candida thrush

Natural Home Remedies For Candida Overgrowth

As the natural health movement has been growing in the US, so too has the buzzword ‘candida,’ which has been blamed for many common ailments from headaches to joint pain to exhaustion.  But what is candida anyway?  Candida is a kind of yeast that naturally lives in the body, the large intestine in particular, and it helps us break down carbohydrates, among other things.  Normally candida is not a problem; however there are many factors that can cause it to get out of hand and disrupt the natural balance between our body’s microbial ecology, and the average modern lifestyle definitely fuels this imbalance.  There are various degrees of candida overgrowth, including a point where the candida actually gets in the blood and starts circulating.  This is a more serious condition that can lead to some serious consequences, but let’s start first with what symptoms you may be experiencing that can be caused by a candida overgrowth of various severity.

 

Symptoms

  • Fatigue or feeling lethargic
  • Feeling drained, exhausted, or depleted
  • Poor memory
  • Numbness, burning, and tingling
  • Pain or swelling in your joints
  • Muscle weakness or aching
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea, constipation, gas, belching, or bloating
  • Persistent vaginal itching, burning, or discharge (yeast infections included)
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Prostatitis
  • Endometriosis or infertility
  • Loss of libido
  • Irregular menstrual cycles or cramping
  • Anxiety attacks and or crying
  • Cravings for sugar
  • Cold hands and feet without any real reason, generally feeling chilly
  • Irritable, may shake when hungry
  • Skin and nail fungal infections (such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus)

 

Causes

So this is definitely a veritable laundry list of ailments from one microbial overgrowth, so what gives?  What is causing such an overgrowth?  There are two major causes, and some others that can contribute.  Diet is a major contributor, especially the modern diet packed with sugars and other carbohydrates that reduce to sugar.  The yeast in your gut loves this stuff and multiplies like mad because the sugar in our diets is the perfect feast.  The other main contributor to candida imbalance is the use of antibiotics, which kill much of the good bacteria in our digestive system, which among other things serves to keep candida in check.

There are many other things with contribute to a candida overgrowth, one of which is the birth control pill.  A main component of birth control is estrogen, which is known to promote the growth of yeast.  A copper IUD has a similar yeast growth supporting effect as well.  Chlorine and fluoride are regular additives in in water, depending on where you live, but both will kill the beneficial bacterial in your gut that helps keep candida in check.

 

Treatments

Cut down on sugar!  Remove as many sugars and refined carbs from your diet as possible, especially sodas, energy drinks, deserts and candy; but also white breads, pastas, rice, and similar foods.  Deny the candida their preferred food source and you will slow their ability to multiply.  Stick to complex carbs like vegetables, whole fruit (not juice), and whole-grains.

When you absolutely must take antibiotics, jump on a strong probiotic once you’re done to rebuild as quickly as possible, before the candida can take over the castle, so to speak.  Yogurt and fermented foods are great ways to stock up on good bacteria, though I also recommend a tablet form or products like Good Belly juice, which will give you an effective combined approach.  Most health foods stores, such as Whole Foods, will carry many excellent options, just ask someone to help you pick one out.  The economy priced 365 brand, made by whole foods is quite good and is only $10 for 50 days of probiotics!  Just make sure whatever you take contains lactobacillus and bifidus.

If you are experiencing a vaginal yeast infection, you can place a probiotic capsule in the vagina before going to bed each night for two weeks.

You can supplement with caprylic acid, which is a natural fatty acid that has been found to be effective against fungal infections, including candida.  It is easily absorbed by the intestines, so when supplementing with caprylic acid you will need to get a time-released or enteric-coated forms to make sure the entire digestive track gets exposed to it.

Enteric-coated garlic capsules have been found to help restrain or prevent a candida overgrowth.  Some volatile oils, which MUST be enteric-coated, such as peppermint and oregano oil, have also been found to help stop candida overgrowths, though must be taken for several months at least.

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