Most people think that a yeast overgrowth is something that only women struggle with. And that it only affects their specific areas of a woman’s body. That is not, however, the case. Candida overgrowth is extremely common, affecting around 70% of Americans. This is largely due to the vast amounts of antibiotics that people are put on as children. Candida begins in the gut. A healthy person will have a gut flora that consists of 90% good, healthy bacteria and 10% yeast. When a person has years of an unhealthy diet or does an intense round of antibiotics, the flora goes through a battle and with antibiotics, has to start over. This gives yeast an opportunity to Candida overgrowth can cause a vast range of symptoms that effect people in many ways. Here are the top ten signs that you may have a candida overgrowth.
1. ExhaustionExhaustion occurs when the adrenal glands become fatigued. This happens when candida grows at an uncontrollable rate so organs and glands have to work extra hard to do their jobs. The adrenal glands are in charge of producing and regulating adrenaline in the body, and it takes extra energy to fight off the yeast that is continuing to grow. When it all becomes too much for the adrenal glands, a person begins to feel an enormous loss of energy and becomes exhausted. It can be taken care of with that extra cup of coffee in the beginning, but that actually adds more stress to the adrenal glands and in turn creates even greater problems.
2. Weight GainCandida causes weight gain because it creates “out of control” cravings dictating the foods that a person puts into their body. This happens because yeast grows and begins to drive cravings (sign #4). You see, once candida is so overwhelming, it wants and needs to be fed by sugar. It is so powerful that it begins to dictate what your brain thinks it wants to put into the body. Once the body is fed this sugar, the yeast takes it and is fed and multiplies. That’s why a person can feel hungry and keep eating basically around the clock. The yeast wants more and is depriving your body of what it really needs. You keep eating what your brain is now telling you to do, and therefore begin to gain weight, or at least can’t lose the weight. The yeast does not want to budge at this point.
3. Brain FogBrain fog is basically what it sounds like. Sometimes you just can’t remember things clearly, can’t do a simple math equation at work, or can’t seem to get inspired to write that nice note to your spouse, that feelings of, “it’s on the tip of my tongue” … all of these are examples of brain fog. What happens is that yeast converts sugar into alcohol. So it’s a little like actually drinking alcohol all day long. No one can think perfectly clear through that!
4. CravingsLike we mentioned earlier in #2 with weight gain, candida begins to take control of the brain as it begins to dictate which foods a person is craving. To put it simply, candida thrives and grows on sugar, so it wants as much sugar as possible. It is demanding sugar, or anything that can turn into sugar, and makes a person feel sick when it doesn’t get it. When a person doesn’t give into these sugar and carbohydrate cravings, often they feel headachy or lethargic. This is a normal reaction and is why people often have such demanding and overwhelming cravings. It’s the yeast influence in their system and in their brains.
5. AcneAcne can occur for a few reasons because of candida overgrowth. First, it’s important to remember that candida yeast is a fungus, meaning once it gets started, it can keep itself alive. Acne that is caused by candida, no matter how clean you keep your face, can still exist because it is the candida that is keeping it there. So how does it get there? Well, skin is the one of the main ways that your body gets rid of toxicity and fungus. When your body is trying to rid itself of something, it will often try to send it out through the skin. Acne can happen when your body is trying to get rid of the yeast, but will often stay at that point because the yeast becomes self-sustaining. So altogether, it gets there because your body is trying to fight it off, but it stays there because yeast is stubborn and stays there on its’ own. It is self-perpetuating.
6. ItchinessA lot like acne, itchiness happens when the body is trying to get rid of candida through the skin or out through the different orifices (holes) in your body. Candida can cause different substances that happen in the body to accumulate and discharge. This can irritate the skin and cause itching.
7. Joint PainOften confused with arthritis, candida can be the cause of joint pain, especially after chemotherapy, a heavy round of antibiotics, or a toxic living environment. After these situations happen, yeast begins to propagate or flourish causing swelling and inflammation. The chemistry of the guts is the defining factor with joint pain. When it is inflamed, autoimmune function and proinflammatory chemistry exists throughout the body, specifically in the joints.
8. Bloating and GassinessThis is typically one of the first signs that a person has a Candidiasis issue, or in other words, candida overgrowth. Yeast originates in the guts because that is where your body processes a bulk of the food that you put into it and takes it into the bloodstream. So it makes sense that the gut is where the first signs would come from if that’s where the problem itself starts. Bloating happens because yeast rises. Like in bread, when you add yeast, it will rise and create gas (sign #9). Bloating happens when there is trapped gas that isn’t coming out and keeps getting created. Therefore, gas happens. If you are burping and belching all day long, or if you have increased flatulence, yeast is likely an issue. So the more sugar that we take in and if pressure build, the more gas we tend to have.
9. HeadachesOften the most ‘overlooked’ symptom of candida because a headache can appear from many different issues. Headaches are often the ‘great pretender’ of the real issue of candida. Common cyclical or episodic occurrences such as menstruation, allergies, or a night out on the town ending in a hangover, are falsely blamed on the causative culprit when in face candida overgrowth is the guilty party. Candida slows the body’s natural ability to react properly when attempting to balance hormones or body chemistry. Candida weakens the body’s response to common stressors creating a headache as a veiled yet most obvious symptom.
10. EczemaLike acne, eczema occurs when the body is trying to get rid of something. Often, candida is that something. In Chinese medicine, the skin is looked at as the “third lung”. Similar to the lungs, the skin is used to “breath out” in that it exhales toxicity and negative things that shouldn’t be there. Eczema gets tough, though, because like acne, it can become self-sustaining. Remember that yeast is able to fend for itself and has its’ own lifecycle once it is established, so eczema can be persistent and difficult to get rid of. Truly identifying the source will be a great place to begin ridding the body of this symptom. Candida is a problem. The bottom line is that candida becomes overgrown in the gut. From there, it enters the bloodstream, and wreaks havoc all over the body resulting in many different forms of frustrating and negative symptoms.
So what’s a person to do?There are a few things a person can and should do, not only to get rid of a candida overgrowth in their system, but also to prevent one from happening.
- Stop eating so much sugar I know, I know… you hear that all the time. Well it’s true. Go ahead and work on setting some doable boundaries for yourself. Things like drinking a soda everyday are super harmful in the long run. One every now and then is fine, but the constant consumption of sugar is fueling your candida overgrowth and causing tons of problems.
- Start killing yeast The fastest and most effective way to do this is to use an all-natural, yeast killer that is designed specifically to battle candida. The best option is Skinny Up! Yeast Redux. This stuff is powerful, and most people feel a difference in their symptoms and overall health within the first week or two. Another good option is to start consuming a small amount of apple cider vinegar each day. A teaspoon of ACV mixed with 4 oz. of water twice a day is a good place to start. This will do wonders for your gut health in the long run, since yeast ultimately cannot withstand this type of chemistry.
- Get on a quality probiotic You can pick a good one up at your local health food store or even at a pharmacy. To pick out a good one, make sure that your probiotic has a high number of colony-forming units (CFU’s), and contains a few specific strands of bacteria. These should ideally include L. acidophilus to colonize the walls of your small intestine, B. longum which is common in the digestive tracts of adults, and B. bifidum which is critical for digesting dairies.