Natural Health

What Causes Candida Overgrowth?

What causes Candida overgrowth? Fill out this Candida questionnaire to find out of Candida may be an issue in your health challenges.

 

Many things can cause Candida overgrowth leading to an imbalance.

Some of them include:

  •  Over use of antibiotics without replacing the lost beneficial bacteria (probiotics)
  •   Nutrient Poor Diet:  that is rich in refined sugars and refined carbohydrates (bread, potatoes, rice pasta, ice cream, sodas, processed foods, etc.)
  •   Constipation: this common problem can be caused by Candida. However constipation can also lead to Candida. A digestive tract which is constipated is slow moving and becomes very alkaline. The more alkaline the digestive tract the more Candida growth.
  •   Parasites and Intestinal Worms: Some researches have estimated that over 85% of all people living in North America and Canada have parasites. These unwelcome guests destroy friendly bacteria in the intestines making yeast overgrowth possible.
  •  Excessive Stress: Stress can cause yeast growth for several reasons. It raises cortisol, a stress hormone, which depresses the immune system, raises blood sugar which feeds yeast cells allowing them to grow quickly. Another thing to be aware of is that cortisol can be addicting to the body. It raises sugar and relieves inflammation. There are several simple nutrients that help lower cortisol levels back to normal by telling the nervous system to relax.
  • Hormonal Imbalance: It has long been recognized that an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone can be a cause in yeast overgrowth.
  •  Birth Control Pills or Device: Oral birth control pills are mostly the hormone estrogen. Supplemental estrogen in the synthetic form has been found to promote the growth of yeast. A common complaint of women on birth control pills is yeast infection. The copper IUD is another possible promoter of yeast.
  •  Hypothyroid: The thyroid gland has an important effect on the immune system and digestive system.
  • Heavy Metals: Toxic metals show up consistently in people experiencing Candida. They are Mercury, Copper and Arsenic. These metals disable the exact part of the immune system that seeks to control Candida! They are often found in dental fillings and in tap water. As they pass through the intestinal tract they can stimulate the growth of more Candida. It’s important to get rid of the yeast before removing heavy metals since clearing them first will spread the yeast!
  • Other things that may contribute to Candida overgrowth include drugs and alcohol, antacid use, diabetes, hypothyroidism, excessive bowel cleansing, an imbalance of minerals such as copper dysregulation.

Wondering if your health could be affected by Candida overgrowth?

Here are some questions that can help determine if you may have Candida overgrowth:

1. Do you have skin issues like acne, eczema, psoriasis, rashes?
2. Do you have mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression?
3. Are you typically bloated, especially after meals?
4. Do you have trouble losing weight?
5. Do you have constant cravings?
6. Do you have thrush (a white coating of the tongue)?
7. Do you suffer from frequent colds or flu?
8. Do you have night sweats?
9. Have you used antibiotics or birth control pill in the last 2 years?
10. Do you have gas or bloating?
11. Do you have sugar cravings?
12. Do you have low blood sugar?
13. Do you have history of yeast infections, vaginal, oral, athlete’s foot, or
jock itch?
14. Does your partner have a history of yeast infections, vaginal, oral,
athlete’s foot, or jock itch?
15. Are you sensitive to smells?
16. Are you sensitive to alcohol?
17. Do you suffer from symptoms that your doctor cannot explain like;
headaches, migraines, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, IBS (Irritable Bowel
syndrome), itching, menstrual or sinus problems?
18. Do you feel fatigued all the time?
19. Do you have a hard time concentrating?
20. Do you just not feel right?

If you said “yes” to any of these questions it would be in your best interest to make sure Candida isn’t part of the problem.

Fill out the full Candida Questionnaire.

If you scored high on the questionnaire and need help with getting it under control you are welcome to schedule a free 30-minute Health Discovery phone session with me to see how I can help you get things balanced with a program designed just for you.

Read the first part of this post “Is Candida Sabotaging Your Health?” to learn more about Candida and it’s symptoms.

 

Immunity Boosting “Better than Chicken Soup” Soup Recipe

Bowl of soup with mushrooms and vegetables

Click photo to post on Facebook!

Following in the footsteps of my last post about Immune Boosting Foods I thought I would share an Immunity Boosting Soup recipe that is so yummy and good for you!  It’s full of ingredients that will help keep your immune system humming along this fall and winter season. 

If you are dealing with Candida and are in the initial stages of the cleanse then you’ll want to leave out the mushrooms.  You could substitute another one of your favorite veggies like cabbage or celery if you like. 

The reason to leave out the mushrooms may not be what you think.  Yes, mushrooms are a fungus but they don’t feed Candida, however, those who have  Candida overgrowth can be very sensitive to a lot of foods and mushrooms are one of them.  They can cause allergic-type reactions in someone who is experiencing Candida. So I always err on the side of caution and leave them out when doing a Candida cleanse. 

