Do you have a Candida Overgrowth/Infection?
Has it become a systemic infection in your bloodstream yet?
And do you know how it relates to IBS?
Those questions will be answered and so much more in this article.
I. What is a Candida Albicans Overgrowth?
First and foremost, let’s define what Candida actually is.
Candida is the name given to a family of fungi that are ever present in the human body. There are over 20 species of fungi that belong to this genus. An overgrowth of any one of these organisms will turn into a fungal infection called Candidiasis.
The most common species that is prone to overgrow is Candida Albicans. It is a specific yeast that exists in the intestinal tract, mucous membranes, and on the skin. In a healthy gut, this bacteria is kept at bay and doesn’t cause problems. (1)
An overgrowth of Candida Albicans can wreak your health in many different ways. It is the root cause of the ever-so-common yeast infection that affects around 75 percent of all American women. (2) It robs the body of energy, weakens the immune system, increases oxalates in the system which in turn poison the mitochondria, and often leads to Intestinal Permeability (aka Leaky Gut).
If left untreated, the leaky gut caused from Candidiasis opens the door to Candida Albicans spreading into the bloodstream, resulting in a dangerous systemic fungal infection. (3)
The issue with Candida is that it is opportunistic and aggressive. If the gut bacteria on the intestinal wall is out of balance, weakening the immune system, Candida will take advantage and eagerly take over.
It has a unique protein that allows it to adhere to the gut lining. This adhesive protein disables the human body’s natural mechanisms of removal.
It is important to note that Candida is asexual. When Candida grows it does something called “budding.” This slow growth method is much like a flower or a tree that buds flowers.
Because Candida is asexual, and does not need a mate, it is virulent. As it grows it produces more branches off of those buds. Those branches multiply branches and their branches multiply branches.
These act likes roots of a tree. As they get longer and stronger they literally burrow holes in the lining of your gut. This, even after Candida is controlled, results in a Leaky Gut, causing food to permeate into the blood stream.
II. How Do You Get A Candida Overgrowth?
How does this nightmare all begin? What causes a Candida to take over your gut and then, after burrowing holes in your gut, leak into your bloodstream and become a system problem?
There are multiple factors that contribute to providing an environment where candida can grow and take over your gut.
As you might have guessed, a big factor in determining the health of the gut intestinal barrier is diet. It’s safe to say that the Western diet is a recipe for disaster and not supportive of a healthy gut, to say the least.
However, there are many lifestyle factors that can weaken your microbiome and disrupt the bacterial balance in your gut (gut dysbiosis), opening the door for candida to take over.
Some of which are psychological and emotional such as worry, depression, anxiety, and anger. This is largely because the gut and brain are connected through the gut-brain axis.
Another contributing factor is the state of an individuals microbiota (aka the gut flora in the large intestine).
Gut flora resides on the inner most layer of the intestinal lining, the mucus layer. The body’s largest bacterial community is located in the gut with about 10¹² of bacteria per gram of tissue. In a healthy individual, their gut flora is dominated by beneficial microbes. A healthy gut flora includes beneficial fungi, protozoa, beneficial viruses, and even beneficial worms. In a healthy gut, all these beneficial microbes work together to live in harmony, keep the body balanced, and keep the tight junctions in the intestinal barrier working correctly.
Amidst the beauty of all the beneficial microbes, it is important to recognize that there are also hundreds of bad bacteria and pathogenic microbes that coexist along-side the beneficial bacterial strains. For an individual to be healthy and have strong immune system, these good bacteria must far outnumber the bad.
When the gut flora is dominated by healthy microbes, the pathogenic bacteria are outnumbered and kept in check, often remaining neutral. However, these neutral microbes are very opportunistic and when given opportunity, will eagerly take over and turn pathogenic.
When the gut flora is out of balance, the immune system weakens, making that individual more vulnerable to sickness and disease, such as IBS-C, IBD, IBS-D, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohns etc.
