Step One to defeating Candida is to recognize its symptoms and have it diagnosed.
But, once you know what you are dealing with, it is natural to ask: Why me? How the heck did I “catch” this?
But, if you are still curious about how this condition came into your life, here are some “predispositions” to Candida fungal yeast overgrowth that you will want to know about:
Lifestyle: High carb/sugar and low oxygen (lack of exercise)
Sorry friends, but this is probably reason No. 1 that most people develop Candida. A little too much of the sweet stuff and overly-processed food in our Standard American Diet (SAD), all of which contributes to a feast for fungal Candida. And, to make matters worse, as the Candida multiplies, it increases your craving for those same foods. A little too much sitting in your car, at your desk, in front of the television/gaming system. Too little exercise, too much sugar . . . too much Candida!
Artificial hormones and/or hormone fluctuations
Women are especially prone to this set-up through the fluctuating hormones of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and breast-feeding, perimenopause, hormonal birth control, and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Fluctuating hormones can stimulate Candida overgrowth, and, ironically, fungal Candida actually emits a hormone-like substance that can mess with your own hormones. Men are also exposed to the hormones used in livestock, and to “xenoestrogens” (manmade substances that mimic and affect the body like hormones) in the environment.
Frequent blood sugar fluctuations
Diabetes patients, those with hypoglycemia, and even people who regularly skip meals and then binge, all need to be especially vigilant in managing and balancing blood sugar levels. High sugar in the blood is “party time” for fungal yeast, which, as we know, feeds on sugar.
A weakened immune system/Immunosuppression
A weakened immune system can develop from:
- prolonged illness or high stress (particularly an intestinal illness, like food poisoning or traveler’s diarrhea)
- pharmaceutical drugs like chemotherapy or immunotherapy medications
- a co-existing autoimmune disease
- the use of antibiotics which kill beneficial bacteria that keep your microbiome in balance.
According to David Brownstein, M.D., Medical Director, Center for Holistic Medicine, “Many studies have shown immune system dysfunction in patients who have fibromyalgia and CFS [Chronic Fatigue Syndrome], which can result in many unusual infections, including parasites and other bowel infections, antibiotic sensitive infections, and most importantly, fungal/candida infections.”
Robynne Chutkan, MD, an integrative gastroenterologist at Georgetown University Hospital, reports that “a single course of broad-spectrum antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (commonly prescribed for urinary- and upper-respiratory-tract infections), can destroy up to a third of the gut’s good bacteria.” (Experience Life, Jan/Feb 2018)
NOTE: For us as former Candida sufferers, on the rare occasions we have to take antibiotics, we also take extra doses of ThreeLac™ (at a separate time than the antibiotics).
Ongoing exposure to mold and fungi
Exposure to mold spores suppresses the immune system and can slowly set up a fungal overgrowth in the body. This most often happens in very humid environments (woods, marshes or coastlands) or in situations where there has been a water leak that has gotten into a ceiling or wall. Sometimes the damage is not obvious, but is worth checking with a mold-test kit.
Here are a few other factors that may cause or contribute to fungal Candida yeast overgrowth and the resulting Candida symptoms:
This is probably one of the least common possibilities, but it can happen. Our blog post on Candida as a sexually-transmitted disease goes into more detail.
Mercury and mercury fillings (silver amalgam fillings)
Many dentists have moved away from using “silver” fillings because they contain about 50% mercury. Mercury is antibacterial and therefore, can have fungal-promoting effects. As a result, normal chewing action may become harmful if it releases either (or both) mercury particles and mercury vapor into the digestive system.
Exposure to pesticides
The purpose of pesticides is to retard the growth of certain organisms and they seem to have an antibiotic-type effect on normal bacteria. Many people with Candida symptoms have been exposed to lots of pesticides over a period of time, either as children or adults living on or near large farms.
Swimming in chlorinated pools
Chlorine is a chemical used to kill bacteria and algae in swimming pools and jacuzzis to kill bacteria and algae. Chlorine may also kill the body’s natural bacteria, resulting in an overgrowth of fungal Candida.
It is informative to know the conditions that led to you Candida yeast overgrowth – but more importantly, where do you go from here?
One place to start is our doctor-authored Candida Severity Test. This will help you to evaluate the severity of your Candida symptoms and also will recommend at appropriate approach to Candida treatment.
And, we are happy to help. Contact your friends at Candida Support with any questions!