The Connection Between Candida Infection and Weight Gain
Are you struggling with an extra 20-50 pounds of weight that won’t go away? It could be candida overgrowth messing with your metabolism. Statistics tell us that candida overgrowth is the root cause of many health issues today. In fact it’s estimated by the Centers for Disease Control that approximately 46,000 cases of healthcare-associated invasive candidiasis occur each year in the US. Don’t underestimate the detrimental effects of this normally benign yet incredibly opportunistic yeast. Candida can quickly grow out of control and cause a major imbalance in your system through sugar cravings, overloading your liver with toxins and disrupting normal hormone pathways. You just may not be aware of it.
If there’s one type of yeast that deserves it’s bad rap, it’s Candida.
What is candida overgrowth?
Candida overgrowth is the common term used for an overgrowth of the yeast candida albicans.
Under normal circumstances, candida albicans poses no threat and is simply part of the many microbes that live in the digestive tract and other parts of the body including the mouth, vagina and skin.
The problem start when it overgrows. Candida is opportunistic and will jump at the first chance to multiply and take over it’s neighbors in the microbial community. It is also very clever and will build forts (biofilms) around communities of candida to keep them safe. 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.
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.
Symptoms of candida overgrowth include:
- Acid Reflux
- Athlete’s Foot (foot fungus)
- Bedwetting Bladder Infection
- Bowel Irregularity
- Canker Sores
- Chronic Sinusitis
- Cold Sores
- Cradle Cap
- Ear Infection
- Foggy thinking
- Food cravings
- Hairloss (Alopecia)
- High Blood Pressure
- High Blood Sugars
- Hives/Itchy Skin
- Irregular Menstruation
- IrritableBowel (IBS)
- Joint Pain
- Low libido (sex drive)
- Menstrual Cramps
- Memory Loss
- Mood Swings
- Morning Sickness
- Mouth Sores
- Oily Hair
- Painful Menstruation
- Pounding Heart
- Rectal Itching
- Respiratory Infection
- Seasonal Allergies
- Sore Muscles (lactic acid buildup)
- Sugar Craving
- Swine Flu (if taken early)
- Tachycardia (racing heart)
- Tooth Decay
- Urinary Tract Infection
- Urticaria Pigmentosa
- Vaginal Yeast Infection
- Viral Infection (EBV, CMV, Herpes)
- Yellow Nails
Testing for candida overgrowth (Pros and Cons)
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. Here are a few she/he may request for you. Currently, few if any of these 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.
Comprehensive Stool Analysis: Although 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.
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: It tests 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.
2 Additional Tests that confirm Leaky Gut, caused by long standing Candida overgrowth
Lactulose/Mannitol Challenge: The standard leaky gut Lab test is called the Lactulose/Mannitol Challenge. You drink a solution containing two substances (non-metabolised 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 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.
2 FREE 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 own certainty that Candida overgrowth and it’s accompanying increased intestinal permeability (Leaky Gut) is still present.
Symptom Inventory: 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 list of general symptoms above or read Candida/Leaky Gut Symptom List for more info. You can also consult consult The Feel Good Cookbook and count up your symptoms there. Re-assessing your symptoms is also how you’ll know when you’ve completely healed the overgrowth and restored proper permeability to your intestines.
The Saliva Test: 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 been seen in other mucous membranes and appear in your saliva.
To perform the 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 does candida cause weight gain?
Candida is responsible for excess fat deposits in at least 3 ways, and in order to lose weight 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 maintain 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 a 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 (this is the chemical responsible for the main symptoms of a hangover) that 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.
How to deal with candida imbalance and lose weight
So how do we 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 5 Step approach can quickly help you to eliminate candida and lose weight:
- 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.
- Cleanse overgrown candida yeast and other pathogens with it – Next, restore balance to all your mucous membranes by removing excess yeast, bad bacteria and other parasites. All bitter herbs have antifungal and antibacterial qualities. This blend beats them all.
- Restore proper permeability to the gut – The fastest way to heal damaged mucosal lining of the bowels, respiratory tract, urinary tract and reproductive system is to provide 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.
- 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 use of steroid and NSAID drugs decrease your population of friendly flora and increase 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.
- Nourish the body with fuel that starves Candida while nourishing the rest of you – For fastest and longest lasting results your diet should be free of the 5 inflammatory allergens and any other foods that make you feel uncomfortable. The 5 triggers to completely avoid are added sugars, all dairy products (except butter), all wheat gluten containing products, corn and soy products.
With these 5 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 5 principles for healing quickly are powerful, and available for anyone to implement. 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 5 principles in a short 30 days. See Tumtree’s 30 Day Reboot for more information.
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.