Candida albicans is one of 70 different species of Candida yeast. The term candidiasis is applied to excessive proliferation of Candida albicans in the mouth, oesophagus, intestines or vagina. Systemic candidiasis involves the over-proliferation of Candida albicans throughout the body.
Candida albicans is a natural resident of the human gut, but usually only in small amounts. Up to 33% of the people in the Western world suffer from Candida albicans overproliferation.
Candida secures itself in the body by rooting itself through the gut wall. This breach of the gut lining can then lead to the development of leaky gut, causing further problems. For more information on leaky gut, click here.
A Candida infection can be identified by a simple Candida Test. Dietary advice and supplements can eliminate the Candida and restore healthy gut function.
- Digestive complaints
- Recurrent thrush/cystitis
- Cravings for carbohydrate, sugar, alcohol or yeast
- Hormone imbalances (PMS)
- Foggy thinking
- Itching/skin problems
- Mood swings
Poor diet: a diet high in sweet and refined foods creates the ideal home for sugar-loving Candida! A nutritional therapist can help to address Candida overgrowth and guide you to make the key changes in your diet that will minimise the likelihood of recurrence.
Frequent use of antibiotics, steroids or the contraceptive pill: these medications can compromise immunity and gut flora, making it easier for pathogenic organisms such as Candida to proliferate in the gut.
If you regularly use these drugs and have any of the symptoms above, a Candida Test will identify an infection. Smart Nutrition’s nutritional therapists can then help you to restore gut bacterial balance and address any underlying problems that may be contributing to your need to use these substances.
Alcohol and drugs: excess alcohol can directly destroy friendly bacteria and allow Candida to overgrow. Maltose, the sugar in beer, for instance, is very potent and can feed Candida cells very quickly. Some drugs can also cause Candida overgrowth, particularly if they disturb the digestive system. Any medication that can cause a gastrointestinal side effect may cause Candida growth by disturbing friendly bacteria.
If you use alcohol or drugs regularly, Smart Nutrition recommend a simple Candida Test to check for overgrowth (please click the link above). In fact, Candida overgrowth can actually make you crave alcohol, so addressing the underlying problem can help you to reduce your overall intake.
High blood sugar levels: the high level of sugar in the blood of diabetics and people with metabolic syndrome creates the ideal environment for Candida. In fact, it’s almost impossible to eliminate Candida without first reducing blood sugar levels. Blood sugar problems can be detected via a simple fasting blood test carried out with your GP.
If blood sugar is found to be a causative factor in your condition, Smart Nutrition can help you to address the blood sugar imbalance before then effectively dealing with the Candida overgrowth.
Insufficient digestive enzymes and/or stomach acid: low stomach acid and enzymes leads to poorly digested food in the gut and can cause constipation. Candida proliferates by fermenting simple sugars from our foods – undigested food is a banquet for our unwanted guests! A constipated digestive tract moves slowly and can become very alkaline, which favours Candida overgrowth.
A Comprehensive Stool Test can test for any irregularities in the digestive process and can check for digestion of protein, fats and carbohydrates as well as the microbiome and much more.
Food allergy or intolerance: a food allergy or intolerance can lead to an immune response that causes inflammation in the colon, which in turn encourages Candida overgrowth. As Candida itself can cause food intolerances, this can become a vicious cycle that leads to more Candida growth.
A Food Allergy and Intolerance Test can help you to identify the offending foods. Smart Nutrition can then advise on repairing your gut and eliminating any overgrowth. In many cases food can be reintroduced once the Candida infection is eliminated and the digestive system has healed.
Low thyroid function: the thyroid gland plays an important role in immunity and helps the digestive system to operate correctly. Low thyroid function can lead to low digestive secretions and constipation, both of which encourage Candida overgrowth. Body temperature will also drop if thyroid function is low, preventing many vital chemical reactions from taking place – including those that limit Candida growth.
A Thyroid Test can help pinpoint the problem. Smart Nutrition can also create a treatment plan to improve thyroid function as well as address the Candida overgrowth.
Stress: in a healthy gut, friendly bacteria occupy all the available space on the gut wall, making it difficult for pathogenic bacteria to find a home there. However, longterm stress can deplete our levels of friendly bacteria and weaken our immune systems, which makes it easier for pathogens to take hold.
If you think stress may be a significant factor in your health condition, an Adrenal Stress Test can help pinpoint precise imbalances. Smart Nutrition can tackle these imbalances alongside a Candida protocol to help prevent recurrence.
Hormonal imbalance: we’ve known for a long time that an imbalance between the female reproductive hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, can be a causative factor in Candida overgrowth. Adequate amounts of both hormones are needed to support healthy intestinal flora, and any upset in this balance can cause yeast overgrowth.
A Complete Female Hormone Assessment can detect any imbalances that may contribute to Candida overgrowth. Smart nutrition can also devise an individual programme to counter the Candida overgrowth and rebalance any hormonal irregularities.
Dysbioisis: bacterial imbalances, parasites or intestinal worms can all destroy friendly intestinal bacteria – and any imbalance in the microbiome (dysbiosis), if combined with risk factors for candida such as stress, antibiotics, the contraceptive pill and a high sugar or refined carbohydrate diet makes Candida overgrowth more possible. Researchers have estimated that over 85% of all people living in the Western world have parasites, making them an important factor in addressing dysbiosis and Candida.
The GI Effects Test looks for good and bad bacteria, as well as yeasts such as candida and parasites.
Smart Nutrition can also create specific protocols to remove parasites and address concurrent Candida overgrowth.
Chemotherapy: chemotherapy kills cancer cells, but also damages our own body cells and gut bacteria, leaving us vulnerable to overgrowths of pathogenic microorganisms.
If you’re going through chemotherapy or are recuperating from treatment, Smart Nutrition can design specialist protocols to support you. A simple Candida Test can be used to identify whether Candida is contributing to your symptoms.
Heavy metal toxicity: toxic metals such as mercury, cadmium, arsenic and lead from our environment can collect in our cells. In elevated concentrations, they suppress our cell’s normal ability to utilise oxygen. This often triggers increased proliferation of yeast such as Candida to compensate for this reduction in energy production. A body challenged by high toxic metal levels may be its desperate attempt to protect itself against the effects of heavy metal poisoning.
If you have mercury fillings or are frequently exposed to toxic metals, a Hair Mineral Analysis Test is advised before embarking on an anti-Candida treatment – elevated heavy metal levels need to be addressed before attempting to clear Candida overgrowth.