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According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five adults in the U.S. live with a mental illness. Many of these people have been prescribed medication to treat conditions such as depression, ADHD, anxiety, and hundreds of other cataloged mental disorders.
But what if these mental illnesses weren’t the result of an imbalance in the brain, but instead were caused by something as simple as a yeast infection?
Well, we are not about to make a ridiculous statement like “All depression is caused by candida” or anything like that, but today we’re going to honestly review what effects an overgrowth of candida can have on your body and your mental health.
Furthermore, we’re going to provide guidance on how to resolve a candida infection.
Let’s start from the beginning. There are three basic types of microorganisms that live in and around the human body and are generally classified as “germs.”
Many of them are beneficial for the body, but as the Greek poet Hesiod said in 700BC, “moderation is best in all things.” The three types of germs are:
Candida albicans (the common form of candida) is a yeast, which is a fungus. Almost everyone has small amounts of candida in various parts of their bodies, including your mouth, digestive tract, skin, and reproductive systems of both men and women. In small, normal quantities, candida is generally harmless.
It only becomes a problem when it begins to multiply uncontrollably.
Candida, like all forms of yeast, feeds on sugar and carbohydrates. It becomes a problem in the human body when the yeast grows uncontrollably – which often occurs in people who eat a diet high in sugar or processed carbs. An overgrowth of candida can also occur when a person:
One of the most common forms of candida overgrowth occurs in a woman’s vagina, which is known as a vaginal yeast infection. According to modern research, it’s estimated that up to 75% of women will suffer from at least one vaginal yeast infection in their lifetime. Other common forms of candida overgrowth include:
The most severe form of candida infection is called candidiasis, which occurs when candida enters your bloodstream and begins wreaking havoc on your entire system.
And here’s a fact for you: Candida is the number one cause of yeast infections in human beings.
There is one insidious effect of candida that we have not yet discussed, but that plays an important role in your overall physical and mental health: digestion.
An overgrowth of candida in your digestive system does not usually present visible symptoms like rashes, sinus problems, or white gunk appearing on your tongue. Instead, it simply prevents your body from properly digesting food and absorbing critical nutrients. It also begins to break down your intestinal walls, causing leaky gut and releasing toxic byproducts directly into your system.
A magnesium deficiency is a common side effect of candida overgrowth. Magnesium is part of over 300 biochemical reactions in your body. Magnesium has a direct relation to your energy levels, your nervous system, and blood sugar levels – and it is also used to eliminate the waste products of candida in your digestive system.
Put simply, the more Candida you have in your body, the more magnesium in your system is used to flush out waste, with less of this vital nutrient available to support your other body functions.
As a result, those who suffer from too much candida also often suffer from magnesium deficiency, which causes fatigue. One study has even shown that prolonged candida overgrowth can cause chronic fatigue syndrome!
Several studies have been done on people who suffer from mental illness, and the results were astonishing. Over the course of six case studies, every single person responded with a reduction in mental symptoms after being treated for fungal infections – and none of them had visible symptoms of candida overgrowth.
This has been confirmed with further studies over the years, which further cement the basic takeaways that:
If your candida infection is serious or has visible symptoms (such as oral thrush, rashes, or a vaginal yeast infection), you may want to see your local physician and get a prescription antifungal. These drugs come in many forms and can help rapidly kill the candida overgrowth.
The efficacy of these medications is, unfortunately, limited by the strength of your innate immune system. Candida cells contain tough skeletal walls (primarily composed of chitin) that help protect them from being easily identified and targeted by your immune system and medication – especially when your immune system is compromised. Furthermore, most antifungal medications cannot pass the blood-brain barrier, which makes it exceedingly difficult for medication treat a candida infection that has spread to your brain.
But – hope is NOT lost. There is a solution: Starving the candida so it dies on its own.
One of the most effective methods of eliminating a Candida infection is to simply cut off its food source. Going on a “Candida cleanse” is a common, effective method of stopping Candida that involves cutting out:
There are many excellent dietary plans available online, and you will probably find that one or two months one of these diets will lead to dramatic improvements in your physical and mental health. Adding high-quality probiotics to your diet can also help, as probiotics assist the “good” bacteria in your gut and help them get the candida under control.
If there is anything society has come to realize over the last century, it is that women are just as powerful, smart, ambitious, and capable as men. And while society as a whole is still catching up as far as true equality, the facts are evident when you look at some of the most incredible and influential people today.
When it comes to fitness, however, men and women are not the same. The natural, physiological differences necessitate unique approaches to achieve optimal results. While the fundamental science behind attaining a shredded, lean physique is basically the same for both sexes, the exact steps and application require careful consideration.
One thing I've learned is that injuries can be great teachers. There are so many lessons to be learned from the injuries we experience. They force us to slow down and evaluate our bodies on a deeper level. Like many, I'm guilty of sometimes taking my healthy days for granted. When we pick up an injury, we're suddenly motivated to learn everything we can about that specific injury. We're also dedicated to the necessary rehab it will take to overcome the injury and strengthen our weak areas.
As with many injuries, I've learned there are no "quick fixes" for my stubborn Achilles. Over the years, I've also learned there are no "get fit quickly" schemes.