Also known as thrush, vaginal yeast infections occur in an estimated 75% of all women at some point in their lives. They're probably among the most common infections that I hear most women complain of.
I used to experience them on a monthly basis when I was a teenager and right into my 20's until of course I finally understood the trigger when I addressed my gut bacteria balance.
Candida and your Gut Bacteria
Our gut alone holds over 400 billion different strains of bacterial. One of these being the fungus candida albicans. Candia is found in nearly everyone and in small amounts promotes good healthy. However if an imbalance occurs in the gut bacteria (microbiome) due to stress, poor diet, medication or increased acidity organisms like candida begin to thrive.When this bacteria starts to take over it can result in vaginal yeast infections or thrush.
Common signs are sticky white discharge from your vagina, itching and soreness during sex and urinating. Other symptoms are bloating, anxiety, constipation/diarrhoea, depression, fatigue, feeling worse in damp or mouldy places, PMS and sensitivities to food, chemicals/ perfumes. It can commonly occur around the time of your period, when you are run down or stressed, taking antibiotics or if you are pregnant. it can also appear as oral thrush, eye fungi, skin rashes or athletes foot and contribute to symptoms such as brain fog.
Candida are like bullies that push their way into the intestinal lining destroying cells and the protective gut lining causing further damage such as leaky gut. This allows molecules of partially digested food to pass through reducing you immune system and causing further complications.
Conventional treatments include antifungal creams or pessaries however they may not always tackle the problem at the root cause and over growth can continue to occur.
There are a number of ways to heal candida in the gut and what works for one person may not work for another.
In order to get Candida overgrowth under control, it is critical to promote harmony in the gut by increasing the friendly bacteria. Good bacteria living in the gut can work at keeping Candida overgrowth in check. Increase foods that are naturally rich in probiotics such as fermented foods (kefir, kombucha) or fermented vegetables you can easily make at home like saurkraut and boosting your prebiotics form Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus, onions and garlic. Feeding the gut lots of fresh vegetables and avoiding sugar and yeast is key to recovery as Candida like to feed on yeast and sugars. You may even feel that your cravings increase, that you feel more fatigued and tired as the candida die off. This should last only a couple of days and if it persists I recommend seeking support from a Functional Nutritionist who may be able to support your individual case in more detail.