand your digestive system and why Candida can become a problem in the first place.
And in lots of other places too! Candida is a fungi or yeast which lives on the skin and inside the body, in places like the mouth, throat, digestive tract, and vagina, usually without causing any symptoms.
When the balance in the gut microbiome has been thrown off, the friendly bacteria strains like lactobacillus can decrease. This paves the way for Candida to overgrow, eventually leading to Candidiasis and a plethora of seemingly unrelated symptoms such as:
When your immune defenses are down, Candida competes with your body for nutrients. Instead of vital nutrients like fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals being broken down and used to support your health, Candida uses them to further fuel its growth.
Even when we attempt to starve Candida by limiting the foods that it loves (ie. sugar), it creates a back-up nutrient supply by breaking down its own glucose storage. Then, it can go into hibernation. This is why a combination of diet and anti-Candida remedies is the best way to get rid of Candida overgrowth for good.
Candida ferments carbohydrates in the intestines, which leads to the production of a gas called acetaldehyde. The accumulation of acetaldehyde prevents the body’s cells from producing energy, leading to symptoms like fatigue, low mood, and brain fog.
Oxalates are naturally occurring organic acids that can be found in many foods. We usually absorb only a small amount of oxalates, because the friendly bacteria in our gut breaks them down. But when Candida has overwhelmed the gut, oxalates can build up and irritate the intestinal wall, impairing the immune system and leading to inflammation.
Your intestinal wall is made up of a network of tight cell junctions, kind of like a stone dam holding back a river. When Candida has infiltrated the gut, its “roots” embed into the intestinal wall and pry open these cell junctions. This allows proteins from food, bacteria, and other toxins to slip through the gaps and enter the bloodstream.
Since these undigested food particles are ‘foreign’ to the body, the immune system labels them as threats. So now every time you eat a particular food, your immune system recognizes it and causes an adverse reaction.
Many North Americans aren’t eating the right foods. The typical diet is low in fibre and nutrients needed for proper bowel function, and high in processed ingredients and sugar. Eating a diet high in sugar and refined carbs can disrupt the gut microbiome. This leads to an imbalance of good bacteria, which opens the door to a range of health problems including Candidiasis. The worst part? Once Candida overpopulates the gut, it can further stress the body and lower your immunity.
Your brain is connected to nerve cells in the lining of your gut wall. Ongoing stress can cause gut inflammation which decreases health-promoting bacteria like lactobacillus and further encourages the growth of Candida. Stress can also change the movement patterns in your colon, again suppressing good bacteria and allowing bad bacteria and yeast to overgrow.
Gut inflammation decreases health-promoting bacteria like lactobacillus and further encourages the growth of Candida. Your brain is connected to nerve cells in the lining of your gut wall. Stress can also change the movement patterns in your colon, again suppressing good bacteria and allowing bad bacteria and yeast to overgrow.
It protects and supports the largest mass of lymphoid tissue in the body, the Gut-Associated Lymphoid Tissue (GALT). As its name suggests, the GALT is found in the lining of the gut and is packed with immune cells like lymphocytes and macrophages.