You might be thinking, No way! There’s definitely not fungus growing in my gut!
However, you might be surprised to learn that yeast overgrowth, typically referred to as candida, is very common. In fact, I find it can be the cause of many common health issues, including digestive problems, fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, depression, joint pain, skin problems, and can even lead to chronic conditions such as autoimmunity.
As a functional medicine doctor, my patients often ask me: So what is candida overgrowth? Candida is a type of yeast or fungus that lives in your mouth and your intestines to help you digest and absorb your food. Your good gut bacteria and your immune system usually keep it in check. But sometimes the balance is disrupted and the yeast begins multiplying rapidly — colonizing your gut, damaging the lining of your digestive tract, and escaping via your bloodstream to wreak havoc all over your body.
Several factors contribute to candida overgrowth, including diet and prescription medications, but stress also plays a huge role — and it's a factor that's often overlooked.
Here's how stress can affect both your immune system and your digestive system, opening the door for your candida population to surge.