Candida overgrowth? Yeast? Thrush?

Persistant yeast imbalances (Candida comes in many species) can cause a host of symptoms. Candida overgrowth can range from, urinary tract infections (UTIs) in one person to fatigue, tongue coatings, skin rashes & eczema, brain fog, emotional rollercoasters, and other functional problems in others.

Yet, yeast are present in everyone’s body; usually helping you with vital functions:

  • Part of your normal digestive flora, Candida species help digest sugars and other nutrients so they can be absorbed in the body.
  • Candida also scavenge metals your body is trying to remove. Ultimately this kills them and the yeast+metals leave your body.

BUT both of these routine and helpful tasks can cause a “yeast bloom” and harmful overgrowth of Candida: TOO many dietary sugars and starches too often; constant need to detoxify metals… and yeast thrive. They take over, change form, and become a big problem. They ferment excess starches to create alcohol and release other toxic chemicals that you feel as “brain fog”, stress your immune system, and create sore joints, skin rashes, tongue coatings…

Candida changes form, migrates to other areas where it doesn’t belong, lodges in other organs and can be very hard to rebalance. Extremely hard.

If it’s supposed to live in me, how do I know if Candida overgrowth my problem?

Candida is supposed to live in your gut, mouth, genitourinary tract and on your skin.

That means that Candida overgrowth can start as itching, soreness, pain or burning in any of those areas. Frequent UTIs, joint pain

And some of those areas don’t tell us about the problem as “pain” or “itching” because they lack nerves that communicate “pain” or “itch.”

  • Your intestines may feel bloated, or appear distended, but they won’t always hurt.
  • You might experience sugar cravings and low energy, because your yeast has run out of fuel, but an “itch” of a different sort.
  • Anxiety? Don’t rule out a yeast problem.
  • You may even gain weight as your body tries to handle the inflammation by sending fluids to the area.

And some people have Candida imbalances without the presence of any symptoms.

Diagnosis based on symptoms is difficult. That’s because our bodies are very uncomplicated really—your immune system reacts the same way regardless of the problem.

The problems of misdiagnosis:

baby, infant allergy rash, allergies, chemical intolerance, allergic reaction, allergy test, anchorage chiropractor, naet, allergy clearing, clinical nutritionWell, you DO want to solve your Candida overgrowth, right?

But before you attribute all your symptoms to Candida yeast, realize that misdiagnosis is common and completely understandable because the range of symptoms are so broad they may seem to cover most any situation. Some key problems:

  1. Modern practitioners tend to specialize into each of the individual symptoms rather than get at the underlying cause. If you get UTIs, you just may be given antibiotics (which don’t work on yeast). Anxiety? Some mental health specialists will recommend mind-altering drugs.
  2. Modern diagnostics usually use a series of tests. After your healthcare provider takes your medical history, understands your symptoms, and does a physical examination based on their specialty, they may take a blood sample and sending it to a laboratory to see if it will grow Candida in a culture. Alternately, the test may look for yeast antibodies; different types of antibodies show whether your body has a recent infection vs one in the past. And usually they’ll also order a stool test to determine what form of yeast and which drug might be most effective.

Those options can run you several hundred dollars for the exam and prescription. And if the practitioner is more precise (which they should be) plan on spending $600-1000 for your exam and accurate diagnostics.

Do you really need to know if you have Candidiasis?

Maybe. If you are among the many who want to take a pill to make a problem go away then, yes, please be sure to get complete diagnostic tests so the first medical treatment you get actually solves the problem. But there is a better way.

If you don’t change whatever you were doing that caused the yeast overgrowth; then sooner or later it will just come back. If you don’t heal the organs that have become run down; then you’ll never feel quite right.

Especially after you take broad spectrum antibiotics which kill all bacteria in the body. In this scenario, Candida escalate due to lack of competition.

ALL of the microflora in your body, produce toxins. Under normal conditions, the toxic load is manageable by your liver and kidneys. Under conditions of overgrowth of ANY of these microbes, your liver, kidneys organs become stressed and overwhelmed; your symptoms start to appear.

General signs and symptoms of any toxicity can include:

·        Fatigue

·        Anxiety

·        Insomnia

·        Dizziness

·        Tinnitus

·        Joint issue

·        Gas

·        Bloating

·        Decreased immunity

·        Weak digestion

·        Acne

·        Inflammation

·        Body odor

·        Diarrhea

·        Weight gain

·        Mucus or Congestion in

o   Sinus

o   Lungs

o   Colon

o   Stomach

·        Nausea

·        Fatigue

·        Mucus in stool


In my office, I use Nutrition Response Testing to sort this out. While I won’t give you a specific diagnosis, I can definitely find the underlying imbalances and also find the specific remedies your unique body needs so it can rebalance and heal. Your exam is just $79 if you say you read Marie’s Candida article.

