Candida albicans, a yeast fungus, exists in a healthy body. However some claim that negative symptoms arise when candida overpopulates in the digestive tract. Author Dr. Edward Group and others recommend a diet change to counteract excess candida. MayoClinic.com author Brent A. Bauer, M.D., wrote that candida overgrowth is not proven to cause illness. However believers in the illness list a wide range of symptoms.
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People who suffer from candida overgrowth report pain, bloating, constipation and indigestion. The candida diet and candida cleanse recommend eliminating all sweeteners, simple carbohydrates and caffeinated drinks to cut off the food source for candida yeast.
Depression, irritability and decreased desire for sex have been linked to candida overgrowth. The emotional symptoms may be linked to the physical discomforts of candida overgrowth and candida diet proponents recommend increasing fresh vegetables and non-glutenous whole grains, such as brown rice, to counteract these symptoms.
Proponents of the candida diet, including authors Maureen Keane and Daniella Chace, list skin rashes, toenail fungus, fingernail fungus and hair loss as symptoms of candida overgrowth. Candida overgrowth in the colon may also cause itchy skin in the anal region and, for women, the vaginal skin may become itchy as well. Because candida overgrowth is systemic, a topical treatment alone may ease symptoms but will not eliminate the root problem.
Other symptoms named by believers in candida overgrowth include fatigue, headaches, fuzzy thinking, itchy eyes, menstrual irregularities, muscle and joint pain, sinus drainage and weight change. Keane and Chace recommend taking a prescription, oral anti-fungal in addition to changing the diet to eliminate these and other symptoms.
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