Advertising
Advertising

How To Treat A Candida Imbalance? We Have A Diet That Helps!

How To Treat A Candida Imbalance? We Have A Diet That Helps!

How often have you felt prey to a maddening itch down there? If you say too often, and also have general symptoms like chronic fatigue, a brain fog, one too many skin or nail fungal infections – you may actually have a candida overgrowth which may be the culprit behind all these various issues.

Further symptoms may be a low sex drive, recurring sinus and allergy issues, too many digestive issues, bad breath, a coated tongue and or a craving for sweets. Remember that while not all these symptoms may point to a candida problem, having too many of these just might…

What is Candida, & Why Is Its Overgrowth A Problem?

Candida is a group of yeasts which exists beneficially within host bodies (such as humans) and basically helps in digestion as a healthy gut flora. However, some conditions can cause candida to overgrow and then invade other parts of the bodies thereby causing infections such as thrush and candidiasis. If left unchecked, Candida Albanicus, in particular, populate rather effectively and start to cause health problems. [1]

Advertising

That said; Candida is found almost universally on the human skin although the dryness of the epidermis (top layer of the skin) does not let candida multiply. In the moister and warmer inner linings of the mouth, vagina and the intestinal tract – Candida can thrive. Intestinally, a kept in check population of this yeast helps in digestion. However when the yeast multiples too much, it causes mild to severe oral and vaginal infections as well as mimic hormonal imbalances. In healthy individuals, these infections can easily be cured by OTC medications but in people with compromised health, candida can invade and infect the inner linings of the brain and heart and cause health problems.

Why Does This Friendly Fungus Turn Into a Toxic Invader?

Basically, most of the healthy bacteria in your gut (remember probiotic) keep this fungus in check. However, if anything causes the friendly gut flora to die off, the situation is perfect for candida to take over and reign supreme. While it does not actively attack the bacteria, if there is an imbalance in your gut, candida is quick to take advantage… The good news is that this does not happen often, but the external factors that can lead to a Candida coup are many. [2]

  • Too much of refined carbs: Fungi or yeast need a high-carbohydrate atmosphere to thrive and in case you have been feasting on sugar and all carbs refined – you are providing too much of fuel for Candida to resist.
  • One too many happy hours: Alcohol is basically a fermented, high –in sugar drink – yet again providing loads of fuel for this fungi.
  • The pill, overkill: Oral contraceptives can affect and alter the bacterial gut flora and sometimes give an unfair advantage for candida to thrive.
  • Too much of a good thing is bad: While fermented foods like Kombucha, sauerkraut, vinegar or pickles are good for health – eating too many can cause a gut flora imbalance.
  • Leading a high-stress lifestyle: Too much of stress can cause indigestion, acidity, and inflammation in the gut – killing off the good bacteria.
  • Too many antibiotics: While antibiotics are a godsend for anyone with an infection, they don’t really differentiate between good or bad bacteria and kill off gut flora along with the attacking bacteria as well. The bacteria-less gut can be overridden with candida then.
  • Corticosteroids can enable fungal infections: Corticosteroids are used to treat allergies, asthma, and many other skin problems as well – these drugs, however, can enable yeast infections as well.
  • A down and out immune system: Like with any immune-weakened infection, candida overgrowth can happen when the body is at a risk – be it from any disease or infection.

How Do I Get A Diagnosis?

The problem with a fungal infection like this is that the symptoms are common enough to point many other equally likely culprits as well. One simple test that has no scientific backing per se, but can point to a candida infection is the DIY home spit test. [3]

Advertising

In the morning, before you brush or rinse or drink anything; take a transparent glass and fill it with water Now gather some spit in your mouth (don’t cough up anything though) and spit in the glass. The saliva should float and that’s normal. Keep it aside for 10-15 minutes. If you notice strings reaching down from the floating saliva, or have a sunk-to-the-bottom spit with cloudy specks on top – you may have a candida infection.

    Go to the doctor and insist on having a blood test or a stool test to get a confirmed diagnosis. [4]

    Advertising

    How Do I Treat A Candida Infection?

    Candida infections or overgrowth can be treated with various ways. Remember that if your infection or symptoms are serious, it’s best to consult a doctor.

