Updated: Jul 7, 2020
What is Candida albicans?
Candida is an opportunistic fungi (yeast) that can take advantage of a weakened immune system. It naturally lives in healthy humans too, but given the chance, it will overgrow and crowd out your beneficial bacteria - either in your gut or your vagina (or systemically). Candida overgrowth can develop (or flare again) after periods of stress, use of antibiotics or illness that damages your immune and microbiome systems. Your doctor (GP) may prescribe you one of the antifungals: polyenes, fluoropyrimidines, echinocandins or azoles. However, candida has shown a developed resistance to azoles.
The naturopathic treatment for dysbiosis and fungal infections is to, with herbs, lifestyle and foods; reduce stress, support the immune system, prevent candida replication and weaken its attachment to the mucous membrane (the 'skin' of your gut), and strengthen the population of beneficial microbes. Largely this includes a diet which reduces/removes sugars, gluten, alcohol and some dairy products (due to natural sugar content).
It can take 3-12 months, or more, to completely subside, which is why you have to be adamant and consistent with treatment.
Special foods to include when treating candida
Shiitake mushrooms - can inhibit mycelial growth (Hechtman, 2012)
Pumpkin seeds - for their zinc which is antifungal
The GAPS diet
If this is something you think you may have, please see a GP for diagnosis. Once you have a diagnosis (or clear symptom picture), a naturopath or nutritionist can provide plenty of support to help you manage it.
You can book an appointment through my website if you would like to see me.