Candida Overgrowth Treatments in Pinellas County, FL
The candida yeast is a microscopic species of fungus. It is parasitic in the sense that it cannot survive without a host. The human body is normally host to millions of microorganisms, including yeast and bacteria which, when in balance, help to digest food and maintain overall health. Candida overgrowth, also known as candidiasis, occurs when the delicate balance of yeast and bacteria in your intestines becomes unbalanced—resulting in too few friendly bacteria to keep the candida under control. Candida begins to proliferate abnormally, first in the intestines and then eventually throughout the human body, creating toxic byproducts as it spreads. Those toxic effects of candida overgrowth can cause secondary conditions, which in turn have their own symptoms and impact on the body, weakening it further and setting the stage for increased candida overgrowth. It can become a vicious cycle, difficult to arrest.
Candida overgrowth often manifests initially in women as a vaginal yeast infection, which impacts 3 out of 4 women. Men also can experience yeast infections in the genital area. Candida overgrowth can also manifest as thrush in the mouth or even fungal infections of the skin and nails. Candida overgrowth is often triggered by:
- Changes in your body’s hormonal balance
- Diabetes or high blood sugar levels caused by excessive intake of sweetened foods or drinks
- Use of antibiotics, steroid medications or any substances that kill healthy bacteria in the body and cause an imbalance in the ratio of healthy bacteria to yeast
- Pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives which mimic pregnancy
- Weakened immune system
- Poor diet
- Lack of sleep
To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare professional in Pinellas County that specializes in integrative candida overgrowth treatments, call (727) 826-0838 or contact Dr. Tracie Leonhardt online.
Candida Overgrowth Symptoms
Typically, itching is the most common candida overgrowth symptom. It can be due to rashes or skin conditions that develop. Itching can also occur in the rectal or vaginal areas, signaling the presence of a localized yeast infection. Yeast can proliferate in the ear canal, too, and cause itchy ears. Dandruff and itchy scalp are also often more common in people with candida overgrowth. Even without the presence of any specific condition, the presence of yeast in the body can cause generalized itching. Other signs of candida overgrowth include:
- Fatigue, lack of energy or unspecified malaise
- Brain fog or difficulty concentrating
- Food sensitivities or strong food cravings - especially for sugary foods, excessive protein or refined carbohydrates
- Weight gain
- Gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea or full-blown constellation of leaky gut or irritable bowel syndrome symptoms
- Rashes and other skin conditions like rosacea and acne
Candida Overgrowth Effects
Candida overgrowth can move from one body system to another, taking over your entire body. The toxic impact of the yeast overgrowth can lead to many secondary conditions. The symptoms of candida overgrowth can be difficult to tease out from the symptoms of those secondary conditions caused by candida overgrowth. The presence of multiple candida-induced conditions is one clear symptom that your body has been overrun by candida. Conditions which can develop from candida overgrowth include:
- Vaginal yeast infection
- Toenail fungus
- Athlete’s foot
- Hypothyroid condition or Hashimoto's disease
- Chronic fatigue
- Recurring urinary tract infections
- Severe allergies
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Mood disorders
Candida overgrowth has even been implicated in disease processes associated with multiple sclerosis and autism.
Candida Overgrowth Testing and Diagnosis
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms or secondary conditions discussed above, a healthcare provider will likely test you for candida overgrowth by doing blood, fecal and urine tests, and probably a pelvic exam, using a cotton swab to sample your genital area for the presence of yeast. There are blood tests that check for the candida antibodies IgG, IgA, and IgM. Some urine tests check for elevated levels of D-arabinitrol, a byproduct of candida yeast overgrowth. Going beyond a basic fecal test and administering a comprehensive digestive stool analysis (CDSA) can be a crucial diagnostic tool. Identifying the type and location of the yeast overgrowth can help determine the ideal treatment for your candida overgrowth.
Candida Overgrowth Treatment
Finding an integrative medicine practitioner who understands candida overgrowth, and its underlying factors, is key to arresting the disease process. Your functional medicine practitioner treatment regimen will be multi-pronged, including several of the following options for treatment:
- Full diagnostic testing
- Targeted dietary changes
- Supplementation with helpful vitamins and herbal remedies
- Restoring healthy gut bacteria with probiotics
- Alternative treatments like acupuncture
- Healing the gut to reduce inflammation and intestinal permeability, and restore proper digestion
- Reduction of inflammatory agents in food and environment and use of natural anti-inflammatory agents
Alternative and natural approaches for candida overgrowth treatment are typically the first course of action your practitioner will take. One of the most important steps needed to arrest candida overgrowth involves healing your gut. Because candida overgrowth develops in part due to an imbalance of healthy and unhealthy strains of bacteria in the intestines, restoring gut balance is essential. Probiotics are thought to be especially helpful for replenishing healthy bacteria that keep yeast in check. Also, candida overgrowth can cause inflammation of the gut, and an inflamed gut sets the stage for increased candida overgrowth, creating a vicious cycle. The use of anti-inflammatory foods and supplements to promote balanced inflammation are essential to restoring gut health and controlling candida.
Your treatment methodology may include significant dietary changes—especially reduced intake of sugars and simple carbohydrates since sugar feeds yeast. Certain supplements are also key in the battle against Candida. Caprylic acid from coconut oil is one example of an alternative anti-candida treatment that may be employed in treating candida overgrowth. A complete list of dietary recommendations and beneficial supplements can be provided to you by your functional medicine doctor.
Your integrative medicine practitioner may choose to prescribe antifungal medication in the form of tablets, ointments and creams, or even vaginal or anal suppositories if alternative and natural approaches have been exhausted. The side effects of these medication, particularly the risks associated with pregnancy and birth control effectiveness, will be reviewed prior to writing a prescription.
Proper diagnosis is essential when dealing with candida overgrowth in any area of your body, and only a healthcare provider can ensure you are dealing with a yeast infection and not another condition. Schedule a consultation with a qualified integrative practitioner in Pinellas County that specializes in candida overgrowth treatments! Call (727) 826-0838 or contact Dr. Tracie Leonhardt online.
Peaks of Health Metabolic Medical Center
Address1120 S Belcher Rd
Largo, FL 33771
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed: 7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm