How to Identify and Treat Candida Symptoms

February 02, 2020

Candidiasis is an increasingly common issue. It’s important to recognize the symptoms when they crop up, so you know how to respond to them. Let’s take a closer look at what this condition is, what it looks like, and how to treat it.

Your body is home to different microorganisms, including fungi. One such fungi is something called candida albicans (known more commonly as just “candida”) – a genus of yeast that lives in the mouth, on the skin, and in the gut. Under normal conditions, candida is found in small amounts throughout the body. In fact, in the right quantity, this yeast is actually beneficial to digestion. 

But most Americans report that they do not eat the right types of foods each day and this can cause the overgrowth of the candida yeast which can result in a fungal infection known as candidiasis. Nutritionists are warning that it’s even more common than once believed. Read on to learn about common candidiasis symptoms that you might have right now.

Candidiasis And The Immune System

The health of the body’s immune system and certain microorganisms help regulate the population of candida in the body. However, imbalances in the body’s security measures, resulting from either internal or external factors, can result in an overgrowth of candida. Because of this, candida belongs to a category known as “opportunistic pathogenic yeast.” The outbreak results in a fungal infection known as candidiasis.

The four common types of candidiasis include:

  • Candidiasis of esophagus (also known as “candida esophagitis”)
  • Candidiasis of the mouth and throat (also known as “oropharyngeal candidiasis” or simply “oral thrush”)
  • Candidiasis of the vagina
  • Invasive candidiasis (a dangerous infection that impacts the heart, brain, bones, and other parts of the body)

Some common candidiasis symptoms include oral thrush, urinary tract infections, sinus issues, digestion problems, and more. We’ll discuss natural ways to treat these issues in just a moment. 

Common Causes of Candidiasis

A number of factors could be responsible for candidiasis, but below are the most common culprits:

  • Use of strong antibiotics/overusing antibiotics – This can destroy the good bacteria in your body, causing candida albicans to grow out of control.
  • Weakened immune system – A weak immune system (resulting from steroids, cancer medications, or other reasons) could lead to an outbreak of candida.
  • Obesity – Candida albicans thrives in moist and warm skinfolds. Since overweight people have more skinfolds, they are at a greater risk.
  • Pregnancy – Raised levels of estrogen in pregnancy could result in yeast infections.

Identifying & Treating Candidiasis Symptoms

Here are some major candidiasis symptoms that you might be experiencing if you’re suffering from candidiasis (along with tips on how to treat them):

Oral issues (oral thrush)

If you recently developed white bumpy patches on your tongue, the insides of your cheek, or on your tonsils, then it could be an indication that you’ve developed oral thrush (candidiasis of the mouth and throat). The major cause of thrush is poor oral hygiene. It is more common in newborn babies, elderly people, and those who wear dentures. The white patches can be painful and even bleed when irritated. Candidiasis of the mouth and throat can also spread to the esophagus.

How To Best Naturally Treat Thrush

Here are some natural tips to overcome thrush:

  • Salt Water – Salt is an antiseptic substance, and can do wonders against oral thrush. Dissolve a teaspoon in a cup of warm water, and swish it around your mouth or gargle it. 
  • Baking Soda – Baking soda has shown promising results against candida. Dissolve a teaspoon in warm water, and swish it around your mouth.
  • Lemon Juice – Lemon juice is another promising remedy against oral thrush. Add a teaspoon to warm water, and either drink it or swish it around your mouth.
  • Turmeric and Curcumin – Curcumin, the active ingredient found in turmeric is a great natural inflammation-fighter. Make a mixture by adding half a teaspoon of turmeric paste to a cup of water or milk, and then drink it. If you’re not a fan of the taste, and most people aren’t, it’s easier and much more effective to take a high quality curcumin softgel. This also allows you to get much more curcumin into your system than a turmeric paste can provide.

To best prevent candidiasis of the mouth and throat, make oral hygiene a top priority.

Fatigue

Fatigue or frequent tiredness could be a result of a number of medical complications. However, if your fatigue is accompanied by oral or vaginal thrush, then it could very well be a symptom of candidiasis. However, it is important to note that there isn’t any direct relationship between fatigue and candidiasis. It only results from the deficiencies and weakening of the immune system that accompany the fungal infection. This is a common point of confusion.

Overcoming Candidiasis-based Fatigue

While the candidiasis-based fatigue can only be completely overcome by treating the underlying infection, here are some tips to alleviate it:

  • Engage in physical exercise Exercise can help improve your sleep, which in turn can reduce your fatigue.
  • Take more magnesium – A magnesium deficiency is common with candidiasis, which results in feelings of sluggishness, among other symptoms.
  • Dietary Support — Try adding spinach, black beans, almonds, peanuts, avocados, and other magnesium-rich foods to your diet, or a highly bioavailable magnesium supplement.

Genital & UTI infections

Under normal circumstances, women have small traces of candida in the vagina. Candidiasis can result in a vaginal infection, which is also known as a yeast infection (it is also possible for men to get this infection on their genitals, but it is rare).

Symptoms of vaginal candidiasis include:

  • Redness and swelling of the genitals
  • Unexplained pain/burning sensation
  • Unexplained discomfort during intercourse
  • A thick discharge from the vagina
  • Recurring urinary tract infections

Treating Genital and UTI infections

If you think you have candidiasis of the vagina, then contact your physician. Meanwhile, here are some natural tips that may help you overcome a yeast and/or urinary tract infection:

  • Use topical boric acid – A strong antiseptic, boric acid is an effective remedy for yeast infections. Use it by mixing a small amount with water, and then apply it to the vaginal area. Never take boric acid orally or over cuts. If you’re pregnant, don’t use it at all.
  • Use oregano oil – It is an essential oil that has antifungal properties, and is therefore effective against candidiasis. Dilute it with a carrier oil (this is very important) and apply it over to the vagina, or take it with an oil diffuser (aromatherapy). Since oregano oil can make the blood thin, avoid using it if you are currently on any medications that work as blood thinners, or if you have a vitamin K deficiency. 
  • Garlic – Garlic has proven to be a promising remedy against yeast infections. Consider adding more raw garlic to your diet either by cooking with it or adding it to salads and dips.

Weak digestion

Candida is also found in the gut, and an overgrowth could lead to different digestive issues. If you’ve been experiencing a weak digestion lately, that isn’t showing any improvement, then you might be a victim of candidiasis. This is a result of the good bacteria (probiotics) being overpowered by the bad ones.

Candidiasis symptoms associated with the gut include:

Treating weak digestion naturally

  • Eat Greek yogurt (without the added sugar) – Greek yogurt is rich in probiotics, which could help overcome stomach issues. Eat a bowl of Greek yogurt for breakfast. Throw in some apples or berries to experience the best results. Or try a daily probiotic supplement.

There are some other candidiasis symptoms as well, which include:

  • Recurring fungal infections of the skin — to prevent these, make sure to practice excellent personal hygiene and change clothes often.
  • Pain in the joints  — this can be alleviated with mild exercise and an anti-inflammatory diet
  • Recurring sinus infections — alleviate or prevent these by avoiding environmental irritants and keeping your hands clean.

Bottom Line

Candidiasis is a common complication that affects many people in the United States. It is important to be wary of all of the above-mentioned symptoms, and take the necessary precautions. Remember that consistency is key with candida. Stick with the right natural protocol and candida-fighting regimen and you’ll see improvements in your overall health soon!

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