By Dr. Paul Deglmann 
Edited by Meghan Feir Walker

Yeast infections, sugar cravings, and stomach problems, oh my! Candida and yeast overgrowth can be major culprits when it comes to these symptoms and many more. These fungal infections can also be difficult for many patients to overcome.

In this article, I (Dr. Paul Deglmann) will go over how you can get over Candida and yeast overgrowth. 

What does Candida or yeast overgrowth mean? 

Candida albicans is yeast, which is a type of fungus. Typically found in small amounts on your mouth, skin, and within your intestines, it’s normal—until it’s not. 

In the GI tract, people usually have small amounts of yeast as part of a healthy microbiome (the microbes in the colon or large intestine). There are several forms of yeast like Candida, Rhodotorula, Geotrichum, and many more, but Candida is the most famous of all forms of yeast. 

Sometimes Candida or yeast can grow significantly to the point of abnormality where it starts contributing to symptoms and inflammation. 

What is candidiasis?

Healthy bacteria in your body (microbiome) control the balance of Candida, but when the amount of Candida is off-balance, the yeast overgrows and causes an infection (candidiasis).

A candidiasis infection will usually appear on or in your skin, vagina, mouth or cause gastrointestinal problems because that is where it naturally lives (in small amounts). Usually, healthy bacteria on your body can prevent yeast overgrowth, but when it gets out of balance, Candida albicans or other types of yeast can overgrow causing a fungal infection.

What types of candidiasis exist?

When you have an imbalance of Candida in your body, you can experience various types of candidiasis, including:

  • Gastrointestinal candidiasis: This type of infection can cause IBS symptoms like gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort, acid reflux, constipation, diarrhea, and more. 
  • Vaginal candidiasis (vaginitis): This is a common infection for women to experience. It can cause redness, burning, itching, discomfort and vaginal discharge.
  • Cutaneous candidiasis: An infection on your skin that creates a raised, red patch with small, itchy bumps that form in folds of your skin. This often occurs in the underarms, under breasts, and near the buttocks or groin.
  • Oral candidiasis (thrush): Thrush can cause white sores to appear on your tongue or in your mouth, esophagus, and/or throat. 
  • Candida granuloma: This candidasis is severe. It’s a chronic infection affecting your skin, scalp, mouth or fingernails.
  • Invasive candidiasis (systemic candidiasis): This version is also serious. Once candidasis becomes systemic, it means it has infiltrated areas throughout your body, including your bloodstream or on the membrane lining of your heart or skull. This can occur as a result of an immune deficiency.

Common symptoms of Candida or yeast overgrowth

Candidiasis can cause discomfort, itching and irritation until you get it under control with an effective treatment. 

Symptoms of candidiasis vary depending on the location of the infection. Symptoms of candidiasis include:

  • IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Gas or bloating
  • Acid reflux
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Weight gain or weight loss resistance
  • Sugar cravings
  • Autoimmunity
  • Recurring yeast infections; vaginal discharge (white or yellow)
  • Fungal growth on nail beds or on the skin, athlete’s foot
  • Eczema, acne, psoriasis, or other skin conditions
  • Red patch of skin (rash) with small, raised bumps (pustules)
  • Itching
  • Burning sensation
  • Brain fog
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • White patches or sores in your mouth that cause loss of taste or pain when eating or swallowing
  • Swelling (inflammation)

Candidiasis isn’t something to take lightly. If left untreated, candidiasis can become severe and spread to your blood, heart and/or brain.  

Is candidiasis contagious?

While it doesn’t spread like a viral infection, Candida yeast can still be spread from person to person. 

When in close proximity to people (including being in contact with saliva or other bodily fluids), sharing candidiasis is possible, especially if the person who doesn’t already have it has a compromised immune system or an imbalanced microbiome. Our microbiomes often change between significant partners and people we live with. Babies with oral candidiasis can even transfer the infection to their mothers when breastfeeding.

Causes of Candida or yeast overgrowth

A candidiasis infection is the result of an overgrowth of Candida yeast due to an imbalance of healthy bacteria and yeast in your body. 

