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What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Hashimoto thyroiditis is the most common form of thyroid gland inflammation (thyroiditis) and the most frequent cause of decreased thyroid hormone production hypothyroidism. It results from an autoimmune disorder, an attack on the thyroid gland by a person’s own immune system.
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ that lies flat against the windpipe in the throat. It produces the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) and plays an important role in controlling the body’s metabolism.
With Hashimoto thyroiditis, the thyroid becomes enlarged, called a goiter. Thyroid gland tissue is slowly destroyed by white blood cells called lymphocytes that move into the thyroid gland and by one or more thyroid autoantibodies. This causes a progressive decrease in the production of thyroid hormones.
About 1 in 1,000 people are diagnosed annually with Hashimoto thyroiditis, and the number has been increasing over time due to improvements in diagnostic techniques. This disorder can affect anyone at any age but occurs most commonly in women who are between 30 and 50 years of age. The ratio of women to men diagnosed with the disease is 20 to 1. People with a family history of thyroid diseases or with other autoimmune diseases, especially type 1 diabetes or adrenal insufficiency are at increased risk.
Those affected by Hashimoto thyroiditis may not have any symptoms for several years, but eventually most will experience some degree of hypothyroidism that worsens over time.

Signs and Symptoms
Constipation
Depression
Dry skin
Fatigue
Forgetfulness
Increased sensitivity to cold
Menstrual irregularities, heavy and excessive bleeding
Muscle and joint pain
Muscle weakness
Sluggishness
Thinning hair
Weight gain
For pregnant women, increased risk of miscarriage

Tests
Testing is done to evaluate the health of the thyroid, diagnose Hashimoto thyroiditis, and monitor treatment.
To determine whether the thyroid is functioning properly and for monitoring thyroid function and hormone production, one or more of the following blood tests may be done:
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) – typically elevated in hypothyroidism
Free T4 – often decreased in primary hypothyroidism
Total or Free T3 – sometimes decreased but may be within the normal reference range, so is not as useful as free T4
Additional tests may be used to detect autoantibodies directed against the thyroid and to help diagnose Hashimoto thyroiditis:
Anti-thyroid peroxidase antibody (anti-TPO, see Thyroid Antibodies) – this test detects the presence of autoantibodies against a protein found in thyroid cells. A high value usually indicates autoimmune damage to the thyroid due to disorders such as Hashimoto thyroiditis and Graves disease.
Antithyroglobulin antibody (TgAb) – if positive, may indicate Hashimoto thyroiditis; while thyroglobulin antibodies are often positive, they are not as sensitive or specificas anti-TPO so they are not routinely ordered.
People with a very mild form of Hashimoto thyroiditis may not have thyroid antibodies present in their blood.
Treatment
There is no cure for Hashimoto thyroiditis, but the disorder is manageable. No treatment is required when thyroid hormone concentrations (T4 and T3) are normal and the affected person is not experiencing significant symptoms. Thyroid hormone replacement therapy is typically necessary, however, when thyroid hormone production becomes significantly decreased and symptoms begin to emerge or worsen. Those with Hashimoto thyroiditis are closely monitored, and thyroid hormone replacement therapy is initiated and/or adjusted as necessary.

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000371.htm

Understanding Auto Immune disorders

Who understands auto immune disorders and how they affects us and our loved ones?  Here is a brief overview of what it is and a link if you want to research correct information further.

When an intruder invades your body—like a cold virus or bacteria on a thorn that pricks your skin—your immune system protects you. It tries to identify, kill, and eliminate the invaders that might hurt you. But sometimes problems with your immune system cause it to mistake your body’s own healthy cells as invaders and then repeatedly attacks them. This is called an autoimmune disease. (“Autoimmune” means immunity against the self.)

Autoimmune diseases can affect almost any part of the body, including the heart, brain, nerves, muscles, skin, eyes, joints, lungs, kidneys, glands, the digestive tract, and blood vessels. The classic sign of an autoimmune disease is inflammation, which can cause redness, heat, pain, and swelling. How an autoimmune disease affects you depends on what part of the body is targeted. If the disease affects the joints, as in rheumatoid arthritis, you might have joint pain, stiffness, and loss of function. If it affects the thyroid, as in Graves’ disease and thyroiditis, it might cause tiredness, weight gain, and muscle aches. If it attacks the skin, as it does in scleroderma/systemic sclerosis, vitiligo, and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), it can cause rashes, blisters, and color changes.

Many autoimmune diseases don’t restrict themselves to one part of the body. For example, SLE can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, heart, nerves, blood vessels, and more. Type 1 diabetes can affect your glands, eyes, kidneys, muscles, and more.

