Fatigue and Cravings? Candida Might be the Reason.
Our bodies tend to take a hit over the holiday season. A bit too much indulgence, some extra stress, a few too many late nights perhaps? It can leave you feeling run down and out of sorts coming into the new year. Which means it can be a great time for a cleanse to start fresh!
It’s not just about the post-festivity fallout. You might have been experiencing some digestive issues, low energy, poor immunity, sleep problems, skin issues, or mood swings before now. The cleanse we’ll be linking you to is great for all of those things, but it targets something specific, something that many of us knowingly suffer from: Candida overgrowth.
Candida? What’s that?
Candida, or more scientifically, Candida albicans, is a strain of yeast that naturally lives in our mouths and intestinal tracts. Sounds yummy right? Well, it only becomes an issue when there is an overgrowth (it apparently has a tendency to get carried away more than our other bacteria buddies). Scientific studies estimate that up to 70% of people suffer from Candida albicans overgrowth! Why?
A Candida overgrowth is usually the result of a combination of causes over time, but we’ll start with the major culprit: sugar. Candida ferments sugar, which kills the good bacteria that keeps our gut balanced.
Some other main Candida-cultivating factors include: coffee, alcohol, parasite infections, chronic stress, birth control or hormone pills, autoimmune disorders, digestive disorders like Crohn’s and IBS, and blood sugar problems.
Candida also flourishes when your immune system has taken a hit, especially due to antibiotics. Antibiotics kill the good along with the bad bacteria in your gut, so if you don’t repopulate the good bacteria with probiotics, the balance gets thrown off. Also, all non-organic meat is rife with antibiotics, so that’s another factor that has made Candida overgrowth so common in recent years.
Signs and Symptoms of Overgrowth:
So this yeast rampage can unfortunately cause a range of uncomfortable and even serious health effects. We mentioned some in the opening paragraph, but let’s repeat them for clarity’s sake. When your gut is out-of-whack, there is a proven effect on your mental clarity. Brain fog and fatigue are common symptoms of Candida overgrowth, as are mood disorders, allergies, joint pain, yeast infections, hair loss and skin problems, excess mucus, nail fungus, digestive issues like bloating and gas, and more serious conditions like leaky gut syndrome (which link back again to effects on the brain and mood).
All in all, it wreaks havoc on your general immune system. It also makes weight loss much more difficult because it leads to inflammation, and of course, the sugar cravings that make you binge. Pretty unpleasant stuff right? The good news is, you can fix the problem.
Cleanse and Eat Right
Just to be clear, if you suspect you have a serious Candida overgrowth, it’s best to get tested for it. However, whether you suffer from it, want to prevent it, or just need a system reset, a Candida cleanse will benefit you.
For this, we highly recommend checking out The Candida Diet website! They have tons of research and provide a step by step approach and recipes to support you:
Here’s a quick rundown to give you an idea of what to include and avoid when battling Candida. With these, whether you do the cleanse or not, you can make adjustments to your diet to prevent and reduce the likelihood of an overgrowth in the future. They are also just good habits for healthy living overall!
- Lots of leafy greens, herbs, cruciferous vegetables, virgin coconut oil, hemp, chia, flax, sauerkraut and kimchi, garlic and onion. These either have antibacterial, antifungal, detoxifying, and alkalising effects , or provide fibre, natural fats, and other lubricating agents for your digestive system.
- Adding a probiotic supplement is also very important to rebalance your gut. Other highly effective supplements to include are: food-grade diatomaceous earth (A naturally occurring freshwater sediment made of the microscopic remains of a prehistoric phytoplankton…pretty cool right?), bentonite clay, antifungals like grapefruit seed extract, Pau d’Arco (a powerful cleansing tea made from the bark of a tree in the amazon rainforest), oregano oil and olive leaf extract (check references and website for dosage and length guidelines).
- Also, lots and lots of water! Add some lemon for extra anti-bacterial, digestive, and liver support.
- All sugar (including all fruits high in natural sugars), and therefore also alcohol (as most are high in sugar and yeast, especially beer) and dairy (cheese, cream, milk, and even yogurt), and thus of course breads, pastas, refined grains and flours.
- Processed foods (such as deli-meats, pre-packaged foods with high-preservatives, snack bars, chips, biscuits, cereals, canned sauces, etc.)
- Non-organic meats and animal products (full of hormones and antibiotics)
- All vinegars
- And of course, chronic stress.
And that’s all folks! The A-B-C’s of Candida, and some info on getting your body into balance.
If for nothing else, consider doing the cleanse as a interval to give the right attention to your body, to figure out what it needs more or less of, and to commit to those changes. The important thing is being inspired to adopt some healthy, sustainable habits, whether you have Candida overgrowth or not.
Also, we are obviously not medical professionals, so please refer to your doctor and/or alternative healthcare practitioner if you have any health conditions before starting a cleanse. It can also be a useful way to have the right lifestyle changes tailored to your specific unique needs!
If you give it a go, let us know how it works for you in the comments. We love hearing from you.