Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth and Four Tips to Get Rid of It

Are you tired of feeling bloated, tired, and unwell all the time? Have you considered that candida overgrowth might be the root cause of your discomfort?

Candida overgrowth is a common condition affecting millions worldwide, yet it often goes undiagnosed and untreated. But fear not! By exploring the fascinating world of Candida, we’ll uncover the various causes that can lead to this frustrating condition.

From the foods you eat to the stress you experience, we’ll leave no stone unturned in our quest to uncover the hidden culprits behind Candida overgrowth.


What is Candida?

Candida is a type of yeast or fungus that is a normal part of the human microbiome, inhabiting areas such as the gastrointestinal tract, mouth, and skin.[1] Candida is balanced with other microorganisms and, in small quantities, plays a beneficial role in digestion and nutrient absorption in healthy individuals.

It is generally kept in check by our immune system and good bacteria, but certain factors can cause it to grow out of control, causing candida overgrowth syndrome. This can lead to various symptoms and health issues, from digestive problems to skin issues, fatigue, and even mood disorders.[2]


woman with candida overgrowth symptoms

Candida Overgrowth Symptoms

Candida overgrowth can cause a wide range of symptoms, varying from person to person. Some common symptoms of candida overgrowth include:

  • Digestive issues like bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain [3]
  • Skin issues like rashes, itching, acne, psoriasis, and eczema [4]
  • Fatigue, brain fog, and difficulty concentrating [5]
  • Recurrent vaginal or urinary tract infections [6]
  • Oral thrush [7]
  • Joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation [8]
  • Mood disorders such as irritability, anxiety, and depression [9]
  • Food cravings, especially sweets or carbs [10]
  • Allergies and sensitivities to foods, chemicals, or environmental factors [11]
  • Nail abnormalities such as discoloration, thickening, brittleness, and detachment.[12]

Other health conditions can also cause the symptoms associated with candida overgrowth, so it’s best to consult with your care provider if you suspect that you may have candida overgrowth.


man with stress

The 10 Most Common Causes of Candida Overgrowth

What’s fascinating about candida is its complex relationship with our immune system, gut microbiome, and external factors that can lead to its overgrowth. Even though candida is a natural part of our microbiome, this sneaky little yeast can wreak havoc on our bodies!

So what causes this pesky yeast to go into overdrive? As it turns out, several factors can contribute to candida overgrowth.

Let’s look at 10 of the most common causes of candida overgrowth.

1. Prolonged Use of Antibiotics

Antibiotics work by killing harmful bacteria that cause infections. Still, they can also disrupt the balance of good and bad bacteria in our gut, leading to an overgrowth of candida.

Antibiotics target harmful bacteria that cause infections and sometimes kill beneficial bacteria crucial in maintaining a healthy gut.[13] This allows candida to thrive and grow unchecked.

To prevent candida overgrowth caused by antibiotic use, it’s important to take probiotics, eat a healthy diet, and avoid prolonged or unnecessary use of antibiotics whenever possible. Occasionally, circumstances require antibiotics for treating sinus infections, bacterial biofilm colonies in the bladder, or chronic Lyme disease. And in these cases, it’s important to work closely with your practitioner to determine if an antifungal medication is needed to keep the yeast overgrowth in check.

2. A Diet High In Processed Foods and Sugars

Processed foods and sugary treats often lack essential nutrients and fiber. Not to mention that they also tend to be high in unhealthy fats, preservatives, and artificial additives. When we consume processed foods and sugars, we are essentially feeding the candida yeast, allowing it to grow and multiply.[14] This can lead to various symptoms, including digestive issues, fatigue, brain fog, skin problems, and more.

It’s crucial to prioritize whole, nutrient-dense foods and limit processed and sugary treats to help prevent candida overgrowth. This means eating plenty of vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein and avoiding foods high in refined sugar, white flour, and artificial additives.

3. A Weakened Immune System

Our immune system is our body’s defense against harmful invaders like viruses, bacteria, and fungi, including candida. However, a weakened immune system caused by chronic stress, poor sleep, nutrient deficiencies, environmental toxicants, other chronic infections, and some medical conditions can compromise our immune system and cannot effectively fight off candida overgrowth.[15]

Supporting our immune system can go a long way in preventing candida overgrowth. This includes eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, managing stress, getting enough sleep, and avoiding things that can harm our immune system, like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. And in some circumstances, figuring out WHAT else is suppressing the immune system.

4. Chronic Stress

Chronic stress is a common modern-day problem that can have a range of adverse effects on our physical and mental health. We get stressed out, especially about many things over which we often have little to no control.

When we experience stress, our body releases the hormone cortisol, which can disrupt the balance of beneficial bacteria in our gut, creating an environment conducive to candida overgrowth.

Practices like meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and regular exercise help reduce cortisol levels and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in our gut, creating an environment less hospitable to candida. Many things in our lives are out of our control, but if we focus on the areas we do have control over and release our expectations about things over which we have NO control, we will be better able to manage our stress. One of my teachers used to say, “How we are with an issue, IS the issue.” This means that we can choose to get upset and stressed about something, or we can choose to have a different reaction. Our response to the external stressor IS under our control.

5. Hormonal Imbalances

Hormones are critical in regulating various bodily functions, including the balance of microorganisms in our gut. For example, high estrogen levels, which can occur during pregnancy, perimenopause, or with hormonal birth control, can create a favorable environment for candida growth.[16]

Managing underlying health conditions that contribute to hormonal imbalances can reduce the risk of candida overgrowth. Hormone imbalance can also refer to adrenal and thyroid dysfunction as well. So be sure to check out these hormones in any candida evaluation.

