Candida: What it is, Symptoms and Diet
Candida is a hot topic, so I'm going to share why many people are walking around with Candida overgrowth in their guts, and the symptoms you can experience as a result. Then I’ll share what can be done about it.
A lot of the herbs, essential oils and food solutions that I’m sharing with you can indeed be applied to anybody also dealing with bacterial overgrowth in the gut or imbalance, as well as parasitic - presence of parasites in the gut as well. There are, of course, little tweaks that we would make based on what specific specific imbalance was present in the gut. If you had a stool test and you knew that you had a parasite, then we would need to change the recommendations. But for the most part, everything that I'm sharing here is good to use, no matter what type of pathogenic imbalance that you might be dealing with.
Candida is a fungus. It's a fungal strain that everybody does already have in their digestive tract. The reality is it doesn't really pose a problem until it starts to get into overgrowth. The reason why we see so many people dealing with Candida overgrowth nowadays is because a lot of us are consuming a very processed, high-sugar diet. Those chemicals, preservatives, processed foods, high-sugar foods, they feed the Candida. They're like delicious food for Candida. So it can easily get into the state of extreme overgrowth very quickly.
That as well as stress and drinking a lot of alcohol turns that internal environment of the gut tube into an environment that's more conducive to Candida overgrowth than it is to good bacteria presence. It's a big deal when Candida gets to be in excess over an extended period of time, because the by-product of Candida can be neurotoxic to our brains. It can cause a lot of brain fog. The overgrowth of Candida can start to push out the good bacterial strains in our gut. Those good bacterial strains are very, very important for proper thyroid hormone conversion. A lot of people don't realize that the thyroid and the gut are connected because the gut is one of those big conversion factories for your thyroid hormone.
You know you have Candida overgrowth, of course, with a stool test you can confirm. But if you're prone to yeast infections and itchy and irritated skin, that can be a sign of Candida issues. Being bloated all the time after you're done eating, even two or three or four hours after you've eaten. If you're waking up in the morning time after having had dinner the night before and no food in the middle of the night, and you're waking up bloated, it's another sign of Candida overgrowth.
The first thing is diet. The second thing we're going to talk about is how to remove the Candida, and then the third thing we're going to talk about is how to heal the lining of the gut. Because once that gut has been damaged from the overgrowth of the bacteria and the Candida or whatever dysbiosis is present, we want to make sure that that lining is healed so your immune system can go in and work more efficiently to prevent that overgrowth from happening again.
The one thing we want to make sure is consistent, no matter what diet you are choosing to adopt with eliminating Candida, is to eliminate processed sugar. Again, it's such a simple food for the Candida to eat up and to me, it's just like a Candida feeding frenzy with sugar. So watch the sugar. Cut that out completely. Get rid of the processed foods. Eat foods that rot.
I personally think a very good and simple diet to adopt is a Paleo diet. Or if you're vegan or vegetarian, make sure that you're not eating any processed foods. Stick with whole foods. If you're going to do grain, make sure it's whole grain. If you're going to consume gluten, make sure you're not gluten-sensitive. The only way to know for sure if you're not gluten-sensitive is to have a sensitivity panel ran. I recommend the technology behind the Cyrex lab panels, looking to see if you are indeed gluten-sensitive.
Gluten, I will say, it's one of the most hidden food sensitivities that a lot of people are walking around with and don't notice it. But they have these other symptoms not even in the digestive tract. When we check out gluten-sensitivity and we take it out, we confirm it, we take it out, a lot of things improve, including metabolism and energy, and sleep, and libido, and all these other things. So make sure you're choosing really good grains, and maybe just be safe and eliminate gluten altogether, just because it is a hyper-sensitive grain for most people.
Another thing you need is good mentality by asking yourself, "What can I have? What can I choose to nourish my body with?" Let's not get into the focus of, "What can't we have?" So foods that are really wonderful when cleaning, when removing any type of bugs from the gut and focusing on rebalancing the gut flora is to bring in things like lots of vegetables. If you're having fruit, it should be fine as long as you're not doing more fruit than you are vegetables. Your body wants that fiber for sure. The fiber's going to be really great, make sure you're doing lots of organic. Bone broth is also fantastic, apple cider vinegar, turmeric is amazing, not just for keeping inflammation down but also to help rip up biofilm. We'll talk about that in a second. Doing chia seeds and hemp seeds, coconut oil's really excellent as well. There's anti-pathogenic properties in coconut oil, too. Those are lots of things that you can include into your diet.
Step one is to reset the diet. Step two is to remove the bugs. I'll share how to do that on the blog next week.
Have a great day!
- Dr. Melissa Esguerra