When discussing the gut, most people only think of food being digested, but it is much more complex that that.
The intestinal flora makes up approximately 80% of the total immune defense in the body.
Candida, which is a fungus, is a form of yeast that resides in your mouth and intestines. Its job is to aid with nutrient absorption and digestion of food. When it is over produced, due to a bacterial imbalance in the gut, it breaks down the intestinal wall, allowing toxic byproducts to enter the blood stream. This is known as leaky gut syndrome.
So how does this affect our cognition?
Candida overgrowth, in recent studies, has been linked to depression, anxiety, and brain fog. On the other hand, if Candida overgrowth persists, it causes leaky gut, which has been linked to numerous chronic illnesses, increasing your risk for an autoimmune disease.
Microoganisms in our gut can either increase or decrease the firing rate of our vagal nerves. This altered firing rate can deactivate our neural pathways in the brain for neurotransmission, causing a slowing of thinking or brain fog.
How do you get Candida overgrowth?
If you have recently been put on a round of antibiotics, this can cause an imbalance in your normal gut bacteria, by killing off some of the good bacteria, allowing others to take over. You may also create an overgrowth with a diet high in sugar, alcohol, refined carbohydrates, or a high-stress lifestyle.
How do you know if you have a Candida overgrowth?
Some signs and symptoms may include fungal infections, chronic fatigue, digestive issues, autoimmune disease, lack of focus or brain fog, skin issues, irritability, anxiety, depression, vaginal infections, rectal itching, severe seasonal allergies, or strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings.
Take this quick quiz to see if you could possibly be suffering from Candida overgrowth.
Check each box that applies to you:
How do you treat Candida Overgrowth?
Healing your gut using nutrition and probiotics, will help restore the natural and good bacteria in your gut, healing your leaky gut, and keeping candida and other toxins from entering your blood stream.
Decreasing inflammation to help restore the gut wall, and balancing hormones can have a significant effect on reversing candida overgrowth.
Administration of probiotics has been shown to restore tight-junction integrity within the intestine, thereby correcting leaky gut.
Ali Wells, BSN RN
The Holistic Health Nurse
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