The gut plays a much more important role in our overall health and wellbeing than we think. Unfortunately, while research into the gut is gaining steam, doctors are still failing to diagnose gut-related issues. How many of us have thought, at one time or another, that we have IBS? Some of us do really suffer, but for many of us, it could be something else entirely.
“One essential microbe for a balanced gut is Candida, a type of yeast which resides in the upper intestine alongside other gut bacteria. When we experience candida overgrowth this can lead to IBS-type symptoms,” explains naturopathic nutritionist Julie Haigh. “With as many as one in ten people now thought to be affected by Irritable Bowel Syndrome, experts are starting to question whether this alarming increase is mistaken,” she adds.
In fact, scientists are estimating that 70% of the population suffers from this overgrowth, yet it still remains one of the most common illnesses to be misdiagnosed.
Think you may be one of those people? Keep scrolling as Haigh reveals the signs that point to a Candida overgrowth and the action you need to take.
So, what is candida?
Candida is a form of yeast that can be found in everyone. Ideally, it exists alongside a healthy gut, assisting you with digestion and nutrient absorption. The problem begins to arise when the Candida grows out of control, overtaking your good bacteria, causing a variety of chronic health problems for both men and women.
Candida Overgrowth Sign #1: You’re Experiencing IBS-type symptoms
IBS is a common digestive condition causing frequent stomach pains and bloating. Sufferers tend to experience unwelcoming symptoms, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and nausea. Those who have experienced these exasperating symptoms are likely to have had many unsuccessful trips to the doctor, resulting in them being sent away to take anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, anti-flatulents, or even laxatives, as a desperate attempt to alleviate the discomfort that their IBS could be causing.
Candida Overgrowth Sign #2: The IBS Treatment Isn’t Working
Been on medication for IBS but find that it’s not working? This suggests that there’s another underlying cause of these unwanted symptoms. While the initial cause of IBS is unknown, the NHS do believe that there are several factors that can contribute to the condition. These include stress, a gut bacteria imbalance, leaky gut syndrome, poor digestion or a yeast overgrowth like Candida. To combat the symptoms you are having, you need to find out the initial cause.
If you do think your IBS symptoms could be a Candida overgrowth, there is no need to panic. The most common causes of Candida infections are taking a course of antibiotics, having poorly controlled diets, low iron levels and suppressed immunity, as well as sometimes being associated with high levels of stress. It occurs when there is an overgrowth of the yeast, Candida Albicans.
Take a Test
If you are suffering from the chronic symptoms of IBS, don’t hesitate to go for a Candida test. It is now made so easy with the availability of detection methods like the Candida Diet Foods Verisana Candida Test Kit (£58), which could detect Candida effectively and save you from the unnecessary use of antibiotics. In fact, the use of antibiotics can only worsen your situation by favouring the Candida growth.
Make Some Lifestyle Changes
To successfully approach Candida, you need to stop the yeast overgrowth, build up healthy bacteria, and heal your gut so that candida can no longer enter your bloodstream. It is possible to eliminate a candida overgrowth by changing your lifestyle.
Remove sugary junk food from your diet:
Sugar feeds yeast, so you need to get rid of it in all of its simple forms. Whilst doing this, you should aim to cut back to one cup a day of complex carbohydrates like grains, beans, fruit, bread, pasta and potatoes. This will prevent the Candida from being able to grow as it will have nothing to feed off.
Limit medication (where possible):
Along with this, you should be cautious about the prescribed medication you take. Medication such as antibiotics, birth control pills and steroids have been found to contribute to candida overgrowth, which could explain why your IBS symptoms do not seem to relax despite your visit to the GP.
Take charge of your health:
If you feel that your doctor might have mistaken your Candida overgrowth for IBS, speak up and tackle this. I strongly believe a holistic approach is the best way forward, as it implements important changes to your lifestyle which will prevent IBS-type flare-ups and the other conditions you could be missing. You need to start caring for your gut and paying attention to what you are taking in, to truly combat the unwanted symptoms you are experiencing.
Next up, have you heard of the ketogenic diet?