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Candida: A largely 'unknown' health issue

Candida, or “candida albicans”, is a fungus or yeast that is a normal part of your gut flora: a group of microorganisms that live in your digestive tract. Candida will usually coexist peacefully with the other healthy bacteria and yeasts that live there, however a variety of factors can lead to the population of candida albicans to grow and get out of control. This is when a whole slew of issues can begin to occur, and lead to many undesirable symptoms – including fatigue, joint pain, weight gain, and gas, to name a few.

The recommended course of action is to change your diet by eliminating many of the culprits, such as:

  • avoiding added sugars, which feed Candida and cause it to overgrow

  • cutting out junk food, since many include high sugars, dairies and breads which are starchy and not as nutritious (like sandwiches, pizza, donuts and many breakfast cereals)

  • switching to healthy proteins and fats, like beans and lentils, fish, coconut oils, etc.

  • substituting with non-glutinous grains, such as quinoa and brown rice

  • adding lots of fermented foods to your diet: such as sauerkraut, kimchi (asian-style pickled krauts and carrots), natural yogourt

Probiotics are one of the key recommended items to add to a daily routine. Probiotics are a healthy and beneficial bacteria which slow down and reverse Candida overgrowth by boosting immune system, regulating acidity in your gut, and helping to flush out the bad yeast.

Antifungals such as oil of oregano and coconut oil, work great to destroy the cells of Candida by breaking down and dissolving the cell walls.

Many family doctors will not necessarily have the means or experience to diagnose Candida overgrowth, and often the recommended antibiotic prescriptions will treat the symptoms, but not resolve issues on a permanent basis. It is recommended to consult a Naturopath or Holistic Nutritionist, who can help guide you to improve health and healthy gut restoration. •

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