Candida (yeast overgrowth)
If you were able to gather up and weigh the bacteria in your
digestive system, researchers estimate the total would weigh
about four pounds! Under ideal circumstances, these beneficial
microflora inhabit our intestines and perform many functions
that aid our digestion and overall body health. But when the
colonies of bacteria fall out of balance, populations of potentially
harmful microbes can flourish and present a host of problems. Candida albicans is one such microbe. Candida is a yeast that normally occurs in the intestine and is kept
in balance by beneficial bacterial colonies of acidophilus.
When levels of the "good" bacteria drop, however, Candida populations can grow rapidly, with the potential
for increasing inflammation in the body and causing an overall
feeling of ill health.
Research has shown an association between subjects with inflammatory
skin disorders, yeast overgrowth and fungal infection. In
a recent study, 21 out of 34 people with psoriasis were found
to have Candida albicans in the spaces between their
toes or fingers. And most were also affected by fungi from
the Tinea genus. Another study that looked at stool
samples of people with psoriasis found disease-producing microbes
- predominantly yeasts - in the colon. A 1997
German study, "Mycoses in patients with psoriasis or
atopic dermatitis" found that Candida infections
of the skin were seen more often in psoriasis patients compared
to controls. Late onset (type II) psoriasis demonstrated a
higher rate of candidosis cutis (skin) and candidosis oris
(mouth) as compared to the controls. Yet this research found
that the influence of fungal infections on psoriasis and atopic
dermatitis is not as strong as often portrayed. A 1994 study
by the Department of Medicine (Dermatology) at the University
of Tennessee College of Medicine found that psoriasis of the
palms and soles is frequently associated with oropharyngeal Candida albicans.
Clearly, more research on these associations is needed. Notwithstanding,
fungal infection in the onset or recurrence of inflammatory
skin diseases is certainly a factor. Candida may
not be the cause of psoriasis, but it could be an indication
of poor gut ecology, and treatment for yeast has been shown
to correspond with a decrease in skin inflammation.
Symptoms and problems
It appears that the most common cause of Candida overgrowth is the use of prescription antibiotics and birth
control pills, and some researchers believe that it may also
be the result of a diet over-rich in simple carbohydrates
and sugars. Because the symptoms of Candida are numerous
and wide-ranging, from fatigue and depression to intestinal
cramps and eczema, the condition is often overlooked or misdiagnosed.
Unfortunately, if left unchecked, Candida can compound
the discomfort of conditions like psoriasis and irritable
bowel syndrome. Bouts of constipation and diarrhea are an
extremely common occurrence as a result of this condition.
As the population of yeast grows and IBS symptoms worsen,
the intestinal walls can become thinned, which may lead to
"leaky gut" or intestinal permeability. When the
intestinal wall is compromised, it is unable to correctly
perform its job, and toxins, including Candida, can
leach into the circulatory system. This may lead to increased
inflammation throughout the body. The rise of toxins within
the system may also put an increased strain on the liver,
whose job it is to filter these toxins from the system.
Candidiasis, or moniliasis, is called thrush when it grows in the mouth, a condition especially common
in infants. On the skin it can show up as a red, inflamed,
and sometimes scaly rash. It often leads to eczema, acne,
and hives. Candidiasis moniliasis in the vagina is commonly
referred to as yeast vaginitis or vaginal yeast infection. Candida can also cause candidal onychomycosis,
or infection of the nail plate, and paronychia, a
tender infection with inflammation around the base of the
nail fold. Candidiasis can also affect the esophagus and the
digestive tract. It can cause fatigue, lethargy, weakness,
migraine headaches, muscle pain, chemical sensitivities and
even respiratory problems. From a gastrointestinal perspective,
candidiasis is often accompanied by diarrhea, constipation,
rectal itching, IBD, flatulence and food sensitivities.
Candida and psoriasis
Many researchers now believe that there may be a link between Candida and psoriatic flare-ups. Psoriasis is categorically
an inflammatory condition, and individuals suffering from Candida frequently experience increased incidence
of conditions arising from increased inflammation in the body.
Some psoriasis researchers believe that intestinal permeability
or leaky gut may be the root cause of some psoriasis flare-ups.
The release of toxins into the circulatory system from poorly
functioning intestines may put undue stress upon the liver.
The liver, which is the main filter of toxins in the body,
can become overwhelmed and unable to properly perform the
fundamental functions the body requires of it for maximum
health. Organs like the skin and lungs often "take over"
the job of filtering excess toxins the liver is unable to
process. Some believe that toxins deposited on the surface
of the skin during this process may contribute to psoriatic
Treatment for Candida
Once you have determined that you have Candida,
treatment may come in a variety of forms. Since Candida is a yeast, one way to combat the problem is to deprive the
yeast of food, or literally "starve it out." During
this course of treatment, individuals are often encouraged
to partake in a detoxification program followed by a strict
dietary regimen for a few days. The diet typically suggested
consists mainly of vegetables, meat and poultry, yogurt, eggs,
nuts and seeds. Some practitioners also suggest eating a lot
of garlic during this time. Foods high in sugars, which include
alcohol and fruit, as well as all foods containing yeast,
such as bread, should be avoided during this time. Many individuals
report significant improvement within a week of starting this
regimen. Once the Candida levels are in check, inflammation
may subside, paving the way for marked improvement in other
areas of health, including psoriasis. We always encourage
consulting a physician before starting any treatment or diet
DermaHarmony can help
At DermaHarmony, we use a combination approach to combat Candida yeast. Our approach includes dietary changes,
high-grade supplementation, and lifestyle changes. Our DermaDetox™
21-day liver and colon cleansing system is a comprehensive
detoxification package. Research suggests that cleansing the
system with a high-quality detoxification package like DermaDetox™
can be helpful in ridding the system of overly high levels
of Candida. In addition to encouraging healing by
helping rid the system of Candida, detoxification
may be the first step in restoring the integrity of the intestinal
walls. Our DermaDetox™ kit includes an easy-to-use dietary
guide written by psoriasis sufferer and Registered Dietician
Deirdre Earls. Ms. Earls used diet to combat her own psoriasis
and has written a real-world guide to help others make the
right food choices.
DermaEssentials™ and DermaHarmony D-3™ are supplements
you may also want to consider as part of your healing plan.
Vitamin and mineral levels can become severely compromised
when the intestines are under stress, especially when bombarded
with an aggressive organism like Candida. Once the
intestines have regained their strength, your system will
be able to accelerate the healing process, and the high-quality
vitamins and minerals in DermaEssentials may further hasten
Here are some resources for you. Read on for the answers
you seek, then give us a call if you would like additional
You can try DermaHarmony products risk-free for 37 days.
If you are not satisfied with your purchase for any reason,
simply return the empty bottles for a full refund of the product
price (less shipping and handling), no questions asked. If
you would like to speak with one of our Skin/Digestive Health
Specialists, call 1-800-827-3730. Click
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How We Help
At DermaHarmony, our goals are to educate chronic skin care suffers about dermatology, share what contributes to health and wellness, and support our readers in any way we can. Our programs promote healthy skin with nutritional supplements, topical treatments and dietary guidance. Learn more about our programs or call us toll-free at 1-800-827-3730. Our Support Desk is open 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday.
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Candida (yeast overgrowth)—Reference Documents and Further Reading
Principal Author: K. Kastelein, Editor-in-Chief
Date of Publication: 08/09/2006