What Causes Candida Infections?
There are many possible causes of candida including a diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates and alcohol that help yeast to grow. To add to that, I’ve described six other potential causes below.
1. Broad-Spectrum Antibiotics
Sometimes, antibiotics are needed to fight a stubborn infection to kill the offending bacteria in your system. The problem with antibiotics and with overusing them (often creating antibiotic resistance) is that they don’t just kill the bad bacteria; they kill the good ones, too.
The good bacteria in your system are responsible for digestion and keeping candida under control. After a long course (or multiple courses over a short period), antibiotics can make your body a literal breeding ground for candida.
2. Birth Control Pills
Unlike antibiotics, birth control pills in and of themselves do not directly cause a yeast infection or candida overgrowth syndrome. However, when a woman consumes a diet high in refined sugars and has had a course of antibiotics, birth control pills can adversely affect her body, leading to a candida infection.
Some women find that birth control pills seam to instigate yeast infections — and even long after the initial infection is gone, once they start taking the birth control pills again, candida can take root.
3. Oral Corticosteroids
Individuals that treat their asthma with corticosteroid inhalants are at an increased risk of developing candida in the mouth, leading to systemic candida overgrowth. (2) It is imperative that individuals using corticosteroid inhalers for asthma follow the directions for swishing the mouth out after each use. If oral candidiasis is detected, can be treated with the gargling of coconut oil and a drop or two of essential clove oil.
4. Cancer Treatments
According to the Department of Clinical Research at Merck Research Laboratories, candidiasis can become invasive in cancer patients and prevent a serious complication. (3) In this study, one-third of patients being treated for cancer had “invasive” candidiasis. Chemotherapy and radiation can both work to kill cancerous cells and tumors; however, they also kill off the healthy bacteria that naturally fight candida.
In a Type 1 or a Type 2 diabetic, sugar levels in the mouth and other mucous membranes are traditionally higher than in an individual without diabetes. Since candida is a type of yeast and sugar feeds yeast, it is understandable that those with diabetes are at a greater risk for developing candida overgrowth syndrome.
6. Weakened Immune System
Any individual with a weakened immune system is more likely to develop candida. This population includes infants, small children, the elderly, those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS (4), and other inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.
9 Candida Symptoms
Candida overgrowth can be difficult for a physician to diagnosis. This type of system yeast infection presents different ways, in different people. Below are nine of the candida symptoms to watch for if you are concerned you have candida, or candida overgrowth syndrome.
1. Chronic Fatigue
If you have fatigue or exhaustion that you simply cannot shake, regardless of the number of hours you sleep, you may have chronic fatigue syndrome. The disease is characterized by fatigue that lasts a minimum of six months and is often accompanied by other symptoms, including headaches, joint pain, difficulties with memory and concentration, and sore throat. (5)
Often one of the candida symptoms is chronic fatigue. While a candida infection is not the only cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, many physicians believe it heightens the risk of CFS.
2. Mood Disorders
One of the reasons it can be difficult to diagnosis candida is that so many of the candida symptoms are common to other conditions, including mood disorders. Individuals with candida overgrowth may experience dramatic mood swings, anxiety, irritability, depression and even panic attacks.
3. Recurring Vaginal and Urinary Tract Infections
When an individual experiences recurring infections in the urinary tract or vagina, candida may be at the root of the problem. It is important to realize that candida can be sexually transmitted, and partners can spread it back and forth. For women, reduce the risk by avoiding tight-fitting underwear or pantyhose and avoid hot baths during an active infection. (6)
4. Oral Thrush
Oral thrush is actually a yeast infection, caused by the same strain of candida that affects other mucous membranes, including the vagina. Most often caused by the use of prednisone or other oral corticosteroids as mentioned above. Left untreated, it may spread through the body including the digestive tract, lungs, liver and heart valves.
Oral candida is communicable; newborns can get thrush during birth, children can get it from sharing toys with other children, and adults can pass it back and forth through the saliva. (7)
5. Sinus Infections
As with many of these other candida symptoms, sinus infections are common today, and it can be difficult to pinpoint the root of the cause. Candida does affect the sinuses and can result in a persistent cough, post-nasal drip, an increase in congestion, seasonal allergies, and general flu-like symptoms. If you experience consistent problems with your sinuses, it’s time to check for a candida infection!
6. Intestinal Distress
Ongoing intestinal distress is a sign you have a candida infection. Persistent flatulence, burping, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, and stomach cramps may be caused by a lack of healthy bacteria in your digestive tract.
When yeast overtakes the intestines, healthy bacteria are undermanned, and cannot fight off the infection alone. Many individuals experience dramatic relief of chronic intestinal distress when effectively treating a candida infection.
7. Brain Fog
Along with mood changes and chronic fatigue, brain fog is often overlooked as a sign of candida. However, candida overgrowth can cause a lack of focus, poor physical coordination, difficulty in concentrating on tasks and poor memory.
8. Skin and Nail Fungal Infections
Athlete’s foot and fungus in the toenail are common yeast infections, which stem from the same breed of candida. Continued infections may be a sign that you have a systemic candida infection.
A hormonal imbalance is one of the signs of candida that presents in many other health conditions. However, it is important to recognize how an infection can cause early menopause, PMS, a low sex drive, migraines, endometriosis, water retention, mood swings and an inability to lose unwanted pounds.
Whilst in the midst of candida overgrowth, your body becomes inflamed, causing the yeast to grow and spread beyond the digestive tract. One of the byproducts of candida actually can mimic estrogen, leading to a serious hormonal imbalance. (8)