gastrointestinal tract

now browsing by tag

 
 

Trouble sleeping? Help your support your gut while you aid the sleep process, naturally

GI Guard PM
Protocol for life balance
60 capsules $32.00

Maintains Healthy Mucosal Integrity
-With PepZin GI®, Melatonin, L-Tryptophan & B Vitamins
-Nighttime GI Support*
-A Dietary Supplement
-Vegetarian/Vegan
GI Guard™ PM is a nutritional formula with PepZin GI®, Melatonin, amino acids, and B Vitamins designed to help maintain the strength and integrity of the gastrointestinal mucosal barrier.* GI Guard™ PM features PepZin GI®, which has been shown in clinical studies to promote a healthy stomach lining and to support proper gut repair processes.* Melatonin, a potent free radical scavenger, is known to exist at high levels in the gut, where it exerts its protective effects against oxidative stress throughout the gastrointestinal tract.* Melatonin also helps support healthy gastric pH levels, normal pepsin production in the stomach, and helps to regulate proper intestinal motility.* B Vitamins and Amino Acids, such as L-Tryptophan are necessary for Melatonin synthesis.

Servings Per Container: 30
As a dietary supplement, take 1-2 capsules 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime, or take as directed by your healthcare practitioner.

Serving Size: 2 Veg Capsules
Amount Per Serving
Vitamin B-6 … 25mg 
(from Pyridoxine HCl)
Vitamin B-12 … 50mcg 
(as Cyanocobalamin)
Folic Acid … 800mcg
Zinc … 14mg 
(from PepZin GI®)
PepZin GI® … 75mg 
(Zinc-L-Carnosine Complex)
L-Carnosine … 57mg 
(from PepZin GI®)
Melatonin … 6mg
L-Tryptophan … 200mg
L-Methionine … 100mg
Trimethylglycine … 100mg 
(TMG)
Taurine … 100mg

Other Ingredients: Cellulose Powder, Cellulose (capsule), Silica and Magnesium Stearate (vegetable source).
Not manufactured with wheat, gluten, soy, milk, egg, fish, shellfish or tree nut ingredients. Produced in a GMP facility that processes other ingredients containing these allergens. CAUTIONS/INTERACTIONS: Do not drive or use machinery for 4 to 5 hours after taking melatonin. Theoretically, concomitant use of melatonin with alcohol, benzodiazepines, or other sedative drugs might cause additive sedation. Melatonin may interact with anticoagulant/anti-platelet medications, antidepressants, anti-hypertensives, anti-diabetes drugs, anti-neoplastic agents and other drugs. If you are taking any prescription medications or if you have glaucoma, consult your healthcare practitioner before using this product.

Turmeric Curcumin

Turmeric Curcumin 1000mg
Patient One MediNutritionals
60 capsules $21.25

Promotes normal inflammatory response while also supporting joint, immune, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular function
Promotes immune system function
* Supports brain and joint health
* Promotes healthy liver, gall bladder and digestive function
* Free radical scavenging properties
* Supports cardiovascular function
* Black pepper included for enhanced absorption
Unique Properties
Curcumin, a polyphenol nutrient found in the spice turmeric (Curcuma longa), has beneficial effects for nearly every organ system in the body. Used for its medicinal effects for centuries and extensively studied, Curcumin has been shown to help maintain the bodys normal inflammatory response while also supporting joint, liver, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular function. To enhance the normally poor bioavailability of curcumin, our potent formula also contains black pepper extract that promotes rapid absorption of nutrients from the gastrointestinal tract.
Key Ingredients
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Patient One Turmeric Curcumin combines the benefits of both whole Turmeric root and Turmeric extract (standardized to 95% curcuminoids), along with black pepper extract for enhanced absorption.
Curcumin is the orange pigment in turmeric (the primary ingredient in curry) and has been studied for its effective therapeutic outcomes acting as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, anticoagulant, immuno-modulatory activities and even in wound healing. Research suggests support for joint, eye, GI tract, liver, prostate and nerve health.

Curcumin supports production of B and T cells which is useful for promoting proper immune function. It also supports production of bile and enzymes that digest sugars and fats. This helps to maintain cholesterol levels within normal range. Turmeric supports intestinal flora and the mucus membranes of the body, including those of the digestive tract. As such, it may be beneficial after a course of antibiotics and for those with unbalanced intestinal flora. It also helps protect the stomach against excess acid and is used for its soothing effect on the mucosa of the gut.
Black Pepper Extract (as BioPerine®)
It has been found that the therapeutic effectiveness of curcumin is often limited due to its poor absorption from the GI tract. When taken orally only traces appear in the blood, whereas most of the dose is excreted though the feces. Our formula includes BioPerine®, a patented extract derived from the common black pepper fruit that contains the alkaloid piperine. Black pepper has been shown to enhance the bioavailability and promote absorption of curcumin both in pre-clinical studies and in studies on human volunteers.
Research
* Several studies have illustrated curcumins hepatoprotective effects, leading researchers to suggest its use in protecting the liver from exogenous insults from environmental toxins.
Servings Per Container: 60
Take 1 capsule daily, preferably with a meal, or as directed by a qualified healthcare professional.
Serving Size: 1 capsule
Amount Per Serving
Turmeric Complex Proprietary Blend … 1000mg
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) (root) and Turmeric Extract (Curcuma longa) (root) (Standardized to contain 95% Curcuminoids) 
BioPerine® Black Pepper Extract … 5mg
(Piper nigrum) (fruit) (Standardized to contain 95% piperine)
Other Ingredients: vegetable cellulose (capsule), rice powder, l-leucine
This product is free of milk, egg, fish, peanuts, crustacean shellfish (lobster, crab, shrimp), soybeans, tree nuts, wheat, yeast, gluten, corn, sugar, and artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors and preservatives. This product is free of ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
BioPerine® is a registered trademark and patented product of Sabinsa Corporation

References
* Shoba G, Joy D, Joseph T, et al. Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Planta Med 1998 May;64(4):353-56. [PMID: 9619120]
* Jagetia GC, Aggarwal BB. “Spicing up” of the immune system by curcumin. J Clin Immunol. 2007 Jan;27(1):19-35. [PMID: 17211725]
* Funk JL, Oyarzo JN, Frye JB, et al. Turmeric extracts containing curcuminoids prevent experimental rheumatoid arthritis. J Nat Prod. 2006 Mar;69(3):351-55. [PMID: 16562833]
* Jurenka JS. Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research. Altern Med Rev. 2009 Jun;14(2):141-53. [PMID: 19594223]
* Ng T, et al. Am J Epidemiol. 2006;164:898-906.
* Sun AY, Wang Q, Simonyi A, et al. Botanical phenolics and brain health. Neuromolecular Med. 2008;10(4):259-74. [PMID: 19191039]
* Neelofar K, Shreaz S, Rimple B, et al. Curcumin as a promising anticandidal of clinical interest. Can J Microbiol. 2011 Mar;57(3):204-10. [PMID: 21358761]
* Epstein J, Docena G, MacDonald TT, et al. Curcumin suppresses p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase activation, reduces IL-1beta and matrix metalloproteinase-3 and enhances IL-10 in the mucosa of children and adults with inflammatory bowel disease. Br J Nutr. 2010 Mar;103(6):824-32. [PMID: 19878610]
* Ukil A, Maity S, Karmakar S, et al. Curcumin, the major component of food flavour turmeric, reduces mucosal injury in trinitrobenzene sulphonic acid-induced colitis. Br J Pharmacol. 2003 May;139(2):209-18. [PMID: 12770926]
* Holt PR, Katz S, Kirshoff R. Curcumin therapy in inflammatory bowel disease: a pilot study. Dig Dis Sci. 2005 Nov;50(11):2191-93. [PMID:16240238]
* Lal B, Kapoor AK, Asthana OP, et al. Efficacy of curcumin in the management of chronic anterior uveitis. Phytother Res. 1999 Jun;13(4):318-22. [PMID: 10404539]
* Xie L, Li XK, Takahara S. Curcumin has bright prospects for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Int Immunopharmacol . 2011 Mar;11(3):323-30. [20828641]
* Martins CV, da Silva DL, Neres AT, et al. Curcumin as a promising antifungal of clinical interest. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2009 Feb;63(2):337-39. [PMID: 19038979]
* Mythri RB, Harish G, Dubey SK, et al. Glutamoyl diester of the dietary polyphenol curcumin offers improved protection against peroxynitrite-mediated nitrosative stress and damage of brain mitochondria in vitro: implications for Parkinsons disease. Mol Cell Biochem. 2011 Jan;347(1-2):135-43. [PMID: 20972609]
* Ravindran J, Prasad S, Aggarwal BB. Curcumin and cancer cells: how many ways can curry kill tumor cells selectively? AAPS J . 2009 Sep;11(3):495-510. [PMID: 9619120]
* Goel A, Aggarwal BB. Curcumin, the golden spice from Indian saffron, is a chemosensitizer and radiosensitizer for tumors and chemoprotector and radioprotector for normal organs. Nutr Cancer. 2010 Oct;62(7):919-30. [PMID: 20924967]
* Choi H, Chun YS, Shin YJ, et al. Curcumin attenuates cytochrome P450 induction in response to 2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin by ROS- dependently degrading AhR and ARNT. Cancer Sci. 2008 Dec;99(12):2518-24. [PMID: 19018768]
* Zhang, Dong Wei, Chuang Fang Huang, Chang Fu Yang, Ren Zuo Liu, Ji Feng Wang, Jian Zhao Niu, and Dieter Bromme. “Antifibrotic Effects of Curcumin Are Associated with over Expression of Cathespins K and L in Bleomycin Treated Mice and Human Fibroblasts.” Respiratory Research. Respiratory Research, 2011.
* Davis, J. Mark. “Curcumin Effects on Inflammation and Performance Recovery following Eccentric Exercise-induced Muscle Damage.” Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. American Physiological Society, 2007.
* Karlstetter, Marcus, Elena Lippe, Yana Walczak, Chistoph Moehle, Alexander Aslanidis, Myriam Mirza, and Thomas Langmann. “Curcumin Is a Potent Modulator of Microglial Gene Expression and Migration.” Journal of Neuroinflammation. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 2011.
Warnings
If pregnant, nursing, have gall stones or gall bladder disease, consult your healthcare practitioner before taking this product. Individuals taking medication, especially blood thinners or cancer treatment, should discuss potential interactions with their healthcare practitioner. Discontinue use and consult doctor if any adverse reactions occur.

Probiotics 25+Billion

Which Probiotic is best for you? Here is one of my favorites, but remember everyone is different…

There are several blends and strains depending on your individual ailments.  Let me help you choose the right one to help rebalance your gut flora…remember you need to be an 80% to 20% ratio to make your gut happy and healthy.

Ther-Biotic Complete
Klair Labs
60 capsules $42.90
120 capsules $79.95

This high-potency, hypoallergenic blend of 12 certified probiotic species offers the most complete spectrum of microorganisms in the Klaire line. Ther-Biotic® Complete is a unique combination of colonizing and transient strains providing broad coverage to support a healthy balance of microflora across the entire gastrointestinal tract. Scientifically formulated with a full spectrum of synergistic and complementary species, Ther-Biotic® Complete is designed for individuals who require significantly higher amounts of several different types of probiotic species to help support intestinal health. Formulated with 25+ billion CFUs per capsule, Ther-Biotic® Complete uses our proprietary InTactic® technology to ensure maximum delivery of live microorganisms throughout the intestinal tract.
FUNCTIONS OF PROBIOTIC STRAINS IN THER-BIOTIC® COMPLETE
• Produce lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and other compounds naturally antagonistic to pathogenic bacteria, yeast and viruses
• Interfere with binding of pathogens to the intestinal mucosa
• Compete with pathogenic organisms for nutrients
• Produce short-chain fatty acids (acetate, propionate, and butyrate) that nourish the colon
• Support innate and acquired immune defense mechanisms
• Reduce production of proinflammatory cytokines
• Improve immunological gut barrier function
• Synthesize vitamin K and B vitamins
• Produce lactase enzyme that helps digest the milk sugar lactose
• Support activity of detoxifying enzymes and removal of ammonia and phenol 
• Produce analogs of the DPP-IV enzyme that break down opioid peptides
Servings Per Container: 60
As a dietary supplement take one capsule daily or as directed by a healthcare practitioner.

Serving Size: 1 Capsule
Amount Per Serving
Probiotic Blend … 280mg
(25+ billion CFUs) in a base of inulin (derived from chicory root)
Lactobacillus rhamnosus 6.0+ billion CFUs
Bifidobacterium bifidum 5.0+ billion CFUs
Lactobacillus acidophilus 3.0+ billion CFUs
Lactobacillus casei 2.5+ billion CFUs
Lactobacillus plantarum 2.0+ billion CFUs
Lactobacillus salivarius 2.0+ billion CFUs
Bifidobacterium longum 1.0+ billion CFUs
Streptococcus thermophilus 1.0+ billion CFUs
Lactobacillus bulgaricus 1.0+ billion CFUs
Lactobacillus paracasei 0.5+ billion CFUs
Bifidobacterium lactis 0.5+ billion CFUs
Bifidobacterium breve 0.5+ billion CFUs
Other Ingredients: Vegetarian capsule (hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, water), InTactic® proprietary polysaccharide complex, and L-leucine.

