Have you ever experienced candida?
Although the word may not sound familiar, you or someone you know has probably dealt with it before.
Actually, you might know of it by another name…one that may sound a little unsettling: yeast infection.
Yep, we said it! Yet before you click away, you might be surprised to learn that there’s a lot more to it than what you may think.
What Is It?
Candida (short for Candidia albicans) is a fungus that can cause skin and nail infections, if it’s overgrown. An infection is called candidiasis.
Associated with yeast and sugar yeast, foods like refined sugars, carbs and high-lactose products can encourage infections.
And contrary to what your mother may have told you, just about anyone can get it. A mouth infection (called oral thrush) is actually one very common way.
So, just how serious is this condition? Well, most times it is not life-threatening; instead. just really annoying.
However, it can get worse — a lot worse.
If candida is left untreated, it can potentially get into your bloodstream. If that happens, it has access to important organs, like your heart, and can do some serious damage. Extremely neglected cases have resulted in quite tragic complications, but it is not the norm.
How Does An Infection Happen?
You may be wondering how exactly this fungus grows and what can cultivate it to grow even larger. Infections can occur due to warm or wet (or both) skin environments. If you throw poor hygiene into the mix, this creates a perfect storm for growth.
The infection could also be exacerbated by tight clothing that rubs against the skin or does not allow a little breathing room. For example, bicycle shorts on a long summer ride.
Before you celebrate the fact that you are not an avid cyclist, there are other potential causes too.
Some doctors and naturopaths suggest that certain medications can either encourage or cause an infection to spread.
For example, some believe that antibiotics can contribute.
It might be a bit odd to think that a medication meant to destroy bacteria could actually cause it to spread instead, but not if you think it about the logistics.
Antibiotics are supposed to help the body rid bacteria, but they don’t distinguish between the type of bacteria. Our microbiome has both good and bad bacteria. Theoretically, antibiotics can rid your body of the good ones, making it potentially easier for your immune system to be attacked by the bad.
So, in theory, if antibiotics kill your good bacteria, bad bacteria and infections (like candida) can flourish. Any time your immune system is weakened, you could be at risk.
Another common medication that some naturopaths associate with these infections are birth control pills. This is just one reason why the infection is commonly associated with women.
It is thought that these pills can help lead to an infection, but cannot cause one on their own. A bad diet, consisting of a lot of refined sugars, with courses of antibiotics and birth control pills, is seen to be an easy, yet common way that women get infections.
Body Condition & Diseases
It is also believed that those with diabetes or asthma can face bigger risks of infection. For those with Type 1 or 2 diabetes, sugar levels may be higher than an average person in their mouths or mucous membranes.
Because of candida’s association to sugar yeast, this can be a possible risk factor.
If you have asthma, you may also have to take special precaution. Some people with asthma use inhalers that may also increase their candida risks. If you use inhalers, make sure you follow proper mouth hygiene and inhaler-care to lower the chances of oral thrush.
What Are the Symptoms?
Think you may have candida, but don’t know the symptoms?
Medical News Today reports that symptoms can include:
- Redness, rashes, scaling and swelling of skin, including sensitive areas, like folds of skin, groin, armpits and between spaces between fingers and toes
- Itchiness of skin
- Brittle nails that are easily breakable or splitting
- White or yellow spots on nails
Left untreated, these symptoms can evolve into a full-blown infection, with or without pain.
Some naturopaths and doctors suggest that the following can also occur if the body is experiencing candida overgrowth:
- oral thrush
- chronic fatigue
- mood disorder
- recurring urinary tract infection
- digestive issues
- sinus infections
- joint pain
While some of these symptoms can potentially occur alongside infection or overgrowth, you should know that these symptoms don’t necessarily mean you are infected. They can be symptoms of various other causes.
How Can You Seek Relief?
Candida can be annoying. For those seeking help through a balanced diet, our Candida Reduction Pack may be able to help.
Support your body’s immune response with:
- Vir-U-Sure: Supports the the immune system with sea plants and trace minerals
- Biome Medic: Protects your from harmful GMOS and helps flush out bad bacteria, while supporting the good
- Tropic Oil: Supports the immune system with coconut oil
- Kamut Blend: Encourages natural cleansing of toxins with green vegetable nutrients