KEY WORDS

Acquired immune system. The part of the immune system that develops as a person grows. It employs antibodies and immune cells to fight harmful substances.

Antibody. A special protein produced by the body’s immune system that recognizes and helps fight infectious agents and other foreign substances that invade the body.

Antigen. A foreign substance that triggers the production of antibodies when it is introduced into the body.

Autoimmune disease. A disease that results when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues.

Corticosteroids. Potent anti-inflammatory hormones that are made naturally in the body or synthetically (man-made) for use as drugs. They are also called glucocorticoids. The most commonly prescribed drug of this type is prednisone.

Diabetes, type 1. A condition in which the immune system destroys insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, making it impossible for the body to use glucose (blood sugar) for energy. Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in children and young adults.

Graves’ disease. An autoimmune disease of the thyroid gland that results in the overproduction of thyroid hormone. This causes such symptoms as nervousness, heat intolerance, heart palpitations, and unexplained weight loss.

Immune system. A complex network of specialized cells and organs that work together to defend the body against attacks by foreign invaders, such as bacteria and viruses.

Thyroiditis. An inflammation of the thyroid gland that causes the gland to become underactive. This results in symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, weight gain, cold intolerance, and muscle aches.

Vitiligo. A disorder in which the immune system destroys pigment-making cells called melanocytes. This results in white patches of skin on different parts of the body.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)—The Nation’s Medical Research Agency—includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH visit:

https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/

Keytones-how do they work in your body?

SlimOne
Patient One MediNutritionals
180 gel capsules $58.20

Description
Clinically proven natural ingredients for healthy weight management
* Optimizes breakdown and metabolism of fats
* Maintains youthful hormones linked to peak metabolism
* Promotes desirable and healthy body composition
* Supports lipolysis in conjunction with diet and exercise

Unique Properties
Patient One SlimOne™ unites today’s most dynamic natural ingredients in a breakthrough medinutritional supplement for healthy weight management. With CLA, 7-Keto®, Razberi-K®, and green coffee bean extract, SlimOne supplies advanced nutritional support for desirable body composition, peak metabolic performance, blood sugar support, fat metabolism and more. When used in conjunction with healthy diet and exercise program, Patient One SlimOne helps to maximize weight management results. SlimOne has been carefully formulated to include only gentle, stimulant-free and effective nutrients.

Key Ingredients

CLA:
An omega-6 fatty acid found in grass-fed beef and vegetable oils, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is among the most extensively studied weight management nutrients. While its exact mechanisms of action have not been pinpointed, CLA is believed to inhibit the “hunger hormone” leptin, promote lipolysis in white adipose tissue, influence insulin sensitivity, reduce fasting blood glucose and optimize resting metabolic rate. CLA is most commonly associated with lean body mass and healthy body composition.

7-Keto® DHEA
Produced by the adrenal glands, Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) hormone starts to decline around age 30, and has been implicated in metabolic slow-down and age-related weight gain. Restoring DHEA through supplementation is believed to promote a youthful hormonal state that is associated with optimal metabolic rate. 7-Keto DHEA is derived from a plant source that has been purified to match the substance naturally produced in the body. Studies suggest that 7-Keto improves the body’s calorie burning ability at the most basic level by increasing resting metabolic rate—the number of calories burned through regular bodily functions such as breathing. 7-Keto is the weight management metabolite of DHEA–a gentler and safer form that supplies nutritional benefits without influencing testosterone or estrogen levels.

Razberi-K® raspberry ketones
Organic phenolic compounds found in raspberries, ketones are believed to optimize breakdown of fat in the body while promoting peak metabolic function. Some early animal research appears to suggest that raspberry ketones may influence the way lipids are metabolized in fat cells; specifically, raspberry ketones are believed to optimize the breakdown of white adipose tissue. Raspberry ketones have also been found to stimulate the secretion of adiponectin, a hormone that regulates fat storage. Research shows a link between higher levels of adiponectin and lower levels of stored fat.

Green Coffee Bean Extract
Unroasted coffee beans retain their green hue and supply bioactive compounds called chlorogenic acids (CGAs) that are usually destroyed in the coffee bean roasting process. The CGAs found in green coffee beans are believed to promote healthy weight management by influencing sugar metabolism. Research has suggested that CGAs may inhibit the hepatic glucose-6-phosphatase enzyme, thereby modulating glucose production and promoting the blood sugar stability that is associated with healthy weight. SlimOne’s green coffee bean extract is standardized to 50% minimum CGAs.
Research
In one study, 20 men and women took either a CLA supplement (0.6mg) or placebo daily while exercising in standardized 90-minute routines three times weekly. After 12 weeks, researchers reported that body fat was found to be significantly reduced in the CLA group, but not in the placebo group.
In one double-blind, placebo-controlled study designed to evaluate long-term effects of CLA supplementation, 180 volunteers took CLA-free fatty acid (FFA), CLA- triacylglycerol, or placebo over the course of one year. At the study’s end, researchers concluded that supplementation with either the FFA or triacylglycerol form of CLA was associated with significant reductions in body fat mass (BFM) and a tendency towards greater lean body mass.

