Do you seem to suffer from a malady of symptoms, yet no one can tell you what the problem is? Have you ever been told ‘it’s all in your head’? Have you been told you might have candida?
Yep. Been there – done that.
When Travis and I were told we had candida, we had no idea what our naturopath was talking about. But if you’ve read the story of our health journey, you’ll recall that we eventually discovered how it played a much bigger role than we ever realized.
What is candida?
Candida albicans is a toxic, yeast-like organism that usually resides in the digestive tract, mouth, and urinary tract. It’s estimated that about 90% of people have candida, but more recent reading suggests that *everyone* has it.
When candida is kept in balance by good gut bacteria and healthy eating, it’s generally harmless. However, it becomes a concern when your good gut bacteria is destroyed and when you eat foods that encourage it to multiply. Both of these situations weaken your immune system. This is when candida mutates, takes over your body, and becomes a serious condition called systematic candidiasis or more commonly, candida.
Sounds like a bad sci-fi movie, doesn’t it.
Candida’s symptoms can be common yet varied:
- athletes’ foot
- brain fog
- cold hands or feet
- cradle cap
- cravings for sweets
- diaper rash
- food sensitivities or reactions
- hay fever
- heart burn
- heart palpitations
- hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- joint pain
- lack of appetite
- mood swings
- muscle aches and pain
- panic attacks
- poor memory and concentration
- pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
- rashes and dry red patches
- respiratory problems
- sinus congestion
- thrush (white coating in mouth or vagina)
- UTI (urinary tract infections)
Candida is seriously under-rated – though many conventional doctors either wave it aside as a fad, or aren’t convinced it exists. Other doctors, naturopaths, and herbalists believe it is the root of many hard-to-diagnose chronic illnesses as well as a pre-cursur to auto-immune diseases.
What contributes to candida?
- antibiotics (frequent or long-term use kills beneficial bacteria and basically lets candida go hog wild)
- anti-inflammatory drugs
- anti-ulcer medications
- environmental toxins
- foods with starch
- foods with yeast
- high-sugar diet
- hormone replacement therapy
- oral contraceptives
- over-the-counter medicines
- prescription drugs
Testing for candida
How do you treat candida?
First of all, educate yourself. The more you find out about candida, the better equipped you are to fight it. You can start with Candida Crusher, an eBook written by Dr. Eric Bakker, ND – a naturopath who has treated 1000’s of candida patients in his 20+ years of practice. It is, without a doubt, the most informative and in-depth book I’ve found on candida. (disclaimer: Candida Crusher is a medical volume and contains anatomical photos that some readers may find objectionable.)
Basically, you can treat candida in two ways – each equally important.
If you’re looking for some recipes to get you started on a candida-diet, you can browse our candida diet recipes or consider our eCookbooks: Healing Candida with Food and The Sweeter Side of Candida, each filled with safe-to-eat recipes.
How long will it take?
This is a common question and the answer varies greatly from one source to another and from one person to another. Most often it depends on how long you’ve had symptoms and their severity. Some say it takes a minimum of four weeks while others say a month for every year you’ve been sick. They all agree however, that if you leave it unchecked, it will only get worse.
Please feel free to browse around and join us on our Facebook group, Kicking Candida if you have questions.
Shared with: Flour Me With Love, The Healthy Home Economist, Chef In Training, Vintage Wanna Bee, Real Food Forager, Cultured Mama, Far Above Rubies, Growing Home, This Chick Cooks, Day2Day Joys, GNOWFGLINS, Live Renewed, Our Simple Country Life, Jill’s Home Remedies, Real Food Whole Health, Real Food Freaks, Creative Christian Mama, Comfy in the Kitchen, Women Living Well,