Mood imbalances affect a significant number of the population. This is evidenced by the fact that approximately one out of every six Americans are taking an antidepressant or psychiatric medication. Unfortunately, many of these prescription drugs focus on treating the symptoms rather than the underlying problem.
Patients have their symptoms treated without resolution of the true cause. A major contributor to mood imbalance that is frequently overlooked is candida overgrowth. Overabundance of this naturally occurring yeast can result in numerous symptoms including mood imbalances, depression, and neurological dysfunction.
Having a greater understanding of candida, common symptoms associated with imbalance and its impact on mood can lead to better treatment.
What is Candida?
Candida albicans is a single-celled yeast that is found naturally in the digestive tract and is the most common and well-studied type of yeast found in the body.
A small but healthy amount of candida is expected to be found in the mouth and intestine. At the appropriate volume, candida is a benign substance that actually aids in digestion and nutrient absorption. However, if candida becomes over-established in the gut, multiple health issues can develop.
Yeast such as candida release toxins that can weaken the immune system. Therefore, an overgrowth of candida, also known as candidiasis can further promote its own development. As candida continues to grow, the immune system becomes increasingly taxed.
Generally, candida overgrowth is associated with yeast infections, ringworm or athlete’s foot.
Increased levels of candida can also contribute to intestinal permeability or leaky gut, which allows the escape of harmful substances into the bloodstream. If candida enters the bloodstream, known as candida septicemia, toxins can spread to every organ in the body resulting in system-wide infection and dysfunction. One of the areas most impacted by excess candida is the brain.
Do You Have Candida on the Mind?
In addition to many physiological disruptions, candida overgrowth can cause significant changes in mood and neurological function. It may not be the most obvious association, but the gut plays a significant role in mental health and mood regulation. Some doctors go as far to say that the leading cause of mood imbalance is poor gut health. This is because approximately 95 percent of the body’s serotonin is produced in the gut. Serotonin is an essential neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood and other neurological processes.
Serotonin deficiency, which is often caused by candidiasis, is a major contributor to mental health issues. Many symptoms of poor mental health including depression, anxiety, mood swings, irritability and difficulty focusing may indicate that a patient is suffering from candidiasis.
As candida continues to grow and overtake the intestine, a fungal layer coats the intestines, which suppresses neurotransmitter production. The deficiency caused by this growth can lead to neurological disruption resulting in mood disorders.
Because the gut is so closely connected to mental function and thereby mood regulation, it is critical to maintain a healthy intestinal environment. Treating infections of any sort, including candida, helps regulate intestinal flora, which supports proper brain function. There are multiple ways to restore gut health and combat candidiasis. The most common of which are diet and supplementation.
Adopting a candida diet can significantly improve gut health and reinstate appropriate microbial balance. As with most diets involving the gut, it is important to eliminate as many inflammatory foods as possible. Limiting intake of alcohol, caffeine, refined carbohydrates, sugars, gluten, yeast and dairy takes stress off of the immune system and allows for greater healing of the intestine.
Sugar, in addition to contributing to inflammation, is also the primary food source for yeast such as candida. Removing sources of refined sugar, like candy and alcohol, from a diet can limit yeast growth and support proper immune function.
Fruits should also be limited when following a candida diet. Although the sugar contained in fruit is healthier than refined sugars, it is still a source of food for candida and may induce inflammation that further inhibits immune function.
Alternatively, increasing the intake of fresh nutrient-dense foods can significantly improve gut health and help restore candida balance. Fibrous vegetables, anti-microbial herbs like garlic and oregano, and coconut oil all support gut balance. Other foods that support immune function and help regulate yeast growth in the gut include carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and asparagus.
Drinking plenty of water or nutritious liquids like vegetable broth can help flush out excess candida. If intending to cleanse the body of candida, take a break from solid foods and spend one to two days sipping on warm vegetable broth while also drinking plenty of water. This helps jumpstart the cleansing process and aids in the expulsion of toxins.
Appropriate supplementation also supports gut health and may restore candida balance. However, it is important to note that when treating candidiasis, there is a risk that symptoms will temporarily worsen due to the release of toxins from dying yeast cells. This may be partially alleviated through the use of gut-supporting supplements.
Anti-fungal botanicals can help resolve candidiasis without running the risk of greater toxicity associated with many prescription anti-fungal medications. Candinex is a formulation produced by HoltraCeuticals that utilizes natural products such as coconut oil, olive leaf, oregano and milk thistle to combat yeast overgrowth and support gastrointestinal function. The detoxifying elements found in milk thistle extract and alpha-lipoic acid assist in the effective removal of toxins meaning that as yeast dies off there is a smaller spike in symptom severity. Incorporating Candinex into a candida treatment plan can improve recovery speed and reduce symptoms.
Various vitamins and minerals may also be used to support gut health. As the immune system becomes increasingly weak due to excess yeast toxins, additional nutrients are required.
Patients can combat common deficiencies by including some or all of the following nutrients into their supplement regimen.
- B Vitamins
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
- Essential Fatty Acids
- Free Amino Acids
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K
It is always best to confer with a doctor who is well-versed in herbs and nutrients that support gut health prior to incorporating additional supplements into your health regimen.
Get Your Brain Back by Beating Candida
As the primary source of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, gut health is an essential part of brain function. If you are suffering from mood swings, depression, anxiety or other mental difficulties it may be due to an overgrowth of candida. You can help restore gut, immune and neurological function by following a nutrient dense candida diet and using high-quality supplements such as Candinex that provide the substances needed for healthy gut regulation.
Keep your mind sharp and mood balanced by supporting your gut and balancing candida.
For more information on keeping your gut healthy, watch Holtorf Medical Group’s Facebook Live event here.
1. Candida: The Cause of Your Chronic Symptoms. HoltraCeuticals. https://www.holtraceuticals.com/candida-causing-chronic-symptoms/
2. 9 Candida Symptoms & 3 Steps to Treat Them. Dr. Axe. https://draxe.com/candida-symptoms/
3. Anxious? Moody? Depressed? Why You Might Have Candida. MindBodyGreen. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14177/anxious-moody-depressed-why-you-might-have-candida.html
4. The Gut Infection Behind Mood Swings, Anxiety, and Depression. Amy Myers MD. https://www.amymyersmd.com/2018/01/gut-infection-behind-mood-swings-anxiety-depression/