An early study has suggested that 7-Keto may help with resting metabolic rate of overweight adults. In the study, which included 40 subjects, supplementation with 7-Keto was found to significantly increase resting metabolic rate above basal levels in only seven days. Researchers suggested 7-Keto may benefit overweight individuals with low energy expenditure.

Servings Per Container: 45
Take 4 to 6 capsules daily in divided doses, preferably with a meal, as a dietary supplement or as directed by a qualified health care professional.
Serving Size: 4 Capsules
Amount Per Serving
Calories … 26
Calories from Fat … 25
Total Fat … 2.70g
Saturated Fat … 0.10g
Monounsaturated Fat … 0.30g
Polyunsaturated Fat … 2.30g
Weight Management Proprietary Blend … 3000mg
Conjugated Linoleic Acid 80% oil (CLA); Green Coffee Bean extract (Coffea sp.) (fruit) [Standardized to 50% minimum Chlorogenic acids]; Razberi-K® Raspberry Ketones [4-(4-hydroxyphenyl) butan-2-one]; 7-Keto® DHEA (3-Acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone)
Other Ingredients: gelatin (capsule), chlorophyll, d-alpha tocopheryl acetate.
This product contains NO egg, fish, peanuts, crustacean shellfish (lobster, crab, or shrimp), soybeans, tree nuts, wheat, yeast, gluten, rice, sugar, or artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors or preservatives.
Razberi-K® is a registered trademark of Integrity Nutraceuticals International, Inc.
7-Keto® is a trademark of InterHealth Nutraceuticals, U.S. Patents No. 5, 585, 371; 6, 153, 606; 6, 489, 313; 7, 553, 829; 7, 199, 116.

References
1. Thom, E, Wadstein J, Gudmundsen O. Conjugated Linoleic Acid Reduces Body Fat in Healthy Exercising Humans. The Journal of International Medical Research. 2001;29:392-396.
2. Kamphuis MMJW, et al. The effect of conjugated linoleic supplementation after weight loss on body weight regain, body composition, and resting metabolic rate in overweight subjects. International Journal of Obesity (2003) 27, 840-847.]
3. Gaullier JM, et al. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation for 1 y reduces body fat mass in healthy overweight humans. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;79:1118 –25.
4. Park KS. Raspberry ketone increases both lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Planta Med. 2010 Oct;76(15):1654-8. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1249860. Epub 2010 Apr 27.
5. Ong KW, Hsu A, Tan BKH (2012) Chlorogenic Acid Stimulates Glucose Transport in Skeletal Muscle via AMPK Activation: A Contributor to the Beneficial Effects of Coffee on Diabetes. PLoS ONE 7(3): e32718. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032718
6. Morimoto C, et al. Anti-obese action of raspberry ketone. Life Sci. 2005 May 27;77(2):194-204. Epub 2005 Feb 25.
7. Henry-Vitrac C, et al. Contribution of chlorogenic acids to the inhibition of human hepatic glucose-6-phosphatase activity in vitro by Svetol, a standardized decaffeinated green coffee extract. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Apr 14;58(7):4141-4.
8. Zenk JL, et al. HUM5007, a novel combination of thermogenic compounds, and 3-acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone: each increases the resting metabolic rate of overweight adults. J Nutr Biochem. 2007 Sep;18(9):629-34.

Do not use if you are pregnant or nursing. Not for use by individuals under the age of 18 years.

Potassium Info & Top Ten Foods highest in this essential nutrient

Potassium Rich Foods-Top ten

Potassium is an essential nutrient used to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body.
Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the body and is a required mineral for the function of several organs including the heart, kidneys, brain and muscular tissues.
Potassium also plays an important role in keeping the body hydrated and works with sodium to support cellular function with your bodies sodium-potassium pump.
Potassium deficiency symptoms can include severe headaches, dehydration, heart palpitations and swelling of glands and tissues.
Also, potassium deficiency can lead to:
* Fatigue
* Irritability
* Muscle cramps
* Weight gain
* Increased blood pressure
* Cellulite buildup

The main culprits that can cause low levels of potassium are endurance cardiovascular exercise without proper hydration, vomiting, diarrhea and a diet low in fruits and vegetables.
Unless you are on dialysis, or have a special condition, overdose of potassium from natural sources is very rare.
The RDA for potassium is 4700 mg/day.
Keeping in mind Sodium should be 2300mg.
Think Double potassium for your sodium intake!

Consuming these 3 servings of this high potassium foods list daily to ensure optimal levels of potassium.
Top 10 Potassium Rich Foods List
1) Avocado. 1 whole: 1068 mg (30% DV)
2) Spinach. 1 cup: 839mg (24% DV)
3) Sweet potato. 1 medium: 952 mg (27% DV)
4) Coconut Water. 1 cup 600 mg (17% DV)
5) Kefir or Yogurt 1 cup: 579 mg (15% DV)
6) White Beans ½ cup: 502 mg (15% DV)
7) Banana 1 large: 422 mg (12% DV)
8) Acorn squash 1 cup: 899 mg (26% DV)
9) Dried apricots ½ cup: 755 mg (22% DV)
10) Mushrooms 1 cup: 428 mg (27% DV)

Potassium Health Benefits
Cramps
: One of the main benefits of consuming high potassium foods is decreased muscle cramping and improved muscle strength.  Muscle cramps are a common side effects of low potassium levels.  This can happen if an athlete becomes dehydrated and isn’t consuming enough potassium rich foods before and after exercise.
Reduced Risk of Stroke
: Several observational studies have found that those with high potassium levels experience a lower risk of stroke. The health benefits of potassium are likely through reduction of blood pressure combined with a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
Alleviation of High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): 
Studies show that a diet high in potassium, especially potassium from fruits and vegetables, lowers blood pressure. This is especially true if the increase in potassium foods is not accompanied by an increase in high sodium foods.
Reduced Cellulite Appearance
: One of the main causative factors of cellulite buildup is fluid retention.  Most people consume far too much sodium and not near enough potassium.  Sodium brings nutrients into your cells where potassium helps flush excess waste out of your cells.  For this reason, if you reduce sodium intake and start consuming potassium rich foods you can reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Osteoporosis Protection
: Several studies have found a relation between increased bone density and increased intake of dietary potassium. These studies were true even for post- menopausal women and older men.

https://draxe.com/top-10-potassium-rich-foods/

Obesity Facts

Food for thought as you prepare for the super bowl today? The alarming rates of Obesity need to published and talked about.  Everyone wants to “live in the moment” But we are stealing precious moments due to our repeated poor food choices.  If you want to be around to outlive your kids, and you want to be the fun mom or fun grandparent that can keep up with the kids we need to educate ourselves and start making better choices to make that happen.

You can do it.  We can do it, and I can help!

Obesity facts:

Today, about 75% of US men and 67% of US women are either overweight or obese. Between 1988 and 1994, 63% of men and 55% of US women were overweight or obese.

The NHANES says that about 35% of men and 37% of women are obese, 40% of men and 30% of women are overweight. 2/3 of US adults are at a unhealthy weight.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that Americans have been gaining weight since the 1960’s. The average US woman weighs about 166 pounds compared to 140 in 1960. 166 was the average for a man in 1960.
Our children are not expected to outlive us. Obesity is one of the biggest contributors to this shortened life expectancy, it is the root of a lot of chronic health conditions.

Our environment contributes in some of the following ways:
Overuse of antibiotics in food production and medicine
Growth-enhancing drugs used in food animals
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals and pesticides
Social media centered around junk food and artificial sweeteners.
Highly processed genetically modified (GM) foods are full of ingredients that contribute to metabolic dysfunction and weight gain/obesity.

The McKinsey Global Institute says the annual global cost of obesity is now $2 trillion. (For comparison, alcoholism costs are $1.4 trillion annually, road accidents cost $700 billion, and unsafe sex costs $300 billion)  The McKinsey report estimates that nearly 1/2 of the world’s adult population will be overweight or obese by 2030.

In the US, 8 obesity related diseases account for 75% of healthcare costs. These include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia, cancer, Polycystic ovarian syndrome, hypertension, lipid problems, NAFLD (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease).

The National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA) are the official estimates of total health care spending in the US. In 1960, the NHEA measures annual U.S. expenditures for health care goods and services, public health activities, government administration, the net cost of health insurance, and investment related to health care.
U.S. health care spending in 2014 reached $3.0 trillion or $9,523 per person.
The nation’s Gross Domestic Product accounted for 17.5% of health care costs.

cms.gov/research-statistics-data-and-systems/statistics-trends-and-reports/nationalhealthexpenddata/nationalhealthaccountshistorical.html
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=189100
http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/calls/
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/07/08/increasing-us-adult-weight.aspx
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=189100
CDC: Average American Woman Now Weighs As Much As 1960s US Man
http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2323411

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.