Candida die-off may be more challenging than people think. Read this post to know why.
In this article:
- What Is the Main Cause of Candida?
- Is Candida Real?
- Can Candida Cause Anxiety?
- What Are the Symptoms of Candida Die-Off?
- Can Candida Die-Off Cause Itchy Skin?
- Does Candida Die-Off Cause Bloating?
- How Long Does the Die-Off from Candida Last?
- How Do You Ease Candida Die-Off Symptoms?
Candida Die-Off: The Symptoms to Know, Treatments to Ease
What Is the Main Cause of Candida?
No discussion on candida die-off will be understandable unless we touch on candida first. What is it?
The term “candida” may refer to two things:
- Fungal infection
- Fungus that causes the infection
For simplicity, we will use the word “candida” to mean the disease. Also known as candidiasis, it is an illness caused by yeast.
The type of yeast that can cause the infection can vary:
- Candida glabrata is one of the top two candida pathogens in the body. It usually affects the urinary system, although it can also penetrate the bloodstream.
- Candida krusei is an emerging pathogen that usually thrives in hospitals. It is a risk for immunocompromised patients.
- Parapsilosis is a kind of candida pathogen that may lead to sepsis or systemic inflammation and damage to the organs.
- Tropicalis is one of the most virulent pathogens and is highly resistant to many antifungal drugs.
- Candida albicans is usually responsible for oral thrush (white patch on the tongue) and vaginal yeast infection.
- Candida auris is another pathogen well-known in the healthcare setting. It’s also one of the most drug-resistant types.
What is a virulent pathogen? It is a virus, bacterium, or fungus that can cause significant damage to the host.
Of all these, the most common candida involves Albicans since it’s abundant in the gut flora. It is also not invasive unlike those people can get from healthcare facilities.
The pathogen inside the body doesn’t create symptoms unless there’s dysbiosis or imbalance in the microbiome.
One of the causes of imbalance in the gut flora is antibiotics. In a 2017 study, the number of children with candida increased from 31.2% to 42.3% after taking the medication.
Is Candida Real?
Some of these candida pathogens can enter the body and wreak havoc due to weak immunity. Take, for example, an infection in a hospital.
Most discussions about candidiasis refer to the fungi overgrowth in the body. It can be in the gut, skin, or mouth (or all of the above).
It’s where one of the biggest controversies involving candida die-off lies. According to them, the body can develop overgrowth.
It may not be severe enough to cause systemic symptoms and affect the vital organs. The symptoms of both the infection and the die-off can also be vague and unrelated.
What is clear is that many health experts acknowledge that an infection can happen, and it may lead to health problems.
There are also many ways to detect infection. One of these is by studying the candida stool.
Some practice candida spit tests as well. In this procedure, you spit dime-sized saliva into a glass of lukewarm water first thing in the morning.
You then observe the following:
- Appearance of string-like legs
- Cloudy saliva
- Cloudy specks in the middle of the water
Note, though, no study showed that this method is accurate. The claims are mostly anecdotal.
Can Candida Cause Anxiety?
So far, studies suggest a link between candida and mental illnesses. They don’t establish a cause and effect.
One of these studies is from Johns Hopkins University researchers.
They discovered that:
- Candida infection was more common in men with bipolar and schizophrenia disorders.
- Many women with these illnesses and the infection performed worse in memory exams than those who never had an infection history.
Meanwhile, a 2013 study revealed that the effectiveness of micronutrients to treat depression declines among those with infection.
What Are the Symptoms of Candida Die-Off?
When candida overgrowth and invasion lead to symptoms, doctors often treat it as soon as possible. These include using antifungal medications and antibiotics.
Many people, though, may develop an adverse reaction once these fungi die. Also known as the Herx reaction, the symptoms can vary.
The most common ones include:
- Muscle aches
- Skin rash
- Digestive symptoms
- Brain fog
- Recurring infections
Sometimes, the candida die-off symptoms can appear suddenly and become severe quickly. In this case, they may become life-threatening.
Can Candida Die-Off Cause Itchy Skin?
The answer is yes. A die-off can lead to itchy skin for at least two reasons:
- The fungi can also inhabit the skin.
- There’s a connection between the gut and skin.
Candida, the fungi, can live in different parts of the body. Besides the gut, they are the most abundant in the skin.
When you suffer from an overgrowth, you can develop skin problems. Symptoms may include redness, itchiness, flaking of the skin, and inflammation.
The itching, though, may also be a symptom of candida die-off as the fungi release their toxins. You may also experience a candida die-off rash besides the itchiness.
The microbiome in the intestines can also help regulate and communicate with the skin via the gut-skin axis. Changes in the digestive tract, therefore, may also reflect in the largest organ of the body.
Does Candida Die-Off Cause Bloating?
Yes, it may cause bloating and other digestive symptoms. These include gas, abdominal pain, and changes in the bowel movement.
You may also experience having candida die-off stool. It may appear frothy, wetter than usual, and malodorous.
It’s because die-off can affect the composition of the microbiome significantly. These microorganisms interact and influence one another.
Any disruption may also alter the way they function and communicate. These may then manifest as gut-related symptoms.
How Long Does the Die-Off from Candida Last?
How long do candida die-off symptoms last? There’s no definite timeline when the symptoms of candida die-off stop.
Usually, they turn for the worse within the first three to seven days before they get better. Some people call this period the healing crisis.
After that, the symptoms may begin to taper until they disappear. It doesn’t mean you should stop your medications or treatment plan.
Like other fungi, candida can multiply quickly. Some health experts suggest it may take at least three months to a year to fully recover, depending on the severity of the infection.
How Do You Ease Candida Die-Off Symptoms?
Killing candida may be essential, but you can do something to reduce the effects of candida die-off:
1. Support the Gut
During a candida die-off, the gut’s microbiota is in significant dysbiosis. You may minimize that by supplementing with probiotics and prebiotics.
A combination called the Reset Regimen may help. What makes this unique is the presence of fungi as other probiotic supplements have only bacteria.
2. Watch Your Diet
Eating healthy can also help reduce infection and die-off symptoms. While still managing the effects, avoid sugar and processed food as much as possible.
Sugar helps feed candida. Junk food and additives, meanwhile, can create an acidic environment that allows these fungi to thrive.
3. Take Care of Your Liver
The liver is the largest internal organ in the body for a reason: it performs many functions. One of these is removing toxins and chemicals from medications.
When you’re in a candida die-off, this organ may need to work harder. If it goes unsupported, it may eventually be less efficient.
You can support the liver by:
- Increasing your water intake to help it flush out toxins
- Monitoring your liver enzyme levels
- Avoid consuming supplements and medications other than those that are necessary
- Reducing the consumption of fatty food as the liver finds fat harder to digest
4. Lower Your Stress
A 2005 study showed a link of chronic candida between women and stress. It could be because stress affects the body’s ability to fight infection.
If you’re under treatment, the die-off symptoms may feel worse and last longer when you feel stressed. Learn to deal with it in many ways:
- Exercise (which also helps flush out toxins)
- Meditate or practice deep breathing
- Listen to music
- Sleep early and well
The symptoms of candida die-off can be uncomfortable and even frightening. Many, though, soldier on — and so can you.
How do you take care of your gut? Share your tips in the comments section below!