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The dreaded Candida

Just before I get going, I want to say that this blog post is not about all the scary things about candida and what could happen if you have an overgrowth. That wouldn’t be very helpful. Firstly, we need to remember that candida naturally lives in us. It is part of the fungal community called the mycobiome. These fungal species play an important role in the modulation of the immune response, disease progression, the maintenance of the microbial population and metabolic function.


There are lots of signs and symptoms that you may have an overgrowth of candida which I am not going to go into any depth about because it is important that these are identified by a professional. The problem with listing signs and symptoms is you may think that because you have a lot of them then you definitely have candida overgrowth but that may not be the case. Having said that, there are some conditions that indicate quite clearly a candida overgrowth including oral thrush, vaginal thrush and other fungal infections such as of the nails and feet.



We are exposed daily to countless fungi and the body should be able to maintain a balance so that none of these species get out of control. Fungi like candida only turn pathogenic when the environment changes in a way that allows it to overgrow. Factors such as low immunity, an imbalance in the microbiota and changes in the ph/nutrient status can all allow candida the opportunity to become a problem.


So what causes the environment to change? Some examples include:


-antibiotic use

-pregnancy

-blood sugar imbalances

-stress

-intolerances and allergies

-poor diet and lifestyle

-anti-fungal use

-operations

-medications



……and much more


And what is the answer? How do we resolve candida overgrowth?

You may have come across the candida diet which is a highly restrictive low carbohydrate diet. I am not an advocate for this. Candida is known to be able to swap fuel sources and it doesn’t need glucose to thrive. That’s not to say we shouldn’t reduce/eliminate refined carbohydrates but when you reduce glucose availability significantly, in the long run candida can become even more problematic.


There are many steps I would take when it comes to a client with candida overgrowth and I would not take the same approach for everyone. It very much depends on the individual. For example, we would need to identify the key triggers for the overgrowth and this varies with each individual. I would work to help build an internal environment where candida is not able to go wild.


The key message I want to get across is that-yes a candida overgrowth needs to be dealt with asap, however there is a lot of confusing and extreme information out there when it comes to candida so please do not experiment alone-go to a professional therapist who can help support your individual situation and needs.