Many types of fungi live in and on the human body, including the type of yeast known as Candida.
Candida is usually found in small amounts in the mouth, intestines and skin.
At normal levels, the fungus is not problematic.
However, when Candida begins to grow uncontrollably, it can cause an infection known as candidiasis which can lead to various health problems.
In fact, Candida is the most common cause of fungal infections in humans.
Below are some factors that can lead to the excessive growth of Candida:
- a deficient intestinal good bacterial flora (Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium)
- a diet rich in sugar and refined carbohydrates
- excessive alcohol consumption
- a weakened immune system
- oral contraceptives
- diabetes mellitus
- excessive stress levels
Common Symptoms of Candida Excessive Growth in the Body:
When there is too much Candida in your mouth, it can cause white, uneven lesions, redness and pain in your mouth and throat. Oral candida is also often associated with redness or pain in the tongue and mouth. In very severe cases, it can spread to the esophagus and cause pain or difficulty swallowing.
Chronic fatigue, weakness
One of the most common symptoms associated with Candida overgrowth is fatigue.
Candidiasis is often accompanied by nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin B6, essential fatty acids and magnesium that contribute to fatigue. In particular, magnesium deficiency is known to cause fatigue.
Second, Candida infections occur frequently when the immune system is weakened.
A poorly functioning immune system in itself can leave you feeling tired and weak.
Candida is found in the vaginal tract of most women. Excessive growth can lead to vaginal candidiasis.
It is estimated that 75% of all women will have at least one vaginal candida infection during their lifetime, and half of them will have at least one recurrence.
Men can also have genital infections with candida, but it is much less common.
Symptoms of vaginal candidiasis include redness, swelling, itching, painful intercourse, and a white, viscous discharge from the vagina.
The health of the digestive system is largely based on a proper balance between the “good” and “bad” bacteria that live in your gut.
The “good” bacteria that normally live in the gut are important for digestion because they help process starch, fiber and sugars.
When bacteria in your gut become unbalanced, you may experience digestive problems, including constipation, diarrhea, nausea, gas, cramps, and bloating.
Recent studies indicate that excessive growth of Candida is associated with several diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
- Epigastric pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
Chronic sinus infections affect one in eight adults.
Common symptoms include runny nose, nasal congestion, loss of smell, and headache. Although short-term sinus infections are largely caused by bacteria, it is believed that many chronic long-term sinus infections are fungal.
A Mayo Clinic study looked at a group of 210 people with chronic sinus infections and found that 96% had fungus in their mucus.
Antibiotics are the usual method of treating sinus infections. This may work for acute bacterial sinus infections, but not for chronic fungal infections.
In fact, treating a chronic sinus infection with antibiotics could make it worse.
If you have sinus infections that last more than a month, Candida may be to blame.
Fungal infections of the skin and nails
As in the gut, there are good bacteria on the skin that prevent Candida from growing uncontrollably.
All bacteria thrive in different conditions, including varying temperatures, humidity or acidity levels. Therefore, a change in the environment on your skin may allow Candida to reproduce excessively.
For example, cosmetics, soaps and moisturizers can change skin conditions, especially the so-called antibacterial types or disinfectants.
While cutaneous candidiasis can affect any part of the body, areas that are hot and humid, such as the armpits and groin, are particularly prone to infection.
Itching and visible rash are the two most common symptoms of fungal skin infections.
Excessive growth of Candida can cause conditions such as athlete’s foot, worm and toenail fungus.
Although not life-threatening, fungal infections of the skin or toenails can be very uncomfortable and can significantly reduce the quality of life.
If a Candida infection enters the bloodstream and travels through your body, it can infect your joints and cause arthritis.
This usually happens only after surgery or when an overgrowth of Candida is left untreated for a long time.
Candida arthritis is associated with pain, stiffness and swelling of the joints. The hips and knees tend to be the most commonly infected.
Candida can also cause bone infections or osteomyelitis, which can cause pain and tenderness in the infected area.
Bone and joint infections are not very common, but once you are infected, they can be very difficult to get rid of. It is advisable to take early measures to fight candida and prevent it from entering the bloodstream.
How to fight candidiasis
The best way to treat candidiasis and prevent recurrent infections is to address the underlying cause. The food you eat plays an important role in maintaining the balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the gut.
Refined sugars, carbohydrates and lactose-rich dairy products can encourage Candida and other “bad” microorganisms to grow excessively. Eating too many of these foods can promote infection if you have a suppressed immune system.
On the other hand, it has been shown that certain substances prevent candida from multiplying and also encourage “good” bacteria to grow and displace Candida. The following have been shown to help treat and fight Candida infections:
Garlic: Garlic contains an antifungal substance called allicin, which has been shown to work against Candida yeasts in animal and test tube studies. However, it is difficult to consume sufficient quantities of garlic daily. A simple solution is in the form of a food supplement containing concentrated garlic in the form of a powder in capsules.
Probiotics are “good” bacteria containing Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains. Consumption of yogurt can help but yogurt does not contain all the strains of probiotics and in the necessary dosages. There are concentrated probiotics in the form of capsules.
Medicinal plants with anti-fungal effect. Recently discovered and studied for its anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic effects is Artemisinin. Its discoverer received the Nobel Prize in 2015 together with the discoverer of Ivermectin, both prizes being awarded for discovering the anti-parasitic effects of these two substances.
Another useful plant is Goldenseal which contains the active ingredient Berberine. Berberine has a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity against bacteria, protozoa and fungi. Its action against various forms of Candida is scientifically proven. The Goldenseal Coptis (Coptis chinensis) variant is the most bioactive due to its rich content of alkaloids such as berberine.
Oregano oil contains the active substance carvacrol.
Treatment of candidiasis should consider long-term eradication with minimal chances of repeated recurrence. Many protocols for candidiasis achieve a temporary reduction in the symptoms of candidiasis but enough fungus remains in the system contributing to the re-emergence of candidiasis after a period of time.