    Medicinal Cure

    Depending on the severity and the location of the infection, as well as keeping in mind the vulnerability and toxicology of the patient, doctors tend to treat candidiasis patients with “azole” medicines such as fluconazole and sometimes even surgery, such as valve replacement for endocarditis. [5]

    Home or Nutritional Cures

    If you do have candida and are looking for organic and DIY cures of the same, then dietary changes are what will kill off the overgrowth – all you need to do is starve the yeast… It’s best to do this under the care of naturopathic or natural medicine physician though, lest you worsen the situation. The steps usually part of this cure are simple but effective. [6]

    Advertising

    • Cut out sugars and refined carbohydrates: Yeast aka candida needs sugars and carbohydrates to thrive. To kill it off, cut off the food source! No sugar, no refined carbs and at least for the first few days of the treatment even fruits and complex carbs are off the menu as are any yeast-containing foods such as melons, alcohol or peanuts. Oh, and milk is off the menu too since it may contain antibiotics.
    • Use antifungal herbs: Herbs like olive leaf and grapefruit seed extract are effective fungicides that do not kill off healthy gut flora – and while they are nature’s arsenal, they are potent enough to kill off candida.
    • Get in more probiotics: Repopulating the gut flora (think probiotics) is next in line as the healthy bacteria can and will keep the gut candida in check. This along with plenty of fiber-rich foods such as flaxseeds, psyllium husk along with probiotic-rich food like coconut water and yogurt does the trick.
    • Support the liver: Too much of candida puts a big load on the liver – so now the emphasis has to be on liver-protective foods that help to detox the body as fast as possible.

    The Candida Diet

    Anytime you feel or know that this usually friendly fungus is trying to take over your body, remember to include these foods in your diet. As Hippocrates said, let thy food be thy medicine… [7]

    1. Non-starchy veggies: Think salads and leafy greens for they are nutrient-rich but low in sugar!
    2. Organic meats: If you cannot live without your daily meats and eggs make sure what you eat is organic, and free range for they will be nutrient rich and will nourish healthy gut flora without overfeeding the fungi.
    3. Healthy fats: Healthy fats such as coconut, avocado, olive, and ghee heal the gut, seal any leaks and are anti-inflammatory.
    4. Fermented probiotics: Coconut water, kefir or yogurt – eat these but in moderation to help your microbiome being the best it can.
    5. Sip on teas: Common herbs like oregano and ginger have anti-microbial effects. Sip on some nourishing teas then.
    6. Switch to sweeteners: Push the sugar away and reach for organic stevia instead as it does not actually contain sugar, ergo no food for the fungi.
    7. Bone broth: A healing food that not only helps the joints but is also showing promising results in sealing the gut and keeping the candida from escaping into the bloodstream and wreaking its variety of havoc.

    The Candida Die Off

    When you have a candida overgrowth and begin a Candida diet, you might experience something called the candida die-off – the symptoms will get temporarily worse before they start to get better. This is the time to become mentally strong and stick to the diet, for the worsening will soon ease up and you will start to feel better. [8]

    Remember that like all health issues, a candida imbalance can be treated with a little patience and some perseverance – and a some good lifestyle changes!

    Featured photo credit: Womens Health Mag via womenshealthmag.com

    Reference

    [1]Mind Body Green: 10 Signs You Have A Candida Overgrowth
    [2]The Candida Diet: An Introduction to Candida
    [3]National Candida Center: Self-Test 2 My Body Fluids
    [4]CDC: Invasive Candidiasis
    [5]E-Medicine: Treatment of Candidiasis
    [6]Huffington Post: Five Steps To Treating Candida
    [7]Mind Body Green: The Candida Diet
    [8]The Candida Diet: Candida Die Off Symptoms

    More by this author

    Rima Pundir

    Health, Wellness & Productivity Writer

    Stiff Muscles Make You Feel Sick Often: 8 Natural Muscle Relaxers You Can’t Miss When You Drive And Don’t Drink Enough Water, It’s As Dangerous As Drunk Driving Having A Glass Of This Drink Before You Sleep Can Burn Your Fat Insanely Fast How Common Language Can Help You Strengthen Your Friendship Introducing 13 Useful Free Apps For you To Install Today

    Trending in Health

    111 Benefits of Almond Milk You Didn’t Know About 210 Benefits of Sleeping Naked You Probably Didn’t Know 3Poor Sleep Quality Comes from All the Things You Do Since Morning 4Sleeping Too Much but Still Exhausted? Why You Can’t Sleep Well At Night 5Your Body on Caffeine Addiction: 70 Cups of Coffee in 7 Days

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on August 15, 2018

    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

    Video Summary

    Why is it important to train up our core strength?

    There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

    This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

    Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

    In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

    One Exercise, multiple benefits

    There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

    By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

    Advertising

    When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

    Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

    In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

    What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

    What will happen when you start doing planks every day

      1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

      Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

      • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
      • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
      • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
      • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

      2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

      Advertising

        Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

        Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

        3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

          Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

          4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

            Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

            A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

            Advertising

            A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

            On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

            5. You’ll improve overall balance

              Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

              6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                7. You’ll witness mental benefits

                Advertising

                  Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                  How to hold a plank position

                  1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                  2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                  3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                  4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                  5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                  6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                  7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                  Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                  Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                    How to improve your plank time gradually

                    1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                    2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                    3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                    Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                    Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                    You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                    • Prolapse
                    • After prolapse surgery
                    • Pelvic pain conditions
                    • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                    • Previous childbirth
                    • Overweight

                    Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

                    Read Next