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Candida – Missing Link to Healing Psoriasis and Other Illness

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Candida – I didn't really know much about it, other than that it could cause yeast infections in your tucks and folds and private areas. I had no idea that it would change my life forever – and may be affecting a lot of other people who knew as little as I used to know.

I'm jumping ahead of the original timeline I set out for myself in the Psoriasis series, but this is important. I tried many other things before I figured out this piece of the puzzle, but without this knowledge, I couldn't heal completely.

 What is candida, what health problems may be linked to candida overgrowth, home candida test and how I discovered candida was a problem for me.

In this post I'm going to explain what candida is, what health problems may be linked to candida overgrowth and how I discovered candida was a problem for me. Next week we'll tackle how to get it under control.

What is Candida?

Candida albicans (which I'll refer to as “candida” throughout most of this post) is a harmless yeast that lives naturally in your body. It lives in the gastrointestinal tract, on the mucous membranes and on the skin.

It's part of a balanced microbiome – all the microorganisms that work symbiotically with your body's own cells to keep you healthy. It is also sometimes referred to as a fungus – such as when a person gets a case of “jock itch”. This is typically referred to as a “fungal infection”, but it's due to yeast overgrowth.

Candida is harmless and normal – except when it isn't. When candida grows out of control, it becomes pathogenic (disease causing). It sheds high amounts of mycotoxins (fungus related toxins) and the fungus can burrow roots into the gut lining, leading to leaky gut syndrome.

Leaky gut then contributes to toxins escaping into the bloodstream (instead of exiting via the waste cycle). This systemic fungal infection (candida overgrowth) is referred to as candidiasis.

What Causes Candida Overgrowth?

There are often a variety of factors that contribute to candida overgrowth. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Antibiotic Use
  • Steroids
  • Birth Control Pills
  • ERT (Estrogen Replacement Therapy)
  • Poor Diet
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Heavy Metals
  • Alcohol Overuse
  • Recreational Drugs
  • Acute and Chronic Stress
  • Amalgam Fillings
  • Refined Carbohydrate and Sugar Consumption
  • Excessive Dairy Consumption

As you can see, many of these factors are part of the daily lives of most people. I have a mouth full of metal fillings (which I plan to get replaced by quadrant as they need replacing and budget allows).

I have also had pretty high stress levels in recent years, and was given antibiotics for a staph infection last year. I'm also on thyroid medication for my underactive thyroid – a hormone therapy.

Something not mentioned on this list is kombucha consumption. Kombucha is brewed from a SCOBY – a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. One of the yeasts that may occur in kombucha is Candida albicans.

Not normally a problem, since as mentioned earlier, it is part of a balanced microbiome.

When it might become a problem is if you drink large amounts of kombucha (which I did) and you have other risk factors in play (which I do). Nowhere in the literature on kombucha that I read back when I started brewing was this risk mentioned, so I had no idea there was any risk at all. I still believe live culture foods are critical to good health – but there can be situations when you get too much of an otherwise good thing.

What Toxins Does Candida Overgrowth Produce?

Candida overgrowth produces toxic byproducts – over 79+ different mycotoxins. These mycotoxins attack the body and weaken the immune system. These toxins include:

  • Acetaldehyde – in excess, can cause brain fog and vertigo, create a thiamine and niacin deficiency leading to depression, fatigue, memory loss and more
  • Gliotoxin – deactivates critical enzymes that remove toxins and creates DNA changes in white blood cells that weaken the immune system

What Conditions are Caused Directly or Indirectly by Candida Overgrowth?

This list is adapted from “The Candida Cure: Yeast, Fungus and Your Health“. It is a partial list only.

