Have you been struggling with frequent fungal yeast infections recently? Know that you’re not alone. So many of my patients come to me with the uncomfortable, inconvenient and irritating symptoms of candida overgrowth.
The symptoms are hard to ignore – burning, itching, brain fog and bloating are just some of the many signs. Mild yeast infections can go away on their own, however, they can become chronic. When yeast infections become chronic and appear frequently, you need to address the underlying causes.
Candida appears naturally within our gut bacteria and in small amounts of it is harmless. However, when this delicate microbiome is out of balance or disturbed – whether it be from diet, illness or medication, candida can overgrow and cause a variety of undesirable symptoms.
As a naturopathic Doctor it’s my goal to help equip my patients with the natural treatments available for yeast infections. Let’s explore the many ways you can heal your body and prevent future yeast infections from occurring.
What’s Causing My Candida Overgrowth?
Sometimes the cause of your candida overgrowth is difficult to pinpoint. This is because so many factors can be involved. Whether it’s your diet, lifestyle habits or medication, all of these can contribute to yeast infections.
If you have recently been taking antibiotics, this could be the reason for your yeast infections. Antibiotics kill bacteria, but the problem is that it can kill off the healthy gut bacteria you need in order to maintain a healthy gut microbiome. When this happens and there is an imbalance, it can lead to candida overgrowth.
Certain clothing fabrics such as spandex and nylon trap heat and moisture. They are non-breathable fabrics and can facilitate the perfect breeding ground for candida and other types of fungus and bacteria.
Diets high in processed sugar are often the culprit for chronic yeast infections. Foods high in simple sugars create the perfect diet for yeast to thrive on.
If your body is fighting a cold, flu or persistent illness, your immune system is weakened and this can contribute to yeast overgrowth. Likewise, certain autoimmune disorders such as IBS can also cause a higher likelihood of yeast overgrowth.
When your body is constantly under stress, it can affect your immune system as well as hormone levels negatively. When your body is off guard, and lacking proper breaks, candida can overgrow.
Changes in your hormones are often the culprit when it comes to yeast infections. It can happen when you are pregnant, taking hormonal birth control or around the time of your period. When progesterone and estrogen levels are out of balance it can cause fungi such as candida to overgrown.
The Top 10 Natural Supplements to Beat Candida
This herb has been used for centuries as a form of natural medicine. Garlic has both antifungal and antibacterial properties. It works best when eaten raw, however, if raw garlic is too strong for you, it can also be found in capsule forms at your local pharmacy.
2. Omega 3’s
Omega 3 fatty acids are most commonly found in fish oil supplements but eating fish such as salmon is also an excellent source. It has strong antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Omega 3’s have also been shown to boost immunity and fend off candida.
Ginger is used frequently in cooking and adds flavour to many recipes. It also happens to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal supplement. You can eat it raw, use it in cooking and also take it as supplements. (It’s also excellent as a tea. )
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C can boost your immune system, it is found naturally in certain fruits, but can also be taken in supplement form. If low immunity is the cause of your yeast infections, Vitamin C combined with additional treatments can help aid in recovery.
Probiotics contain live microorganisms that are found naturally in your digestive tract. Supplements help to replenish natural gut flora and can help reduce the amount of candida in your body to normal levels. Probiotics can be taken as supplements and are found in your local pharmacy.
6. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like spinach and kale are high in fibre and low in sugars. They are an excellent way to nourish and cleanse your gut and heal from a yeast infection.
7. Greek Yogurt
Plain Greek yogurt contains naturally occurring probiotics which help to restore your natural gut bacteria and diminish yeast overgrowth. It is very important to be sure your yogurt does not contain added sugar however as this will have adverse effects.
8. Caprylic Acid (coconut oil)
Caprylic acid is found naturally in coconut oil. It has strong anti-fungal properties and can be applied directly to the affected area, and ingested as well. Be sure to choose pure organic coconut oil and avoid any added ingredients or preservatives.
9. Restore pH Balance
Restoring the pH balance of the vaginal tract is an effective, low-cost treatment that can be done at home. There are many reasons for acid balance disruption and can include any of the following: antibiotic use, intimacy, lubricants, diabetes mellitus, HIV/ AIDS, pregnancy, radiation therapy, pharmacological immunosuppression, etc.
We provide a homemade recipe and simple instructions for patients to comfortably restore the natural pH balance as a staple treatment.
10. Anti-Fungal Botanicals
There are a number of herbs in their essential oil forms that work well when used in combination.
These include Allium Sativum (Garlic), Origanum vulgare (Oregano leaf), and Hydrastis canadensis.
(Goldenseal). These elicit a synergistic effect in killing off excess and harmful forms of candida.
In many cases, if they are used alone or without medical advice, the treatment can fail or cause other health concerns.
We do encourage anyone who suspects a yeast overgrowth to consult with their naturopathic physician prior to starting treatments.
Can Changing My Diet Help with Candida Overgrowth?
Eating a proper diet rich in candida-fighting ingredients is the most effective long-term method of alleviating symptoms. You will want to avoid too many of the foods below to start:
- Foods rich in processed sugars
- High starch foods
- Fermented foods
One thing candida loves is sugar and the above list is all rich in this main ingredient. If you experience chronic candida overgrowth, it’s time to overhaul your diet and eliminate foods with simple sugars as the main ingredient.
Instead of simple sugars try incorporating the following foods into your diet:
- Leafy greens
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Lemon juice
- Coconut oil
- Apple cider vinegar
Note that sometimes foods that we see as healthy, such as fruits like bananas, oranges and pineapples, can actually be very high in sugars. Try substituting these for the foods above and see how your symptoms improve.
My Approach to Candida Cleanses
My approach to treating candida overgrowth is three-pronged.
- First, I test to identify the type of candida present in your body. There are a variety of ways to do this and they include blood, urine and stool testing.
- Once we’ve identified the type of yeast overgrowth you have and the causes, I create a custom candida cleanse tailored to your specific case. Some of the treatment types can include: antifungal botanicals, anti-fungal medication, IV therapy and dietary modifications.
- With the help of proper treatment we are able to re-populate the GI tract with healthy bacteria and reduce the candida population present. This prevents the possibility of yeast overgrowth from recurring.
With the help of natural treatment and dietary modification, it is possible to overcome chronic yeast infections and live a healthy life.
Don’t Just Cope with Candida – Conquer It!
It’s so important to be patient with your body when taking a holistic approach to treating yeast infections. Truly pay attention to how you feel when you try new diet plans and add new supplements into your daily routine. It may not cure your symptoms overnight, but when you keep trying, you will find what works for your body.
I know how disheartening and frustrating it can be to suffer from chronic candida overgrowth and I have helped countless patients address the root causes and create structured treatment plans tailored to their bodies. Click the link to book an appointment and conquer candida for good.