Do you seem to gain weight no matter what you do? Are you eating healthy and working out, but the number on the scale keeps going up? You may be surprised to learn that there could be a connection between your weight gain and candida overgrowth.
In this blog post, we'll explore the candida and weight gain connection, and provide tips on how to stop unwanted weight gain. Keep reading to learn more!
What is Candida Overgrowth?
Candida overgrowth is the common term used for an overgrowth of the yeast candida albicans. Under normal circumstances, candida albicans pose no threat and are simply part of the many microbes that live in the digestive tract and other parts of the body including the mouth, skin and other parts of the body.
The problem starts when it overgrows. Candida is opportunistic and will jump at the first chance to multiply and take over its neighbors in the microbial community, especially in your gut. It is also very clever and will build forts (biofilms) around communities of candida to keep them “safe” - and preventing your body from getting rid of them. If the other bacteria and microbes that live in your body are unable to keep candida in check, you will quickly have an overgrowth and a host of uncomfortable symptoms to go with it, including candida weight gain.
Can Candida Cause Weight Gain?
Are you struggling with an extra 20-50 pounds of weight that won't go away? You’re not alone!
It could be what’s referred to as “leaky gut weight gain” or “candida weight gain”. Both refer to the gaining of weight from a candida infection in your body. If it is, then candida overgrowth is messing with your metabolism.
Statistics tell us that candida overgrowth is the root cause of many health issues today. It’s estimated by the Centers for Disease Control that approximately 46,000 cases of healthcare-associated invasive candidiasis occur each year in the United States.
Don’t underestimate the detrimental effects of this normally benign yet incredibly opportunistic yeast.
The Connection Between Candida Infection and Weight Gain
Candida can quickly grow out of control and cause a major imbalance in your system. Once you have this overgrowth in your body, it can increase the chance of weight gain because this infection interacts with hormones that are responsible for increasing your appetite, including sugar cravings. This results in you feeling hungry more often than normal.
The yeast also releases toxins into your body overloading your liver with toxins and disrupting normal hormone pathways.
All of this can also lead to symptoms such as craving sugar and yeast, fatigue, bloating, gas after meals, aching muscles and joints, brain fog or lack of concentration.
If there's one type of yeast that deserves its bad rap, it’s Candida.
Let’s take a deeper dive into how candida causes weight gain.
How Does Candida Cause Weight Gain? A Deeper Dive
Candida and weight gain go hand in hand. Candida is responsible for excess fat deposits in at least three ways. In order to lose weight related to candida overgrowth, you need to treat the root cause— the underlying candida infection.
Candida Causes You to Crave Sugar
Candida thrives on sugar, its preferred source of fuel. When you are in the throes of a candida infestation the candida will cause you to crave carbs and sugar in all its forms. Maintaining a healthy metabolism — the key to maintaining a healthy weight — is impossible when you need to feed a sugar-craving organism like candida.
Candida Toxins Overload the Liver
Candida is capable of releasing 79 different toxins into your bloodstream. This occurs on an ongoing basis as candida cells naturally die off. This is part of the natural life cycle of the organism. The toxins that are being constantly released need to be processed by your liver. But your liver can quickly become overworked and it will decide to store toxins to be processed at a later date. But where does it store those toxins? In your fat cells. That’s right, those candida toxins will show up as stubborn weight around your abdomen, hips and thighs.
Candida Disrupts Your Hormones
Again, it is the nasty toxins that are released by dying candida cells that can wreak havoc with your metabolism and create hormonal imbalances. A candida infection can quickly lead to weight gain.
To begin with, your adrenal glands, just like your liver, will quickly become overworked from the stress of dealing with the effects of candida overgrowth. This leads to a sluggish thyroid and metabolism. A slow metabolism will cause you to gain weight.
Secondly, candida releases two particularly nasty toxins, ethanol (alcohol) and acetaldehyde. These are responsible for the main symptoms of a hangover. They can impair nerve and liver function and disrupt the endocrine system. It is like having a large amount of toxic alcohol floating around in your bloodstream. It will burden your liver, affect your blood sugar levels and disrupt your hormones all of which will cause you to put on weight. However, there is good news! Candida weight gain can be undone. Keep reading to learn how!
