What is candida, and can it be treated naturally?

6 min read
Thrush is still considered a bit ‘taboo’, and often a little uncomfortable to talk about. Image: iStock.

You’ll probably know it by its more common name and while thrush is the most common fungal infection in humans, it’s still pretty taboo. Never fear, naturopath Tia Miers is here to answer some frequently asked questions. 

Candidiasis (more commonly known as thrush) is a condition that impacts 75 percent of women at some point in their lifetime. Despite this, thrush is still considered a bit ‘taboo’, and often a little uncomfortable to talk about. Naturally, there are lots of questions, like what causes it, why does it seem to appear around Christmas time, and is there a diet to stick to when you’re experiencing it?

Candida 101

To put it simply, candida is a yeast that is found in small amounts within the body. When the healthy bacteria in our body is in balance, this keeps Candida under control. However, when healthy bacteria is disrupted, this is when things go awry.

When out of balance, candida can begin to over-produce and cause a fungal infection known as candidiasis, which can affect the mouth, throat, and vagina.

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While not a subject many people are overly familiar with, Candida is actually the most common fungal infection in humans. Symptoms of this condition can include a weakened immune system, vaginal yeast infections, digestive discomfort (bloating and gas), food cravings (especially sweets) and skin rashes. It’s no wonder why people are eager to get on top of it as quickly as possible.

What are the causes?

There are a number of factors that can disrupt our gut microbiome which can lead to an overgrowth of candida. Some of these factors include:

  • Frequent antibiotic use.
  • Long term use of the oral contraceptive pill.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Emotional stress.
  • Poor eating habits such as a diet high in refined foods and sugar
  • Weakened immune system.

How can it be treated naturally?

There are a number of different ways in which candida can be treated. It is an infection that can be addressed naturally through changes in diet, as well as antimicrobial herbs.

Not surprisingly, what we put in our body plays an enormous role in maintaining the balance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria within our gut. Research consistently shows that sugar, processed foods, and alcohol help candida flourish, while whole foods help to restore our good bacteria. Therefore, it makes sense to eliminate, or at least reduce, sugars and processed foods from our diet.

In addition to dietary changes, there are anti-microbial herbs that have demonstrated an impressive ability to maintain a healthy gut and balance fungal overgrowth that may cause candidiasis.

One such herb is called Horopito (Pseudowintera colorata). This herb is found in Kolorex® Advanced Candida Care, a product that supports your body from the inside to help balance Candida levels.

If you’re experiencing Candida, please know that you’re not alone and that there are natural alternative routes you can explore to take control of your vaginal health.

Tia Miers is a qualified naturopath (BHSc), the owner of Whole Health Studio, and specialises in women’s health and hormones. Follow her on Instagram @tiamiers

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