1. My doctor made a link between good gut health and chewing your food well. What is that link?
Eric Bakker, naturopath and expert in all things Candida, has discussed the importance of chewing your food properly for maintaining a good gut health. Good chewing capability means your food will be broken down to proper small sizes. The small sized food will aid the stomach in breaking food down. This means that you’re going to get good digestion, absorption, and excretion of the food wastes. But it also means you’re going to break the food down properly to give the small intestine and the large intestine the right particle size to build beneficial bacteria up.
So you see, your doctor is absolutely correct. When our good gut flora is killed, our gut is lined and our immunity is compromised. Having a good gut health is very important in ensuring that our body does not get a candida overgrowth. Once this opportunistic infection takes over, it not only dominates our gut health but also other parts of the body. Candida overgrowth has been associated to an array of diseases and discomforts in a person.
However, chewing your food properly is not only good in preventing gut and health problems, it can also aid in maximizing the absorption of nutrients, help in maintaining your weight, and you’ll experience lesser gas and bloating. Remember the longer you chew, the better it impacts your health in the long term. So enjoy your food and chew slowly!
2. I get constant eye infections. What could be the reason?
Like other parts of our body, the eye is not immune to infections and is prone to getting viruses, parasites, bacteria as well. Though rare in nature, they can occur. Candida, if present in more numbers than healthy, can cause ocular candidiasis. Symptoms can include eye pain, itchiness, and sensitivity to light, blurred and compromised vision, under bags, etc.
Most common causes of candida are the following: if you have taken a round of anti-biotics, if you have poor eating habits, unmanaged emotional stress, alcohol consumption, eating lots of food with sugar and carbs, etc. When candida is overgrown in numbers compared to the good gut bacteria, it can overtake the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. It can make tiny holes in the inner membranes, leaking yeast into the blood stream. This is also known as leaky gut syndrome. This is how candida invades parts of the body not close to the stomach or the gut. If left untreated, it can definitely impact the eye causing an infection, which can even lead to blindness. Other risk factors for ocular candidiasis include albicans species and visual symptoms. Treating ocular candidiasis include antifungal therapy or intravitreal injection of the antifungal agent.
If you suspect having candida, get a proper diagnosis from a doctor. If unsure where to begin, you can take the most comprehensive quiz online created by Eric Bakker which can help you determine the level of candida you may be dealing with. The quiz can be found here: https://quiz.yeastinfection.org/
3. Why are the whites in my eye yellow? Do I have jaundice or is it something else?
The yellowing of the eye is most commonly related to jaundice. Jaundice is when the skin, mucous membranes, the whites of the eye are yellow, due to an increased amount of bilirubin in the blood. The other possible causes are related to problems with the pancreas, liver, gallbladder, etc. Candida could also be the cause behind elevated bilirubin levels depending on the level of fungal candida you may have. If the levels of your candida are really high where they may attack red blood cells, it can cause some unbroken down red blood cells.
An overgrowth of candida in the gut can cause an excess release of bile straining the liver, which can cause an increase in bilirubin. This could be the reason for why the white in your eye has a yellow hue. If you haven’t already, seek out your doctor’s professional opinion. Get tested for jaundice and if that is what is causing the yellow, start the appropriate treatment.
Treating for any problems that may cause bodily discomfort or pain is always a good idea. A weakened immune system is a gateway for candida to multiply. It can impact the gut flora and if present in excess, it can be hard to heal the gut, which can cause many other problems.
4. I don’t have a cold or a flu but have had flu like symptoms, mostly a congested sinus, for a while now. Why is that?
There is such a thing known as fungal sinus infection caused by a candida overgrowth in the body. How can you make the difference between a regular bacterial infection versus a fungal one? It may be hard to spot the differences at first as most of the symptoms are very similar. You will experience fever, coughing, nasal discharge, loss of smell etc. However, what differentiates the two is the length of how long you’ve had the infection for. A chronic fungal sinus infection is long term and more severe.
How you got a fungal sinus infection probably started with you getting a bacterial sinus infection. If you treated your infection with antibiotics, you probably felt good for a while but if you have underlying yeast infection, the antibiotic just killed most of the bacteria present in your gut and gave candida the opportunity to overgrow in numbers. This can cause further sinus infection with blockage and inflammation and fungal growth in the sinuses.
Treating a fungal sinus infection with antibiotics, just as you do with a bacterial infection, is not recommended. Since it’s fungal, candida may be the cause. A sinus caused by a fungal infection may occur if fungal organisms are inhaled. These organisms make home in the nasal passageways causing inflammation. In most cases, surgery is required to get rid of the fungal infection. In some cases, chronic sinus infection can also be treated with antifungals and nose sprays. If you are further interested in this topic, this study published in pubmed goes into details on this very subject.
5. There is blood in my stool. How is that related to my gut problems?
Candidiasis, overgrowth of candida, occurs most commonly in two parts of the body: the mouth and the vagina. However, an overgrowth can also happen in the intestines. When this happens, candida can appear in one’s stool as white, stringy material (think cottage cheese). Candidiasis of the intestines can cause craving for sweets (candida uses glucose to thrive) and flatulence.
When there is blood present in the stool, your gastrointestinal tract is most likely inflamed. Diseases like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis cause inflammation in the GI tract. One sign of these inflammatory bowel diseases is blood in stool. When the environment of the intestine has been comprised by inflammation, candida can grow higher in numbers and compromise the health of your gut flora.
While blood in stool does not directly mean the presence of a yeast infection, it can definitely indicate the health of your GI in general. If you have never tested your stool, ask your doctor to test the stool for Crohn’s or other problems. The test results can tell you if you have an overgrowth of candida in the body or if there are other reasons for the presence of the blood. Once that has been determined, you can follow recommendations on how to restore healthy gut flora to fight candida.