 

Herb Vs. Spices

Herb Vs. Spices
The difference between the two is where they are obtained from a plant.

Herbs come from the leafy and green part of the plant.
Spices are parts of the plant other than the leafy bit such as the root, stem, bulb, bark or seeds.

We often hear the term “herbs and spices”. As any amateur chef knows, herbs and spices are vital ingredients in many dishes. They add flavor, aroma, color, texture and even nutrients.

Both spices and herbs are parts of plants (fresh or dried) that are used to enhance the flavor of foods. They’ve also been known to preserve foods, cure illness and enhance cosmetics.

Herbs are usually grown in more temperate areas than spices and have great medicinal value and are also used in the preparation of cosmetic products.

Spices are usually dried before being used to season foods. Unlike herbs, they are grown in more tropical countries. They’ve also been known to preserve foods and some have medicinal value, such as turmeric with its anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal properties.

Despite the above clarification, according to the American Spice Trade Association, spices are defined as “any dried plant product used primarily for seasoning purposes”. This really broadens the definition of spices, allowing it to include herbs, dehydrated veggies, spice blends and spice seeds.

Here are a few example of herbs and spices, along with their reported nutritional/health benefits.

Spice Nutrition
Cinnamon
Lowers blood sugar levels, LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides especially in people with type 2 diabetes

Ginger
Can stop nausea and may also relieve heartburn

Cloves
Have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiseptic properties; they are known for relieving flatulence and can actually help promote good digestion as well as metabolism

Chili
Contains capsaicin which puts the heat in chilies, may lower the risk of skin and colon cancers, shown to suppress appetite and boost metabolism

Mustard seeds
Contain phytonutrient compounds that protect against cancers of the gastrointestinal tract; believed to reduce the severity of asthma

Herb Nutrition
Basil
Rich in Vitamin A and K. Assists with combatting bowel inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis

Oregano
Assists with inflammation

Mint
Helps with digestion and asthma

Parsley
Protects against rheumatoid arthritis, antioxidant-rich, fights cancer, high in vitamin C and iron.

Thyme
Contains the oil, thymol, especially helpful for chest and respiratory problems, also acts as an antiseptic and disinfectant.

Allergy Testing Explained

Allergy testing At a Glance

I’m all about questions and explaining why. When we understand “Why” we do things, programs or guidelines become easier to follow and results tend to be easier to maintain when education is behind our actions.  Let me help you stop the guess work and customize your eating and supplement plan so you can be the best version of yourself you can be!!!

Formal name:
Allergen-specific IgE Antibody Test
Why Get Tested?
To help diagnose allergies; sometimes to monitor the effectiveness of immunotherapy (desensitization) treatment
When to Get Tested?
When you have symptoms such as hives, dermatitis, nasal congestion, red itchy eyes, asthma, or abdominal pain that your health care provider suspects may be caused by an allergy
A Sample is Required
A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm or finger prick at home test.

No Test Preparation Needed

What is being tested?
Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is a class of antibody (immune protein) associated with allergic reactions. It is normally found in very small amounts in the blood. This test measures the amount of allergen-specific IgE in the blood in order to detect an allergy to a particular substance.
IgE is an antibody that functions as part of the body’s immune system, its defense against “intruders.” When someone with a predisposition to allergies is exposed to a potential allergen such as food, grass, or animal dander for the first time, that person becomes sensitized. The person’s body perceives the potential allergen as a foreign substance and produces a specific IgE antibody that binds to specialized mast cells in the skin, respiratory system, and gastrointestinal tract, and to basophils (a type of white blood cell) in the bloodstream. With the next exposure, these attached IgE antibodies recognize the allergen and cause the mast and basophil cells to release histamine and other chemicals, resulting in an allergic reaction that begins at the exposure site.
Each allergen-specific IgE antibody test performed is separate and very specific: honeybee versus bumblebee, egg white versus egg yolk, giant ragweed versus western ragweed. Groupings of these tests, such as food panels or regional weed, grass, and mold panels, can be done. Alternatively, the health practitioner may pick and choose selectively from a long list of individual allergens suspected of causing a person’s allergies.

When is it ordered?
One or more allergen-specific IgE antibody tests are usually ordered when a person has signs or symptoms that suggest an allergy to one or more substances. Signs and symptoms MAY include:

**Fatigue is number one symptom!**
* Hives
* Dermatitis
* Eczema
* Red itchy eyes
* Coughing, nasal congestion, sneezing
* Itching and tingling in the mouth
* Asthma
* Abdominal pain or vomiting and diarrhea
* Bloating, excessive gas
* Skin breakouts
* Sluggish
* Stomachache, discomfort within 30 mins of eating
* Trouble concentrating, brain fog

A test may also be ordered occasionally to help evaluate the effectiveness of immunotherapy or to determine whether a child has outgrown an allergy.

Sources:
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: What are allergies?
American College of Allergy, Asthma,
American Academy of Family Physicians: Food Allergies
Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN)
Nemours Foundation: All About Allergies
American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology: What is Allergy Testing
American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology: Tips to Remember: Allergy Testing
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

10 Signs You Have Candida Overgrowth & What To Do About It

by Dr. Amy MyersApril 4, 2013
You might be wondering: What on earth is candida?

Candida is a fungus, which is a form of yeast, and a very small amount of it lives in your mouth and intestines. Its main job? Helping out with digestion and nutrient absorption.

But when overproduced, candida can break down the wall of the intestine and penetrate the bloodstream — releasing toxic by-products into your body and causing leaky gut. This can lead to many different health problems, from digestive issues to depression.

How do you get candida overgrowth?

The good news is that the healthy bacteria in your gut typically keep your candida levels in check. However, a few factors can cause the candida population to grow out of control:

Eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar
Consuming a lot of alcohol
Taking oral contraceptives
Eating a diet high in beneficial fermented foods (like Kombucha, sauerkraut, and pickles)
Living a high-stress lifestyle
Taking a round of antibiotics that killed too many of those friendly bacteria
What are common symptoms of candida?

Skin and nail fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus
Feeling tired and worn down, or suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma, or multiple sclerosis
Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD, and brain fog
Skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes
Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression
Vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, rectal itching, or vaginal itching
Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears
Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings
How do you test for candida overgrowth?

Blood test

You’ll want to start by checking your levels for candida antibodies called IgG, IgA, and IgM. This can easily be done through most medical labs, and high levels can clue you in to an overgrowth of candida.

 

 

How do you treat candida overgrowth?

To successfully treat candida, you need to do three things: stop the yeast overgrowth, build up the friendly bacteria, and heal your gut so that candida can no longer enter your bloodstream.

First step: getting rid of the candida overgrowth, which mainly requires switching to a low-carbohydrate diet.

Sugar is what feeds yeast. So start by eliminating sugar in all of its simple forms — such as candy, desserts, alcohol, and flours. At the same time, cut back to just 1 cup a day of the more complex carbohydrates, like grains, beans, fruit, bread, pasta, and potatoes. This will help prevent the candida from growing and will eventually cause it to die.
I also recommend eliminating all fermented foods. That’s because, while it’s common knowledge that fermented foods help to feed the good bacteria, most people don’t realize that bad bacteria feed off of these foods as well.

Still, using diet alone could take three to six months before the candida is back under control. So, I often recommend that my patients use an anti-fungal medication, such as Diflucan or Nystatin, for at least a month.

If you are self-treating, you can also take a supplement of caprylic acid. Caprylic acid, which comes from coconut oil, basically “pokes holes” in the yeast cell wall, causing it to die.

And while some people recommend using herbs like oil of oregano, I don’t recommend it since it can also kill the good bacteria.

Next, you should rebuild the good bacteria that typically keep your candida population under control. Taking anywhere from 25 to 100 billion units of probiotics on a regular basis should help to reduce the candida levels and restore your levels of good bacteria.

Finally, heal your gut. Eliminating inflammatory foods that can harm your GI tract — and introducing foods that help — will prevent candida from working its way through your body, and dramatically improve your overall health.

Want to find out if you have candida overgrowth? Consider seeing a functional medicine doctor who is trained in detecting and treating candida.

More information below: This article has been updated as of November 1, 2016 by mbg editorial to include new studies, information, and data on candida.

Is candida a fungus?

Yes, yes it is. More specifically, candida is a yeast. There are many different forms of candida, but Candida albicans is the main species colonizing the human body.

Candida normally lives in the gastrointestinal tract and other areas of the body without causing problems, but imbalance in the microbiome can lead to candida overgrowth. When there is disruption of the delicate balance of the good and bad bacteria, Candida albicans will take over, leading to common conditions like oral thrush, vaginal yeast infections, and diaper rash. If you have ever taken antibiotics, you were probably warned by your doctor about the risk of developing a yeast overgrowth—this happens because the antibiotics can wipe out your gut bacteria, good and bad, creating an environment that is ripe for yeast and fungi to take over.

Is candida a yeast infection?

