Candida is another one of those things that I simply felt left out about. All of the sudden it became common knowledge that this fungus was in our bellies and causing some serious issues.
Here are some facts about Candida and the damage that it can do.
Candida is a type of yeast that naturally exists in the body. It’s a normal part of your gut bacteria, and is present in mucous membranes, on the skin, and in the birth canal (1).
Under normal circumstances, candida isn’t a problem and it coexists with the other bacteria in your intestinal tract. It’s only when candida grows and overpopulates your digestive system, that it can spread throughout the rest of your body and cause an infection known as candida overgrowth (2).
There are more than 20 different types of candida that can cause a fungal infection, but the most common is candida albicans, or C. albicans (2).
Candida is known as an ‘opportunistic’ fungus because given the right conditions, there’s no limit to where it will spread. This can cause serious damage to your organs and tissues, including the brain and kidneys (2). Once candida overgrowth gets to this point, it becomes a chronic health condition called systemic candida (3).
Candida is also the fungus responsible for causing thrush (oral candidiasis), which is common in babies, and vaginal yeast infections (4).
Symptoms of an overgrowth of Candida include;
- Bad breath
- Bloating, belching, intestinal gas, and/or abdominal pain
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Endometriosis or infertility
- Fatigue and chronic fatigue
- Frequent mood swings
- Loss of sexual desire or feeling
- Muscle aches, weakness, or paralysis
- Pain and/or swelling in joints
- Poor memory, foggy thinking, or feeling “spacey”
- Troublesome vaginal itching, burning, or discharge
Candida overgrowth can be treated by huge changes in diet. It is necessary to cut out almost all sugars and starches to “starve” the fungus for a time. After elimination of Candida, all previous conditions and symptoms tend to disappear.