Autoimmune Diseases

  • Chronic Fatigue Sydrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Leukemia
  • Lupus
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy * – I wonder if this may have been part of what triggered my mom's MMD?
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

Blood System

  • Chronic Infection
  • Iron Deficiency

Cancer

Digestive System

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bloating/Gas
  • Carbohydrate/Sugar Cravings
  • Colitis
  • Constipation/Diarrhea
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Dysbiosis
  • Food Allergies
  • Hearburn
  • IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
  • Leaky Gut

Skin

  • Acne
  • Diaper Rash
  • Dry Skin and Itching
  • Eczema
  • Hives
  • Hair Loss
  • Liver Spots
  • Psoriasis

Respiratory System/Ears/Eyes/Mouth

  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Dizziness
  • Earaches
  • Environmental Allergies/Chemical Sensitivities
  • Hay Fever
  • Oral Thrush
  • Sinusitis

Endocrine System

  • Adrenal/Thyroid Failure
  • Diabetes
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Insomnia
  • Over/Underweight

Nervous System

  • Alcoholism
  • Anxiety
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Autism
  • Brain Fog
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Hyperactivity
  • Learning Difficulties
  • Manic-Depressive Disorder
  • Migraines
  • Schizophrenia

Urinary/Reproductive

  • Cystitis
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids
  • Impotence
  • Loss of Libido
  • Menstrual Irregularities
  • PMS
  • Prostatitis
  • Yeast Vaginal Infections

Note: To be clear, this list is not meant to indicate that these conditions are caused solely by candida overgrowth. Many of them have a genetic component. That said, there is often an epigenetic component as well.

Most of us know that not everyone who has a gene that has been linked to a disease gets that disease. Something has to trigger that gene to become active.

This is epigenetics – the science that examines how environmental triggers interact with our genome. Many people have found that diet and lifestyle changes have sent diseases into remission, but this is not always successful for everyone.

The author of The Candida Cure was able to put her multiple sclerosis into remission through diet and lifestyle changes.

How I Realized Candida Overgrowth was a Factor in My Psoriasis

Unfortunately, while I'd love to be able to say that the dermatologist who diagnosed my psoriasis mentioned a possible link between psoriasis and candida, she did no such thing.

She never even mentioned that candida was a possibility. Instead, she said it was likely some product I was using (I use very limited products on my skin and in our home, and they are as non-toxic as I can get).

She sent me on my way with a shopping list that looked like a Proctor and Gamble advertisement. (Proctor and Gamble received an “F” for Chemical Transparency in their products.  Not a company I care to support.)

She blew off my request to test for allergies, and when I directly asked her about changing my diet to help my skin, she said, “You can try, but what you eat doesn't affect your skin.”

For a person with multiple medical degrees, she sure was awfully wrong.

It turned out I had a staph infection in the open skin on my elbow, so I was given antibiotics. I filled the prescription for steroid cream, and did use a little on my face leading up to the presentation I had to give at the Naval College last October. Meanwhile, I also tried out The Psoriasis Diet, with little change.

When I got back from the trip to Rhode Island, I stopped using the steroid cream – and my skin went crazy. The steroids had only been suppressing the symptoms, not curing the cause.

I went in for allergy testing, hoping that something could be found that was a trigger. Results were good and bad – the few foods that registered as potentially problematic were, for the most part, not ones that I eat regularly.

There was no obvious “smoking gun” – except that candida levels were moderately high – which I didn't pay much attention to at first.

Time passed. Then I was discussing my skin with my friend, Casey. She looked at a photo of my face via Messenger and said, “That doesn't look like psoriasis.”

All of the sudden, it clicked. I searched “candida overgrowth face”, and saw an image that looked almost exactly like mine associated with the article, “The Curse of Candida“.

BAM! Now that I had a name, I could develop a strategy to heal (including using the book that was recommended). It's a work in progress, but I'm doing so much better than I was several months ago.

Easy Home Candida Test – The Spit Test for Candida

Wondering if you may have candida overgrowth? One of the simplest candida tests is called the spit test.

The testing is done when you first wake up in the morning, before you brush your teeth or get a drink.

  1. Fill a glass with clean, filtered water at room temperature.
  2. Spit gently into the water in the glass. (Just drop a nice gobber in – no flem.)
  3. Check the glass at 20 minute intervals for signs of candida, such as:
    1. Filmy “strings” hanging down from the split glob.
    2. A cloudy saliva film at the bottom of the glass
    3. Cloudy specs of spit suspended in the water

This test may produce false positives if you are congested or dehydrated, so it's best backed up with lab testing for confirmation. Lab tests can be run testing blood, stool or urine. If you have a number of the risk factors listed above, your odds of candida overgrowth are much higher.

