Did you know that your body may be harboring a microbe that not only defeats your efforts to lose weight but also causes you to gain weight?
According to research by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, at the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers in Dallas, Texas, yeast overgrowth is linked to an average weight gain of 32.5 pounds. That’s shocking but true. What’s more, according to some estimates, at least 15 million American women suffer from candidiasis—a fungal overgrowth in the intestines. So, getting to the bottom of candidiasis is an important factor in shedding the excess pounds.
At least 150 species of fungi (sometimes called yeasts) are collectively known as candida, but one particular one that frequently tends to become overgrown in the intestines is Candida albicans. Candida releases over eighty known toxins which can weaken the body’s defenses and cause the mucous membranes of the gut to leak. When the gut becomes leaky, undigested protein molecules pass across the intestinal walls and are absorbed into the bloodstream. This can result in many different health conditions ranging from allergies, food and chemical sensitivities and autoimmune disorders like fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and others.
There is always some amount of fungi or yeast present in small amounts in the gut but they are normally kept in check by good bacteria, or probiotics, in our diet or through supplementation. Now, however, there are so many factors that disrupt the body’s natural balance that candidiasis is becoming widespread.
Some of the factors that can lead to candida overgrowth, include:
Alcohol intake (wine, beer, liquor)
Birth control pills
Blood sugar imbalances
Consumption of foods that contain antibiotics and synthetic hormones (non-organic chicken, dairy products, and meat)
Excessive sugar intake
Immunosuppressive drugs (steroids, cortisone, etc.)
Mercury amalgam dental fillings
Multiple sexual partners or sex with an infected person
Recreational drug use
Stress, particularly ongoing, chronic stress
Toxic exposures, especially to mold
Some of the signs and symptoms of candida overgrowth include:
Acne, psoriasis, eczema, rashes, or hives
Anal, vaginal, or jock itch
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Bloating and flatulence
Body odor or bad breath
Brain fog or memory lapses
Constipation or diarrhea
Cravings for sweets, bread, or alcohol
Difficulty gaining or losing weight
Fatigue that sleep doesn‘t help
Headaches, especially frequent ones
Irritable bowel syndrome
Joint or muscle aches
Lack of concentration
Mood swings or irritability
Recurrent bladder, sinus, vaginal yeast, or respiratory infections
Unexplained weight changes
This list is a long list, and many of the conditions may seem unrelated, but nevertheless, if you have any of the above symptoms or conditions you may be suffering from candida overgrowth. Of course, other factors may also be present so you should always contact your physician.
Candida produces hormone-like substances that interfere with normal hormone production. These hormone-like substances can disrupt the body’s normal hormone balance, especially in women. Additionally, studies in rats found that candida stimulates histamine production which is linked to allergic reactions and may cause tissue swelling. Candida overgrowth is likely an underlying factor in some allergic reactions and for the increase in allergies over the past few decades.
Many people are also eating a diet that is deficient in critical nutrients like vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids needed to ward off candida infections. Throughout the 60 Seconds to Slim program you are learning ways to continuously improve your diet to ward off these nutrient deficiencies.
Candidiasis is linked to weight gain in several ways:
- It can interfere with nutrient absorption of many critical nutrients needed for detoxification and fat-metabolism.
- It triggers intense cravings, particularly of carbohydrates that candida organisms need to live and which allows them to multiply further.
- It interferes with the normal functioning of the thyroid, which reduces the body’s ability to convert fat and food into energy needed for cellular functions.
- It causes belly bloating due to the fermentation of carbs and toxic byproducts of candida in the intestines.
- There are many great natural remedies that kill candida. Two of my favorites are Artemisia and burdock, which cleanse the digestive tract and blood respectively.
How to Benefit:
Artemisia and burdock are available in capsules or tincture (alcohol extract). Follow package instructions.
There are food remedies that can also eliminate yeast overgrowth.
Garlic. Only a single clove of raw garlic in your daily diet can shut down the formation of hyphae, the long branching strands created by yeast to help it grow and spread. Garlic causes the yeast cells to prematurely age and die.
Coconut Oil. Research at Nigeria’s University College Hospital found that coconut oil kills close to 100 percent of yeast cells (even drug-resistant species) on contact thanks to its lauric, caprylic, and capric acid content. These ingredients cause the protective outer wall of yeast cells to split apart, making it easier for the immune system to destroy them. Take 3 Tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil daily to obtain the benefits found in the study.
Super Health Bonus:
Getting on top of candidiasis not only results in weight loss in most people, it also improves sinusitis, digestion, immunity, and moods.
Reprinted from “60 Seconds to Slim” by Michelle Schoffro Cook. Copyright (c) 2013 by Michelle Schoffro Cook. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook has spent 20 years researching what leads to permanent weight loss and what doesn’t. In her newest book 60 Seconds to Slim, she goes beyond the typical weight loss advice, and explains lesser-known health tips that lead to weight loss — from balancing pH level to strengthening the body’s natural detox power. The book includes a 4-week weight loss plan and 50 quick recipes.
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