Your body is truly amazing. It is home to trillions of microbes that live in and on your body, including a wide variety of bacteria – some good, some bad, and some plain ugly. It’s also home to yeast, though this yeast is nothing like the stuff used to make bread. Although everyone has some yeast in their body, occasionally the yeast can increase in numbers (called a “yeast overgrowth”). Yeast overgrowth doesn’t sound good, does it?
One of the most common species of yeast is Candida albicans. Most of the time Candida is found in small amounts, but when it grows out of control or out-competes other microbes, your body lets you know something is wrong via all sorts of strange symptoms. If you’ve been experiencing sugar cravings, brain fog or have a white film on your tongue (thrush) – there’s a chance you may have yeast overgrowth. Other symptoms of yeast overgrowth include fatigue, joint pain, recurrent yeast infections, sinus infections, food allergies/sensitivities, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation.
What Is Candida?
Candida is a type of fungus that naturally occurs in your mouth, on your skin, and in your gut. A healthy immune system is able to keep the yeast in check – but a compromised immune system can allow a hostile takeover to occur.
You may be aware that candida is a very common vaginal infection – in fact, the second most common in North America. But what you may not know is how it can wreak havoc on the rest of the body — for both women and men.
How Do You Get Candida overgrowth?
Candida in your gut is normal. When it becomes overgrown is it a problem. One or more of the following factors can cause yeast overgrowth.
You may be at risk for Candida overgrowth if you:
- Have a compromised immune system
- Take oral contraceptives
- Eat refined sugar
- Drink alcohol
- Take antibiotics
- Are under stress
- Have diabetes
The Candida organism feeds on glucose, so a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates can result in yeast overgrowth. Most drinks containing alcohol contain high amounts of carbohydrates – another way to feed Candida. Alcohol is also inflammatory and not good for the gut. If you’re diabetic and don’t have the condition under control, your blood sugar spikes can promote yeast overgrowth.
Another major risk factor for Candida overgrowth is taking antibiotics. Antibiotics are prescribed to kill the bacteria that are making you sick, but unfortunately they also kill off the beneficial bacteria in your gut — which usually crowd out Candida. There are over one thousand different species of bacteria and over 100 trillion organisms in the gastrointestinal tract. The balance of these bacteria along with yeast/fungi, viruses and protozoa have an enormous impact on health. When good bacteria in the GI tract is killed by antibiotics, the normal healthy ‘neighborhood’ of microorganisms becomes more like a scary Alfred Hitchcock movie and all of a sudden things like Candida over grows and ‘takes over.’ The impact to health can be significantly detrimental.
Stress can also be a risk factor for yeast overgrowth. When you’re stressed, your body raises your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that when overproduced weakens your immune system and also raises blood sugar levels. Cortisol is made continuously throughout the day and surges of cortisol release happen during a sudden fight-or-flight situation. Chronic stress, whether it is emotional, infectious, inflammatory, traumatic, etc. stress, causes your body to respond the same way by producing more cortisol. Elevated blood sugar contributes to yeast overgrowth .
Signs You Have Yeast Overgrowth
Candida has a surprising effect on the body when it overgrows. As it originates in the gut, you’d expect it to cause mostly digestive issues. In actuality, patients we see with yeast overgrowth have a wide variety of symptoms.
Do you struggle with:
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Recurrent athlete’s foot or toenail fungus
- Tiredness, poor concentration or “brain fog”
- Recurrent headaches
- Recurrent sinus infections
- Recurrent diarrhea or constipation
- Oral thrush
- Dizzy spells
- Acne breakouts
- Abdominal bloating
- Joint pain
- An extreme craving for sweet food
- Food allergies
- Increased sweating
- Autoimmune disease
- Mold related illness
- Heavy metal exposures/toxicity
If you suffer from one or more of the conditions listed above, your body may be struggling with Candida overgrowth.
How To Cure Candida Overgrowth Permanently
Our goal is to help you become Fully Functional® – your most healthy, productive, joy-filled self. First, we’ll IDENTIFY whether Candida is the issue for your symptoms. At Vine Healthcare we ensure we get a full, detailed medical history and a comprehensive physical examination before we start any treatments — because we examine and treat the body as a whole. We will likely do some stool testing to look for yeast overgrowth and may do some blood tests. We will also look for other contributing factors such as blood sugar issues or problems with cortisol.
Once we have identified yeast overgrowth, we will customize a treatment plan to help you get your life back. Some of the treatments we offer to help combat Candida include:
1. Health Education/Coaching
We help you tackle any eating habits that may contribute to yeast overgrowth. This includes helping you reduce your consumption of sugar and simple carbohydrates. We also encourage eating foods that allow helpful bacteria to thrive. This is the most important step in leading to good balance of microbes in your GI tract.
We know it can be overwhelming to make such a big change to your diet. So we give you the choice of receiving your health education in group sessions or in one-to-one coaching sessions. We want to help you make real, viable changes that ultimately make you healthier..
2. Abdominal/Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
Your pelvic floor is a hammock that your digestive system, rectum, internal sexual organs and bladder sit in. Any slight upset in your digestion or gut flora can have a big impact on your abdominal and pelvic health. Candida overgrowth is often associated with constipation. Abdominal/Pelvic floor physical therapy is a great way to help you heal from the inside out. This therapy will help ease uncomfortable symptoms while teaching you the exercises necessary for long-term abdominal and pelvic floor health.
3. Intravenous Therapies
Using state-of-the-art testing, we often check for deficiencies in nutrients and minerals. Yeast overgrowth is associated with or directly contributes to nutrient deficiencies as a result of intestinal permeability. If you have yeast overgrowth, it’s likely you have numerous nutrient deficiencies, including a vitamin B6 or magnesium deficiency.
Everything we do is specific to you. We are able to create specific intravenous therapies with a mixture of nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, amino acids, and others, tailor-made to you. By delivering them intravenously instead of orally, we bypass an often unhealthy GI tract and therefore ensure you get the most benefit from the treatment going directly into the blood stream.
4. Sublingual Immunotherapy
Some people are allergic to yeasts, including Candida species. Sublingual immunotherapy is a desensitization process used to treat an allergy to yeast. Treatment involves taking custom formulated drops to help your body reduce the symptomatic reaction to the yeast. In combination with health coaching and intravenous therapy, this can reduce your most distressing symptoms significantly.
5. Pulsed Electromagnetic Frequency
Pulsed electromagnetic frequency therapy is non-invasive and helps your electrically charged cells to communicate better. Used in conjunction with the therapies listed above, it improves your body’s ability to heal and fight the yeast overgrowth naturally.
For more information on the best treatment to beat Candida, personalized to your health concerns in the Carmel or Indianapolis area, you can request an appointment here or call our office at 317-989-8463.