After writing recently about a new gut health formula containing glutamine and herbs for healing the gut, several customers came into store with symptoms suggesting they may be suffering from a candida overgrowth. When we’re suffering from candida overgrowth there are the obvious digestive symptoms such as diarrhoea, constipation or bloating however there are often other symptoms. These can include
- feeling sluggish, tired and maybe suffering extreme fatigue
- feeling a little foggy in the head, poor memory and concentration with lack of focus
- skin rashes, hives and fungal infections such as athletes foot and toenail fungus
- vaginal thrush, urinary tract infections or rectal itching
- sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings
- irritability, anxiety, depression and mood swings
Now it’s no coincidence this may be happening at this time. A candida overgrowth will come about often when we overindulge in sugar and yeast amongst other things. There is no doubt over the past few months many of us have been increasing our consumption of comfort food – yes, more baking has been happening, plus I’m sure many have been eating more high carbohydrate, high sugar foods. Combine these overindulgences with, for many an increase in alcohol consumption and we have the perfect conditions for an overgrowth of candida.
Stress can be another factor which may be conducive to candida overgrowth and of course we haven’t had much of that in the past year!!
Candida is always present in our bodies, with a small amount of it residing in our mouth and intestines assisting with our digestion. However when we suffer from an overgrowth of candida, leaky gut syndrome will occur where the candida will penetrate the wall of the intestines and be absorbed into the blood stream leading to many health problems.
Generally, the healthy bacteria in our gut will keep this candida under control however these overindulgences I’ve mentioned can sometimes be just a little too much to ask of our healthy gut bacteria.
An overgrowth can also come about when we are living a stressful lifestyle, taking oral contraceptives, eating lots of refined carbohydrates and taking antibiotics which have killed not only the bad but also the good bacteria in our gut.
So how do you overcome this? Firstly, we need to kill off this overgrowth of candida which we can do with certain herbs such as Pau D’Arco which is a South American herb used to combat excessive intestinal yeast. If we are suffering from a severe case of candida overgrowth, we would suggest bringing in the ‘big guns’ and using a combination of Pau D’Arco, Cats Claw, Golden Seal, Echinacea and St Mary's Thistle. Cats Claw and Echinacea are a great addition to this formula as they both believed to be helpful in boosting the immune system and a good immune system is a great defence against Candida. Cats Claw also contains anti-inflammatory properties which may help with gastrointestinal disorders. Like Pau D’Arco, Golden Seal also contains excellent anti-fungal properties to help inhibit the growth of candida. It is also believed to contain antibacterial properties and enhances our immune system. St Mary's Thistle is well known as a liver herb.
At the same time as we are killing off the candida, we also need to be mindful of not feeding the candida. By eliminating certain foods from our diet such as sugar, yeast, fermented foods and fungi we will help our body recover from this overgrowth. Be mindful, as this candida dies off, we may feel flu like symptoms as the yeast is flushed from our body. Sometimes taking a liver formula may help process this yeast ‘die off’. This is why St Mary's Thistle has been included in the above candida formula. Drinking lots of water may also be very helpful.
Finally, it is extremely important to take probiotics because no doubt when suffering from a candida overgrowth we have an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut and bowel. It is extremely important to build up the level of good bacteria.
To assist our customers in treating this problem we have created a booklet with suggested foods to eliminate, foods to replace those eliminated foods plus recipes. Most find this booklet very helpful, as it is important to have the right food in our pantry and of course having some recipes on hand is very handy.
For more information contact Bev and the team at Go Vita, your health shop at 5 North St, Batemans Bay or phone 44729737. Don’t forget to tune into Bev on 2EC every Wednesday on Go Get Healthy at 12.30pm.