Last week on The SUZANNE Show, Brenda Watson joined me to discuss one of my favorite topics – the gut! Brenda owns RenewLife and is one of my greatest teachers on gut health. This is an area that causes me constant problems, and Brenda always helps me get to the bottom of it. Brenda will be appearing four times this season on my show because her information is vital and it’s important for people to know the cause of this new epidemic in our country. And I hate to tell you, but those antacids you are taking will not help!
You know the feeling—your belly feels bloated, pants are tight, and embarrassing gas has you staying in for the evening. Yet you can’t figure out if food is to blame since you ate the same things you usually eat. While gas and bloating are definitely symptoms produced by certain foods, many women are unaware that something else may be underlying the discomfort—Candida overgrowth.
Candida albicans is a sugar-fermenting yeast that is naturally present in small amounts in many areas of the body such as theskin, the digestive tract, and the vagina. (Candida is to blame for those pesky yeast infections!) In small amounts, this yeast is an integral part of the intestinal ecology in most people and, when kept in balance with other intestinal microbes, does no harm.
The trouble begins when Candida is allowed to flourish. There are three main causes of Candida overgrowth:
- Change in intestinal pH
- Dysbiosis (gut microbial imbalance)
Let’s focus on the main cause—dysbiosis, or an imbalance in the ratio of good to bad bacteria in the intestines. Dysbiosis sets the stage for Candida overgrowth. Normally, beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, in the gut help to keep the potentially pathogenic microbes (such as Candida and other harmful bacteria) in check. When there aren’t enough “good guys,” or probiotics, to maintain balance, Candida has free reign to multiply. There are a number of factors that reduce the amount of beneficial bacteria in the gut, including antibiotic, poor diet, stress, age, toxin exposure, and impaired digestion.
When Candida overgrowth occurs in the gut, the yeast feed on sugars and carbohydrates that pass through as they are digested. And the more Candida feast, the more the yeast. Candida feeds on sugar and digested carbohydrates by way of fermentation, which produces the characteristic gas and bloating that we are all too familiar with. This is why sugar and starchy carbohydrate avoidance is recommended for people dealing with yeast.
Are gas and bloating causing you discomfort more than you’d like to admit? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! If you think Candida overgrowth may be to blame, I recommend a Candida cleanse and Candida enzyme formula to help inhibit yeast overgrowth, and a high-potency probiotic to help rebalance your gut. After all, better health begins with a healthy digestive tract.