Technically yes, candida is a yeast infection but this warrants clarification. When most people say “yeast infection” they are referring to a vaginal yeast infection but the candida symptoms and causes we are discussing here pertain to the gut. Typically, yeast overgrowth is treated using antifungal medications, but these medications can have unpleasant side effects and it’s common for the yeast overgrowth to return as soon as you stop taking them. For example, many women suffer from chronic yeast infections because they medicate without completely understanding the connection between the microbiome and yeast balances in the body. Changing the yeast infection recurrence, like with candida, often requires a lifestyle or dietary change.

Not to mention, like antibiotic resistance, microbiological resistance to these conventional antifungal drugs is becoming problematic and it’s causing researchers to start looking for alternatives. Which is all the more reason to educate yourself and try to understand your yeast issues on a deeper level.

How candida affects your gut

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million different times, but while yeast infections and diaper rash are well-known conditions and generally easy to spot, when overproduced in the gut, candida will break down the walls of our digestive tract and penetrate the bloodstream. When left untreated, it’s more dangerous than you think.

Candida can also be toxic to the system. Essentially, when candida breaches the intestinal barrier and enters the bloodstream it releases toxic byproducts—including acetaldehyde—into your body. Acetaldehyde is a well-known carcinogen and is responsible for “hangover” symptoms such as nausea, headache, fatigue, and liver damage—definitely not something you want floating around in your body in large quantities.

Candida and leaky gut

If you are thinking this sounds a lot like leaky gut, you are already ahead of the game. The connection between candida and leaky gut is intricate. A leaky gut creates the perfect environment for candida to multiply, pass through the intestinal lining, and enter the bloodstream along with the undigested food particles. This is characteristic of leaky gut syndrome. Meanwhile, candida itself can colonize the gut and damage the intestinal lining. If you have one, you’re probably more likely to have the other. They can also exacerbate each other, creating a situation where your gut health quickly snowballs into dis-ease.

Candida, the liver, and detox

Similar to leaky gut syndrome, candida overgrowth releases toxins into the bloodstream that must be filtered by the liver. If there are too many toxins due to candida overgrowth, it can overload the liver and interfere with its ability to do its job. This means over toxicity and trouble maintaining blood sugar levels, storing vitamins and minerals, and regulating hormones.

The connection between candida and the liver explains why many of the symptoms of candida overgrowth—like irritability, fatigue, and brain fog—are similar to those of an overburdened liver. It also explains why many candida cleanse or diet programs include liver support supplements and detoxification support.

Candida and inflammation

Candida overgrowth, leaky gut, an overburdened liver, and the physical and mental symptoms they create can trigger the immune system to react, causing chronic inflammation. Inflammation can manifest itself in uncomfortable symptoms like weight gain, skin rashes, or brain fog and can eventually lead to autoimmune disease.

The relationship between candida, the liver, inflammation, and gut health is extremely complex, but it’s helpful to remember that everything in the body is connected. Different organs rely on and interact with each other. Adopting a holistic approach instead of treating each symptom individually will give you the best chance at achieving optimal health. This is a perspective that is often missing in the conventional medical approach, leaving many people bouncing from one specialist to another, with a bunch of symptoms they can’t quite connect.

Causes of candida

The good news is that the healthy bacteria in your gut typically keep your candida levels in check. The bad news is that many different factors can disrupt the delicate gut balance and can cause the candida population to grow out of control:

Eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar. Carbohydrates and sugar act like food for yeast and feed candida overgrowth in the gut.
Consuming a lot of alcohol. Most alcohol is fermented and contains sugars that will also feed the yeast.
Taking oral contraceptives. The birth control pill can disrupt the bacterial balance in the microbiome.
Eating a diet high in beneficial fermented foods (like kombucha, sauerkraut, vinegar, and pickles). These foods often contain yeast or have small amounts of alcohol that is produced during the fermentation process.
Living a high-stress lifestyle. Stress can slow down digestion and trigger inflammation.
Taking a round of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill good bacteria along with harmful bacteria which sets the stage for Candida albicans to take over.
Taking corticosteroids. Drugs like Prednisone, commonly used to treat severe allergies, skin problems, asthma, or arthritis are known to cause yeast infections in humans.
A weakened immune system. As you may know, a good portion of the body’s immune system resides in your gut. A compromised immune system puts you at a higher risk for gut imbalances and candida overgrowth.
Candida overgrowth and asthma

Essentially any medication, food, or lifestyle factor that disrupts the body’s natural environment can change the balance of the gut and set the stage for candida. Certain chronic diseases, like asthma, may require frequent antibiotic use and daily inhaled steroids, creating a perfect storm of factors that can lead to yeast overgrowth. If you have a chronic inflammatory condition that requires medication, it might be wise to see a functional medicine practitioner to see what you can do to counteract the effects of these drugs.

