Many people are surprised to learn that the primary causes of Candida overgrowth are something we’ve basically brought upon ourselves unknowingly without intention. We all have millions of bacteria living in our bodies at all times. Some are considered good while others are considered bad and can cause a wide variety of health conditions.
In a healthy body, the good microbes keep the bad microbes in check so there is a nice even balance. When someone develops Candida overgrowth the balance has become upset and the bad guys have taken control.
Something has gone awry and allowed the fungus to flourish and grow rampant. There are a variety of factors that contribute to this imbalance and allow the yeasty beasties to get the upper hand.
Two Main Causes of Candida
1. Overuse of Antibiotics
One of the biggest causes of Candida overgrowth is the overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Prescription antibiotics are now used routinely for too many conditions when they are not called for. This has resulted in making bacteria become completely immune to them. Antibiotics kill off the friendly bacteria as well as the unhealthy bacteria and this encourages Candida to grow rampant.
Even if you don’t take antibiotics, most people are exposed to them unknowingly. Farm animals are routinely fed antibiotics, our meat supply is injected with hormones and antibiotics and the feed that our farm animals eat is laced with antibiotics, all under the false pretense that it makes our food safer, when in fact what it really does is contribute to this problem of making bacteria immune to antibiotics and the overgrowth of Candida. When you eat these animals or eat their by-products such as milk, cheese, and cottage cheese, etc., you absorb the antibiotic into your body.
It’s now pretty common for someone taking prescription antibiotics to develop yeast-related infections in the body. For example; women frequently get vaginal yeast infections and small children get oral thrush or recurring ear infections.
2. Poor Diet and Nutrition
Poor diet and nutrition are the second largest cause of Candida overgrowth. If the body does not receive adequate levels of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that it needs to function optimally then it becomes vulnerable to bacteria, viruses, etc.
The present-day American diet is not nutritious in the least. It’s packed with a bunch of junk food like candy, doughnuts, cookies, soda, and chips. Even the foods you think would be healthier such as breakfast bars and cereals are loaded with sugar and lacking in nutrients. As a matter of fact, almost everything you buy at the grocery store contains sugar of some sort. In spite of the fact that we have a society that is growing rampantly with grossly overweight and obese individuals, we are actually malnourished, because the food we’re eating does not contain nourishment.
The standard American diet that is high in sugar and refined carbohydrates creates a fertile breeding ground for Candida to proliferate freely. Candida thrives on sugar and carboyhydrates. A diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates is also deficient in vitamins and minerals and thus doesn’t nourish a healthy body that can resist Candida overgrowth.
However, sugar is not the only criminal. It’s also all those simple, starchy foods being ingested. In the digestive system, starchy foods are converted to sugar. The more refined these foods are the quicker they are converted to sugar.
It is all this excess sugar that is responsible not only for Candida overgrowth but many other health conditions like obesity, malnutrition, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Other Contributing Factors
In addition to the two main causes of Candida overgrowth of antibiotics overuse and diet, there are a few other factors that can contribute as well.
Other instigators of fungal infections may include the use of cortisone, birth control pills, or other steroid-type drugs, immune-suppressing drugs, and synthetic estrogen. All these create a hormonal imbalance in the body and allow Candida to thrive and take over.
It is also believed that dental amalgams, ulcer medication, heavy metal poisoning, environmental toxins, excessive stress, antacids, bowel problems, chlorinated water, insufficient levels of hydrochloric acid or pancreatic enzymes, and a body pH level that is too alkaline also contribute to the overgrowth of yeast. Individuals with diseases that weaken the immune system such as diabetes and HIV are also more vulnerable to Candida yeast overgrowth.
Basically, it is the combination of our food choices and medical treatments that are responsible for the proliferation of Candida and the many health conditions and chronic illness that are linked to this overgrowth. Since this is the case, it means the prevention of Candida is totally within the power of individuals without the condition if they make better choices. With education and change, we could stop this epidemic from growing any larger.