Candida overgrowth is one of the most common infections in the gut. It’s an organism that will take any opportunity to overtake bacteria when the conditions are right. Once it takes over your gut, it can lead to symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue, painful joints, yeast infections, nail fungus, weight gain, bloating, gas,and sugar cravings.
There are many things that cause candida overgrowth but the modern diet is mainly to blame. You see, today’s diet mainly consists of processed food, refined carbs, and sugar-laden treats. In addition to that, we are also relying on antibiotics and alcohol more than ever. Stress is more prevalent with technological advancements on the rise (social media anyone?). Women are also opting to take birth control pills instead of doing the natural method. All of these factors contribute to candida growth.
I will be honest in saying that candida is not that easy to treat. You have to be smart about it otherwise, it’s just going to keep on coming back and get worse than it was before. These are the mistakes which I think people make too often when trying to kill candida.
Mistake #1: Killing Candida Completely
When trying to treat the condition, most people will go for the strongest antifungal meds in the hopes of wiping out all the candida. But what they don’t know is that this is actually killing all the beneficial yeast that keeps your gut healthy.
Some candida is fine to keep a healthy immune system going but too much growth can throw your body out of whack hence the term candida overgrowth. The key is to get rid of the excess and restoring balance.
Mistake #2: Not Rotating Your Antibiotic Herbs
Antibiotic herbs can help treat overgrowth but it’s important to note that candida can easily become resistant to these herbs. That’s why you have to take a variety of herbs and rotate your use of them in order to lessen resistance.
In relation to this, most people give up taking herbs because they don’t see any effects. Remember, herbal medicines are not prescription medicines. Of course they’re going to take longer to work. You’re looking at 1 to 2 months here compared to two weeks on a certain medication. Give herbs a chance to work by staying on them a little bit longer.
Mistake #3: Following a One-Size-Fits-All Candida Diet
What is candida diet? It’s a diet that mainly consists of non-starchy veggies, low sugar fruits, fermented foods, non-glutinous grains, and healthy proteins. These are the main principles that guide the diet but most people make the mistake of following this diet strictly thinking it will treat their overgrowth. Wrong!
Each person’s microbiome is different and your adherence to the diet will depend on how healthy your gut is. Some people are fine with cutting out some of the food items while others have to completely follow the candida diet in order to prevent candida overgrowth. You’ll want to speak with your dietitian to find out what works best for you.
Mistake #4: Not Rebuilding Beneficial Gut Bacteria
Most people deal with the overgrowth by trying to kill candida and then they stop once they start feeling better. Here’s where it goes wrong. When you just try to kill the overgrowth and don’t rebuild the beneficial gut bacteria, candida WILL come back. You need to rebalance the microflora and feed it. Here are ways you can do so:
- Limit antibiotics. These wipe out the good bacteria in your gut
- Get your hands dirty. Do some gardening or weeding in your yard. Touching soil exposes you to good bacteria that your immune system needs.
- Use less toxic cleaners which can contain antibiotics.
- Take probiotics preferably those that contain Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus brevis, Bifidobacterium lactis (B. animalis), and Bifidobacterium longum. These strains have been known to be beneficial for the gut.
- Eat fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, pickles, kombucha, sauerkraut. These items contain a broad combination of useful bacteria that’s beneficial for your gut.
Mistake #5: Treating Just the Symptoms, Not the Cause
It’s important to know what made it overgrow in the first place. No matter how many herbs you drink or how religious you are with your diet, if you are not addressing the cause of your candida overgrowth, it will come back. Sure, the problem’s going to disappear but only for a few months. It will only keep on coming back if you don’t take care of your gut and immune system.
Make sure to avoid these mistakes if you want to defeat candida overgrowth for good.
What other suggestions do you have? Share your thoughts in the comments.