There’s a reason it’s so difficult to quit eating sugar and processed foods, why you can’t seem to stop thinking about it when you try, and why so many of us give in after a day or two--and it’s not just because they taste delicious!
Candida is a yeast fungus that lives in the mouth and intestines, aiding in digestion. At normal levels, it helps the body function properly, but several environmental factors can cause Candida overgrowth, which in turn contributes to significant health problems.
Risk factors for Candida overgrowth include taking antibiotics, eating a diet high in sugar and refined carbs, high alcohol intake, a weakened immune system, taking oral contraceptives, diabetes, and high stress levels.
Typically, the healthy bacteria in your body are responsible for keeping Candida growth in check, that’s why things like antibiotics, high alcohol consumption, weakened immune systems, and oral contraceptives impact Candida growth: because they directly impact our good bacteria and keep them from doing their job.
Candida thrives on diets high in sugar and processed foods, so the more you eat of these foods, the more Candida grows.
But when you cut sugar and refined carbs from your diet, Candida dies off, releasing toxins as it dies. This die off can cause intense, flu-like symptoms that affect the entire body as well as intense sugar/carb cravings; it’s your body’s actual withdrawal symptoms from sugar and carbs that make it so hard to quit.
We have such an aversion to suffering of any form, but suffering is so often what gives birth to growth--to a level up in life, in health, and in mindset. Struggle makes us stronger.
And there are so many benefits to facing the unpleasantness of Candida die off! It’s really about choosing short term pain for long term gain; Candida overgrowth comes along with several damaging symptoms that will lead to early degeneration and even more severe health problems over time, including:
Gastrointestinal Distress/ Digestive problems: Bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are often signs of Candida overgrowth. These symptoms in conjunction with strong sugar and carbohydrate cravings will tell you with more certainty that they’re caused by Candida overgrowth.
Cognitive Impairment: Brain fog is one of the most common signs of Candida overgrowth, ranging all the way up to full fledged ADHD symptoms when severe enough. It’s associated with memory and concentration problems as well as trouble thinking clearly.
Recurrent Infections: Excessive Candida can cause sinus infections, urinary tract infections, and yeast infections.
Chronic Fatigue: While Candida is of course not the only cause of chronic fatigue, it can certainly contribute to it. If you’re constantly exhausted no matter how many hours you sleep, you may have issues with Candida overgrowth.
Mood Disorders: Anxiety, depression, panic disorders, and mood swings can all be connected to Candida overgrowth.
Skin Problems: Your skin is a direct reflection of what’s going on in your gut. If you’re experiencing psoriasis, eczema, hives, and rashes, it could be an indicator of Candida overgrowth.
Autoimmune Diseases: Ulcerative Colitis, lupus, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, and scleroderma have all been linked to an imbalance of yeast in the body.
Many doctors have difficulty diagnosing Candida overgrowth, so if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, nutrition therapy can help your body regenerate healthy bacteria to keep your Candida in check and make the die-off process easier.