Candida is a yeast or type of fungus. It can normally be found as a healthy part of our microbiome (an ecosystem of helpful bacteria) on our skin, mouth and digestive system, and for females, in the vaginal area. At proper levels it helps the body with digestion and nutrient absorption. When your immune system is functioning properly, yeast overgrowth is rarely an issue. It can, however, wreak havoc on your health when it begins to overgrow, leading to a yeast or candida infection.
So what causes an overgrowth of candida? Some causes of candida can be:
- Frequent Antibiotic use
- Hormonal imbalances or long term use of oral contraceptives
- High stress
- Weakened immune system
- Frequent use of corticosteroids
What are the symptoms of candida overgrowth?
Now many of my female patients are familiar with a type of candida or yeast over growth, a vaginal yeast infection. However, when looking holistically, a vaginal yeast infection can sometimes just be a sign that there is more going on. Signs or symptoms of candida overgrowth can include:
- Brain Fog
- Anxiety/ Insomnia
- Itchy and red rashes on your skin
- White coating on tongue or thrush
- Constipation or bloating
- Recurrent vaginal or urinary infections
- Nail fungus or infections
- Sugar cravings (often severe)
- Chronic sinus congestion
If you have many or all of these symptoms, I would recommend working with your integrative healthcare provider to determine if candida overgrowth is the root cause of your symptoms. They can then help you develop a comprehensive treatment plan. In order to get back to optimal health, it is important to take a holistic approach by boosting your immune system, reducing inflammation and balancing the microbiome.
If you want to get started on your own, here are a few natural remedies to treating candida overgrowth:
- Take a well-balanced probiotic daily. For helping balance yeast I recommend choosing one with saccharomyces.
- Drink apple cider vinegar diluted with warm water each morning to help balance your digestive ph.
- Dietary changes: The biggest objective to fight candida is to make sure you are sticking to a whole food, anti-inflammatory diet. Reduce or eliminate all added sugars, carbohydrates and alcohol from your diet. This can be a challenge for some so I would recommend working with a nutritionist or trained integrative provider to ensure you are still maintaining balanced nutrition.
- Manage Stress: If you can reduce stress in your life, do it! If that is not possible then manage your body’s response with meditation or yoga and get plenty of sleep.
- Get at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. Sleep is very important in the healing process.
- Antimicrobial Herbs: You might also need to add herbs to your diet or take them as a supplement like berberine, grapefruit seed extract, oregano, garlic and ginger.
Just like any health condition it is important to take a personalized approach to your treatment plan. For help to determine the root cause of your symptoms and get you back to your best self, come see me at CentreSpring MD.
To Optimal Health,
Christina Grace FNP-C
|Christina Connors Grace is a certified family nurse practitioner and registered nurse. She brings a passionate, caring approach to patient care with a wealth of experience in women’s and family medicine.|
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a visit with Christina Connors Grace.