Candida, Thrush and the Thyroid
Thrush is a condition caused by the fungus Candida albicans. It occurs because the immune system — especially cellular immunity and nutrition— is depressed. Therefore, one would expect the infection to remain as long as immunity is suppressed. It can occur on any mucus membrane in the body including the mouth, digestive tract and genital areas.
Pathogenic (disease causing) bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa that stick to the surface of a living tissue are called biofilms and produce their own mucus coating to protect them against our immune systems and antibiotic drugs. On the gut lining they also compete with our friendly microbes causing dysbiosis, inflammation and cellular irritation.
Symptoms Common to Candida and Thyroid Conditions
– Headaches and migraines
– Sleeplessness; difficulty falling asleep, or waking up in the middle of the night (typically between 1 and 3 am)
– Irritability and confusion
– Poor memory, indecisiveness, difficulty organising and cleaning messy areas
– Anxiety attacks, panic attacks
– Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
– Heart beating too fast or irregularly
– Sexual problems; impotence, lack of desire, or excessive sexuality
– Attention deficit or hyperactivity (ADD/ADHD)
– Dizziness or numbness
– Feeling of floating or not quite being in your body
– Cravings for sugar, chocolate, milk, cheese, vinegar, pickles, alcohol, bread, nuts or fruit
– ‘Metabolic syndrome’, which includes the following: large abdomen (“beer belly”), adult-onset diabetes, high cholesterol or triglycerides, high blood pressure
– Acid reflux/GERD (heartburn)
– Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
– Bloating, flatulence or abdominal pain
– Rectal itching, constipation and/or diarrhea
– Excessively thin or anorexic/bulimic
Skin, eyes, hair:
– Skin and nail fungal infections (current or past), including athlete’s foot, vaginal yeast infections, fungal toenails, ringworm, jock itch, tinea versicolor or itchy eyelids
– Skin problems like eczema, rashes, psoriasis
– Prematurely greying hair
– Pupils always dilated
– Unusually green eyes, or eye colour has turned greenish
– Immune disorders
– Asthma and allergies, penicillin allergy
– Recurring infections; colds, ears, bladder, sinus
– Autoimmune disease (lupus, hypothyroidism, arthritis, others)
– Muscle or joint pain, fibromyalgia
– Cold feet, cold hands, sometimes cold nose
– Sweating, especially at night, or being uncomfortable at any temperature
– Endometriosis (chronic pelvic pain)
– Infertility (female), some miscarriages, toxemia of pregnancy (preeclampsia)
Symptoms seen particularly in children up to about 8 years old:
– Early allergy to foods like milk
– Child had or has frequent ear infections, tonsillitis, strep throat or bladder infections, especially if these infections were treated with antibiotics
– Cravings for milk, cheese, yogurt, macaroni and cheese, or peanut butter
– “Drama king” or “drama queen” — complains often
– Difficulty going to sleep, sleeps too lightly or has frequent nightmares, and wakes up too early or late
– Under or overweight
– Attention deficit with or without hyperactivity (ADD/ADHD)
– Aggressive, poor social interactions, can’t stop moving, frequent fights or arguments, frequent crying
– Pale complexion, dark circles under the eyes
In hospital situations or with severely debilitated patients, the fungus Candida albicans can develop into a systemic biofilm infection.
“Systemic Candidiasis is a very serious illness with a high mortality rate of more than 40%” –Dr. Brownstein, Natural Way to Health.
For most patients however, the lingering effect of established Candida or Thrush impacts on all bodily systems. Modern living promotes fast foods that are highly refined, full of chemicals and low in nutrition. This provides the perfect breeding ground for yeast overgrowth. Antibiotics can increase the risk of overgrowth as they kill all bacteria indiscriminately, including our naturally beneficial bowel flora. In fact, Candida overgrowth is a common side effect of antibiotic therapy. It predisposes us to leaky gut syndrome, bowel dysbiosis, malnutrition, headaches, skin problems and urinary tract infections.
If your thyroid function is not balanced, these complications become amplified as the digestive tract is not receiving the energy and regulation it needs to secrete adequate enzymes and acids for digestion. Key thyroid nutrients that are also essential for immunity include Zinc, Selenium, Iron, Vitamin D3 and Iodine. For these reasons, when you treat you thyroid, it is very simple to also treat any form of fungal or bacterial Dysbiosis. Your integrated practitioner may need to use these nutrients in a personalized treatment plan at your required dose in addition to recommending healthy nutritious dietary intake.
Iodine deficiency is particularly problematic as this crucial mineral is extremely low in Australian soils. It is the core molecule for thyroid hormone, anti-inflammatory and immune regulating, but most importantly it is anti-fungal antiviral and antibacterial. For over a century Iodine has been used for the treatment of infection, and there are many people today moderately to severely deficient. Its role in blood sugar regulation is crucial for management of Candida as available sugars and starches will feed the infection. There is more than one type of testing available for Iodine, these are done by independent laboratory testing and not included in your GP/Medicare Thyroid functions tests.
Treatment for Candida with diet and nutrition will usually bring about significant improvement in symptoms, but this will not be adequate in all cases to restore health. Often additional treatments aimed at improving liver, adrenal or thyroid function, or correcting immune and allergic problems, are necessary to regain full health.
Dr Brownstein, Natural Way to Health Article, Vol 6, Issue 4, ‘The Secret Cause of Most Major Infections’ April 2013
The Healthful Group Ebook ‘How to balance you Thyroid in 60 days or less’
Dr. Johm Humiston, CandidaMD website, Candida Symptoms, January 12, 2011