candida overgrowth havocCandida Overgrowth is not a term you’ll hear often in modern medical journals even though it has been estimated to affect approximately 75% of women at least once during their lifetime. Candida is essentially a yeast organism found naturally on the skin, mouth, gut and other mucus membranes providing no benefit for our overall health and wellbeing.

When the good and bad bacteria’s are in balance and your digestive system is functioning at optimal levels candida’s reproduction is restricted. However, Candida is an opportunistic organism and if this micro-organism balance is out of whack it leads to the proliferation of candida, resulting in a candida overgrowth.

When Candida is in overgrowth it breaks down the cell wall of the small intestine, penetrating the bloodstream and releasing toxic by-products such as ethanol and acetaldehyde (a chemical created by sugar and yeast fermentation). Acetaldehyde is a potent neurotoxin which impairs brain function; this is generally why patients suffering a candida overgrowth report “brain fog” or feeling “drunk.” Acetaldehyde also damages red blood cells and affects the endocrine, respiratory and circulatory systems.

Candida is most commonly caused by antibiotic use which kills both good and bad bacteria, but unfortunately do not eliminate candida, thereby allowing candida to thrive in an environment where there are no micro-organisms to help regulate candida proliferation.

A candida overgrowth can also be the result of:

  • Excessive consumption of sugar and sugar containing products

  • Highly refined carbohydrate diet

  • Pregnancy

  • Long term use of oral contraceptives


  • Diabetes mellitus

  • Obesity

Common symptoms include:

  • Brain fog, poor concentration, poor memory, headaches

  • White coated tongue, Oral thrush

  • Anxiety, panic attacks, irritability, mood swings

  • Food and chemical sensitivities

  • Chronic flatulence, abdominal cramps, irregular bowels

  • Hyperactivity problems

  • Dry mouth

  • Irritable bowel syndrome

  • Fatigue, lethargy

  • Heart burn, indigestion

  • Frequent ear infections

  • Dandruff, dry skin, acne, other skin problems

  • Frequent urination

  • PMS, endometriosis, irregular menstruation

  • Poor libido

If you’re one of the millions of people who suffers from undiagnosed candida, there is help out there. You need to remember that effectively treating candida will involve stopping the yeast overgrowth, restoring friendly bacteria and healing your gut so candida can no longer enter your bloodstream. First you’ll need to get the condition diagnosed, either by a vaginal swab or stool test. Then switch to a low carbohydrate diet and eliminate sugar as much as possible (sugar is what feeds Candida).

Speak with your integrative medical practitioner or naturopath about additional supplementation that will help to support your body whilst you aim to restore homeostasis within your gut.

 By Megan Maitland



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