I’m sure everyone’s seen at least one advert on TV talking about a little bottled drink that is designed to feed the “good bacteria” in your gut, as doing so will play a vital role in keeping your digestive system healthy. Well this “bacteria” is not just singular, and it is also not all good.
Intestinal dybiosis, candida overgrowth, candidiasis, leaky gut, yeast overgrowth, bacterial overgrowth, imbalanced microbiome… however you want to call it, put simply, all of these definitions describe an imbalance of bacteria in the body, namely too much bad bacteria.
The word candida, refers to Candida Albicans which is a family of fungi / yeasts that can occur naturally in the intestine in small quantities. When this particular family of not-so-fun-guys gets out of control, however, it can lead to a number of unpleasant symptoms and health conditions.
What are the symptoms of a candida overgrowth?
If you google symptoms of a candida overgrowth, the list is pretty extensive, and, you could argue, perhaps too over inclusive. Having said that, if you are someone who suffers with a number of these things all in one go, then there is a chance your gut could be the cause. Some of the symptoms include:
- Sleeping issues – trouble falling asleep / staying asleep / trouble waking up
- Mood disorders such as anxiety and depression
- Difficult concentrating / brain fog
- Recurrent yeast infections
- Skin conditions such as acne, eczema, dry skin, psoriasis, urticaria
- Asthma and allergies
- Unexplained weight gain
- Strong sugar cravings, eating disorders
- Menstrual issues – infertility, loss of libido, repeated miscarriage
- Muscles or joint pains
What causes a candida overgrowth?
The exact cause of the overgrowth, as well as how long you may have been suffering from one will be unknown, however, likely causes include:
- Use of antibiotics or corticosteroids
- Birth control pill
- A diet high in sugar or processed fats
- Diseases such as cancer or diabetes
- Issues with stress
How do I know if I have a candida overgrowth?
Because any number of the above symptoms could be caused by other health conditions, the only way of really finding out if you have a bacterial overgrowth is by being referred by a doctor for a diagnostic test. A urinary dysbiosis test will check the individual levels of compounds excreted in your urine, which will indicate whether or not your symptoms might be caused by a candida overgrowth.
There is also a saliva test you can do at home to see if you show any signs of a candida overgrowth, however, this should only be used as a possible indicator and not a full on diagnosis. If you have any health concerns, you should always seek advice from your doctor before trying to self-medicate.
The good news is that it is possible to treat a candida overgrowth, and even better that it can be done naturally as well. The bad news is that the treatment time is a long one, as it can take months or even years to get your gut microbiome back to healthy levels. You need to view the treatment as a complete lifestyle change and not a quick fix – this is why I started this blog; in order to make the transition as well as the continued journey as easy as possible for others, by sharing my own experiences going through the same thing.