Fungi are alive in and on us! The most common is Candida and thrive in the mouth and intestines. If their growth flourishes it can become an infection, candidiasis. Our healthy gut bacteria can be compromised if Candida begins to overproduce. The balance of the immune system lies, literally, in our gut.
We can help our bodies fight over production of candida by making some life style changes:
* Take probiotics which as we age can significantly help out our 'good' gut bacteria
* Limiting sugar intake, including refined carbohydrates, which 'feed' candida; this includes alcohol intake
* Reducing stress in our lives with exercise, meditation & movement
Health risk factors include a weakened immune system, diabetes, and taking antibiotics which can all affect our good bacteria levels. Fatigue is a common symptom of Candida in part due to reduced levels of vitamin B6 and magnesium. Recurring urinary tract or vaginal infections can also be a sign of Candida since it is found in the vaginal tract. Urine can be tested for Candida. If the 'bad' bacteria imbalances the 'good' bacteria in the digestive tract it can lead to symptoms including constipation, gas, bloating, cramps, nausea, & even diarrhea. Candida may be implicated in diseases like Crohn's disease & ulcerative colitis.
Sinus infections, if chronic, may also be, in part, caused by an overgrowth of Candida. We have Candida living on our skin as well so if you see skin & nail fungal infections Candida may be the culprit. This can include conditions like ringworm, toe nail fungus, or athlete's foot.
Joint pain may also be associated with Candida. Hips & knees tend to be more often affected but these diagnoses are usually related to post surgery if an overgrowth of Candida enters your bloodstream & travels to these joints. These are less common than other Candida conditions but do exist.
A few natural foods can help fight Candida infections by encouraging the 'good' bacteria to grow & inhibit the 'bad':
* coconut oil
* aloe vera
* cur cumin
Of course adding these foods into your diet needs to be as directed by a nutritionist, DO, or specialist to whatever condition you want to treat.
In the end, having a good balance of aerobic exercise to keep your blood moving, limiting sugar intake, & limiting stress in our lives may help keep the balance toward 'good' bacteria & limit Candida associated conditions.