Common Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth
Unfortunately, many people aren't aware they have candida overgrowth. Their symptoms are often wide-ranging, perplexing and seemingly unrelated making it difficult to pin down and diagnose. In the busyness of our day-to-day lives, we may not connect a bout of toenail fungus with recurrent headaches, a touch of brain fog and some sinus issues. But it can all be related to candida overgrowth.
Here is a list of common candida overgrowth symptoms:
Testing for Candida Overgrowth
It’s quite possible that as you skimmed through the list of common symptoms above, you started wondering if you have a candida overgrowth issue. Fortunately, you don’t have to wonder!
There are several testing options available to determine if you have a candida overgrowth. These tests can identify whether there is an overgrowth in your intestinal tract, and depending on the type of test, what types of yeast are living there, and where they are located.
It is important to keep in mind that there are several factors that can influence what type of test you should take, and the results you will get from the various test options. Some of these factors you should consider include the severity of your symptoms, allergies or sensitivities. Consulting a professional or leaky gut expert can help you identify the right test for you.
The most reliable method to prove to yourself and others that you have an overgrowth of candida albicans is to undertake lab testing by a functional medicine practitioner who can request lab tests. Currently, few if any of these tests are covered by medical insurance. Hopefully, that will change in the next decade as more and more medical practitioners become aware of this insidious invader. Here are a few they may request for you:
Comprehensive Stool Analysis
Although this one is not fun to contemplate, this test can in fact reliably determine the levels of candida albicans in your gut and let you know if they are abnormal. This is considered the best testing option.
Candida Antibodies Test
This very handy test determines if your immune system has created antibodies as a response to fight a candida infection. There are three different types of antibodies that can indicate an overgrowth of candida.
Organic Acid Test
This test analyzes your urine for any waste products that candida may have left behind as evidence. These waste products are not naturally occurring in the body and their presence would suggest an overgrowth of candida.
Additional Tests that Confirm Leaky Gut (Caused by Candida Overgrowth)
There are two additional testing options worth mentioning that would confirm a condition referred to as “leaky gut” which is caused by long-standing candida overgrowth. So if these tests confirm leaky gut, it also means there is candida overgrowth present.
The standard leaky gut Lab test is called the Lactulose/Mannitol Challenge. You drink a solution containing two substances (non-metabolized sugar molecules lactulose and mannitol) and then collect your urine. Lactulose is large and penetrates poorly through the intestinal barrier when it's healthy so an elevated level of lactulose in your urine indicates increased intestinal permeability. Mannitol, on the other hand, is usually well absorbed so a low percentage recovery of mannitol is indicative of malabsorption due to leaky gut. A high lactulose to mannitol ratio means that you have increased gut permeability.
Food Allergy Test (Specifically IgE)
Another test to measure the effects of long-standing Candida overgrowth is with a food allergy test, specifically IgE, IgG4 and IgA antibodies. There is a scientific certainty that Candida Albicans causes leaky gut which will cause food sensitivities. If leaky gut is to be healed, those foods must be identified and removed from the diet for effective healing while removing Candida overgrowth from the body.
Tests You Can Perform on Your Own
If you prefer self-diagnosis, here are two tests you can perform without enlisting the help of a practitioner or paying costly lab fees. These can increase your certainty that candida overgrowth and its accompanying increased intestinal permeability (Leaky Gut) is still present.
Assessing your total number of yeast-connected/leaky gut symptoms can increase your certainty that Candida overgrowth is present. The more symptoms you have had in the past, and especially those you are still experiencing now, the more certain you can be that Candida overgrowth is still present.
See a list of symptoms in our Symptom Tracker, a free download to help you take inventory of your symptoms. Re-assessing your symptoms over time is also how you will know when you've completely healed the overgrowth and restored proper permeability to your intestines. Goodbye leaky gut and candida overgrowth!
This is a popular at-home test that many people consider to be an indication of a candida infection. And it's been pretty consistently a true test for the 300+ coaching clients I've worked with in the last 20 years. The theory is that an overgrowth of candida in the intestinal tract will eventually migrate and be seen in other mucous membranes and appear in your saliva.
How to perform this test:
- First thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything spit into a full glass of water. Don’t be shy and make sure you get a good amount of saliva into the glass.
