Is Candida Overgrowth a real problem or just something that has been really blown out of proportion over the years? Sure we get yeast infections once in a while, but a little dose of an anti-fungal pill and we’re back to normal right? We all know that probiotics are important, but they won’t save your life or anything! Right?
Well I’m not sure either way, but it is something I’m researching right now, and something that I tend to take seriously. Especially if you are a fan of Doug Kaufman or Dr. Tulio Simoncini. You know who you are! So help me figure this out will ya?
A person with Candida overgrowth may have only 2-3 of these symptoms, or may identify with many.
- Headaches and migraine headaches
- Sleep problems difficulty falling asleep, or waking up in the middle of the night with a mind that won’t calm down (typically between 1 and 3 am)
- Irritability and confusion
- Poor memory
- Anxiety attacks, panic attacks
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Heart beating too fast or irregularly
- Sexual problems — impotence or lack of desire, or excessive sexuality
- Attention deficit, hyperactivity (ADD/ADHD)
- Feeling of floating or not quite being in your body
- Indecisiveness, difficulty organizing and cleaning messy areas
- Cravings for sugar, chocolate, milk, cheese, vinegar, pickles, alcohol, bread, nuts or fruit
- “Metabolic syndrome” which includes the following: large abdomen (“beer belly”), adult-onset diabetes, high cholesterol or triglycerides, high blood pressure
- “Beer belly,” also called truncal obesity — excess weight centered around the abdomen
- Acid reflux/GERD (heartburn)
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Bloating, flatulence or abdominal pain
- Rectal itching
- Constipation and/or diarrhea
- Excessively thin or anorexic/bulimic
Skin, eyes, hair:
- Skin and nail fungal infections (current or past), including: athlete’s foot, vaginal yeast infections, fungal toenails, ringworm, jock itch, tinea versicolor or itchy eyelids
- Skin problems like eczema, rashes, psoriasis
- Prematurely graying hair
- Pupils always dilated
- Unusually green eyes, or eye color has turned greenish
- Asthma and allergies
- Recurring infections — colds, ears, bladder, sinus
- Autoimmune disease (lupus, hypothyroidism, arthritis, others)
- Penicillin allergy
- Muscle or joint pain, fibromyalgia
- Cold feet, cold hands, sometimes cold nose
- Sweating, especially at night
- Uncomfortable at any temperature
Women’s health issues:
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Vaginal Yeast Infections
- Endometriosis (chronic pelvic pain)
- Infertility (female), some miscarriages, toxemia of pregnancy (pre-eclampsia)
Symptoms seen particularly in children up to about 8 years old:
- Early allergy to foods like milk
- Infections as a baby
- Child had or has frequent ear infections, tonsillitis, strep throat or bladder infections, especially if these infections were treated with antibiotics
- Cravings for milk, cheese, yogurt, macaroni and cheese, or peanut butter
- “Drama king” or “drama queen” — complains quite vocally and often
- Poor sleep patterns — difficulty going to sleep, sleeps too lightly or has frequent nightmares, and wakes up too early (or sometimes too late)
- Too thin or overweight
- Attention deficit with or without hyperactivity (ADD/ADHD)
- Aggressive, poor social interactions, can’t stop moving, frequent fights or arguments, frequent crying
- Pale complexion, dark circles under the eyes
List compiled from www.candidamd.com
Improper pre-natal and infant nutrition (both emotional & physical): lack or insufficiency of breast milk. Introduction of animal proteins at too early an age, producing life-long food allergies leading to weakened immunity in childhood and adult life.
Frequent use of antibiotic therapy in childhood and adult life in cases where antibiotic therapy could have been avoided. Vaccinations may also undermine normal immune capacity.
Consumption of de-mineralized, de-vitalized, and processed foods. The chief culprits being white sugar and white flour. The minerals in our foods allows the body to neutralize so many of the harmful acids that can accumulate in the system. Most of the commercially raised foods are grown in extremely mineral depleted soils. Health promoting foods are grown in healthy soil that is naturally fertilized and not over-farmed.
Consumption of chemical food additives, preservatives, stabilizers and coloring agents and artificial flavorings and sweeteners.
Commercially raised animal protein such as beef, chicken and farmed fish that contains trace amounts of antibiotics and/or artificial hormones.
Overeating, skipping meals on a regular basis, under-eating, having coffee instead of breakfast, etc..
Overuse of low quality fats, hydrogenated fats and trans-fatty acids such as margarine.
Insufficient amounts of fiber in the diet.
Insufficient production of stomach acid (HCL), very common in those over 40 years of age, most often mis-diagnosed as overproduction of stomach acid.
Lack of fresh vital foods high in naturally occurring enzymes and friendly bacteria as well as neglect of probiotic supplementation after antibiotics were administered.
Drinking insufficient quantities of water to meet the body’s requirements (8 fl. oz. / 250 ml. per 25 lbs. / 12 k. of body weight per 24 hours).
Overconsumption of alcohol, use of “recreational drugs”, dependence upon or overuse of pharmaceuticals.
Mercury containing dental amalgam fillings, undiagnosed dental infections and root canalled teeth that may be infected.
Other heavy metals such as cadmium, arsenic, lead, etc. can predispose the system to yeast proliferation. (all of which are in most tap water)
Medical treatment involving high dose, intravenous or long-term antibiotics.
Pharmaceutical birth control pills
Long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications which may cause damage to the integrity of the intestinal lining (some individuals may suffer damage with just short-term or “normal” use.)
Insufficient or excessive exercise, over-strenous exercise for prolonged periods of time ( excessive exercise weakens the body’s defences, insufficient exercise lowers metabolic, circulatory & self cleansing functions.)
Insufficient sleep, getting to sleep too late, shift work, frequent air travel through several time-zones. Getting to sleep after 10 PM on a regular basis will deplete normal adrenal reserves and stress the entire system.
High pressure work with insufficient rest or monetary compensation, leading to long term stress and / or anxiety.
Stress caused by living in overcrowded conditions leading to frequent anger and / or frustration.
Stress caused by long-term relationship incompatibilities with frequent emotional upset.
Lack of sufficient love and nurturance in childhood leading to constant emotional insecurities in adult life that undermine normal, healthy immune and glandular functionality.
Poor air and / or water quality as well as insufficient air circulation at home, at work or while traveling / frequent exposure to recirculated air in sealed buildings or aircraft
Chemical contamination of work place and/or home. Persons who handle or inhale chemical fumes / solvents in their work or hobbies.
Damp environments, mold and/or mildew in home, at workplace or in vehicle (ventilation ducts in the home or work place, as well as old car air conditioning systems often harbor considerable mold and mildew colonies, they should be cleaned on as regular a basis as possible. Filters should be changed more frequently than typically recommended).
Insufficient exposure to sunlight and consequent fatigue and vitamin D deficiency.
Living in proximity to commercial agricultural regions where agricultural chemicals are routinely sprayed.
Living in near high power electric lines and other electro magnetic field disturbing influences.
Exposure/overexposure (there are no truly safe levels) to ionizing radiation.
Candida infection can rarely be sexually transmitted and is most easily contracted by individuals with lowered immune function.
Individuals infected with HIV / AIDS can, as a consequence of impaired immune function, develop systemic yeast overgrowth.
So what do you think? Is the prevalence of Candida Overgrowth under-stated or over-stated? Is this a growing epidemic caused by the over-consumption of grains and sugar and carbs in general or is it something that “health nuts” like to rant and rave about? I would LOVE to hear your opinions!
And if it IS a real problem, what do we do about it? More on that tomorrow!