It has long been known that the brain is connected to the gut by something called the gut-brain axis. What this implies is that if your intestines are unhealthy (or you have a suboptimal gut flora), this will have a repercussion on your overall psychological health.
With Candida yeast overgrowth being such a widespread condition, you would think that most of us would be aware of the various ways the yeast overgrowth can affect our psychological health.
Unfortunately, when individuals with Candida yeast overgrowth report symptoms such as chronic fatigue or a drop in libido, they are often told that these symptoms are ‘in their head’. But that’s definitely not the case – check out this article for a list of the most common symptoms of Candida yeast overgrowth and how these symptoms can affect our psychological health.
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As a woman, have you ever had those thick, white discharges that resemble cottage cheese? Did the discharge bother you?
For some women, vaginal yeast infections (or vaginitis) are not a big deal and are no more inconvenient than thrush. However, many others are not so lucky especially those women who experience vaginal discharges that give off a really foul smell. These women often feel disgusted with the smell – this makes them feel awkward and embarrassed to be around others. As a result, many tend to isolate themselves from society because they are afraid others might smell the yeast as well.
2. Severe seasonal allergies and itching
Did you know that seasonal allergies have an extremely negative impact on the quality of life of a lot of people? Studies have shown that due to severe allergies and itching, 29 percent of individuals with allergies suffer from a decrease in work productivity – this is mainly because they are exhausted and cannot concentrate properly on their allocated tasks.
Moreover, 52 percent cannot even think about enjoying outdoor activities with their relatives and friends and, as such, restrict themselves to indoor ones such as board games and playing cards. Another 60 percent of allergy sufferers report feeling utterly miserable because they had to give up so many activities they used to enjoy with their peers and relatives. On top of that, research also indicates that there is a greater probability for seasonal allergy sufferers to experience mental fatigue, irritability and sorrow compared to those who don’t.
3. Body odor
“Ugh, what is that awful smell?”
I am sure this has crossed your mind at least once in your life when you were on the bus or waiting to pay for your groceries. Well, many people suffering from Candida yeast overgrowth have acknowledged that the smell coming from their body is sometimes so strong that they feel disgusted with their own selves and prefer to avoid socializing with others.
Since body odors have been shown to provoke nervousness, apprehension and other adverse psychological reactions, they can cause individuals to feel embarrassed and uncomfortable around others. As such, many feel hopelessly doomed and excluded.
4. Bloating and constipation
A swollen, tight and perhaps even painful abdomen – does this sound familiar? For those with Candida yeast overgrowth, bloating is unfortunately often a part of their daily life. Although some may joke that they get so bloated that they ‘can hold a cup of tea on their belly’ or they ‘look like they’re six months pregnant’, bloating can have a significantly adverse effect on the emotional well-being of those affected.
For instance, some individuals report that bloating can even ruin their holidays because they need to lie down (and miss out on the fun) due to the lethargy, pain and discomfort they experience. Others explained that bloating can lead to a loss of sexual drive because they ‘feel so fat and unattractive’. Moreover, others often claim that bloating has reduced their self-esteem because they cannot wear many clothes they like or because they need to shop for bigger sizes.
Recurrent diarrhea is another digestive symptom of Candida Yeast overgrowth. Individuals who suffer from chronic diarrhea explain that they often become obsessed with questions such as ‘Will I make it?’, ‘Where is the nearest toilet?’ or ‘Will I be able to reach the toilet before it is too late?’ As such, many begin to dread activities they would usually enjoy (such as going to the beach or watching a movie with friends). Moreover, because they often have to excuse themselves from classes or work, these individuals may live with a fear of losing their job or failing classes.
6. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
Did you know that chronic fatigue syndrome is a common symptom of Candida yeast overgrowth? Frequent among both adults and teenagers, chronic fatigue syndrome is a complex disorder characterized by extreme tiredness that does not appear to be caused by any underlying medical complication. Although the fatigue may get worse with physical or mental activity, it does not improve when one rests. As such, this debilitating chronic illness has an impact on both the physical and emotional wellbeing of an individual.
The emotional impact of a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome is different for each person,” says Peter Rowe, MD, director of the Chronic Fatigue Clinic at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, “but it relates to the loss of the ability to do the things you were good at before.” Dr Rowe also explains that “people with chronic fatigue symptoms often get frustrated and fed up with being sick all the time.
People affected by the condition usually see a decrease in their peers and social network. The reason being that most of the time, they feel completely drained and cannot take part in activities they love.
To crown it all, what preoccupies chronic fatigue syndrome patients is that if they cannot work anymore, they will lose their independence and livelihood simultaneously. This ends up making them feel guilty and isolated.
If you have a loved one suffering from depression, you have definitely witnessed how this disorder has deeply impacted her/his daily life. At work, individuals who are depressed are prone to be quite slow and unproductive. Feelings of gloom and despair fill up their heart and mind, leaving them totally shattered. They often feel unable to make decisions by themselves as they fear that they might make a lot of mistakes. Individuals who are depressed may also not feel interested to do anything and can prefer to remain alone rather than attending gatherings and parties. This is worsened by the inexplicable sudden mood swings that usually accompanies depression. Unfortunately, someone who gets easily irritated will alienate others – realizing that one is being avoided can further worsen the depression.
8. Eczema and psoriasis
Like any other skin disease, eczema and psoriasis can also adversely impact the emotional wellbeing of an individual. You see, individuals with these conditions often worry about what others will think if they see their red inflamed skin – some could feel disgusted, make hurtful remarks or wrongly think that they are contagious. As such, they often like they have no choice but to wear lots of makeup, long sleeves or long infinity scarves to cover their chest and neck. Moreover, because many people do not understand how living with eczema can take a toll on one’s energy levels, many tend to judge the person suffering from eczema when s/he calls into work sick. Since eczema flares can be very severe, individuals suffering from the condition do not want to leave their house and are scared of having a personal life since they don’t want others to see their skin. For some, eczema even feels like a life-sentence.
9. Loss of sex drive.
When candida yeast overgrowth barges into someone’s life, it sometimes causes a severe hormonal disturbance. When this happens, that person’s body becomes inflamed, resulting in vaginal foul smells and itching. Women experiencing this are mortified at the idea that their sexual partners might notice the change in their body and therefore, start to distance themselves from loved ones. This leads them to stay away from certain sexual practices, including oral sex. Some of them avoid sex altogether because they are too self-conscious and because they do not want to be thought of as ‘unhygienic’, ‘sexually immoral’ or ‘ethically unsound’. Such a change in a woman’s behavior generally ends up with the couple breaking up.
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10. Difficulty concentrating and brain fog
We’ve all experienced times in our lives when we just couldn’t focus for long but this usually improves after a good night’s rest. However, individuals with Candida yeast overgrowth may feel like they wake up each morning in a completely zombie-like mode and go through the day without being able to concentrate on the simplest of task. They may find it hard to think right and this can lead them to feel totally disconnected from their surroundings. As you may guess, these kinds of feelings can lead to a loss of drive, motivation and confidence especially for those who always had a sharp memory. Many individuals who suffer from prolonged periods of brain fog or difficulty concentrating may even withdraw themselves from their loved ones especially if they have trouble recounting the recent activities in which they took part in.
Recognizing the symptoms of Candida yeast overgrowth, and how they can deeply impact your emotional wellbeing and overall quality of life, can make it easier for you to deal with the symptoms. If any of the above apply to you, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider – if the latter shrugs off your concerns, it might be high time for you to look for another professional with a more open mind.