Candida and depression: Addressing gut imbalances to restore your mood

If you haven’t heard of Candida yet, then make sure to read this post. Candida is a form of yeast that can overgrow inside your gut causing ALL sorts of symptoms. Depression is one of those.
candida depression

If you’re suffering from depression right now, chances are you’ve got some physical symptoms to deal with, too. Beyond the low mood, you’re probably feeling tired and worn down, brain fogged, and have difficulty concentrating and remembering anything. But perhaps you’ve also got skin problems, digestive issues or suffer from allergies. Maybe you’re itching in all sorts of places, too, or you keep getting thrush. Headaches, painful joints or rashes? Perhaps you experience some of those, too. It’s terrible, right? Well, all these symptoms including your depression may be linked to Candida. 

why you need to know about candida

Candida is a yeast and a type of fungus that lives in small amounts inside your mouth and your gut, on your skin and your genital area. It’s not the only yeast that does that, but it’s the most studied and most common one. In small amounts it actually has some uses, such as helping you digest your food and absorb nutrients. 

Your beneficial gut bacteria normally make sure that Candida is kept in check and cannot overgrow. But when you’re gut microbiome is compromised, Candida can go wild and multiply inside your body. That’s when you’ve got Candida overgrowth and that’s when you get symptoms.

Symptoms of candida overgrowth

If you’ve read my previous post on the link between your gut health and depression, then you’ll know about leaky gut and why your gut lining is vital for your health. Candida can cause damage to this very lining inside your gut.

What does that mean again? Well, you can end up absorbing toxic byproducts including the Candida yeast from your gut into your bloodstream. So high amounts of Candida would be circulating in your blood in this case and they can reach lots of different areas in your body.

And this can lead to ALL sorts of symptoms, including:

  • Depression, anxiety, mood swings and irritability
  • Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, poor memory 
  • Digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhoea or constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Skin problems such as eczema or acne
  • Thrush, vaginal or rectal itching
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Allergies
  • Fungal infections such as Athlete’s foot
  • Cravings for sugar and starchy foods such as bread and cakes 
small intestine candida

What causes candida to overgrow?

Candida can overgrow for a number of reasons, including a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, high alcohol consumption, certain types of medication, oral contraceptives and chronic stress. Antibiotics, too, can lead to Candida overgrowth as they not only kill off pathogenic bacteria but also the good ones, too. Remember our beneficial gut bacteria normally keep Candida in check. 

So really, it’s the typical Western lifestyle that’s to blame once again.

Candida and depression: Restore your gut microbiome to overcome your mood problems

The good news is that you can overcome Candida overgrowth by restoring a healthy gut microbiome. Yes! It’s not a quick-fix solution and doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s totally doable. 

In my 12 week programme I run a stool test called the GI Map on my clients to check for levels of Candida and other yeasts. It also analyses the amount of good and bad bacteria inside your gut. This way, we’ll know exactly what you’re dealing with and how to best approach it. No more guessing!

If Candida is present, we take a multi-step approach to beat it:

step by step
  • We really make sure that your diet doesn’t contribute to yeast overgrowth
  • We use certain supplements that break down Candida
  • We address “leaky gut” by using certain foods and remedies that repair the gut lining
  • We make sure you’re digesting your foods properly
  • And lastly, we repopulate your gut with beneficial bacteria and yeasts

Back when I was suffering from depression, I didn’t know anything about Candida and gut bacteria. My diet was high in sugar and I was pretty stressed. 

I also really had no idea that my poor mental health had anything to do with my diet or my gut. I didn’t really have digestive symptoms either, so never thought about any of it. 

But then I picked up this book on healing with nutrition, and everything just made so much more sense. I had many of the other symptoms I listed above, and I’m pretty sure that my depression was largely caused by yeast overgrowth. I reduced the sugar and just this step alone made such a huge difference to my mood. I learnt to handle my stress a lot better and took the supplements I mentioned above. 

I now use this holistic multi-step approach in my work with my clients so that they can overcome their depression too. Functional testing means we know what we’re dealing with so we test instead of guess. And then we create a forward-looking action plan and I support my clients all the way, because doing new and challenging things on your own is hard, right? 

Welcome to the blog

I’m Claudia Smith and I help women get to better mental health naturally. Having overcome depression once myself, I am a qualified nutritionist, coach and practice functional medicine.

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