You’re pretty convinced you have Candidiasis, or at least some sort of overgrowth, now what?

While there are over 20 species that can cause infection, Candida albicans is the most common culprit in cases of candida overgrowth. This species normally lives along your GI tract. The health of your gut, competition from probiotic gut bacteria, blood sugar levels, and the strength of your immune system maintain balance or allow yeast (and/or bacterial) overgrowth.

Sadly, unhealthy disease-causing microbes can be adaptive, including Candida, many pathogenic bacteria and viruses. Some can even exist in a low oxygen or even oxygen free environments. Some can live in more acidic environments than is healthy for you—and even causes them to become acidic to favor their growth conditions.

Fix your diet

A poor diet is a smorgasbord for Candida, pathogenic bacteria, parasites… especially one high in sugar. Ever make yeast bread? What causes the bread to rise is the baker’s yeast fermenting the sugars in that recipe. This warm, moist, high sugar environment feeds the yeast; within minutes the dough starts bubbling as the yeast multiply, divide, and ferment the sugars.

Foods that contain sugar (which is, these days, almost everything!) as well as foods that convert to sugars (grains, fruits, etc) all feed candida. As the sugary food makes its way down your GI tract, or as your blood sugar levels rise, the candida in your body become activated just like it does in yeast bread. Two-three hours later, you feel the symptoms.

Sometimes, eating meat and dairy that is not organic can lead to yeast infections. These meats contain antibiotics that kill off healthy gut bacteria. Over half of the antibiotics used in the US are used by the livestock industry. It’s a bigger exposure than you might think.

Favor root vegetables and only the occasional cooked whole grains as your carbohydrate sources.

Favor easy-to-digest foods and avoid anything that causes intestinal discomfort or any other symptoms.

A healthy immune system keeps Candida in check.

And when your gut lining or immune system is compromised Candida, bacteria, even parasites can cross protective barriers and colonize almost any organ in the body.

Your gut houses most of your immune system; your immune system is weakened by poor diet. An unhealthy gut leads to allergies, autoimmune diseases, chronic inflammation… organ dysfunction.

Usually poor diet is the first culprit; sometimes it’s lack of sleep, toxic exposure and stress.

Whether it’s food sensitivities, poor dietary choices, toxic exposures, or burning the candle at both ends… stress releases cortisol which both suppresses the immune system and raises your blood sugar level. Candida and bacterial imbalances *love* elevated blood sugar.

Long term, chronic stress weakens the adrenals which further weakens your immune system.

Address chronic inflammation immediately. Avoid exposure to toxins. Keep a strong routine including 8 hours of sleep on a regular sleep schedule.

Inflammation and Candida overgrowth

Inflammation has a special relationship with candida. The presence of candida slows healing; inflammation promotes more Candida growth. This dynamic can create a vicious cycle making it challenging to remedy the overgrowth.

Hormones & Candida

Estrogen imbalances also promote yeast overgrowth. Elevated estrogen levels can be causes in numerous ways including unsuspected estrogens and estrogen-like chemicals in skin care products as well as the obvious birth control pills. Obesity can elevate estrogen levels.

Chemical and metal toxicity can overload your liver whose main job was never intended to detoxify so many environmental chemicals: your liver is supposed to balance your hormones!

Once you’ve corrected your diet and helped your digestive tract, that will take some pressure off your liver. And there are many wonderful functional foods we can use to rebuild your liver and balance those hormones.


After clearing the infection and calming inflammation, it is vital to repopulate the gut with good bacteria and generally maintain the healthy habits it took to clear out the problem in the first place. Depending on your unique body type, fermented foods and probiotics may also be beneficial.

As an aside (well maybe not) this is exactly what occurs in my 21-Day Rejuveo Cleanse. It starts today, January 8th, and I still have a few spaces. Please don’t hesitate to email me if you think a guided restorative program could help you:

To your health!

Marie Sternquist

Marie Sternquist, MS CHHC is a graduate of the University of Colorado, with 30 years of health-related clinical research published peer-reviewed medical journals, Marie's interests lie in how chemical and metal toxicities affect our health, hormones and immune function—and how to heal these problems with whole foods. In 2014, Marie completed the Health Coach program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where she studied 100’s of dietary theories with an emphasis on developing step-by-step nutritional programs and is currently working on her Nutritionist certification through the Masters in Functional Nutrition program and the University of Western States. Marie’s signature nutrition programs have helped thousands of people just like you regain health and quality of life. In 2016, Marie Sternquist completed her Advanced Level in Nutrition Response Testing®, joining her husband Dr. Greg Sternquist as an advanced clinician. Marie is also a wilderness explorer, skier, photographer and mom. Visit her at and

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