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13 Oct 2014
blackmores naturopath

Blackmores

Candida

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A fungal disease affecting the warm, damp regions of the body such as the genital area.

Also called

Thrush

Affected areas

Genitals, gums, tongue, lips and inside the mouth.

Symptoms

Acute candida most commonly affects the vagina and female genito-urinary region, where symptoms may include:
  • Yeasty, vaginal discharge that is usually whitish in colour and smells unusual
  • The affected areas experience redness, itching and swelling
  • Painful reaction to sexual intercourse and/or urination
  • White lesions such as mucous membranes on the vaginal wall

Thrush can also be experienced by babies and people with suppressed immunity and it commonly presents itself as white, creamy lesions on the gums, tongue, lips and inside the mouth that are unable to be scraped off. Babies can experience nappy rash as well.

Many natural therapists believe that an overgrown candida can also cause more long-term health issues. Symptoms of this condition, referred to as chronic candidiasis, can include:
  • Abdominal pain such as diarrhoea or constipation, bloating and flatulence
  • Fatigue
  • Depression, irritability, lack of concentration and pre-menstrual syndrome
  • Recurring cystitis
  • Increased susceptibility to infections due to depleted immunity
  • Adverse reactions or a worsening of symptoms after eating certain foods or being exposed to certain chemicals.

Causes

Candida albicans is a yeast-like fungus that usually lives in balance with the other bacteria and yeasts that inhabit our skin and mucous membranes such as the mouth, bowels and genitals.

If this balance is upset then Candida can multiply rapidly and may result in an outbreak of thrush. Factors that may trigger Candida overgrowth include:
  • Antibiotic use
  • The oral contraceptive pill (especially high-oestrogen varieties)
  • Cortisone and other steroids
  • Drugs designed to suppress digestive acid secretions (e.g. proton pump inhibitors and H2-receptor antagonists)
  • Pregnancy and menstruation
  • Depleted immunity (e.g. HIV/AIDS)
  • Poor dietary habits (such as excessive intakes of sugars, dairy products or yeasts)
When the Candida albicans organism proliferates due to the factors above, or the lining of the digestive tract is damaged, allowing the organism to entrench itself in the gastrointestinal system, chronic candidiasis is believed to take hold.

Diet and lifestyle

There are some lifestyle considerations to take into account if you are experiencing the effects of Candida.
  • It's more likely to develop in warm, moist environments.
  • Avoid tight clothing, and wear cotton rather than nylon underwear
  • Avoid antibiotic use unless absolutely necessary
  • A diet free of yeast-containing foods (e.g. yeasted breads and yeast spreads), alcohol and sugar is recommended by natural therapists

What you eat can also be important too; garlic's antifungal properties have been noted above and raw garlic should be eaten liberally to assist the body in fighting the infection.

Because yoghurt contains live probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis it's also a valuable addition to your diet.

Give your immune system the support it needs by consuming a diet high in fibre that favours fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.

Important notes

  • Consult your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of thrush so they can rule out other conditions with similar symptoms or discuss what effect (if any) prescribed medicines may be having on your susceptibility to the condition
  • If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional
  • You should also seek medical advice if you're suffering from immuno-suppressive conditions

Get free personalised advice from our team of qualified naturopaths here

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A good friend of mine recommended a natural lotion for thrush with coconut oil and east cape manuka. She got it sent all the way from England. I gave it a go and it has been just as good as Barbara says it was. I had to wait almost two weeks for it to arrive but I tell you it was the worth the wait. I wish I'd known about this a few years ago - would have saved me the torment.
Katherin
Katherin 25 Jun 2016
Hi Kate, is it necessary to avoid mushrooms as they are fungus if I want to get rid of candida?
Anonymous
Anonymous 17 Mar 2015
Hi Geoff,

Thank you for your post. Chronic candida can be difficult to treat and a bit of a long term battle. It may be worth consulting a Naturopath in private consultation to provide an individualized treatment plan, one that supports your immune system, digestion and may address the infection directly. Dietary changes need to be for at least three to six months, so persevere. Continue to remove all sugars and refined carbohydrates and remember to increase your green leafy vegetables and along with Blackmores acidophilus bifidus http://www.blackmores.com.au/products/acidophilus-bifidus try foods such as yoghurt, sauerkraut and fermented foods to re-establish and maintain the “good” bacteria.

If you would like further advice and to speak to a naturopath, please feel free to call our Blackmores Naturopathic Advisory Service on 1800 803 760.

Kind regards, Blackmores
Kate
Kate 03 Jul 2014
Hi Geoff,
Kate
Kate 03 Jul 2014
Hi im looking for a product to treat not just oral thrush but to kill the candida through out the digestive system, im using nilstat but the effect isn't great I have on occasion had the thrush nearly all disappear by itself but the effect never lasts long, a dietry change only has a limited effect.
Anonymous
Anonymous 03 Jul 2014
Hi Janette,I’m sorry to hear you are still experiencing symptoms of Candida. It may be worth consulting your doctor again for further treatment or advice. Candida is not generally associated with warts so I am unsure of how to recommend anything for this. You may like to consider supplementation with a probiotic specific for women in conjunction with the dietary and lifestyle advice in the article above. Candida can be stubborn and difficult to treat, so it may be worth consulting a Naturopath in consultation to a personalized treatment plan that supports your immune system and digestion as well as addressing the infection directly. Please give Blackmores Naturopaths a call if you would like to discuss this in further detail.
Danielle
Danielle 18 Mar 2014
hi i have candida gratita a rare candida as told by my doctor was precribed borac acid capsules internally and adara cream for white warts on genital area., was very sore and its is now 3 weeks since i have finished usually creams etc ,but i cant get rid of the itch it is very bad ,can u recommend anything to get rid of itch ,the warts have just about disappeared but i get this tingly itch all the time ,driving me mad
Anonymous
Anonymous 18 Mar 2014
Hi Theresa
I would recommend seeing your Dr regarding the skin marks you mention, as the cause could be many and varied. You may even require consultation with a dermatologist for diagnosis. For general skin health and support you may wish to consider zinc, vitamin E and vitamin C levels are adequate. Kind regards Emma Flett (Blackmores naturopath)
Emma
Emma 25 Feb 2014