If you keep up health blogs, there's a good chance you've seen the word "candida" thrown around quite a bit; you can also have your pick of myriad "candida cleanses" in health food stores and online.
In popular alternative health care, "candida" can almost seem like a catchall diagnosis for a wide variety of health problems. Many people go so far to assume that when there's doubt about a condition's origins, it's candida.
For this reason, many are unsure of what candida is, or are skeptical of its existence and what it can do to your health. Let's cut through the candida confusion and get the facts.
Generally speaking, it's worth keeping in mind that candida overgrowth is one part of a larger gut imbalance (dysbiosis) problem, not the entire cause for all health problems.
It does us no good in the health community to over-generalize gut issues by attributing all chronic issues to candida overgrowth. It also does us no good to delegitimize well-documented gut dysbiosis and its real impact on your total health.
What Is Candida?
"Candida" is typically a shortened reference for the Candida albicans fungus, which is actually the most common yeast that can be found in small amounts of a healthy gastrointestinal system, a part of the collective microbiome, the cornerstone to every system of your body.
A problem arises when the microbiome is weakened, causing a decrease in good bacteria and an overgrowth of opportunistic bacteria, parasites or yeast. This dysbiosis can be due to stress, chronic illness, medications, poor diet or a combination of any of these.
Who Is Susceptible To Candida Overgrowth?
Research has found that people with the following problems are more likely to get candida infections and/or be exacerbated by intestinal candidiasis or yeast overgrowth: