First, let’s take a look at these terms. Candidiasis is the name of a fungal infection due to any type of candida (a strain of yeast). And yeast is a type of fungus. Confusing right? Candidiasis is the most common yeast infection in humans (Richards et al, 2000) and it often presents as oral thrush or vaginal thrush.
Humans are a swirling mass of bacteria intermingled with various yeasts; which usually exist harmoniously within the body. Typically the ‘good’ bacteria and the immune system keeps the candida levels under control. However, sometimes this doesn’t happen and then the candida can multiply.
This can be because the bacteria levels are disrupted …. For the fungi to start populating the body (either inside or outside), the body has to allow for this overgrowth. By this I mean that there is a bacterial imbalance and so the body’s environment becomes right for the fungi overgrowth.
Or this can be because the immune system is compromised …. Once the fungi bed down and start populating they give off spores called mycotoxins that trigger the immune response. Once the immune system gets involved it fights off the fungi and the normal balance is reinstated. However, sometimes this doesn’t happen if the immune system is compromised.
But what can this be caused by …
- Stress – this often impairs the immune system and thus the immune system doesn’t react as it should to the invasion of fungi. This is one of the main causes of overgrowth.
- Lifestyle – this links quite nicely with stress and also things like sleep, rest, exercise etc
- Nutritional Intake – is your body lacking in vitamins and minerals?
- Environment – a damp mouldy living environment is likely to aid the growth of fungi.
- Diet – a highly processed diet with a large amount of sugar can provide an ideal environment for fungi growth within the body.
- Alcohol – similar to the point about diet, alcohol is full of sugar so again provides food for the bacteria allowing it to multiply.
- Bowel Movements – constipation and diarrhoea can both play their part in the overgrowth as well.
- Overuse of Antibiotics – antibiotics wipe out the good and bad bacteria, so they leave the body open to infection.
These overgrowths often occur in localised areas like the stomach or vagina and thus cause symptoms in that area. Yet, they can also cause a range of other symptoms (such as tiredness, fatigue, recurrent UTIs etc). These are often overlooked unless there’s a direct symptom (e.g. thrush). It’s also important to note that these over growths can occur at any point in your life from birth to older age.
If you’re experiencing systems related to candida overgrowth then book an 1:1 Nutritional Consultation with me and we can get you back on the road to better health.
Richards, M. J., Edwards, J. R., Culver, D. H., & Gaynes, R. P. (2000). Nosocomial infections in combined medical-surgical intensive care units in the United States. Infection control and hospital epidemiology, 21(8), 510–515. https://doi.org/10.1086/501795