15 Signs You Have a Gut Infection That May Be Destroying Your Immune System

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God made the human gastrointestinal (GI) system with the perfect balance of microorganisms. However, antibiotics disrupt the equilibrium. They kill the beneficial microorganisms and thereby, cause a yeast—Candida—to overgrow. Candida makes a person crave sugar, alcohol, wheat and processed foods because that is what it eats. In this article we will explore how you:

  • get a candida infection of the gut
  • determine if you have one
  • cure it.

Understanding Candida

Candida and a food addiction can cause a person to overeat refined carbohydrates. Therefore, if you crave sugar, alcohol and processed foods, you might have an imbalance in the flora of your GI tract.

According to the National Candida Center, the harmful microbe Candida Albicans, a type of yeast common in the gut, multiplies quickly when antibiotics have killed off the probiotics in your digestive tract. It can grow roots into the lining of your GI system. The fungal overgrowth can create openings in the bowel walls, which is known as a leaky gut. These holes allow harmful microorganisms to enter the bloodstream. Our bodies don't recognize these particles, so our immune system creates antibodies which cause food allergies and autoimmune diseases to develop.

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When Candida spreads out of control, it acts like a parasite, sucking the life and energy out of you. The villain growing inside of you craves sugar, and it is hard to fight its ever-increasing appetite. I had an overgrowth of Candida, so I know how hard it is to fight this culprit.

My Candida Infection

When I turned 50, I had an abscessed tooth that caused ten medical diagnoses and two surgeries. During this period of declined health, I felt utterly drained and sick. My doctors were unable to do much for me, so I began alternative health-care therapies such as massage, acupuncture and colonic irrigation.

Through a colonic irrigation, the therapist found a candida infection in my colon. I had never heard of this type of infection before despite being a registered nurse, since candidiasis (candida infection from a Candida fungus) of the gut is not taught in mainstream medicine. Even my internal medicine doctor didn't know how to rid me of this yeast infection.

Candidiasis is like a parasite growing inside of you, and you don't even know it. Stopping this parasite's cravings and killing the Candida is tough, but I did and you can too! To kill the overgrowth of yeast, I stopped eating sugar, fruit, wheat and rice for eight months.

During the eight months of my strict anti-Candida diet, I also took large doses of probiotics (up to 100 billion units/day). Today, I still take probiotics but not such a large dose. I recommend taking a probiotic that contains at least 10 billion active cultures from at least 10 different strains. I change the brand of my probiotic every time I purchase a new one, so I can get a wide range of beneficial microbes.

I was successful in killing the yeast in my colon, but I still cannot eat foods with high sugar content or the Candida starts to grow again. I can tell it is growing when I start to crave carbohydrates and feel tired, so I limit my consumption of sugar to less than 10 grams of sugar per serving.

Diagnosing Candida

There are two simpler methods to diagnose Candidiasis. First, take a look at the list of symptoms below. These signs might arise from an overgrowth of Candida. The more symptoms you experience, the more likely you have a candida infection.

_____ Fatigue

_____ Anxiety

_____ Insomnia

_____ Irritability

_____ Depression

_____ Mood swings

_____ Poor memory

_____ Food allergies

_____ Foggy brained

_____ Decreased sex drive

_____ Hormonal imbalance

_____ Chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia

_____ Craving sweets and refined carbohydrates or alcohol

_____ Digestive issues (bloating, constipation, diarrhea) or disorders

_____ Skin and nail infections such as toenail fungus, athlete's foot and ringworm

If you exhibit many of these symptoms, you need to restore the balance of organisms in your gastrointestinal system. The more times in your life that you have taken antibiotics, without replenishing your gut with probiotics that contain greater than 10 strains of microorganisms for several weeks, the more likely you have a candida infection.

The second way to diagnose Candidiasis is a simple spit test. First thing in the morning, before you drink anything or brush your teeth, spit into a glass of water. In one to three minutes, check the cup to see if any strings hang from the spit—strings are a positive sign of Candida. The spit will resemble a jellyfish. If the water becomes cloudy or the saliva sinks to the bottom, this is also a positive sign. Healthy saliva floats on the top of the water with no strings hanging down.

How to Kill Candida

Purchase anti-Candida cleanse from a health food store. Read the instructions on the cleanse package for how to administer it. Initially, I recommend taking the cleanse every other day for the first week to minimize lethargy and headaches. Avoid becoming constipated by drinking plenty of water and increasing the fiber in your diet, while on the cleanse.

During the first three days of the cleanse, you may not feel well, but after a week you will begin to feel better than you have in a long time. You are just about to get the life back that Jesus wants you to experience—one that is abundant and full.

Susan Neal, RN, MBA, MHS is a certified health and wellness coach with the American Association of Christian Counselors. She has published three books, including the Selah award winner, 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates. Susan blogs and provides healthy menus, recipes and corresponding grocery lists at HealthyLivingSeriesBlog.com. You can find her books on Amazon or at her website, ChristianYoga.com.

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