Candida is a fungus, which is a form of yeast, and a very small amount of it lives in your mouth and intestines. Its job is to aid with digestion and nutrient absorption but, when overproduced, candida breaks down the wall of the intestine and penetrates the bloodstream, releasing toxic byproducts into your body and causing leaky gut. This can lead to many different health problems.
How do you get candida overgrowth?
The healthy bacteria in your gut typically keep your candida levels in check. However, several factors can cause the candida population to get out of hand:
- Eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar (which feed the yeast)
- Consuming a lot of alcohol
- Taking oral contraceptives
- Eating a diet high in beneficial fermented foods like Kombucha, sauerkraut and pickles
- Living a high-stress lifestyle
- Taking one round of antibiotics
The following are ten common Candida symptoms:
- Skin and nail fungal infections (such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus)
- Feeling tired
- Being "foggy minded"
- Feeling worn down
- Chronic fatigue
- Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
- Autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis
- Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD
- Skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes
- Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression
- Vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, rectal itching or vaginal itching
- Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears
How do you test for Candida overgrowth?
There are several options for testing for Candida overgrowth:
You'll want to check your levels for IgG, IgA, and IgM candida anti-bodies. These can be checked through mostly any lab, however, J'Adore doctors use USA and Canadian labs to define the level of your infection. High levels indicate an overgrowth of candida. I find in my clinic that these can often be negative even when the stool or urine test is positive.
I find many patients slip through the diagnostic cracks undiagnosed with this test. However, it can find yeast overgrowth in most people. This will check for candida in your colon or lower intestines. The lab can usually determine the species of yeast as well as which treatment will be affective. (Note: be sure that your doctor orders a comprehensive stool test rather than the standard stool test.)
Urine Dysbiosis Test
This test detects a waste product of Candida yeast overgrowth known as D-Arabinitol. An elevated test means an overgrowth of candida. This test will determine if there is candida in your upper gut or small intestines.
How do you treat Candida overgrowth?
Effectively treating Candida involves stopping the yeast overgrowth, restoring the friendly bacteria that usually keep them in check, and healing your gut so that candida can no longer enter your bloodstream. You must work with a physician who knows what they are doing, as sometimes in practice prescription medications and natural therapies are required to treat the issue effectively.
Using diet alone is not enough to effectively treat Candida. Because of this I use an anti fungal medication such as Diflucan or Nyastatin for a month or longer with my patients.
You may read that some people recommend herbs such as oil of oregano. Oil of oregano can be very effective, but it can also kill good bacteria so I don't recommend it at all. The anti-fungal medications and specific natural therapies are very specific to yeast and will not harm your good bacteria.
Overall, healing your gut by eliminating inflammatory foods that can harm your GI tract and introducing foods that aid in digestion and nutrient absorption, will prevent candida from working its way through your body, and will dramatically improve your overall health.
Parasites are far more common than you think. In fact, the majority of the patients I seen at J'Adore have a parasite whom travel abroad in the world. As you will see, parasites can cause multitude of symptoms.
What is a parasite?
A parasite is any organism that lives and feeds off of another organism. Some examples of parasites include roundworms, tapeworms, pinworms, whipworms, hookworms, and more. Because parasites come in so many different shapes and sizes, they can cause a very wide range of problems. Some consume your food, leaving you hungry after every meal and unable to gain weight. Others feed off of your red blood cells, causing anemia. Some lay eggs that can cause itching, irritability, and even insomnia. If you have tried countless approaches to heal your gut and relieve your symptoms without any success, a parasite could be the underlying cause for many of your unexplained and unresolved symptoms.
How do you get parasites?
There are a number of ways to contract a parasite. Parasites can enter your body through contaminated food and water. Undercooked meat is a common place for parasites to hide, as well as contaminated water from underdeveloped countries, lakes, ponds, or creeks. However, meat is the not the only culprit. Unclean or contaminated fruits and vegetables can also harbor parasites. Some parasites can even enter the body by traveling through the bottom of your foot.
Once a person is infected with a parasite, it's very easy to pass it along. If you have a parasite and don't wash your hands after using the restroom, you can easily pass microscopic parasite eggs onto anything you touch. It's also very easy to contract a parasite when handling animals. Hand washing is a major opportunity to prevent parasite contamination and transmission. Traveling overseas is another way that foreign parasites can be introduced to your system. If you consumed any contaminated water during your travels, you may have acquired a parasite of some kind.
Typical signs and symptoms of a parasite:
- Constipation, diarrhea, gas, or other symptoms of IBS
- Traveled internationally and remember getting travelers diarrhea while abroad
- A history of food poisoning and your digestion has not been the same since
- Trouble falling asleep, or you wake up multiple times during the night
- Skin irritations or unexplained rashes, hives, rosacea or eczema
- Grind your teeth in your sleep
- Pain or aching in muscles or joints
- Experience fatigue, exhaustion, depression, or frequent feelings of apathy
- Never feel satisfied or full after your meals
The signs of a parasite can often appear unrelated and unexplained. We, at J'Adore Medispa in Cranbrook typically see parasites causing more constipation in patients than diarrhea, but some parasites are capable of changing the fluid balance in your gut and causing diarrhea. Trouble sleeping, skin irritations, mood changes, and muscle pain can all be caused by the toxins that parasites release into the bloodstream. These toxins often cause anxiety, which can manifest itself in different ways. For instance, waking up in the middle of the night or grinding your teeth in your sleep are signs that your body is experiencing anxiety while you rest. When these toxins interact with your neurotransmitters or blood cells, they can cause mood swings or skin irritation.
If you have or kow someone with these symptoms, please seek the direction and care of a physician whom is capable of running laboratory analysis, and prescribe medication and natural remedies to treat this health concern. Our physcians at J'Adore Rejuvenation Centre are ready to help you treat your health issue.