Is Candida the cause of your IBS symptoms?
Many patients with a diagnosis of IBS may actually have an underlying yeast or fungal infection know as Candida Albicans (7).
What is Candida?
Candida is a not a type of bacteria but is a type of fungi that includes more than 150 species or strains of yeast. Candida is an opportunistic pathogen or fungus that may grow or proliferate given the right conditions such as use of antibiotics or a high sugar diet (3).
Our gut microbiome consists of a combination of bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites (3).
Is Candida an infection?
We all have Candida and in small amounts it does not cause any problems and is quite harmless.
Where is Candida found?
Candida can be found all over your body. It is found in your ears, your eyes, your gastrointestinal tract, your mouth, your nose, sinuses, skin, stool and vagina. In fact it is part of your beneficial flora .
What causes Candida to grow and proliferate?
When an imbalance in the normal flora occurs, it causes an overgrowth of Candida albicans. You may have heard of Candidiasis. This is similar to thrush a fungal infection (Mycosis) and Candida albicans is the most common type of infection.
If Candida does proliferate it can create a havoc to our overall health and well-being.
What are the symptoms of Candida ?
Constipation or Diarrhea
Ringing in the ears
Sugar cravings or cravings for bread or marmite or balsamic vinegar
Brain fog/difficulty concentrating/fuzzy thinking
Food intolerances/ food sensitivities
Feeling worse on damp or muggy days
Bladder infections/urinary tract infections
In Women, Thrush and Vaginal infections
In Women, PMS
In Men, Jock itch
Sensitivities to perfumes
Psoriasis- Patients using medication for psoriasis may be at an increased risk of developing Candida infections (4)
Chronic sinusitis (5)
What is the cause of Candida ?
If you have taken repeated courses of antibiotics, as a child, teenager or adult you are more likely to develop an overgrowth of candida. Many patients report having had repeated courses of antibiotics for tonsillitis and acne. The contraceptive pill (2) and steroids may also be a risk factor.
Drugs such as broad spectrum antibiotics alter our gut flora thereby creating a perfect environment for candida to proliferate.
You may have also consumed a high sugar or high yeast diet including foods such as bread, stock cubes, soya sauce balsamic vinegar or alcohol. All of these factors may contribute to Candida growing and lead to overgrowth and, possibly, infection. The medical profession does not routinely test for Candida. This is because there is not enough of evidence-based research, however candida is certainly a problem with women who experience thrush and in men jock itch.
How can Candida be treated ?
The key in treating patient's with Candida is to combine dietary approaches with anti-fungals. Taking anti-fungals without changing your diet will not be effective.
Patients will need to cut out sugar, cakes biscuits, honey, maple syrup from their diet as well as alcohol and all foods that contain yeast- bread and pizza and beer lager and wine.
What are the most reliable tests for Candida ?
There are a number of tests that can be conducted to see whether Candida is a problem- these include blood, urine and stool and saliva tests.
The stool test that we use will be able to highlight the best anti-fungals (both pharmaceutical and natural) to eradicate your strain of yeast so that treatment can be very targeted.
This means that you will not have to spend money purchasing anti-fungals that may not work with your specific strain of yeast.
After we see patients for a consultation we may recommend one of these tests.
Do you offer consultations for Candida?
This is one of the areas where we have a lot of expertise. During the consultation we will review your symptoms in detail and make recommendations including dietary changes as well as anti-fungals and make also recommend supplements to kill Biofilms where appropriate.
Natural anti-fungals are extremely potent and include Caprylic acid, Oregano, Graperfruit seed extract or Berberine.
Probiotics also are paramount- again we will recommend the appropriate strain based on your stool test results. The stool test has the uncanny ability to identify whether you are lacking important strains of healthy gut bacteria such as Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium species for example.
This means we can be very targeted in our candida treatment.
Do Doctors test for Candida?
Dr. Orian Truss and Dr. William Crook were the first Doctors to in the USA to increase public awareness of candida albicans yeast infections.
Unfortunately in the UK, Candida is not routinely tested for on the NHS.
Dr. Crook’s wrote a bestselling book called “The Yeast Connection” this book explains the true extent of candida infections in the population.
Feel free to contact us to book an appointment at our Clinic.
1. Oral candidiasis: An overview-
Arun Singh, Renuka Verma,1 Aditi Murari,2 and Ashutosh Agrawal2
2. "Risk of bacterial vaginosis, Trichomonas vaginalis and Candida albicans infection among new users of combined hormonal contraception vs LNG-IUS".
Rezk M1, Sayyed T1, Masood A1, Dawood R
3.“Candida Albicans Interactions With The Host: Crossing The Intestinal Epithelial Barrier”
Louise Basmaciyan,a,b Fabienne Bon,b Tracy Paradis,b Pierre Lapaquette,b and Frédéric Dallea,b
4. A Clinician’s Guide to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Candidiasis in Patients with Psoriasis
April W. Armstrong,corresponding author1 Michael Bukhalo,2 and Andrew Blauvelt3
5.Mayo Clinic Study Implicates Fungus As Cause Of Chronic Sinusitis
7.Candidiasis: predisposing factors, prevention, diagnosis and alternative treatment.
Martins N1, Ferreira IC, Barros L, Silva S, Henriques M.