How Candida Yeast Overgrowth Creates a Hormonal HavocMay 03, 2023
Have you ever taken antibiotics, steroids, or birth control pills?
Or experienced one or two vaginal yeast infections or recurrent oral thrush?
Do you feel like sugar controls you so much that you try to eat healthy but can’t ever stay on track because of your sweet tooth?
Do you find it impossible to shake chronic symptoms like bloating, rashes, sinus problems, or tummy troubles, even though you’re doing everything to eat right and live a healthy lifestyle?
If you experience any or all of these symptoms, candida overgrowth could be to blame. I know it was for me for years… It could be sabotaging your efforts to achieve hormonal balance, without you even connecting the dots. I walked around for years bloated, and gassy, with skin rashes and acne, sugar cravings, and yeast infections I couldn’t shake.
So how does this happen?
We all carry the fungus, candida in our bodies. For people with healthy immune and digestive systems, it's nicely balanced.
But candida is an opportunistic micro-organism and it likes to party in big numbers so any chance it gets, this yeast will multiply.
The overgrowth of candida most often occurs in areas like your skin, digestive tract, mouth, and vagina. Candida also helps other unhealthy bacteria and parasites take hold and thrive in your body. And as your candida population grows, it starts to affect everything from your hormone balance to the function of some body systems and organs.
It’s important to remember that candida is not only kick-started by food and eating too much sugar. A variety of other lifestyle factors can give candida the breeding ground it needs to grow. Many women experience an increase in yeast infections, issues like bloating, and far both during pregnancy and when they take birth control pills. Pregnancy and birth control pills lead to a spike in the body’s estrogen levels and estrogen can help candida grow. This is a real reminder of the importance of hormonal balance. When women are estrogen dominant there are many downstream effects and one of those is the risk of triggering or worsening candida overgrowth.
In our society, we’re on the go all the time and that triggers estrogen dominance because cortisol is turned on, which lowers levels of progesterone. By contrast, when estrogen and progesterone are balanced, women enjoy the health perks of progesterone, which helps lower anxiety and stress responses. Candida can be a constant roadblock to that balance.
So how do you know if you have candida overgrowth?
3/4 of women will develop a yeast infection at least once in their lifetime. When this happens, we believe that the fungal problem is isolated to that part of the body. In reality, a yeast infection is a sign of candida overgrowth in the gut as well.
Unfortunately, candida is not always easy to recognize. For me, it was years before I got a diagnosis because I was thrown off thinking that my symptoms weren't linked. I had to bloat which I thought was because of food sensitivities. And I thought the exhaustion was because of my thyroid while I thought that the recurrent yeast infection was an isolated issue.
That’s why it is important to consider patterns of symptoms rather than isolated signs. If you recognize many of the following, candida overgrowth is likely undermining your well-being or healing:
Signs of Candida
Constantly craving sugar or carbs
Indigestion after meals
Fungal nail infections
White coating on the tongue
Cracks at the corners of the mouth
Chronic sinusitis or nasal congestion
Irritability or mood swings
Anxiety and panic attacks
Inability to lose weight
Itchy ears, eyes, or anus
Sensitivity to smells such as chemicals and perfumes
So how do you test for candida?
This is something I do with my clients through stool and blood testing to see what other hormones also may be impacted.
When you start to treat candida you need a multi-layered approach that goes well beyond avoiding sugar and yeast and may include other protocols, including anti-fungal medication.
Candida can be incredibly frustrating and extremely resilient. But I want to assure you that it is completely reversible, I’m living proof and so are so many of my clients! And while you’re undergoing a process to conquer and heal from candida, chronic symptoms can also be managed and minimized.
If you’re looking to learn more click the link here for ways to work with me and do testing!