Next week I'll talk about the steps I've taken to get my candida overgrowth under control. If some of these symptoms and causes sound familiar to you, I'd love to hear your story. The more information we all have, the better chance we have of finding a way to heal.

 What is candida, what health problems may be linked to candida overgrowth, home candida test and how I discovered candida was a problem for me.

Recommended Resources:

Other posts in the series:

Now available in kindle or print, “Psoriasis Healing – From Curse to Blessing“.

Released in 2020, this book shares my story and other tips for healing.

"Psoriasis Healing: From Curse to Blessing" book cover
https://commonsensehome.com/psoriasis-healing/

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24 Comments

  1. Wow, Laurie! I can imagine how frustrating it was for you to have a multiple medical degreed doctor just basically blow you off. Unfortunately it happens much more often than not. I am glad you have found a reason and are working towards getting your skin back. 🙂 Your story is an interesting one and I am sure it will help many. Sending healing thoughts and prayers your way.

  2. Hello, My name is James and I’ve been following you or well reading your stories and blogs for a long time. All the info is great.
    I see a lady in Louisville Ky that does epidermal screening her company is Bioenergetics, I’ve been seeing her for a couple years and she’s help cure me from Shingles, mono, limes disease, parasites, allergies, it’s been a roller coaster, anyways she recently showed on my last screening, last Monday ,that I was showing signs of Candida over growth , so she told me no sugar and started me on a de-tox (Can-Sol ) it’ll be a week tomorrow and it kinda drains you but I soon to hope to be like new. I’m not sure if any of this helps.
    I do believe that this epidermal screening is the answer to everything it’s like she knows exactly what’s wrong and how to fix it ( all naturally ) which is the awesome part. I also believe that God sends people when we need them and I was sent to her when everyone else (DR’s) swore me off. I’d love to send you a copy of this sheet I have about it. But we only have a iPhone and I can only type so much I’d be happy to scan it and send it to you if you’d like.
    Thank you for the articals as they help so much and I’m so proud that you push forwards.
    God Bless,
    James
    Ekron KY

  3. I had a problem with Candida overgrowth- especially in the form of recurring vaginal yeast infections. I have tried many antifungal creams and meds (prescription and over the counter). They would go away for a while, but always come back. Now, if I feel symptoms, I do what my gyno told me she learned from a dr. in Madison, WI who was speaking on this subject. I make my own Boric Acid capsules with powder purchased from Amazon. I use it as a suppository and it honestly works. If you’ve ever had a yeast infection, you know it is terrible. I am glad to finally have something that I can do at home, without going to the dr or store. Read these reviews on Amazon for other people doing this, too. I was amazed that my regular doctor had recommended this because she is usually very pro- not DIY or natural! When I have flair ups, I do realize that the candida is out of balance in my body elsewhere and usually spend some days, weeks or months going sugar, fruit and grain free to help clear out the candida as well as using the boric acid. So glad I now rarely have problems anymore. I look forward to your follow up posts on this topic. Thanks- from a local!

    1. That was one of the weird things with how my disease progressed – I never had any of the typical symptoms (like vaginal yeast infections), which made it tougher to identify the problem. Glad that you have found a product that helps you.

    2. Becca
      I have used the same treatment for vaginal yeast and the itch down there stopped but the itch in the back of my neck and face, nose and especially the eye brows intensified. My Yeast goes up and down my spine like a YoYo at least I don’t have the debilitating back pain especially under the shoulders any more. I am working of using sea salt on my sinuses to chase Yeast out of the sinuses in my head. I am constantly using different herbs, foods and oils. What a challenge.