Then after things have settled down and your gut is more balanced I would start with a small amount of mushrooms and see how you feel. If you have any type of reaction to them (headaches, fatigue, bloating, gas, rashes, etc.) that can happen up to 4 days after eating then it’s recommended to leave that food out of your diet.  You could wait a few months and try this again to see if you indeed do have an intolerance to this food. 

This immunity-boosting soup is made with a virtual garden of powerful ingredients that contain beneficial nutrients for your immune system:

  • Turmeric adds a subtle flavor and a beautiful yellow color. The active ingredient is curcumin, a powerful antioxidant.
  • Black pepper also has antioxidant properties.
  • Cayenne pepper can clear congestion due to the main active compound capsaicin, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Shiitake mushrooms are rich in vitamins and minerals and contain unique phytonutrients that contribute to good health.

 Whole Foods Market Soup Recipe

Bowl of soup with mushrooms and vegetables

 Click photo to post on Pinterest!

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite cold-weather soup recipe?   Link us up!

15 Immune-Boosting Foods

Eating Well for Super Immunity

 A healthy immune system is vital for helping your body deal with infections caused by viruses, bacteria, candida, and environmental toxins.

As the winter months approach, it becomes even more important to support your immune system by consistently eating a balanced diet, exercising, and making healthy lifestyle choices.

But the real fuel for a strong immune system is using food as medicine.

Salmon, herbs, olive oil - Immunity boosting foods.
Salmon, herbs, olive oil – immunity-boosting foods.

Super Soup

An immunity-boosting diet includes light, easily digestible meals throughout the day, especially soup.

A myriad of health benefits and flavors are derived from the herbs, vegetables, and broth.

Soups also can help curtail the onset or ease the symptoms of colds and flu.

Look for soups that include immunity-enhancing ingredients such as ginger, onion, garlic, mushrooms, and a variety of veggies and herbs in a broth-base.

As always, food made from scratch is best!

Super-Immunity Diet Guidelines

  • Include healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil.
  • When it comes to seasoning your foods, incorporate a variety of herbs and spices for flavor.
  • For veggies, choose steamed broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes.
  • Fermented foods such as miso, sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt help promote healthy intestinal flora and combat harmful bacteria in the GI tract.
  • Limit red meat; instead, eat moderate amounts of fish and poultry.
  • It’s also smart to limit sugar in your diet. Studies have shown excessive sugar intake can interfere with optimal immune system function.
  • As far as beverages, the constituents in green tea have been shown to be both anti-inflammatory and immune-enhancing.

More Immune Boosting Foods

  • Cabbage (Vitamin U), cooked or raw. (Use cooked if you have hypo-thyroid issues).
  • Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), especially as found in cold water, deep ocean fish such as herring, salmon, mackerel, sardines. Other sources of EFAs include fish oils; organic, clarified butter (Ghee), extra-virgin olive oil and organic virgin coconut oil.
  • Garlic, raw or in supplement form.
  • Fiber from fresh, organically grown vegetables and fruits. As you increase fiber in your diet, you need to increase your daily intake of pure water.
  • Seaweeds such as Kelp, Nori, Dulse, Kombu, Hijiki, etc.
  • Sprouts from seeds, beans, peas, and grasses
  • Freshly made Juices from organically grown vegetables, fruits, and grasses
  • Mushrooms (Shiitake, Maitake, Rei-Shi, Ling-Zhi, etc.)

Immune Boosting Recipes

“Better than Chicken Soup” immunity-boosting soup recipe.

Cheers to your good health!

What’s your favorite immunity-boosting food or soup? Share in the comments below!

References

Image: klenova/bigstockphoto.com

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Natural Health Answers only joins affiliate programs for products that Paige believes in and sincerely endorses for quality and efficacy.

Is Candida Sabotaging Your Health?

Candida Sabotaging Health? Bloating, gas, rashes, brain fog plus a whole host of other nagging health issues are signs your body needs attention.

 What Is Candida albicans?

First, before I get into the details about Candida, I would like to share with you why this is a topic that I know a lot about. I found out a while back that I was actually born with Candida overgrowth and have had multiple health challenges in my life where Candida was the culprit.

I had to figure out on my own how to get rid of it and it was a daunting process.

It has come back a few times in the past twenty years when I’m under quite a lot of stress or I eat a bit off my usually sugar-free, clean diet.

Unfortunately, once you’ve had it you’re more prone to having another bout with it.  I will go right back on the diet, deal with my stress and take a natural anti-fungal if needed.

I can honestly say that I’m blessed to have had the experience (I’m done now though!) of having Candida overgrowth because now I can share the information that helped me with my clients.

After working with clients for 15 years I noticed that up to 80% of people that walked through my door had some level of  Candida overgrowth.

