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Thanks for stopping by! I'm Carol Aguirre MS, RD/LDN, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist. We at Nutrition Connections (NC) teach the simplicity behind the science of nutrition & art of healthy living so you can live a nutritionally balanced life! Our mission is to inspire you to live your healthiest, happiest life. We believe health involves all aspects of physical, mental and social health and our goal is to inspire and educate you to make practical changes to live your best life. We look forward to getting to know you better...

Why you might have Candida!

Why you might have Candida!

Maybe you’ve tried cutting out gluten, dairy, or adding a probiotic to your daily routine but you’re still experiencing symptoms. Candida symptoms are widespread and aren’t just related to your digestion. Do you ever experience any of these health issues? Fatigue, cravings for sweets, chronic UTI’s, or loss of sex drive.

What is Candida?

It’s normal to have both good bacteria and some not so good bacteria in your gut. The problem arises when the pathogen (or the not so good bacteria) numbers outweigh the good. This happens for a few reasons.

Not properly digesting your food, in addition to things like a diet too high in sugar or refined carbohydrates (or even alcohol), leads to an overgrowth of harmful, unfriendly bacteria in your gut.

One such pathogen, is called candida albicans, a fungus that’s a common member of the normal human gut flora. Candida aids with nutrient absorption and digestion when in proper levels in the body. When it overproduces, typical candida symptoms may appear. In the digestive tract, if left unchecked, it breaks down the walls of the intestinal lining and penetrates the bloodstream. This releases byproduct toxins and other toxins from your system, causing leaky guy syndrome

Here Are Signs You May Have Candida

1. Frequently sick and/or infections:

Leaky gut is when the intestinal lining becomes damaged and bad bacteria, pathogens, and particles of undigested food can pass through the intestinal lining into the bloodstream. Your immune system tries to attack and neutralize these “toxins”, eventually exhausting your immune system and leading to frequent illness and infection.

2. Food sensitivities and intolerance's:

The beneficial bacteria in your gut play an important role in maintaining the health of your gut lining. When they die off, and when you’re unable to fully absorb nutrients from food due to indigestion, the gut lining can become leaky and inflamed. Inflammation in the gut lining can interfere with the digestion of many foods. Because there’s usually a depletion of digestive enzymes or stomach acid that led to the bacterial imbalance in the first place, it’s common for those with candida to have many food sensitivities and intolerances.

3. Always Exhausted:

Chronic inflammation of the gut lining leads to a constant release of cortisol, the body’s anti-inflammatory hormone, by the adrenal glands. When there’s chronic inflammation, as is the case in a candida overgrowth, this can eventually exhaust the adrenal glands leading to chronic fatigue unrelieved by sleep. The toxins produced by candida, like acetaldehyde, also affect the nervous system, joints and muscles.

4. Intense cravings for sugar and refined carbs:

As a stress hormone, cortisol also mobilizes stored fuel sources to be converted into glucose (sugar). The goal is to use this glucose for energy to fight or run under stress (i.e. the “fight or flight” response). Since there’s no “fight or flight” that takes place, this upsets normal blood sugar regulation and leads to sugar cravings. Candida also thrives off undigested sugars, so it can make you crave them even more.

5. Weight-gain or an inability to lose weight:

How does cortisol get this glucose? By signaling to your liver to convert stored protein from your muscles and tissues into glucose. If this is chronic, it leads to a loss of muscle mass which results in a slower metabolism. Since there’s no physical threat requiring a substantial amount of energy, the excess glucose, these “toxins”, eventually exhausting your immune system and leading to frequent illness and infection.

6. Food sensitivities and intolerance's:

The beneficial bacteria in your gut play an important role in maintaining the health of your gut lining. When they die off, and when you’re unable to fully absorb nutrients from food due to indigestion, the gut lining can become leaky and inflamed. Inflammation in the gut lining can interfere with the digestion of many foods. Because there’s usually a depletion of digestive enzymes or stomach acid that led to the bacterial imbalance in the first place, it’s common for those with candida to have many food sensitivities and intolerance's.

7. Digestive symptoms like constipation, diarrhea and abdominal pain:

An overtaxed digestive system and an inflamed intestinal lining cannot properly break down food so it’s common to have diarrhea, constipation, or both, as well as bloating and abdominal pain.

8. Frequent UTIs:

Candida’s also present in your urinary tract. Though it’s less common, candida can overgrow in the urinary tract leading to a yeast infection. Like on your skin, suppressed immunity and systemic Candida often leads to more frequent UTIs. Unfortunately taking antibiotics in this case can make the problem worse.

What can you do?

If you do have candida-like symptoms there’s a specific diet and protocol to follow along with supplements to take. It’s recommended you do this under the guidance and supervision of someone who has experience with this as you want to find a protocol that’s right for you. It can be a difficult cleanse to do on your own. We can help!

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