By Dr. Suzanne Bartolini, Naturopathic Doctor

What is Candida? Candida Albicans is a yeast that naturally resides in the human body. Under healthy conditions, it lives in harmony with other microorganisms. It normally resides in the intestinal tract, throat, mouth, and genitals. BUT – it can become problematic if it has an opportunity to proliferate and upset the balance of bacteria in the body. It will then burrow holes in the intestinal tract, enter the blood steam, and make its way into any organ of the body, overwhelming the immune system, and wreaking havoc on overall health.

What are some symptoms of Candida?  Candida can become the insidious culprit behind many common health problems, including: excessive fatigue, headaches, anxiety, food allergies, unexplained muscle and joint pain, skin problems like acne and eczema, sinus congestion, urinary tract infections, hormonal imbalances, digestive disturbances like gas and bloating, and “brain fog” – the inability to think clearly or concentrate.

What causes Candida? The two main contributors to Candida overgrowth in the body are the overuse of antibiotics and a diet high in sugar and refined foods. But also, prescription drugs such as the birth control pill and corticosteroids, heavy metal toxins, stress, and vitamin deficiencies – can all play a role in creating an imbalance in the body that enables Candida to thrive.

What are some Naturopathic ways to treat Candida? The following are a few tips to help your immune system overcome Candida overgrowth:

  • Reduce sugar and refined products in your diet – This includes carbohydrates and alcohol. Most processed and packaged foods contain sugar so check food labels carefully. 
  • Eat foods with anti-microbial properties – Increase the intake of anti-fungal foods in your diet such as garlic and oregano.
  • Keep your colon clean – Ensuring regular bowel movements will help prevent toxins from being reabsorbed into the bloodstream from the colon.
  • Keep your home environment healthy – Toxic chemicals weaken the immune system and this allows yeast to proliferate.
  • Take a good quality probiotic – Investing in a good probiotic – and taking it properly – will help restore a healthy intestinal flora and re-colonize the gastrointestinal tract with beneficial bacteria, which improves the immune system. 
  • Address any nutritional deficiencies you may have – Load up on anti-oxidants such as vitamin C to help in the battle against Candida.
  • Investigate other natural supplements that have anti-fungal properties – for instance, berberine, caprylic acid, Pau D’Arco, grapefruit seed extract, and colloidal silver, all have antimicrobial effects.

Candida overgrowth is a complex health issue and can be difficult to treat.  If you think you have this condition, it may be a good idea to contact a Naturopathic Doctor to provide the guidance for successful treatment, and to improve your overall health and well being.