This is why I decided to specialize in helping women with this issue. Candida overgrowth is very common and my goal is to educate people on how to get back into balance and feel better!

So what exactly is Candida albicans?

It is a type of yeast that is present in the gut flora of a healthy human body.

You may be shocked to learn that we each house two to five pounds of live bacteria inside our bodies!

The balance of these bacteria is what’s important as they fend off foreign invaders plus a lot more. The balance of Candida is normally controlled by bacteria in the intestines. But when something destroys helpful bacteria, the yeast begins to invade and colonize the body tissues which can lead to what is termed “leaky gut”.

This is where the tissues become porous allowing these yeast colonies to release powerful chemicals called mycotoxins into the bloodstream, causing a variety of symptoms that I’ve listed below.

 

Is Candida sabotaging your health? Pain, gas, itch and brain fog are signs your body needs attention.Microscope slide of esophageal candidiasis via wikipedia

 

Signs and Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth

Both men and women can have candidiasis, however, women do experience it more frequently and usually more severely. 

Candida symptoms fall into these main four areas:

Gastrointestinal and Genitourinary Symptoms

These include gas and bloating – Candida produces carbon dioxide in the intestine, the result is persistent gas and bloating, thrush, coated tongue,  constipation, chronic diarrhea, rectal itching, indigestion, heartburn, bladder infections,  recurrent yeast vaginitis, vaginal burning and itching, vaginal discharge, “jock itch”, loss of sexual feelings and inflammation of the prostate.

Allergic Symptoms and Skin Symptoms

(These symptoms occur with the passing of toxins into the bloodstream.) These symptoms include hay fever, earaches, hives, headaches, sore throats, coughing, recurrent bronchitis, acne, nasal stuffiness, congestion, runny nose, chemical sensitivities to tobacco smoke, perfume and foods, “sick all over feeling”, athlete’s foot, nail fungus, rashes, dry scaly skin, frequent colds.

Glandular and Organ Symptoms

These include infertility, menstrual problems, PMS, ovarian failure and ACTH deficiency, inability to lose weight,  hypothyroidism, chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, diabetes mellitus, impotence, and endometriosis.

Emotional and Mental Symptoms

These occur because of central nervous system involvement. These include brain fog — poor memory, fatigue, drowsiness, feelings of unreality, coordination problems, numbness and tingling, muscle and joint pain, muscle weakness, irritability, inability to concentrate, confusion, anxiety and severe depression.

Other imbalances in the body can cause similar symptoms as well.

I feel it is important to rule out other issues like gluten or dairy sensitivity, adrenal burn out, blood sugar imbalance issues, emotional issues, and even general fatigue before diagnosing yourself with Candida overgrowth. There are always “layers” to our healing process.

If you have several of the symptoms for a Candida imbalance, following some simple steps for re-balancing your body should help move you in a healing direction whether or not the root issue is a Candida imbalance, or if the Candida imbalance is a symptom of another issue.

If you are experiencing many of the symptoms mentioned above and need some help getting it under control I offer VIP health coaching programs that will help you ditch Candida for good. Contact me today to schedule your free 30-minute Health Discovery Session to see how I can help you get rid of Candida overgrowth for good.

It can be overwhelming when there are so many things going on with our health and I know if I would have had someone to help me way back when I was going through all of my Candida symptoms I would have felt less overwhelmed, confused and felt better much faster!

There are so many factors to be aware of and it’s always smart to be sure that there is not a deeper imbalance going on that needs professional attention. No need to suffer if you don’t have to, it’s a positive step to seek help.

 

Paige’s Protein Smoothie, Candida Diet Recipe

Candida Diet Recipe Breakfast Option

When starting out on the Candida diet I had to come up with some easy but super nutrient breakfast options or I would have seriously faltered on the diet.  

I scoured the internet for ideas on what I could eat for breakfast and found a couple of ideas but I eventually came up with my own favorite Candida diet recipe for breakfast.

I was going to a Medical Intuitive at the time and she suggested a protein shake to help keep my blood sugar stable and my adrenals happy. 

I made a variety of different combinations that I really liked so this was a home run for me. 

This smoothie also keeps me feeling satisfied until lunch.

It’s important to get the correct ratios of protein, carbs, and fats so that you can last until lunch. 

Too many carbs compared to protein and you’re going to be reaching for something to eat within an hour or two not to mention feeding the Candida.

Up the protein decrease the carbs (fruit) and you’ll have a great option for your breakfast.

One other note to mention is that usually in the first stages of the Candida diet fruit is avoided so if you are just starting out you may want to leave out the berries and then add them when you’re further along in the cleanse. 

This recipe is easy, fast, delicious, and nutritious. Enjoy!

Are you a smoothie fan?  If so what is your favorite combo? 

Please share on Pinterest!

Purple berry smoothie with blueberries and a straw.

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