Is a Fungus to Blame For Your Weight Gain?
It’s estimated that there are about 46,000 cases of candidiasis – a fungal infection – each year. And many times, it goes undetected. The symptoms of candidiasis are random and not always obviously connected, so doctors may not catch it. But this fungus can be more than just a pesky infection.
What is Candida?
Candida (Candida albicans) is a fungus that is normally found in your digestive tract and aids in digestion. It can also be found in the mouth and vagina.
Candida is a single-cell organism that thrives on things found in the body, such as dead tissue or sugar from food. When its environment is altered, candida can quickly consume body systems and cause moderate to severe symptoms.
Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth
In the digestion system, candida overgrowth disrupts your body’s pH balance, leaving the walls of your intestines permeable. Toxins can then leak into your bloodstream and compromise your immune system (see my article about candida and cancer here).
It’s important to remember that bacteria in the digestive system is a good thing – if it’s good bacteria. Good bacteria is actually needed for a strong immune system because 70% of your immune system is in your gut!. But when there is too much bad bacteria (and candida loves to multiply), it can lead to leaky gut syndrome. Another “fun” side effect of leaky gut is that your body cannot properly absorb nutrients that it needs to heal itself.
Again, candida overgrowth often goes misdiagnosed, but here are some symptoms:
- Brain fog
- Joint pain
- Hormone imbalance
- Digestive issues
- Vaginal thrush
- Skin rash
- Oral thrush
- Sugar cravings
Weight Gain & Candida
Candida feeds off sugar, refined carbohydrates and alcohol. So when you consume too much of these, candida will overproduce, leaving you craving more sugar, carbohydrates and yeast (including alcohol). So it’s a never-ending, hard to break cycle that leaves you gaining weight.
And remember those toxins released into your blood stream because of your leaky gut? Well they travel to your liver, overworking your liver to the point where it stores the toxins…IN YOUR FAT CELLS. I’m sure you can guess – that’s not going to help you lose weight.
With toxins in your system and the cravings for sugar, carbs and alcohol, your hormones are all out of whack. Hormone disruption affects your thyroid, which slows down your metabolism. Again, leading to weight gain because your body is not burning as much fat as it should.
So how do we handle candida overgrowth and the weight gain that accompanies it? I am a firm believer that all diseases begin in the gut, so a change in diet is number one. If you eliminate the food candida thrives on, the cells will stop multiplying.
Make sure you’re getting plenty:
- Whole foods
- Good fats
Make sure you’re avoiding:
- Refined carbohydrates
Supplements for Candida
I’m also a huge fan of supplements (in addition to dietary changes). Supplements are a quick, easy way to get the natural support you need. Natural anti-fungal supplements are great for targeting the candida and destroying the cells. These include:
- Caprylic acid – often used in candida treatment because it’s known to kill candida cells and restore acid levels.
- Garlic – a compound in garlic, ajoene, is known to have strong anti-fungal properties.
- Grapefruit seed extract – a 2001 study showed that grapefruit seed extract is effective in killing candida cells.
I also recommend taking a daily probiotic supplement. PB Assist+ from doTERRA is a proprietary formula that encourages friendly bacterial growth. It also helps your body absorb nutrients and supports your metabolism; both will help you shed those extra pounds.
Essential Oils for Candida Overgrowth
Essential oils are amazing for health and healing. Many people don’t even realize how they can help and sometimes replace pharmaceutical drugs. And they don’t come with a laundry list of side effects.
Here are some essential oils that have antifungal properties:
- Clove – studies show that clove oil is effective against fungal pathogens, such as candida.
- Oregano – another known antifungal, oregano oil has been shown to kill off candidiasis.
- Myrrh – myrrh oil reduces inflammation, as well as fights different types of fungi, including candida.
- Lavender – also used as an antifungal agent. Lavender oil is just as potent as antifungal drugs…without the side effects!
For a complete candida supplement protocol try the Cleanse & Restore kit from doTERRA that I use 3 times a year.
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.