Contrary to popular belief, mental health extends beyond the bounds of the brain. In fact, new research suggests it may originate and depend on the health of your gut! Specifically, your body’s ability to limit and prevent the candida overgrowth.
Candida’s symptoms, including acid reflux, yeast infections, and weight gain, aren’t news to the medical community. But, this expansion of candida into the realms of the brain are making headlines. These new findings are not only groundbreaking and impressive, they could ultimately lead to more effective and safe mental health treatment.
Candida and Memory Loss: The Science
According to a study conducted in May of 2016 by John Hopkins Medicine, “a history of Candida yeast infections was more common in a group of men with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder than in those without these disorders,” and for women with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, “who tested positive for Candida performed worse on a standard memory test than women with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder who had no evidence of past infection.”
What do these findings mean?
There is a scientifically-proven, positive correlation between the candida infection and memory loss. Evidently, fungal pathogens have the ability to wreak havoc on the brain and compromise your psychiatric health! By extension, this also confirms the close link between your gut, immune system, and brain.
Candida Infections 101
Everyone has candida, but not everyone has candida overgrowth. Candida yeast is an innate part of your natural gut flora, the group of microorganisms that inhabit your intestinal tract and mouth. Troubles arise when your body’s good bacteria is unable to fight this opportunistic fungus, known as Candida Albicans, from forming excessive yeast in the body. When the Candida Albicans over populate, they weaken the intestinal wall, penetrate throughout the bloodstream and release harmful toxic byproducts all through the body.
As the fungus spreads, it causes damage to multiple organs. Consequently, candida infection can be found in the:
Bones and joints
Mouth and throat
Male and female reproductive tracts
The consensus on the causes of candida overgrowth leans toward a number of medical and lifestyle factors. Some candida triggers to be wary of, include:
A diet filled refined carbohydrates, added sugars, and excessive alcohol consumption
Antibiotics inhibiting your body’s to defend against friendly bacteria – allowing harmful bacterias to grow, multiply and spread
Stress in the body weakens your immune system and adrenal glands through the release of Cortisol – leaving your body powerless against microfungi
The contraceptive pill has been known to interfere with the body’s natural hormonal balances and natural yeast production
Mercury in the human diet, among other dangerous health issues, significantly weakens the immune system and kills friendly bacteria
Chlorine and fluoride (often found in our public water supply) kill healthy gut bacteria that fight off candida yeast
Diabetes, which causes elevated blood sugar levels, allows yeast to quickly grow, overwhelm and dominate other microorganisms in your gut
Treating and Preventing Candida Infections, Naturally
Conventional, prescription candida medications have some serious drawbacks.
Reduce and/or limit your sugar intake. Candida feeds and grows on sugar – so much so that candida growth manipulates your craving control center to demand more sugar. Crazy, right? The solution is to slowly, but diligently, wean yourself off added sugars in your diet.
Boost your anti-yeast herb consumption. Adding candida-fighting herbs into your routine is an effective, yet completely non-toxic way to tackle yeast. Some of these herbs include olive leaf extract, garlic, tea tree oil and goldenseal.
Incorporate candida-fighting foods into your daily routine. A candida-friendly diet includes non-starchy vegetables, live cultured probiotics, nuts, and seeds, non-glutinous grains, cold pressed oils and plenty of herbs and spices. Together, these food groups starve candida overgrowth and prevent future flare-ups.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Maintaining your fluids and water intake when you suffer with candida should be a top priority. Upping your water helps give your system an internal flush to aid and support your digestive tract.
Built up your immunity. Extended or recurring candida flare-ups can be a telltale sign of a weak immune system. Help your body fight unwanted foreign bacteria by boosting your immunity strength! This includes vitamin C, rest, exercise, and incorporating essential oils into your routine.