If you’re dealing with a variety of mystery symptoms that seem to plague your entire body, you’re not alone. At this very moment, 230 million people in the USA have similar issues. Studies indicate that at least 70% of people have Candida albicans present in their gut.
When candida overgrows and outnumbers good bacteria in your gut, your body may light up with a “check engine immediately” sign in the form of multiple systemic symptoms. The list may include fatigue, joint pain, skin eruptions, mood swings, digestive issues, frequent and recurring infections, such as sinus and urinary tract infections, weight gain, the list goes on.
You’re not imagining these symptoms. They’re real, and they might all be related to this one thing—a systemic candida overgrowth.
Candida albicans is a yeast common in small amounts in mucosal membranes, such as the mouth and intestines. It is also found on the skin. Kept in balance by good bacteria in our system, this yeast doesn’t cause an issue. Problems, arise, however, when there is an imbalance between the good bacteria and this yeast, which may cause it to proliferate through the bloodstream and impact multiple systems and organs.
Western medicine doesn’t address systemic candida effectively. You may receive a prescription for an antifungal medication if you have a toe fungus, thrush or a yeast infection. Unfortunately, candida is resilient. Many strains are resistant to antifungal medications and will only recur if not managed effectively.
Some people have never experienced the candida battle—they seem immune to recurring yeast infections and psoriasis, adult cystic acne, gut issues and the other common collective symptoms of candida overgrowth.
Several risk factors contribute to your chances of developing this systemic imbalance:
Antibiotics: Today, antibiotics are prescribed and overused. Even one round of antibiotics may negatively impact the gut microbiome for up to three years. This imbalance may result in candida overgrowth.
Standard American Diet: A diet high in GMO foods, sugars, processed foods can also kill colonies of good bacteria and promote yeast overgrowth.
Alcohol: Alcohol feeds yeast and can influence your microbiome. Even as little as a glass of wine or one beer a day can promote yeast overgrowth.
Poor Immune Function: When your immune system isn’t working properly, this affects your gut microbiome, and vice versa. Weakened immune function means your body cannot ward off pathogens, such as invading candida.
Birth Control and Hormone Replacement: Yeast loves estrogen. Taking estrogen in the form of birth control or hormone replacement increases your chances of yeast overgrowth. Estrogen dominance is often correlated with candidiasis.
Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome: Increased levels of sugar in the bloodstream feed candida, making diabetics more susceptible to candida overgrowth.
Chronic Stress: Your gut microbiome is influenced by stress hormones, such as cortisol, affecting immune function and creating hormonal imbalance, which opens the gateway for yeast to overgrow and affect multiple systems. Lack of sleep and rest will also weaken immune function and impact hormones.
Nutritional Deficiencies: Vitamin and nutrient deficiencies may lead to candida overgrowth, and vice versa. Fat soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A and D, influence hormones and the immune system. B vitamins are essential at helping to break down nutrients into energy. Magnesium serves as a catalyst for over 300 bodily functions. Deficiencies in these vitamins and minerals, as well as others, such as vitamin C and zinc, can alter immune function and create a systemic situation that welcomes common invaders, such as candida.
Your gut microbiome is like a salt water fish tank. Any disruption can impact its balance. A healthy microbiome wards off pathogens, helps to digest food properly and effectively works with your digestive system to breakdown and remove toxic waste from your system.
When an imbalance between good bacteria and candida occurs, you may experience digestive issues such as gas, stomach upset, constipation and diarrhea. This is your body warning you that there is a problem. If left unmanaged, chronic illness may eventually develop, such as Leaky Gut Syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and even other illnesses far removed from the digestive system.
A candida overgrowth eats away at the junctures of your intestinal walls, which allows toxic waste to leak into your bloodstream and affect multiple systems. This is known as Leaky Gut Syndrome and is thought to be the beginnings of systemic inflammation and autoimmune dysfunction.
Since 60-80% of immune function stems from the digestive tract, it isn’t surprising that biomarkers for systemic inflammation and immune dysfunction, such as IgA, are impacted by candida overgrowth. Therefore, low IgA is associated with candidiasis, signifying suppressed immune function.
The root cause of arthritis can even be the result of candida overgrowth, presenting as systemic inflammation that affects the joints. Symptoms may include joint pain and swelling, particularly in the knees and hips.
Saccharomyces Boulardii is a beneficial yeast that can be used to manage systemic candida overgrowth. It does this in a couple different ways.
S.boulardii releases a chemical called capric acid, which stops the growth of C. albicans as well as prohibiting its adhesion to the gut and mucosal lining in your system. It may also stop the formation of biofilms. Biofilms are dense communities of microbial growth that contain an outer protective shell that is extremely difficult to penetrate. Biofilms frequently grow on medical devices such as stints and implants, creating chronic systemic inflammation.
Studies indicate that S. boulardii also promotes increased production of a vital immune component known as Secretory IgA (SIgA), helping to strengthen your body’s defense mechanisms and self-restore its balance.
Keep in mind that because there is a war of good vs evil currently happening in your system if you have a systemic candida overgrowth, that when the battle to kill the “bad guys” begins, you may temporarily feel worse before you feel better.
When candida is thriving in your system, it releases at minimum, about 80 different toxins. When candida is “dying off,” the amount of toxins released in your system multiplies exponentially. Some people have even reported feeling drunk from the toxic byproducts created by the die off. Also known as Herxheimer’s reaction, you may experience flu-like symptoms while you tackle candida overgrowth or a flare-up of old symptoms.
Ways to combat “die off” or detox symptoms include reducing the amount of S. Boulardii you take and following a “low and slow” approach to supplementation. Gradually increasing the dose as your body allows is key. Drinking plenty of clean, filtered water will also help alleviate these symptoms.
The good news is that once you get through the weeds and kill off colonies of candida, you will restore balance in your system and begin to experience what true health feels like—improved energy, a clear, quick mind, optimal digestion, better sleep and more.
Saccharomyces Boulardii is a transient beneficial yeast, meaning that it doesn’t take residence in your gut. Think of it as a renter, not an owner. Once its lease is up and you have won the candida war, be sure that you replenish your gut microbiome with probiotic strains that will take residence in your gut and keep the good guys winning. A healthy microbiome promises improved gut transit time and immune function.