Candida is commonly present in the gastrointestinal tract with no ill effects, but when it becomes invasive it can cause a host of issues. And, of course, yeast infections can occur in various parts of the body.
Candida overgrowth is usually triggered by antibiotic use, birth control pills, steroid medications, and sugar consumption. Many in the conventional medical community don’t see it as a problem that requires treatment, and even fewer see it as contributing to mood issues, but as part of a holistic plan to alleviate anxiety, it must be addressed. I’ve seen many clients with mood problems and intense sugar cravings take that next step in improvement when their dysbiosis and candida overgrowth is resolved.
- Anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, depression, and mood swings are common psychological symptoms of candida overgrowth.
- Leo Galland reports impaired fatty acid metabolism and low levels of zinc and vitamin B6 in his patients with candida overgrowth – nutrients that are vital for mental health and have a bearing on anxiety.
These are the symptoms that can give us a clue that candida overgrowth may be an issue:
- Anxiety, depression and mood swings
- Nail or skin fungus, athlete’s foot, or vaginal yeast infection
- Chronic sinus or ear infections
- Sore muscles and joints
- Food sensitivities
- Feeling chronically fatigued
- Poor memory and brain fog
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Frequent bloating and gas
- Environmental sensitivities
- Feeling worse on damp or humid days
- Low blood sugar
- Ringing in the ears
- Sensitivities to strong chemical smells
- Cravings for bread, cookies, sugar, other carbohydrates, or alcohol
Professor Rucklidge, has published a number of studies in New Zealand, looking at micronutrients to treat psychiatric disorders including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood disorders, stress, and anxiety. Many individuals saw positive results unless candida was an issue.
Research from one her papers, published in 2013, reports that infections like candida can contribute to poor gut health and inflammation. This leads nutrient absorption issues and thereby deterioration in psychiatric symptoms. Here is an excerpt from the paper – Could yeast infections impair recovery from mental illness? A case study using micronutrients and olive leaf extract for the treatment of ADHD and depression:
As part of a wider investigation into the impact of micronutrients on psychiatric symptoms, many participants who experienced a yeast infection during their treatment showed a diminished response to the micronutrients.
One case was followed systematically over a period of 3 years with documentation of deterioration in psychiatric symptoms (ADHD and mood) when infected with candida and then symptom improvement following successful treatment of the infection with olive leaf extract and probiotics.
I discuss candida symptoms and this study in my interview on The Candida Summit.
Evan Brand, the summit host, also suffered (and healed!) from candida, parasite infections and bacterial overgrowth. In his health practice, upwards of 95% of his clients have some degree of candida overgrowth – time and time again, he sees debilitating and mysterious symptoms disappear once candida overgrowth is addressed.
Evan and I actually met last summer and we talked about him doing a candida summit. I was thrilled when he invited me to speak on the summit because I see candida overgrowth in so many of any clients with anxiety.
I did the usual digging into the research. I do this before speaking on a summit because I like to share new information each time I speak and I always learn something!
I was so excited to find a connection between serotonin and candida and also share this in our interview. In a paper published in 2003: Antifungal properties of 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) against Candida species in vitro, looking at clinical isolates of Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Candida tropicalis and Candida parapsilosis, it was found that short exposure to serotonin resulted in antifungal activity. The authors conclude with this:
Identifying the mode of action [of serotonin] could be of great help in developing and researching new antifungal drugs.
Of course, my solution is to provide serotonin support via diet, exercise and the use of the targeted individual amino acid tryptophan or 5-HTP. I discuss how I use the amino acids in our interview too and how these (tryptophan/5-HTP as well as GABA, DPA, tyrosine and glutamine) can actually help with so much of the sugar craving we see in candida, PLUS how I use this approach to gauge when candida is really serious.
Other speakers and topics I’m looking forward to hearing:
- Ben Lynch: How genetics change your desire for certain foods; mood issues, autism and candida overgrowth
- Dr Christine Schaffner: EMFs; your glymphatic system; serotonin and melatonin
- Evan Brand: his candida and parasite protocols; the adrenals; avoiding a herxheimer reaction
- Dietrich Klinghardt: EMFs and 5G; retroviruses in chronic health conditions
- Dr Elisa Song: candida in kids; PANS/PANDAS and other neuropsychiatric issues (I recently heard her present on PANS/PANDAS in Melbourne and it was excellent!)
Do share if you’ve overcome candida and how your symptoms improved. If you have questions post them in the comments below.