If you are someone who suffers from frequent colds, sore throats, or sinus issues, it’s important to note that antibiotics are one of the most prevalent causes of candida overgrowth, and also one of the most unknown. Remember that antibiotics only treat bacterial infections and should only be taken when necessary. Overprescribing antibiotics is a big problem in Western healthcare system and they can have negative effects on the microbiome, which dampens your immune system, leading to a greater susceptibility to the same conditions they are meant to treat.

At home candida test: the simple spit test

There are a few different tests for candida and none of them are error-proof, so it’s important to consider your symptoms when trying to determine if candida might be a problem for you. If all of your tests come back negative but you suffer from many of the symptoms of candida, you can always try making the recommended diet and lifestyle changes and see how you feel.

This do-it-yourself candida spit test lacks scientific backing, but many candida experts suggest it as simple, free, no-risk starting point. It works like this: when you wake up in the morning get a clear glass of water, before you brush your teeth or drink anything gather some saliva in your mouth and spit into the cup. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then observe what you see. If your spit looks particularly cloudy, or you see small white projections coming out of the saliva, it could be a sign that you have candida and you might want to try one of the more established tests mentioned above.

Candida cleanse: foods to avoid when you have candida

Sugar

Cut down on sugar. It’s important to note that this includes many salad dressings and condiments and even natural sweeteners like honey, coconut sugar, and agave. This can be a difficult adjustment, even if you are mindful of your sugar intake, completely eliminating sugar can leave you with strong cravings and feeling irritable.

Sugar has a strong effect on your body and brain and cutting it out can be difficult. Scientific research has shown that high glycemic index foods are linked to strong hunger and food cravings.

Carbohydrates

Many foods containing carbohydrates, especially complex ones, are not inherently bad for you. But when you are fighting yeast its very important to cut off its food supply completely, or it could take longer to get your symptoms under control. It’s a challenging lifestyle change, expect some slip ups and don’t beat yourself up.

Candida-friendly foods

At this point you might be wondering what you are able to eat. Nuts and seeds, avocado, vegetables, lean protein, and stevia for sweetener will be your allies on this candida diet. To help you get an idea of the daily routine of the candida diet we have provided a day’s worth of meal examples.

Candida diet: best foods for candida

Breakfast: for breakfast try unsweetened coconut yogurt with strawberries, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and almonds. This will include lots of healthy fats and keep you feeling full until lunch.

Lunch: try a big leafy green salad and make a dressing using olive oil, garlic, and lemon. Top it with quinoa for some protein.

Dinner: grilled chicken or fish with steamed vegetables are all candida friendly.

Snacks: try making homemade guacamole and eat it with raw veggies or flaxseed crackers. Hardboiled eggs or mixed nuts are also great snacks on the candida diet.

Still not sure where to begin? Check out these 8 Recipes For The Candida Diet where we give you some great recipes that will leave you feeling full and satisfied.

Candida diet: foods to eat when you have candida

While it is important to eliminate certain foods, it can also be beneficial to incorporate candida-fighting foods into your daily routine. Thankfully, there’s a long list of delicious foods that have strong antifungal properties.

Raw Garlic

Garlic is one of the best options for fighting yeast, one study showed that garlic oil was able to penetrate the cellular membranes of Candida albicans and very successfully disrupt the normal activity and functioning of the yeast.

Coconut oil

In a study conducted at Tufts University, coconut oil was suggested as the first effective dietary approach to fighting candida.

Olive oil and cinnamon oil

A recent study exploring alternatives to conventional antifungal medications demonstrated that olive oil and cinnamon oil both successfully combatted candida isolated from bloodstream infections.

Lemon

Citrus fruits have long been known for their antiseptic qualities and can help prevent the formation of biofilms (a film of bacteria that adheres to a surface).

Wild salmon

This excellent source of omega-3s can help fight fungal infections.

Ginger

Ginger was recently suggested as a natural antifungal option to during a time when many fungi are becoming resistant to conventional antifungal medications

Apple cider vinegar

It’s the only vinegar allowed on the candida diet, as it contains minerals that will help fight against yeast.

Cloves

Cloves have long been used in traditional medicine systems to fight a wide variety of ailments, including fungal infections.

Probiotics, prebiotics and supplements for Candida

Adopting the right diet is arguably your most important tool when fighting candida.

