Candida is a fungus (which is a form of yeast). A lot of people use the terms “yeast overgrowth” but the most common form of yeast infection is known as Candida albicans.
Candida lives throughout our bodies in small amounts: in our oral cavity, digestive tract, gut microbiome, and vaginal tract. Its job is to aid with digestion and nutrient absorption—which it does when it’s in balance with the good bacteria in your microbiome. When everything is in balance, the body is in harmony and runs smoothly.
The problem occurs when there is too much Candida in relation to your body’s good bacteria, and it overpowers the bacteria, which can lead to leaky gut and a host of other digestive issues, as well as fungal infections, mood swings, and brain fog and more. People generally equate Candida with a systemic overgrowth—i.e. a vaginal yeast infection in a woman, or a nail fungus. But the signs of Candida overgrowth can be subtler. Candida overgrowth that while not fatal, is extremely disruptive to our health.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to Candida—the major ones are:
DIET: A diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods makes it easy for yeast to multiply and thrive—these are the foods yeast lives off of. Alcohol, which tends to involve a lot of yeast, sugar, and carbs (i.e. beer and wine), is also problematic.
ANTIBIOTICS & OTHER MEDICATIONS: Taking even one round of antibiotics can kill too much of your body’s good bacteria and throw off the balance of your microbiome.
ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES: Yeast likes high estrogen conditions, so we see a correlation between birth control use and yeast overgrowth.
STRESS: A high-stress lifestyle can also cause Candida to overpower the good bacteria in your microbiome.
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