Do I Have Problems with Candida?

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Do I Have Problems with Candida?
First off, you might be thinking, what exactly is Candida? Candida is a yeast and a normal inhabitant of the digestive tract. When in balance it is an asset to digestion, helping with nutrient break down and absorption. However, there are many lifestyle factors that tend to promote candida overgrowth which, in turn, can lead to a multitude of unpleasant symptoms ranging from digestive issues to depression.

How does something inherently good become such a detriment to our health? In today’s society it can actually be quite easy. There are many different factors which can contribute to candida overgrowth:

  • Eating highly processed, sugary foods

  • Antibiotic use

  • High stress lifestyle

  • Birth control pills

  • Consumption of alcoholic beverages

The body functions optimally at a slightly alkaline pH of 7.4. All of the factors listed above encourage an acidic environment in which candida thrive and proliferate. By eliminating the underlying cause in your diet, medication or lifestyle, you can restore your body’s pH balance and achieve good bacterial balance in the digestive tract.

Now back to the question at hand, how do you know if your health issues are related to candida? For starters, if you have a history of any of the contributing factors, that greatly increases your chances. Other common indicators can include headaches, inability to concentrate, hyperactivity, chronic fatigue, sugar cravings, sinus infections, anxiety, mood swings, depression, brain fog, skin conditions, weight gain, and the list goes on! Candida is a tricky little bug as symptoms can vary greatly from one person to the next, making it harder to diagnose.

However, chances are that if you are suffering from any of the above symptoms, candida and improper gut bacteria balance is playing a role. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that, with such a broad span of symptoms, research from Rice University shows that 70 percent of all people suffer from candida overgrowth!

The good news is that most people can successfully overcome their struggles with candida through proper supplementation and lifestyle changes. The first step is to revamp your diet. The focus should be on including more high fiber vegetables and high quality protein sources and consuming only moderate amounts of gluten free grains and starchier vegetables, including beets and sweet potatoes. In the early phase of the diet, fruits should be avoided as much as possible. However, if you feel the need for fruit, berries are the best choice. Foods that are thought of as "moldy" including cashews, pistachios and peanuts, or a fungus themselves, like mushrooms, are also good to avoid. There are different variations on the candida diet, but if you follow the basic principles of eating more vegetables and cutting out processed foods and sugars, including alcohol, you should be good.

Along with following a specific diet, there are supplements that will help to support the immune system and assist you in regaining a proper flora balance in the digestive tract. Both caprylic acid and undecylenic acid are potent antifungal agents. Lactoferrin is another important nutrient which helps manage candida by supporting natural immune function and digestive health. Oregano oil and probiotics are also two important supplements that help in regaining proper flora balance.

Other lifestyle changes, including stress reduction and moderate exercise, will also help you on your mission to regain your health. Although it may seem like a bit of a long journey, the rewards of increased energy and living life brain fog free are worth it in the end. Just remember to take it day by day and know that at Wellness Resources, we are always here to help!

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