Candida albicans is a yeast found in parts of the body including the gastrointestinal tract and vagina. As an opportunistic fungi, overgrowth of Candida is common and can lead to Candidiasis, a fungal infection. Most commonly Candidiasis, also known as thrush, affects the gut, the vagina, the oral cavities, the skin and the nails.

Signs and symptoms can be varied and may include:

– cravings for sugar and simple/refined carbohydrates

– bloating and abdominal discomfort/cramping

– fatigue and lowered energy

– mood disorders

-behavioural disturbance in children

– general feelings of being unwell

– lowered immune defences causing frequent sickness

– vaginal thrush – itching, burning, stinging, redness and abnormal discharge,

especially during urination or after intercourse

– food sensitivities and allergies

– a white coating on the tongue

– poor nail health

Women are more susceptible to Candida infections than men. Left untreated, chronic Candida overgrowth can lead to other conditions such as leaky gut and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

Factors contributing to Candida overgrowth include chronic or repeated antibiotic therapy, some medications including antacids as they lower hydrochloric acid production, suppressed immune function, the oral contraceptive pill, impaired liver function, nutrient deficiencies and poor diet.

Determining the presence of elevated Candida albicans levels can be done through comprehensive digestive stool analysis (CDSA), consideration and analysis of medical history, physical evaluation including signs and symptoms, blood testing or taking a swab from the affected tissue.

Treatment of Candida can often be quite simply done through dietary and lifestyle measures. Detailed analysis of the diet can provide valuable insight into what may be causing or aggravating the fungal overgrowth.

Foods containing high levels of sugar, yeast, mould and lactose should be avoided. Foods naturally high in anti-fungal activity such as garlic and oregano should be included in the diet.

Nutritional supplementation enables sufferers to obtain high levels of specific nutrients needed to address elevated levels of Candida and resolve symptoms. Choosing the correct strain of probiotics is important to rebalance the microflora of the gastrointestinal tract and ensure optimal levels of good bacteria.

Herbal medicines that contain antifungal properties provide targeted treatment and can be mixed with additional herbs that support other systems to enhance immune function, digestion and energy levels to restore balance across the body’s systems. Once treatment is completed and symptoms have resolved, it may be necessary to retest the levels to ensure the Candida has returned to an optimal level.

Belle Oneile is a fully qualified Naturopath that can assist you in identifying and treating this condition. Belle uses laboratory testing as well as clinical assessment in her consultations to provide clients with a tailored Treatment Plan.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or have any concerns relating to your health, Belle can be contacted on 0405 128 213 or via email belle@nbip.com.au Bookings can also be made here: https://nb-integrative- practioners.cliniko.com/bookings#schedule

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