6. Birth Control Pills

These contain synthetic hormones that can disrupt the balance of microorganisms in our gut and weaken our immune system, making us more susceptible to infections, including those caused by candida.[17]

Birth control pills can also increase estrogen levels in our bodies, creating an environment favorable to candida growth because candida thrives in an environment rich in sugar and estrogen.

Maintaining a healthy diet that is low in sugar and processed foods and good hygiene can help prevent candida overgrowth. In some cases, switching to a non-hormonal form of birth control or using a combination of birth control methods can help reduce your risk of candida overgrowth.

7. Diabetes

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics have high glucose levels in the bloodstream, which can damage the blood vessels and nerves that regulate blood flow to the organs, including the gut.[18] This can disrupt the natural balance of microorganisms in the gut and create an environment favorable to candida growth. In addition, many people with diabetes also have a weakened immune system, making them more susceptible to infections. And remember, higher levels of sugar feed the candida!

To prevent candida overgrowth caused by diabetes, managing your blood sugar by maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and following any prescribed glucose metabolism treatments is important.

8. Oral Corticosteroids

Oral corticosteroids, such as prednisone, suppress the immune system, making the body more susceptible to infections.[19] Corticosteroids can also alter gut microorganisms’ natural balance, creating an environment favorable to candida growth.

These medications should only be used as prescribed and under the supervision of your healthcare provider. Additionally, if you’re taking oral corticosteroids, it’s important to eat a healthy diet and consider taking probiotics to help restore your gut’s natural balance.

Remember that everyone’s body is different, and what triggers candida overgrowth in one person may not affect another person in the same way. By identifying and addressing the underlying root causes of candida, we can take steps to prevent it from occurring and improve your overall health and well-being.

9. Mold Exposure

Ongoing research and anecdotal reports suggest an association between mold exposure and candida overgrowth. Mold toxins, such as mycotoxins, can have immunosuppressive effects and weaken the body’s defenses against pathogens, creating an environment favorable for candida overgrowth.[20] Also, mold exposure can contribute to chronic inflammation, disrupting the balance of microorganisms in the body, including the beneficial bacteria that help keep candida in check.[21]

Mold exposure can also contribute to increased intestinal permeability, commonly known as leaky gut.[22] When the gut barrier becomes compromised, candida and its byproducts can enter the bloodstream, potentially leading to systemic candida overgrowth.

To address mold exposure and reduce the risk of candida overgrowth, start by identifying and addressing sources of mold in your living or working environment. This may require a professional inspection and remediation if necessary. You can also discourage mold growth by improving ventilation in damp areas and using air purifiers to ensure good indoor air quality.

10. Toxin Exposure

Toxins like heavy metals, pesticides, and chemicals can disrupt the balance of microorganisms in our gut and weaken our immune system, making us more susceptible to infections, including those caused by candida.

Toxins can also compromise our liver function so that it can’t effectively remove toxins from our body, leading to a buildup of toxins that can contribute to candida overgrowth.

Minimizing our exposure to toxins by eating organic foods, using natural cleaning products, and avoiding environmental pollutants is an important first step. Additionally, supporting our liver’s natural detoxification process can help promote the removal of toxins and reduce your risk of candida overgrowth.


woman doing yoga in nature

Four Quick Tips To Help Get Rid of Candida

If you’ve been diagnosed with candida overgrowth, you’re probably asking yourself, “How do I get rid of this yeast in my body?” Fortunately, there are several lifestyle changes, supplements, and medications that you can use to help get things under control.

Since candida is a yeast growth, the most effective candida treatments will work to limit yeast production and kill off existing candida within the body until it returns to normal levels.

Try these four quick tips to help get rid of candida.

1. Eliminate candida-loving foods.

Candida flourishes in environments high in simple sugars and starches. I recommend eliminating refined sugars, carbs, and other foods that fuel candida, such as starchy fruits and vegetables, grains, beans, and any foods or drinks containing yeast for two weeks or longer if needed.

2. Focus on getting regular movement and practicing stress reduction.

Make movement and stress reduction a priority to help rebalance your gut. But keep in mind that this may not be the time for high-intensity workouts. Instead, focus on activities like walking or yoga and really target your responses to stressors.

3. Incorporate supplements to support your liver and immune health.

In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, supplements like oregano oil, olive leaf extract, garlic extract, undecylenic acid, probiotics, and glutathione can help restore the balance of the yeast and help cleanse your liver from prescription medications, environmental pollutants, and toxic metals.

4. Determine if mold exposure is contributing to your candida overgrowth.

Mold exposure and candida overgrowth can be related, so if you suspect a mold issue in your environment, it’s essential to take appropriate steps to address it, including evaluating your health symptoms and completing an inspection of your home. For more information, visit the International Society of Environmentally Acquired Illness.

If you have been diagnosed with or suspect that you have candida overgrowth, talk with your care provider about these tips and other treatment options to ensure you receive the care right for you.

Cutting Edge Source for Functional, Integrative, and Environmental Medicine

While candida overgrowth can cause discomfort and frustration, it’s important to remember that there are many ways to prevent and treat this condition.

By identifying the underlying causes and taking proactive steps toward better health, you can take control of your health and feel more energized, balanced, and joyful than ever before!

Take charge of your health and well-being, and say goodbye to candida overgrowth once and for all with support from Dr. Kelly McCann and her team at The Spring Center.

Subscribe for your health today and gain valuable insight into living your healthiest life. Or, enroll in your health today and start your journey to optimal health.



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