What is Candida & How Do You Treat It?

Candida is a type of fungus that lives in the human body. More specifically it is a genus of yeast. Candida mostly thrives in the mouth and the intestines and it's not uncommon to have trace amounts. However, problems begin to occur when candida grows at a rapid rate. It will cause an infection called candidiasis.

Some of the symptoms of candidiasis include

  • Oral Thrush  Thrush will appear as white bumpy spots on the tongue, cheeks, gums and throat. Overall, the mouth, and possibly the esophagus, will become red and sore and feel quite painful.

  • Digestive Complications  Digestion functions at its best when there is a healthy balance of both good and bad bacteria. When there is an overgrowth of candida there isn’t enough good bacteria to fight it. Which, in turn, causes an abundance of bad bacteria resulting in symptoms such as diarrhea, gas, cramps and bloating.

  • Sinus Infections If you experience chronic sinus infections candida may be the culprit. Given the proximity of the sinus cavity and mouth, candida can spread into the sinuses causing post nasal drip, congestion, cough and all-around similar cold/flu symptoms.

  • Athlete's Foot Continued skin and nail fungal infections are another sign of possible candida overgrowth.

  • Recurring Urinary Tract Infections and Vaginal Yeast Infections Again, when these conditions begin to occur frequently it's time to consider candida as the cause. It's not uncommon to have the occasional UTI or yeast infection, but they don't commonly happen over and over again. Also, it's important to keep in mind that while these conditions are more common for women they can be sexually transmitted.

Other non-physical symptoms related to candidiasis may be tiredness and lethargy, changes in mood and brain fog.

If you think candida might be what's causing your symptoms, especially if they are chronic, there is a test for it. Talk to your health care provider about what you are experiencing and see if they recommend a blood test.

Candidiasis tends to mainly affect those with compromised or weakened immune systems, therefore, keeping your immune system strong is the first step at fighting overgrowth of candida. This means a lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and adequate amounts of exercise. The better you take care of your body the better your body will take care of you.

If you are infected by and overgrowth of candida there are ways you can treat it naturally. First and foremost, you can work to detoxify your digestive system. This means drinking lots of water and sticking to a bland diet. Adding probiotics such as kefir or kombucha will also help. You can also try Candida Control which is a supplement at the Rochester Holistic center designed to detoxify the body.

There are also herbal supplements you can add to your routine. Coconut oil is great for cleansing the mouth and aloe vera juice is a great digestive aid. Milk Thistle is an herb that may help cleanse your liver. And, vitamin C will help boost your immune system.

As always, consult with a professional before self-diagnosing and treating your symptoms.