What Is Candida Overgrowth?
Candida is a type of yeast that grows in the body in regions like the gut, vagina and mouth. At a normal level, Candida does not cause any issues. However, an overgrowth of Candida can lead to complications for the body.
In this blog, we break down the signs and symptoms of Candida Overgrowth, its symptoms - and how to treat & prevent it.
Signs And Symptoms:
The presence of Candida in your stool can indicate an overgrowth, but this is not always the case. Brown, yellow or white mucus in the stool may indicate Candida.
People who have a Candida overgrowth often experience symptoms like:
- Itching Skin
- Weakness Or Fatigue
- Craving For Sweets
Other symptoms of a Candida overgrowth manifest according to where the yeast is in the body:
- Cracked corners of the mouth
- White areas on the inner cheeks, tongue, roof of the mouth, and throat
- Red, inflamed tissue under the white patches, which is prone to bleeding
- Thick, white discharge
- Itchy or sore vagina and vulva
- Burning sensation in the vagina
- Pain during urination or sex
Candida can sometimes spread to infect the blood. This is known as invasive/deep candidiasis, and it can be life threatening. This is because Deep candidiasis can lead to organ failure.
If a person receiving antibacterial treatment for Candida infection experiences chills or a fever that does not go away - they must seek medical attention immediately
Healthy bacteria aids in keeping Candida in check. However, antibiotics kill good bacteria as well as bad bacteria, which can impact your body's balance of microbes. This can lead to an overgrowth of Candida.
Weakened Immune System
People with health conditions that weaken the immune system - such as some cancers, HIV, AIDS, etc are more prone to experiencing Candida overgrowth. This is simply because the body is less capable of fighting off infections.
Diabetes can increase the risk of Candida overgrowth, as high blood sugar levels encourage the yeast to grow.
People with a gastrointestinal disorder are likely to have high levels of Candida in their stool.
These conditions include:
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn's disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Many researchers believe these conditions cause inflammation, and hence promote Candida growth - which then results in even more inflammation.
Other risk factors for Candida overgrowth include the use of:
- herb medication
- excessive alcohol
Reducing the risk of Candida overgrowth – or treating a current infection – is a crucial step in restoring your health and wellbeing. Antifungal medications can be helpful, but relying on them alone to overcome a fungal infection can allow the yeast to become resistant. Because fungal infections are so complex, treatment needs to be complex as well. There’s plenty of evidence to support the efficacy of probiotics in overcoming different forms of Candida infection. It's been found that supplementing your daily diet with these beneficial bacteria helps to fight off the Candida infection and prevent it from recurring.
You prevent a Candida overgrowth by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A few things you do for prevention:
- Use antibiotics only when necessary, and as intended
- Limit the intake of processed or sugary foods
- Quit smoking, or never start!
- Keep the skin clean and dry - fungi thrive in warm, moist environments
- Avoid heavy alcohol consumption
- Keep your blood sugar level in check, as this can help prevent Candida infection
Candida overgrowth is generally treated very easily. With the right treatment, it will have no long-term health effects. If you have noticed any symptoms of Candida Overgrowth, consult a doctor immediately.