    3. I had an overdose of antibiotics at age 8 or 9 and a lot more antibiotics and steroid cream treatment for dermatitis through my teens and early adulthood when I ceased seeking allopathic treatment. I will never cease giving thanks to all the people and practitioners who generously shared what they knew to help give me comfort and ultimately to open up the public discussion of healthier diet, hygiene and societal choices, and that very much includes you, Laurie.
      We now enter the zone of crotch talk where I share what has worked for me, even on a homestead with no plumbing.
      Living in the tropics, I figured out early that vaginal hygiene was a essential for vaginitis. I didn’t always have the space or privacy for douches. What I started doing was concluding daily showers with a quick, shallow douche consisting of spreading my legs and squatting slightly, making sure my inner labia were nice and clean, then cupping my hand over my crotch to that water filled my palm, then rapidly and gently flattening my hand up toward my vaginal opening several times. Done daily, this was very consistent for preventing more aggravated symptoms. This may not be as effective with a partner who has a different body chemistry, is also suffering from candida overgrowth or is not similarly concerned about oral or crotch hygiene.
      Some years later, when I knew a lot more about diet and hygiene, I still occasionally got infections. An exceptional naturopath discussed my situation at length and made a fantastic recommendation. She said that if I started to feel symptoms of irritation, to “gently push it out”. We talked about a lot of things that day, and she didn’t have time to elaborate. After considering about this for a while and practicing a bit I learned to THINK about gently pushing my lower gut downwards for 10 or 15 seconds. Somehow this works! Maybe because it increases circulation. There is also an Ayurvedic principle called Apana Vayu, or the downward flow of physical aspects that definitely gets involved. It’s a good idea to pee beforehand.
      A couple of decades later, I moved onto a homestead with a hand pump well and to date no shower facilities. Someday, there may be a bidet with a small DC-powered submersible water pump. Until then, I have my trusty Rubbermaid squarish bucket, just wide enough to straddle and squat over. We have good water, but I decided to refine the experience with Berkey filtered water. I mix hot water from a thermos into a plastic one pound size dairy tub partially filled with cool water. I check to be sure it is at bath temperature. This one definitely calls for peeing first. I squat over the bucket positioned to keep from splashing too much front or back. I hold the cup with one hand and wash off my labia thoroughly, then go through the cupping routine. I reserve a little water to give my rectum a good wash at the end and then to finish with rinsing off my hand. I stand over the bucket while wiping myself dry. It took a little practice to keep my balance and I expect to wipe up a little splashing afterwards. A round bucket that is not too tall may also work, but there won’t be any corners to reduce splashing.
      My husband is over a foot taller than I and very husky. Our television long ago told us that crotch itch is a problem for guys, and my husband has found great relief from a regular wash himself. He uses an old 5 gal. paint bucket. We are still looking for something lower, wider and longer over which he can squat. The bidet may be our mutual best solution.
      I hope this account didn’t overwhelm anyone’s sense of good taste or decorum. I know that there are people who have suffered and are suffering worse than I did. My hope is that what I learned brings someone else some relief.

      1. WOW
        I would of never been able to handle my Yeast overgrowth and my down under itch without my bath tub. Wow I never thought of the joy of running water. I am trying to learn how to go back to basics but I guess not that basic. Thanks of the story.

  4. AN oregano product made by Biotics Research called ADP is the only thing that worked for me. I took 2, three times a day. It took 10 weeks to get results. I also took Spanish Black Radish by Standard Process, 1 pill daily. I am also on the autoimmune paleo diet. A dose of antibiotics caused this and changed my life. It’s been 2.5 years and I haven’t been able to eat as I use to. A clean diet of organic meat and vegetables is expensive, but the doctors, who are uninformed regarding these conditions, are more expensive and may further damage your health with antibiotics and steroids. Find a functional medicine doctor or naturopath.

  5. Well Done, I’m impressed Great work this story needs to be told EVERYWHERE over and over again for it is the source of many many illnesses and even eventually your immune system just gives up and you go to a nursing home with serious dementia. Note it doesn’t kill you fast just very very slow.

    You have done your homework. I am working on my third group of homeopathic herbs etc. against Candida. It takes a long time but I have almost won and have yeast under control. P.S. there isn’t just one cure and everyone’s cure is different.
    Thanks for the great work

    1. I think you’ve hit on a critical point, Joan – everyone is different. My goal with this series is to get people more tools so they can ask questions and find the solutions that work for them.

  6. That is important Laurie. You are you best coach. You can get information from others but only your body knows how to heal. It has the energy to heal itself it you give it the right stuff. You just have to figure out what the right stuff is
    My further thoughts on the subject my article “What is Healing Energy”
    http://coconutcreamcare.com/?s=healing+energy
    Again great article I am eager to hear about your progress

  7. I have found a couple articles on Candida and iron. (might be a reason why women who take a multi vitamin are more likely to die earlier. ) iron feeds Candida, and it is one of the few microbes that can use the same receptor we use that protects our iron from being stolen by other microbes. If you are supplementing with iron you are probably feeding your Candida. Also taking too many antioxidants can unbalance the oxygen in cells slowing down the mitochondria and weakening your immune system. It is a balance and too much of a good thing is not a good thing.