Diflucan and Nystatin are only available through your doctor, so if you are self-treating, another great supplement to fight candida is undecylenic acid. This is a naturally occurring fatty acid that is thought to be even more effective than caprylic acid in fighting yeast and helping to maintain a healthy microbiome.

When choosing a probiotic, here’s a tip: pick a good quality probiotic that includes the lactobacillus strain, as some studies have shown it to be particularly effective at fighting yeast.

If you are suffering from any of the GI conditions listed above, probiotics can even more important to maintaining your good health. Some studies suggest that prebiotics and probiotics will start to be included in the standard treatment protocols for inflammatory bowel conditions like ulcerative colitis because of their ability to help control symptoms and exacerbations.

Fiber supplementation is also frequently suggested in candida treatment plans. Yeast overgrowth occurs in the digestive tract and its important to flush out those areas and keep things moving. This limits the amount of time the candida has to colonize and cause damage. Some good fiber supplements include acacia fiber or even raw chia seeds taken regularly. Fiber is also prebiotic, helping probiotics do their jobs better.

You can also consider herbal remedies with antifungal properties. Ayurvedic experts recommend valerian, wormwood, and mugwort. There are also plenty of probiotic foods and fun teas that can be easy to add to your daily routine.

What is candida die off?

It’s possible that in the beginning of your candida-fighting mission, you will experience something called candida die-off. This is similar to the flu-like symptoms you can experience when you start a detox program. While this is largely unstudied and unquantified from a yeast standpoint, the Herxheimer reaction is a byproduct of metabolic processing. (Most research here has been done on patients with syphillis. As your body gets rid of toxins and the yeast dies, your symptoms may get worse before they get better. Like any detox, start out slowly, drink a lot of water, rest, and if symptoms are too uncomfortable, ease up on your anti-candida regime or adopt a gentler approach. Keep the faith that you will start to feel better, look for signs like more restful sleep, well balanced blood sugar levels, and more mental clarity.

How to heal your gut after having candida

Once you have the yeast under control—which can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months—you can start slowly adding different food groups back into your diet.

However, it is important to continue to avoid inflammatory foods that can harm your GI tract. Remember, the strong relationship between candida and leaky gut? Many people with candida overgrowth also have a leaky gut and that can put them at increased risk of food sensitivities. You want to make sure you are not continually disturbing the intestinal lining as it tries to heal.

Foods like sugar, coffee, grains, alcohol, dairy, and starchy plant foods can all be very irritating to the intestinal lining and increase the risk of candida getting out of control again. Limiting or avoiding them might be wise, and make sure that if you do consume them, you pay attention to how you feel afterwards.

If you are thinking that this guide was helpful, but it is just too complicated an endeavor to take on by yourself, consider seeing a functional/integrative medicine doctor, or holistic Nutritionist.

Most integrative/functional medicine providers are trained in detecting and treating candida and many will even advertise candida as one of the conditions they are able to treat. Some facilities and providers even have specific candida treatment and prevention programs in place.

Can candida overgrowth cause adrenal fatigue?

In case you needed another reason to adopt a self-care routine, stress management can be one of the most important tools in fighting candida. Stress releases cortisol, a hormone that causes inflammation, which slows your ability to digest and inhibits your immune system. This is a problem because along with your good gut bacteria, your immune system works to keep candida in check. When your stress response interferes with your digestion it can pave the way for candida to overproduce. Adopting healthy coping mechanisms to deal with daily stress can be a very important tool in the prevention and treatment of candida overgrowth.

A word on exercise: although exercise can be a great stress-reliever it can also initiate the body’s stress response and lead to the release cortisol. Mild exercise like walking or gentle yoga, at least for the initial stages of the diet as they can lower cortisol levels. Yoga and meditation can be helpful tools for fighting candida. They will decrease stress and activate relaxation pathways in the brain and body. If you are worried about sticking to the diet, meditation and yoga can help you detach from the challenges and refocus your energies on healing from candida.

Yoga poses to help with detoxification

Yoga can help heal candida overgrowth Here are a few different types of poses to try if you’re battling candida.

Twisting poses are known to help with digestion and detoxification, as they massage the abdominal organs. Here are a few twisting yoga poses to try while you’re fighting candida:

Seated spinal twist
Supine spinal twist
Standing twists
Inversions revive our energy and help with blood circulation and lymphatic detoxification, among other things.

Simple variations to prep for handstand or headstand
Restorative poses (first pose in this sequence)
Headstand
Breathwork activates our parasympathetic nervous system, reducing blood pressure, helping with respiratory conditions, and also re-energizes us.