Do you have Candida Overgrowth?
Do you find it impossible to shake bloating, skin rashes, sinus problems or tummy troubles, even though you’re doing everything to eat right and live a healthy lifestyle? Or experience frequent yeast infections? Maybe wine, vinegars or kombucha make you feel worse?
If you experience any or all of these symptoms, candida overgrowth could be to blame. It could be sabotaging your efforts to have a healthy thyroid, balanced hormones, regular periods, or even keep you from losing weight.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of things that can disrupt your microbiome, like a weak immune system that doesn’t keep microbes in check or taking too many antibiotics, which can kill off both the good and bad microorganisms in your gut. And not eating based on your genetics, or a poor diet, or drinking a lot of alcohol, or having chronically high stress levels may also influence your microbiome. And in the absence of beneficial gut bacteria, certain strains of bacteria, viruses, or fungi (specifically Candida albicans) can begin to overproduce, creating various health problems most especially hypoglycemia! This is the inability of your body to balance insulin and glucose.
Simultaneously, people suffering from hypoglycemia also tend to have regular sugar cravings as well. Raise your hand if you feel like having a something sweet after your meals! Or maybe you have a dedicated sweets drawer in your pantry at home? Some of my patients who have an overgrowth of Candida also report eating more sugar or carbs to reduce hunger, and some experience ravenous sugar and carb cravings.
Hypoglycemia is a condition of low blood sugar levels which is the root cause of almost all types of sugar imbalances. Generally hypoglycemia shows up as a sudden blood glucose drop in most people (1-3) hours after meals and this results in you needing to eat immediately to restore your blood sugar. Most people know this as feeling “hangry”, a sudden dip in your energy or in some cases, extreme fatigue or brain fog after or between meals causing you to get anxious or irritable quickly.
The Candida & Hypoglycemia Connection
What’s interesting is that you’ll often find the symptoms commonly seen with Candida and hypoglycemia are similar. They include irritability, fatigue, cravings for sugar, brain fog onset, frequent urination, gut disturbances, thirst, and increased nausea and sweating. In fact there is so much similarity between the symptoms, that a specific diet for one has been able to reduce the symptoms of the other problem. So, if you are facing these hypoglycemic symptoms, it would be a good idea to check whether Candida is growing (abundantly) in your body.
Candida overgrowth and hypoglycemia can be related in a number of ways. They can cause significant shifts in your hormones for example. Candida overgrowth can affect your thyroid by causing a reduction in cellular respiration levels which in turn results in hypoglycemia. If the hormonal supply from the thyroid is low, it will affect your progesterone that generally keeps hypoglycemia in check. Candida also directly interferes with the release of hormones like progesterone and estrogen which can also disrupt normal blood sugar regulation.
Also proteases (enzymes that break proteins) from Candida, can inhibit the functioning of insulin which is a critical player in controlling blood sugar levels in the body. Hypoglycemics always feel the urge to compensate for the low blood sugar levels and end up overeating easily digestible sugars, which shoots up the sugar levels of the body. This in turn favors the growth of the yeast, thereby completing a vicious cycle.
Addressing the Root Cause
Hypoglycemia doesn’t have to be challenging to treat if it’s co-occurring with Candida overgrowth. While diet modifications can help, knowing which foods help to balance your blood sugar is key. That’s part of what I help my patient’s discover, while they work to reduce the Candida flare that has grown in their body. It’s important to remember that Candida is present in all of us, but when it has gone above and beyond its normal limits, is when we need to step in to discover the root cause of its overgrowth.