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Candida – Symptoms, causes and other risk factors

Candida is often referred as a yeast overgrowth. This is a very common condition all around the world, especially in people who suffer from autoimmune diseases. There are many doctors who have said that there are many patients who suffer from mood swings, skin problems, recurring fungal infections, brain fog, fatigue and digestive issues which were caused by Candida. This is a difficult condition to be diagnosed by doctors because it tends to affect each patient in different way.

The symptoms of this condition can happen on different parts of the body in ways which can be unique to the person who suffers from it. This is a reason why this is misdiagnosed in many cases.

There are some doctors who are unaware of the importance of the gut health and they will treat the symptoms rather than the cause. Digestive problems might be blamed on IBS and the fatigue might be written off as a depression.

The underlying cause – the imbalance in the gut flora can be not treated or recognized. Just like other chronic conditions and syndromes, the symptoms of this condition can flare up in different places. There are some tests which doctors should use to discover if there is a Candida overgrowth but there are many cases when patients do much of the diagnostic work themselves. When they look for the symptoms of yeast overgrowth, they can see if they are experiencing some of them and this can indicate if they have a deeper issue with their gut flora.

How people get Candida overgrowth

The good or healthy bacteria in the gut typically keep the Candida levels in check. But the Candida population can get out of control if you use antibiotics which will kill too many of the friendly bacteria. But also high – stress lifestyle, taking oral contraceptives, high alcohol intake and a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar (which feed the yeast) can also lead to this yeast overgrowth. Also there are some cases when a diet which is high in beneficial fermented foods like pickles, sauerkraut and Kombucha can feed Candida which can cause yeast overgrowth.

Symptoms of Candida

Here are the most common symptoms of Candida:

  • Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings
  • Severe seasonal allergies or itchy eyes
  • Vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, rectal itching or vaginal itching
  • Irritability, mood swings, anxiety or depression
  • Skin issues such as rashes, hives, psoriasis and eczema
  • Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADHD, ADD and/or brain fog
  • Autoimmune diseases such as Multiple sclerosis, Scleroderma, Psoriasis, Lupus, Ulcerative colitis, Rheumatoid arthritis and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Digestive issues such as diarrhea, constipation or bloating
  • Feeling tired and worn down or suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
  • Skin and nail fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, toenail fungus and ringworm

If you have some of the mentioned symptoms and you think that you have Candida, then you need to talk with your doctor as soon as possible to determine it.

Causes for Candida overgrowth

Here are the most common causes for Candida overgrowth:

  • A weakened immune system: Nearly 70% of the immune cells are found in the gut. This is explaining why the good bacteria or probiotics that help to keep the gut healthy are very important for our immune system. Also there are some bacteria which are keeping the Candida in check. When someone has a weakened immune system, then this means that there is a lack of bacteria present which acts as a line defense against diseases and illness.
  • Frequent antibiotic use: Antibiotics kill bacteria. They wipe out all of the good bacteria which are keeping the Candida in check and they can prevent overgrowth.
  • Chronic stress: Stress is the silent killer and in many causes is a reason for Candida. This is happening because the chronic stress is causing systemic inflammation which wears down the immune system.
  • Oral contraceptives: There are some studies in which is said that oral contraceptives are linked to recurrent yeast infections. Also there are some studies in which is shown that the risk of vaginal yeast infections (candida) is increasing when women are taking birth control pills, especially when they are under 24.