The Gut Infection Behind Mood Swings, Anxiety, and Depression
September 3rd, 2019
Do you struggle with mood swings, anxiety, depression, or other mood imbalances? Have you ever been prescribed antidepressants or other mood-stabilizing medications? If so, you are a part of a rapidly growing segment of the population.
The rates of mood disorders and the use of mood-stabilizing medications skyrocketed over the last several years. In fact, one in every six Americans is prescribed an antidepressant or other psychiatric medication1. The rates are even higher among women, with one in four American women prescribed antidepressants or other psychiatric medications2.
This is both alarming and heartbreaking for a number of reasons. It saddens me to think of so many women struggling with these issues, and it frustrates me as a functional medicine physician that they often feel their only option is to turn to prescription medications.
While conventional medicine doctors consider lifelong dependence on prescription medications a “solution” to mood imbalances, they often come with a laundry list of side effects.3 A a functional medicine physician, my goal is to uncover what’s really causing your mood imbalance in the first place, in order to treat it and allow your mood to stabilize naturally.
I want to clarify that antidepressant medication can be a helpful tool, particularly in severe cases or while you’re working to identify your root cause. I don’t consider them the only tool in my toolbox to help patients overcome mood imbalances. Medications may also be far from the most powerful tool.
The Root Cause of Mood Imbalances
In working with thousands of patients in my clinic, I have found that in almost all cases women are able to come off of antidepressants and other mood-stabilizing medications. They thrive free of mood swings, anxiety, and depression, after addressing the underlying root cause of their mood imbalances.
So what are the root causes of mood imbalances and how can you overcome them? In my experience, the number one cause of mood imbalances all goes back to your gut. This may be surprising but your gut produces 95% of your serotonin, the key neurotransmitter for regulating mood. It’s one of many reasons there is a saying, “the gut is the second brain!”
There are many gut infections and conditions that play a role in your overall gut health. Yet, my patients with mood imbalances most often struggled with Candida overgrowth or yeast overgrowth.
How Candida Causes Mood Swings, Anxiety, and Depression
Candida is a fungus, which is a form of yeast, a very small amount of which lives in your mouth and intestines. There are actually many different types of yeast that take up residence in your body. However, Candida albicans, Candida for short, is the most common and studied form of yeast. Many kinds of common yeast overgrowth is referred to as Candida overgrowth.
Candida’s job is to aid with digestion and nutrient absorption. Typically the good bacteria in your gut, as well as your immune system, prevent your Candida population from overgrowing.
However, when the balance of good bacteria to yeast is disrupted, Candida is able to multiply unchecked. This can happen from taking a round of antibiotics (which kill off the good bacteria), eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates, drinking too much alcohol (both feed the yeast), long-term birth control pill use, chronic stress, or numerous other lifestyle factors that disrupt your microbiome.
The yeast then coats the lining of your intestinal tract and suppresses your ability to produce or secrete serotonin.
The Importance of Serotonin in Mood
A deficiency in serotonin can cause mood imbalances such as mood swings, anxiety, and depression. In fact, the majority of antidepressants work by blocking the brain’s serotonin receptors, freeing up more of the chemical to remain present in the brain.
What Happens When Candida Overgrows
If left unchecked, Candida also breaks down the wall of your intestine, which can lead to leaky gut. When this happens, not only does Candida penetrate the bloodstream, toxic byproducts release into your body.
This can lead to many different symptoms, including:
- Irritability, moodiness, anxiety and depression
- Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD or ADHD
- Skin and nail fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, ringworm, and nail fungus
- Chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
- Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
- Skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes
- Vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, rectal itching, or vaginal itching
- Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears
- Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings
How to Banish Mood Imbalances and Eliminate Candida Overgrowth
The great news is that once you eliminate your Candida overgrowth and return your serotonin levels to optimal levels, mood issues and other symptoms fade away.
As I mentioned, many women are able to reduce or come off of antidepressants and other mood-stabilizing medications after treating Candida overgrowth. In doing this, I always recommend working with your doctor when changing your dose or coming off of any prescription medication.
I’ve helped thousands of patients overcome Candida overgrowth using a simple, proven protocol focused on killing the yeast. This is done by eliminating the sugars that feed yeast, taking targeted yeast-killing supplements, and restoring the good bacteria that keep the yeast in check.
You can follow this exact same protocol at home using my 30-Day Candida Breakthrough® Program. It includes a 30-day meal plan with recipes and shopping lists and all three of the yeast-fighting supplements. There are also tons of additional resources and videos to empower you to restore your gut.
Don’t wait to take back your health. You have the power to feel vibrant and energized so that you can start living your life again.