Results of Overgrowth
Candida overgrowth is a major factor in the development of leaky gut syndrome, a condition that occurs when food penetrates the bowel walls, entering the blood stream. Many experts link leaky gut syndrome with food allergies and autoimmune diseases such as lupus, diabetes, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn's disease.
Anne Khoury, a certified colon hygienist at Health Connections Center in Philadelphia, says the most frequently occurring species is candida albicans, which can crowd out beneficial bacteria. In addition to changing their diet, she says pregnant women may take probiotics such as acidophilus strains, which are friendly bacteria.
Some of the symptoms of candida include the following:
- Rapid weight gain (not from pregnancy)
- Cravings for sugar
- Quickly becoming agitated or irritable
- Becoming extremely tired on rainy days
- Difficulty focusing or brain fog
Khoury says women become depressed on rainy days because the pores in their bodies react to the humidity.
Pamela Gerry, a registered nurse and colon hydrotherapist in Sanford, Maine, says other symptoms of candida include bloating and fatigue.
A Different Kind of Clean
Women may cleanse their bodies of candida by changing their diet and choosing more foods and drinks that cause an alkaline rather than acidic response in the body, according to experts. "We work with a lot of people who have candida," Khoury says. "Basically what we do is get them on a diet that does not feed the candida, which means taking away yeast products and sugar products. They should not eat anything fermented. They should not have any fruit juice or anything with a lot of sugar in it. It feeds the candida. Khoury says a person's colon should have 85 percent friendly bacteria and just 15 percent "opportunistic bacteria."
Women who have used birth control pills are more at risk for having candida, but the average American's high-sugar diet can put most anyone at risk. "We eat so badly [including] too much acidic-forming foods," Khoury says. "That kills the friendly bacteria, which gives opportunity for the other bacteria to grow. It's very difficult to get rid of that. You really have to cut out your sugar like you would not believe."
A doctor can give a woman a blood test to see if she has candida, but Khoury suggests using most homeopathic remedies before becoming pregnant or after breastfeeding. "When you try to kill off the candida you feel awful for a couple of weeks," she says. "When [women] get pregnant, they have a whole bunch of problems on top of it, such as constipation."