Candida overgrowth symptoms, diet and supplements

Candida Overgrowth: what it is and what to do about it

Candida albicans is a member of the Candida genus, a fungal yeast commonly found in human gut flora. It can be detected in as much as 60 percent of healthy adults.

For most people, most of the time, the presence of Candida causes no problems. It only becomes troublesome when it overgrows, resulting in a fungal infection called candidiasis. Candida infections often occur in the mouth or vagina and might be referred to as oral or vaginal thrush or yeast infections. When an overgrowth of Candida is found in the blood, we talk about systemic Candidiasis or Candidemia.

Candida overgrowth causes

The main causes for Candida overgrowth are:

  • A weak immune system
  • Use of antibiotics or corticosteroids
  • Diabetes – and in particular if you wear dentures. [1]
  • Over-consumption of alcohol
  • Oral contraception
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • A sugar-rich diet

It can be somewhat difficult to give a definitive diagnosis of Candida or attribute problems to it because it can cause problems in different ways on different parts of the body. For this reason, it’s often misdiagnosed.

For instance, it’s common for doctors to put fatigue down to depression and blame digestive issues on IBS. In this way, any underlying cause such as an imbalance in the gut flora might get missed.

Here’s a list of common indications that the Candida in your gut may have gone into overdrive:

Fatigue and brain fog

This is the most common symptom. Candida overgrowth is most often associated with nutritional deficiencies, mainly magnesium, vitamin B6 and fatty acids [2]. On the top of that, Candida is known to produce abnormal amounts of acetaldehyde [3] – the very same toxin responsible for hangovers and liver damage from excessive alcohol consumption. Together with abnormally high ammonia levels, acetaldehyde is responsible for most of the unpleasant symptoms associated with Candida overgrowth.

candida brain fog fatigue
Oral thrush

Easily recognisable by creamy white bumps on the tongue, gums, inner cheeks, tonsils and sometimes even throat, oral thrush is most common in babies and older adults, but it can occur at any age.

Digestive system difficulties

Often misdiagnosed as IBS, Candida overgrowth disturbs the healthy balance between “bad” and “good” bacteria in the digestive system – in favour of the “bad” bacteria. This causes multiple digestive issues and can lead to more serious diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease [4].

candida digestive issues misdiagnosed ibs
candida sinus infection
Chronic sinus infections

If a runny nose, headaches and nasal congestion are chronic, it’s possible Candida overgrowth is to blame. According to a study by the Mayo Clinic, 96 percent of chronic sinus infection sufferers had fungi in their mucus [5].

Joint pain

Untreated Candida overgrowth can cause a Candida infection to enter the bloodstream and attack your joints. This results in Candida arthritis [6] with associated pain, stiffness and swelling. Another issue caused by systemic Candida can be osteomyelitis – a bone infection [7].

candida arthritis joint pain
The role of the diet in controlling Candida

There are changes you can make to your diet to relieve Candida-related symptoms.

Sugar is definitely not your friend. There’s no arguing that sugar intake is best limited for all sorts of reasons. But a switch to a low-sugar diet will starve the Candida of the nutrition it needs to multiply and spread through your gut.

When sorting out a Candida problem it’s vital to take probiotics and anti-fungal supplements. The former will repopulate your gut with beneficial bacteria and make the atmosphere less hospitable to the fungus. And the latter will make a direct attack on it.


Candida cleanse supplements

There are a variety of herbs and natural supplements to give a helping hand in fighting Candida overgrowth.

Allicin in garlic has strong antimicrobial and antifungal properties, proven to be effective against Candida albicans [8]. Garlic oil penetrates the cellular membrane of Candida cells and destroys them from the inside [9].

Contains 3 different fatty acids: Caprylic Acid, Capric Acid and Lauric Acid that have each been found to be effective against Candida strains [10]

Limonoids and naringenin in grapefruit seed extract are known for their antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties. GSE is perhaps best-known for its ability to help with digestive disturbances and kill parasites and pathogens, especially fungal pathogens like Candida albicans [11].

Aloe Vera normalizes acid/alkaline and pH balance, lessens yeast formation (including Candida), encourages digestive bacteria and regularizes bowel processing. Studies show that aloe vera extract has the power to effect an almost complete (90-100 percent) limit on growth and germ tube formation of Candida albicans [12].

This amino acid derivative, praised for its effects on glutathione replenishment and acetaldehyde and ammonia detoxification has another super-power – it reduces biofilm formation [13] which makes easier for antifungals to eradicate it.

Contain a compound called eugenol. Eugenol has the ability to suppress Candida and create an inhospitable gut environment to harmful organisms [14].

The juglone and tannins content of black walnut is toxic for intestinal parasites and yeast as well as makes gut inhospitable to the candida fungus. [15]

Wormwood is best known for its ability to eradicate all kinds of intestinal parasites. It compounds: alpha- and beta-thujone also inhibit the growth of Candida. [16]


Read also: All about Die-off or Herxheimer reaction in parasite and candida cleanse