What is Candida?
Candida is a type of yeast that is normal and present in all healthy bodies. Candida only becomes problematic when its growth gets out of control. This can happen for a variety of reasons. In my case it was overuse/overexposure to antibiotics and a high sugar/high carb diet.
Yeast is basically fed with sugar, so it is easy to imagine how so many people can have a yeast overgrowth considering the typical American diet. Remember that sugar isn’t just the stuff we put in coffee. To our bodies, sugar includes refined flours, breads, pastries, alcohol and even fruit. These break down into sugar in our bodies very quickly, and can feed yeast, thereby contributing to growth and possibly overgrowth.
How do you know if you have Candida Overgrowth?
Candida is a tricky beast. It can show up as a vaginal yeast infection, thrush or a rash. An overgrowth of candida can also cause symptoms such as acne, bloating, indigestion, diarrhea, skin fissures, anxiety, depression, allergies and brain fog.
You can diagnose an overgrowth of candida by having a doctor do a culture (which works for your standard yeast infection) or a fungal scraping (essential for diagnosing skin yeast). Some doctors will also have you do a stool test so they can measure the level of bacteria and yeast in your gut. If you’re looking for a doctor to help you diagnose or treat a candida overgrowth, I recommend finding a functional medicine doctor or naturopath. A health coach can also be of great support in the healing journey. I know I wish I had one while I was first navigating the path to my healing!
Samantha is a health and wellness coach as well as a plant-based private chef. Her classes have been featured in the New York Times and New York Post. For more information about Samantha, visit her website and download her free 4 simple steps to meal planning.
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Note: PLEASE consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.