- Within 5–10 minutes you will be able to see if there are strings coming down from your saliva or if your saliva sank to the bottom. If this happens it indicates that you have a problem with candida. Healthy saliva will float on the top.
How to Deal With a Candida Imbalance and Lose Weight in Five Easy Steps
So how do you heal a candida overgrowth and begin to shed the unwanted excess weight? Thankfully, making changes to our diet, lifestyle and supplement regime can quickly yield results. The following five-Step approach can quickly help you to eliminate candida and lose weight.
1. Normalize the Bowel
Train your bowels to take the garbage out every day. When body toxins and metabolic waste have a way out of the body you’ll think more clearly, feel lighter and obtain more energy from the food you eat.
The easiest way to normalize the bowel is to incorporate a supplement rich in fiber and other necessary nutrients and minerals into your diet. Check out our Exodus GI Sponge or raspberry flavored Gut Sponge for a supplement fortified with two forms of prebiotic fiber, mineral-rich clay and a special blend of herbs and spices.
2. Cleanse Overgrown Candida Yeast
Next, restore balance to all your mucous membranes by removing excess yeast, bad bacteria, and other parasites and pathogens. All bitter herbs have antifungal and antibacterial qualities. Tumtree's Body Balance blend beats them all with its carefully selected blend to expel bad bacteria, candida yeast, and viral infections from the body.
3. Restore Proper Permeability to the Gut
The fastest way to heal the damaged mucosal lining of the bowels, respiratory tract, urinary tract, and reproductive system is to provide an ample supply of the building blocks needed. Glutamine is responsible for muscle, joint and membrane repair. Cut your healing time in half by supplementing with this conditionally essential amino acid.
4. Restore Friendly Flora
Healthy mucous membranes rely on a robust population of friendly bacteria to protect them from invasion by unfriendly pathogens. Antibiotics, stress, and the use of steroid and NSAID drugs decrease your population of friendly flora and increase the permeability of mucosal linings. Find a probiotic blend that introduces 10 billion new colonies of friendly bacteria from 8 different strains per day and target feeds micro-flora for higher survival and stronger implantation.
Sounds complicated? Don’t worry! Our Probiotic Blend is the perfect solution we crafted to do just that.
5. Nourish the Body With Fuel that Starves Candida
Just because you’re starving the candida doesn’t mean you have to starve too! You can starve candida while nourishing the rest of you.
For the fastest and longest-lasting results, your diet should be free of the five inflammatory allergens and any other foods that make you feel uncomfortable. The five triggers to completely avoid are:
- Added sugars
- All dairy products (except butter)
- All wheat gluten containing products
- Corn products
- Soy products
If you’re like us, when you first hear this, you might be asking “So… what CAN we eat?”
The truth is, there are hundreds of healthy, whole-food recipes you (and your family) will enjoy! We compiled our favorites in the fifth edition of The Feel Good Cookbook to take the guesswork out of it for you.
A Complete System
With these five objectives in place: daily bowel movement, cleansing unwanted pathogens from the body, repairing the damaged lining of the bowel and other mucous membranes, restoring a healthy population of friendly bacteria, and offering your body proper nutritional support for wellness, you can count on your body to heal quickly and completely, and the excess weight you've wanted to lose to finally melt away.
These five principles for healing fast are powerful, and available for anyone to implement on their own. Get started and begin experiencing how much better you feel when you reclaim your health from dreadful candida overgrowth! We've researched and tested specific nutrients that accomplish all five principles in a short thirty (30) days. We took that research and developed the products referenced above, and put them all into our Leaky Gut Supplements Reboot Starter Kit to help you reinvent your health with a 30-day supply of our leaky gut treatment supplements, designed to correct and heal candida overgrowth.
Conquer Candida Weight Gain Issues Like a Champ
There is no need to suffer from the uncomfortable and often debilitating symptoms of candida overgrowth. And there is certainly no need to let candida keep you from reaching your ideal weight. You can take control of your health and beat candida for good!
If you made it this far, then you have the information you need to address candida overgrowth and the unwanted weight gain that comes with it. As always, please reach out to us if you have questions, or if we can help you with your candida or leaky gut journey.