3 Causes of Recurring Candida and What to Do About Them
January 6th, 2019
Are you battling with stubborn Candida overgrowth that just won’t go away? Have you tried the Candida diet, Candida-fighting supplements, and other lifestyle changes, only to have your symptoms reappear as soon as you stop treatment? You’re not the only one! This is something I dealt with all the time in my clinic.
When I see a patient with recurring Candida overgrowth, there are a few underlying causes that I suspect could be to blame. Fortunately, once we pinpoint and address the root cause, they are able to enjoy lasting relief from chronic symptoms and say goodbye to their ongoing struggle with recurrent infections.
In this article, I’ll cover the three most common culprits for recurring Candida, and what you can do to break out of this vicious cycle and banish your symptoms once and for all.
I know what you’re thinking: “Wait, I already did the Candida diet!” And I bet it worked…for a time. However, if you start eating the way you did before the Candida protocol, it should come as no surprise that the overgrowth is back.
Diet is never a quick fix. It’s why I call my program “The Myers Way®”–it’s a way of life, not a temporary solution. Yes, you can reintroduce certain foods and be a little more flexible once you’ve finished the Candida protocol, however if you are susceptible to gut infections you might have to be more careful with what you put on your plate (or in your cup).
- Sugar is the number one offender in Candida overgrowth. If you’ve ditched refined sugar and find Candida still won’t go away, you might have to ease off even all-natural sweeteners such as coconut sugar, honey, and maple syrup. Save sweet treats for special occasions, and try to stick to ones made with stevia or monk fruit. Stevia is 200-300 times sweeter than regular sugar, while monk fruit is 150-200 times sweeter, meaning you’ll use them in such small quantities that they’ll be less likely to feed an overgrowth.1,2 And although fruit is filled with nutrients, it’s also very high in natural sugars and should be kept to a minimum if you struggle with recurring Candida. Keep it to 1 cup or less per day of low-sugar fruits such as berries.
- Alcohol a.k.a. liquid sugar is just as bad–if not worse–than sugar itself. That’s because certain types of alcohol such as beer, wine, and champagne are not only packed with sugar, they’re fermented as well. What is used to ferment these drinks? Yeast. The combination of yeast and sugar creates a feeding frenzy for Candida. Alcohol is a toxin, so I recommend ditching it completely. However, if you choose to indulge, opt for a clear liquor such as vodka, which undergoes a rigorous distillation process to remove all the yeast.
- Speaking of fermented foods, you’ll want to avoid those as well if you can’t seem to get Candida under control. And yes, this includes even “healthy” fermented foods such as kombucha, sauerkraut, and non-dairy yogurt. To help foster good gut bacteria without feeding Candida, take a high-quality probiotic supplement with at least 100 billion CFUs.
- Starchy vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and squash, are high in carbs that get converted into sugars in your gut. So although you may not think of these seemingly harmless foods when fighting Candida, they may be behind your recurrent infections. Fill your plate with non-starchy vegetables instead, including leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, asparagus, and zucchini.
Cutting down on sugar is certainly an adjustment, especially if you’ve been eating the Standard American Diet, which is chock full of sugar and starches in nearly everything we eat. However, you will feel SO much better once you ditch sugar, and the reward will be relief from your symptoms and recurring Candida! To help you on your journey, I highly recommend Leaky Gut Revive™ for curbing sugar cravings while you ease your way into this low-sugar way of eating.
2. Mycotoxin Exposure
Mycotoxin exposure is always in the back of my mind as the cause of chronic symptoms that have no other explanation. If you’ve gone through everything–optimized your diet, repaired your gut, etc.–and still are struggling with recurring Candida, that’s when I suspect mycotoxins.
Mycotoxins are gas-like toxins, similar to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) given off by molds. They can be found in common foods such as peanuts, coffee, and corn, as well as in your environment.
Symptoms of Mycotoxin Exposure
- Eczema or psoriasis
- Depression, anxiety, and other mood imbalances
- Cognitive impairment, brain fog, memory loss
- Fibromyalgia, muscle weakness, joint pain
- Neurological issues
- ADD or ADHD
- Lyme disease symptoms (yet tested negative for Lyme)
- Leaky Gut
- Autoimmune diseases
Mycotoxins are toxic to 25% of the population who have the susceptible gene. However, I also tell people that each of us has a cup of water that is our health. Each day, we put drops of water in–whether from our diet, leaky gut, toxins, infections, or stress–and at some point that cup will overflow. This “overflow” is what turns that gene on, and once it’s on it stays on.
If you suspect mycotoxins are coming from your environment, if at all possible you need to leave that environment for a week or two and see if your symptoms resolve. Then, if that environment is your home, you will need to bring in a certified mold remediator to clean up the mold before returning. This is a HUGE project, and for that reason I recommend getting yourself tested first.
I use a urine test from Real Time Labs out of Dallas to assess for 3 main types of mycotoxins. They can also do a filter test where you cut out a piece of the air filter from your home and test it for those same mycotoxins.
As for treatment, you can work with your doctor to get a prescription antifungal. If you choose to self-treat, you can ensure your liver detoxification pathways are working optimally using Acetyl-Glutathione. Caprylic acid and certain clays, such as bentonite, can be helpful for binding to toxins, although they are not going to be as powerful as prescription antifungals.
Check out my podcast where I go into detail about mycotoxin exposure and how to recover from it.
3. Mercury Overload
There hasn’t been a lot of research into the connection between mercury overload and Candida overgrowth, which is why conventional medicine often misses this critical root cause. However, it is something I have come across time and again in my patients struggling with recurring Candida.
One reason for this connection is that Candida can bind with mercury in your intestines, so the mercury can’t get into your bloodstream.3 While this is a helpful protective action (as your organs will be less exposed to mercury) the mercury also kills off good bacteria, which normally keep Candida in check. This allows Candida to proliferate more easily.4
There is also some scientific evidence suggesting that mercury can disrupt your natural gut environment, which encourages Candida and bad bacteria to overgrow.5 Mercury may also damage your gut lining to such an extent that Candida can easily make its way into many other areas of your body.6
Symptoms of Mercury Overload
- Fatigue and sleep disturbance in children
- Chemical sensitivity and allergies
- Anxiety, depression and brain fog
- Infertility, irregular menstrual cycles
- Unexplained numbness and tingling
- Hair loss and hearing loss
- Cardiovascular disease
Testing for and addressing mercury overload can be a bit complex, so I recommend ruling out all other root causes before diving into treatment. If you suspect mercury overload is indeed the cause of your recurring Candida, check out this article for next steps.
How to Beat Candida for Good in 3 Easy Steps
Recurring Candida infections can be frustrating to say the least, especially if you think you’ve tried everything to clear your infection. Fortunately, addressing the root cause underlying the overgrowth–whether it’s optimizing your diet, clearing your body of mold toxins, or detoxing from mercury overload–will put you on the right path to a healthy and Candida-free body.
Need some extra support as you work to overcome Candida overgrowth? Sign up for my Candida Breakthrough® Challenge and join thousands of others who have successfully taken back their health! In this live challenge, you will learn my 3-step proven protocol for beating Candida, including an entire module focused on recurring Candida, where we’ll cover:
- The strategies you need to create a gut-healthy lifestyle
- The paradigm shift required to stick with it
- Recipes for celebrations, so you’re always prepared
You’ll get all of the powerful supplements, easy-to-make meal plans, and other resources in my Candida Breakthrough® Program, plus LIVE support from me, my team, and The Myers Way® community members!
This once-a-year challenge starts soon–so don’t wait! Sign up TODAY!