III. Do You Have a Candida Overgrowth?
Well, this is a list of some of the major symptoms, from topical to internal. This list is far from exhaustive.
- Crushing Fatigue
- Brain Fog
- Irregularity in Bowel Movements
- Abdominal Pain
- Food Allergies
- Intense Sugar Cravings
- Regular Sinus Infections
- Mood Disorders/Mood Swings
- low immune function
- chemical sensitivities
- Joint Pain
- It Can Drive Autoimmune Conditions such as Chronic Fatigue, MS, Hashimotos etc.
- Athlete’s foot
- Jock itch
- Tinea rashes
- Thick, yellow fungal nails
- Vaginal Yeast Infection
- etc etc
If you have IBS in any way, shape or form, you most likely do have not only a Candida overgrowth in your gut, but it’s probably a systemic infection in your bloodstream by this point.
IV. WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT
I know exactly what your’e thinking right now…
“Ok … so, since I have IBS, Candida Overgrowth and Infection is what I need to research and go after next to get rid of my IBS symptoms.”
And, after learning the science behind Candida Overgrowth, you naturally want to rush back into (or start for the first time) any or ALL of the following:
I. A Strict Elimination Diet like the millions of anti-candida diets out there that cut-out all sugar, processed foods, gluten, dairy, fruit, high FODMAP foods, lectins, oxalate foods, any foods that will feed bad bacteria and the list goes on and on …
II. Endless Hours of Research on this new topic: Candida (or revisiting it for the millionth time), trying to find the answers to solve your IBS problems through researching and constructing an effective diet and anti-fungal/probiotic plan.
III. Scheduling a Visit to See Your Doctor for Candida Tests, Gut Tests like Food Allergy panels, colonoscopies, testing for parasites etc trying to ‘get to the bottom of things’.
IV. Researching New Probiotic Supplements, trying to find ‘the one’ that will magically solve all your problems and kill candida.
We see this ALL the time.
And we get it. We understand.
When you have a digestive nightmare plaguing your body, your natural inclination is to jump at anything and everything to try and solve the root of what’s really going on.
The only problem is, you can go years and years scouring the internet for answers and trying the latest anti-candida diet, only to waste lots of time with no results.
You take all the gut tests that ever have been known to man at your doctor/naturopath’s office and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on anti-fungals and supplements that they recommend, only to fall flat on your face with NO progress in your journey and your symptoms just continually reoccurring in a vicious cycle.
You feel like the ultimate human guinea pig, having tried endless methods, diets, anti-fungals, probiotics, elimination and restrictive diets, anti-candida diets and supplements, gut healing protocols, seeing naturpathic doctors and spending thousands of dollars trying to recover your health and get to the root of your health problems.
You end up feeling frustrated, helpless and disappointed that you wasted all that time and money on ANOTHER stupid ‘solution’ that didn’t help you.
And I’m here to tell you, it will always end the same for you until you start going after the Deeper root problem in your body that is at a cellular and neurological level with Hard Work, Dedication and Consistency.
How do you do this?
You need a well formulated plan backed by, PROVEN and tested by Scientific Research AND Neuroscience to attack the root cause of your IBS for good AND prevent reoccurrence. This is crucial.
Otherwise, you’ll stay on the vicious cycle of cutting out trigger foods, trying elimination diets, endlessly researching while NEVER annihilating the ROOT of the problem causing your IBS.
If you’re tired of wasting time and energy on ‘solutions’ don’t work (like I was), watch our free training to learn 5 scientifically backed shifts that can help you naturally alleviate your symptoms.
7. Enders, Giulia. Gut: The Inside Story Of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ. Scribe, 2015. Print.
9. Stephan C Bischoff; Giovanni Barbara; Wim Buurman; Theo Ockhuizen; Jörg-Dieter Schulzke; Matteo Serino; Herbert Tilg; Alastair Watson; Jerry M Wells. “Intestinal Permeability – A New Target for Disease Prevention and Therapy.BMC Gastroenterol. 2014;14(189).