  8. Hi Laurie,
    I came across your post after I saw a picture of what I’m pretty sure I’m suffering with. Let me give you a bit of myself so you can understand what I’m dealing with and maybe you can point me in the right direction. I know your post is from 2016 but I’m so praying my message will find you. I’m 36 years old and yesterday I literally thought I was going to die my whole body from head to feet was covered in itchy painful raised bumps. I even had it in my mouth. And when I say everywhere I mean everywhere including my private areas and even my eye lids. My whole body hurt. If I sat down I couldn’t get up like I normally could. It felt like I had a severe case of the flu, my muscles and bones were just killing me. My legs look like I have a case of the chicken pox. They have looked like this for so so long. I don’t even dare ware shorts. I live in Willis, Texas and in the summer it’s pretty hot. Having to wear pants is miserable. A little bit about my past is in 2003 I developed a severe case of idiopathic chronic pancreatitis and had to have 40 percent of my pancreas removed along with my spleen. They were suppose to remove 15 percent but it was worse when they went in. They explained to me i have bile reflux also. After surgery everything was ok for about a year and I had no problems at all. Then the chronic pancreatitis came back with force causing me to become diabetic taking up to 9 insulin shots a day. I started passing gum ball size blood clots through my bowels and found out I have ulcerative colitis. I started having red bumps on my legs that would itch and would have pus in them and so doctor said more than likely with my immune system they were staph. So they gave me medicine to treat them. Then they said it was foliculitous and then keratosis pilaris. They always go away and then come right back. But always came back worse. I have developed 8 ulcers in my stomach that causes horrible back pain. I take pain meds for the pancreatitis everyday and they don’t touch the pain in my back. I have deleloped chronic fatigue and would sleep up to 18 hours a day so my doc put me on adderall to give me energy and help keep me up. I’ve deleloped big knots under my skin on my back and bottom that seem to keep getting bigger. I have a lymph node in me neck for over a year that stays swollen and hard. And now for the past month I’ve been having nose bleeds daily. I am constantly getting oral thrush. Im not sure if any or all this is related to yeast but in a odd way I’m thinking it may be possible. I need help or advice on what to do. I’m always in pain and constantly having the bumps everywhere. What would you recommend?

    1. Oh honey, I’m so sorry that you’re so miserable. I can’t treat anything over the internet – I’m not a doctor, and it wouldn’t be legal or safe. You could get tested for candida overgrowth, as it’s often missed, and try changing your diet. Keep asking questions and trying things. Don’t give up!

      Here’s what I did for my diet changes – https://commonsensehome.com/anti-candida-anti-psoriasis-diet/

      And here are some of the other treatments I found helpful – https://commonsensehome.com/alternative-psoriasis-treatments/

  9. I struggled with candida-related eczema for years when I was a teenager, through a very strict diet and a miracle of a natural doctor I was able to get it all under control and have no remnants. But as the years have gone on, I know my diet has slipped its way back into the typical American diet and I am now experiencing psoriasis-like symptoms on my scalp. Running across your article lined it all up for me in knowing candida is the root of my problem again, and I just wanted to ask how long after you started your strict eating plan did it take for you to see results? I know in the past when I struggled with eczema, results took a LONG time, but I was much farther gone as well.

    1. I don’t know exactly. Looking back at the photos, I think my skin was the worst at the end of 2015. Late October through December were really bad. Shortly after the first of the year, things gradually started improving. By March 2016, the worst was gone. The last stubborn bits didn’t clear until 2017. Now (April 2018) there are only a few tiny rough spots on my elbows. I think I may be dealing with secondary toxicity issues, though, as my weight has crept back up even I’m still watching my diet pretty closely. I have an appointment with a holistic dentist next month, and am going to start the long process of getting all my amalgam fillings removed to see if that helps. I have a mouth full of metal from when I was a kid.

      1. Can you please share what worked for you??

        My face looks like a clown Face! I cannot go out in public
        So miserable

        Thank you for your article

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