Individually, these symptoms may not cause much alarm. However, as a whole, they can significantly disrupt everyday life and impede individual wellness. Protecting against such dysfunction requires early recognition of candida facilitated by greater awareness of its symptoms.
What is Candida and Candida Overgrowth?
Candida albicans is a single-celled yeast found naturally in the body’s digestive tract. When maintained at the appropriate value, candida supports healthy digestion and nutrient absorption. However, bacterial imbalances and intestinal malfunction may result in an excess of candida. Such a situation allows for over colonization which is known as candida overgrowth. As candida becomes more prevalent and established it can inhibit immunity, increase endotoxin production, and in severe cases even cause blood poisoning. Sadly, many people are not familiar with candida overgrowth and even fewer recognize its symptoms.
The Many Symptoms of Candida
Identifying candida overgrowth can be challenging because many of the symptoms associated with it are vague or shared with other conditions. Furthermore, candida may spread to and impact virtually any part of the body via the bloodstream meaning that symptoms of candida manifest in many different ways. To identify candida, you must be able to recognize its symptoms. Some of the most notable and lesser known signs of candida are discussed below.
Candida that reaches and overtakes the mouth or throat is known as thrush. This symptom most often occurs in older individuals and those with a compromised immune system. Thrush can be identified through white bumps that develop in patches on or near the tongue, inner cheek, gums, tonsils, or throat. Pain or bleeding may occur if these bumps are agitated, scratched, or bitten. Advanced cases of thrush may reach the esophagus and lungs, which can make functions such as breathing and swallowing difficult.
Perhaps the most common symptom associated with candida is a severe lack of energy. Those with candida tend to be deficient in important energy-related nutrients such as vitamin B6, fatty acids, and magnesium. A lack of these nutrients can lead to a decline in motivation and energy level. Furthermore, weakening of the immune system associated with candida often causes a steady drop in energy level that may ultimately develop into persistent or chronic fatigue.
Recurrent Infections of the Genitals and Urinary Tract
Among women, many cases of candida involve stubborn and recurrent infection of the vagina and urinary tract. Men are also at risk for candida infection of the genitals, but this is far less likely. Candida overgrowth of the genitals, commonly referred to as a yeast infection, may cause redness, swelling, and itching of the region. Infection may be accompanied by painful intercourse and cause thick white vaginal discharge. If candida infects the urinary tract, you may experience symptoms including frequent urge to urinate, off-colored and odorous urine, and pain in the lower abdomen.
Candida that escapes into the bloodstream may be transported to joints throughout the body. This can cause issues such as pain, stiffness, and swelling that makes normal everyday motion difficult. Candida infections that take hold in joints are notoriously difficult to alleviate and resolve. The joints that appear most susceptible to candida are the knees and hips.
Digestive and Gastrointestinal Issues
Dysbiosis is the word used to describe a bacterial imbalance in the gut. Candida strongly promotes the occurrence of dysbiosis, which can lead to gastrointestinal dysfunction. Symptoms caused by such disruption typically include constipation, diarrhea, nausea, excessive gas, bloating, and cramps. Studies suggest that Candida may also increase the risk of developing other gastrointestinal issues including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Candida can put a strain on the body’s immune system. Chronic cases of candida may even prompt the development of serious autoimmune conditions including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, and others. If you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition it is important to consider and treat all possible underlying factors including candida.
Despite promoting primarily physical symptoms, candida may cause dramatic and unexpected changes in mood. The development or greater occurrence of anxiety, irritability, depression, and/or panic attacks may indicate candida overgrowth.
Sinus infections are quite common, but many are not aware that they may point to an underlying case of candida. Symptoms of infection include persistent cough, runny nose, congestion, reduced ability to smell, and headaches. Infections that lasts longer than a month are highly indicative of candida overgrowth. If you are suffering from a chronic sinus infection it is important to be tested for candida or other fungal issues.
A commonly overlooked symptom of Candida is cognitive difficulties or brain fog. Candida may cause a decline in coordination, memory recall, and ability to focus or remain on task. Those who are suffering from bouts of forgetfulness or have trouble concentrating may be suffering from the effects of candida.
Skin and Nail Fungal Infections
Skin and nails employ helpful bacteria to protect against candida overgrowth. If these bacteria are destroyed or removed, candida may take hold resulting in various symptoms. Candida most often impacts skin found in warm and moist regions of the body including armpits and groin. However, fungal infections may occur on virtually any part of the body. Symptoms include rash, itchiness, eczema, hives, psoriasis, athlete’s foot, ringworm, and toenail fungus.
Keep Watch for Candida
Despite candida overgrowth being a common condition, most are not familiar with its symptoms. As such, many of those suffering from candida do not recognize their condition until it becomes a serious issue. Being familiar with the several signs and symptoms of candida makes you better equipped to identify this chronic condition in yourself and others.
At Holtorf Medical Group, our physicians are trained to utilize cutting-edge testing and innovative treatments to uncover and address Candida or yeast overgrowth. Additionally, our Certified Health and Nutrition Coach will work with you and your HMG physician to develop a diet that addresses your unique needs. If you are suffering from some or all of the symptoms discussed in this article, call us at 877-508-1177 to see how we can help you!
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