I’m happy to bring you a series of guest posts this month on Candida overgrowth. My friend Paula from Whole Intentions is extremely knowledgeable about Candida. She is also a fantastic cook. She’s authored two different cookbooks to help those who are trying to eat a candida friendly diet (which just so happens to be gluten-free and sugar-free. Yay!). So, be sure to check out Healing Candida with Food and The Sweeter Side of Candida.
Have you ever gone to the doctor for a specific ailment, time and time again, and it seems that all they give you is a new prescription? Or after years of doctor visits they finally conclude that it must be all in your head. Are you starting to do a little research on your own and the word ‘candida’ keeps popping up?
Candida is a toxic, yeast-like organism that everyone has in their digestive system. If it’s kept in balance by good bacteria, it’s generally harmless. However, if it starts to spread out of control it can quickly start a myriad of health issues that will keep you befuddled.
Symptoms of Candida
There are many symptoms of candida, however I don’t want you to think that candida is the cause of every illness man has ever known. It’s not. But it’s enough of a menace to deserve a substantial amount of consideration.
Common symptoms of candida:
- athletes’ foot
- brain fog
- cold hands or feet
- cradle cap
- cravings for sweets
- diaper rash
- food sensitivities or reactions
- hay fever
- heart burn
- heart palpitations
- hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- joint pain
- lack of appetite
- mood swings
- muscle aches and pain
- panic attacks
- poor memory and concentration
- pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
- rashes and dry red or white patches
- respiratory problems
- sinus congestion
- thrush (white coating in mouth or vagina)
How do you know if you have candida?
Perhaps you have several of those symptoms. How do you know if it’s truly candida?
First, look at some of the common causes for candida overgrowth. Have you been exposed to:
- anti-inflammatory drugs
- anti-ulcer medications
- environmental toxins
- foods with starch
- foods with yeast
- hormone replacement therapy
- oral contraceptives
- over-the-counter medicines
- prescription drugs
- sugar in all forms
If you checked yes to any of these common causes, you might want to take the next step – the Yeast Infection Evaluation Test which can be specialize for men, women, or children. This simple questionnaire was put together by Dr. Bakker ND, author of Candida Crusher. Your test score will tell you how much of an issue candida might be for you.
What if I Do Have Candida?
If candida is indeed a concern, you’re next step is to be proactive in taking your health back! Changing your diet is one of THE most important changes you can make. Candida thrives off unhealthy foods you eat like sugar and starchy carbohydrates. It’s like watering a plant daily and giving it the optimum amount of sunshine—except that this plant is a poisonous weed that can easily take over your yard.
The other step, and just as important, is to start treating your candida with natural remedies and quality probiotics rather than creams, drugs, and prescriptions. In fact, those only encourage candida to grow—like a little sprinkling of fertilizer.
Need recipe ideas? Menu planning is a whole lot easier if you have a cookbook specifically for a candida diet. Healing Candida with Food is chock full of over 130 recipes from main dishes to homemade stevia syrup. The Sweeter Side of Candida satisfies the sweetest sweet tooth with over 70 recipes from layered pumpkin cheesecake to chocolate mint cookies.
Candida is a tough nut to crack, but armed with solid information and delicious new cookbooks, it doesn’t stand a chance!
Paula is a homeschooling mom of five. Several family health issues involving Lyme Disease, food allergies, and candida has created a passion to write about whole food, whole living, and whole faith over at, where else but… Whole Intentions 🙂 She’s authored and co-authored candida cookbooks such as Healing Candida with Food and The Sweeter Side of Candida. You can touch base with her on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.