Several situations and triggers can disrupt the balance of bacteria and yeast in your microbiome, including:

  • Antibiotics, steroids, oral contraceptives and medicines that can affect healthy bacteria
  • Low beneficial flora (good microbes like your probiotics)
  • Processed diet over time (a diet high in refined carbohydrates, sugar or yeast)
  • Chronic stress
  • Hormonal imbalance or changes (e.g., pregnancy)
  • Weakened immune system
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Uncontrolled diabetes, HIV, cancer or a compromised immune system
  • And more

How do you know if you have Candida or yeast overgrowth?

Test, don’t guess! It’s always important to get accurate tests before you start treating a condition. By testing, you get a clearer picture of what you’re dealing with and what you can do about it.

Oftentimes practitioners test for yeast through: 

  • A stool test
  • An organic acids test
  • A blood test for Candida antibodies

In our clinic, my preference is to administer a three-day stool test that looks for the DNA of Candida and other forms of yeast, like Rhodotorula, Geotrichum, along with many other types of yeast. Candida may be the most famous type of yeast, but it’s definitely not the only one that can cause problems when imbalanced.

What can be done to help Candida or yeast overgrowth?

When it comes to getting rid of Candida or yeast, there are four major factors:

  1. Don’t feed the Candida/yeast what it wants and thrives off of, which is sugar or anything that breaks down into sugar
  2. Make sure to have optimal levels of beneficial bacteria (like probiotics) to resist and push back against the Candida/yeast
  3. Maintain consistent bowel movements and try to avoid constipation as much as possible. Make sure the body is consistently getting rid of these unwanted microbes and toxins
  4. Use specific herbs to try and target and eliminate the Candida/yeast
    • In terms of what herbs to use, this is where testing can be very useful and make sure to ask your health care practitioner about what might be the best choice for you. We always recommend confirming that yeast is present through testing instead of guessing.

Is there a supplement that helps address yeast problems?

Candida Support is a broad-spectrum supplement we suggest most to address candida or yeast overgrowth. It provides a blend of nutrients, potent botanicals and essential oils to promote healthy microbial balance and immune support. 

Formulated to build a healthy gastrointestinal (GI) flora, this product includes biotin, a nutrient that inhibits yeast from converting into the more aggressive fungal form. In addition, sodium caprylate is included to disrupt the metabolism of Candida and create a hostile environment for colonization. It also includes potent botanicals, such as berberine HCl, Pau d’Arco, oregano, rosemary, cinnamon and ginger, to soothe the GI tract, provide potent antioxidant support, and ensure microbial balance.

Benefits of Candida Support:

  • Promotes microbial balance
  • Helps maintain gastrointestinal comfort
  • Provides nutrients that increase antioxidant protection
  • Enhances immune function

To learn more about Candida Support, click here. 

Summary

  • Candida or yeast overgrowth can lead to an imbalance in your microbiome and cause a fungal infection in various areas of your body. 
  • Symptoms of candidiasis and other yeast infections can vary depending on the location of the infection. 
  • Several situations and triggers can disrupt the balance of bacteria and yeast in your microbiome.
  • Candida can be contagious through saliva or other bodily fluids.
  • We like to administer a three-day stool test that looks for the DNA of Candida and other forms of yeast, like Rhodotorula, Geotrichum, along with many other types of yeast.
  • Candidiasis and other yeast infections aren’t something to take lightly. If left untreated, they can become severe and spread to your blood, heart and/or brain.  
  • When it comes to getting rid of Candida or yeast, there are four major factors: Don’t feed the Candida/yeast what it wants; make sure to have optimal levels of beneficial bacteria (like probiotics) to resist and push back against the Candida/yeast; maintain consistent bowel movements and try to avoid constipation as much as possible; make sure the body is consistently getting rid of these unwanted microbes and toxins; and use specific herbs to try and target and eliminate the Candida/yeast.
  • Test, don’t guess
  • Candida Support is a broad-spectrum supplement we suggest most to address candida or yeast overgrowth.

I hope this article has been helpful for you on your journey toward health! Follow NutriRestore on Facebook or Instagram and learn more helpful tips about the body and infections. 

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