The Gut Stuff Reader:
Hello could you tell me more about Candida? Does it exist and if it does how do I know if I have it or not? Also do there a treatment plan for it?
Candida albicans is a yeast infection which can colonise the gut, often after a big dose of antibiotics, and lead to symptoms such as bloating, wind, intense sugar cravings, and tiredness. Does Candida exist and how do you know if you have it? Stool testing would be the best way to find out – such as GI Effects by Genova Diagnostics which many registered nutritional therapists in this country offer, though there are other companies too, but this is one I am familiar with. This test also tests for parasites and dysbiosis (the balance between friendly and unfriendly bacteria) in your microbiome. Now here’s the thing: often people come to me saying they are convinced they have candida because of the above symptoms. We do the GI Effects test, and sometimes we discover they do have a yeast infection, sometimes candida albicans, sometimes another type of yeast infection by another name – there is a world of different types of yeast infections out there. Or they might test positive for a parasite infection, or dysbiosis, or even two of the three issues I just mentioned or all three! The symptoms for a nasty yeast infection, or a parasite, or dysbiosis are often pretty similar. How do you get rid of a yeast infection? Now that’s a really interesting question. Years ago, the protocol used to involve intensely restricted diets, no sugar including fruit, no white carbohydrates eg bread or fermented foods as the thinking was that putting more yeast in your gut would make the yeast infection worse. More recent research into fermented foods, and the microbiome now encourages the use of fermented foods eg kombucha and kefir as they contain friendly yeasts to help crowd out the nasty pathogenic ones such as candida. Clients of mine who have tested and shown presence of a rampant yeast infections have actively used daily kefir and or authentically made kombuchas to help crowd out the pathogenic yeasts with good success.
You can read more from Jeannette on her blog.
No advice in this column is designed to override any by your medical doctor and should not be relied on as a substitute for specialist dietary advice. If you have any concerns about your health, visit your general practitioner, or medical consultant.
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