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The Connection Between Diabetes and Candida Infection

Many people with diabetes also have problems with Candida infection. What is the connection between these two health disorders? Every person, regardless of age or gender, has Candida in their system. The healthy bacteria in your body help to combat the growth of Candida yeast. There are a number of factors that can compromise the “good” bacteria in your body, which creates an ideal environment for Candida growth. Many of these factors are connected to the symptoms of diabetes.

Depressed Immune System

People with diabetes have compromised immunity. As a result, their bodies are less able to fight off infection. This often results in repeated bouts of Candida infection. Opportunistic Candida yeast is then able to outgrow healthy bacteria located in the colon and small intestines.

Resistance to Insulin Production

There are several different types of diabetes. However, all forms of diabetes have a symptom in common, which is insulin production resistance. The pancreas in a person who does not have diabetes will produce an amino acid known as insulin. The purpose of insulin is to process blood sugar (glucose) into energy. Diabetics produce insufficient amounts of insulin, which results in higher blood sugar levels. Sugar is the primary agent that feeds yeast. Since people with diabetes have higher concentrations of glucose in their system, they are also at higher risk of developing recurrent Candida infections.

The Importance of Treatment

For individuals with diabetes, it is important to seek medical treatment right away if a Candida infection is suspected. Yeast infections can tax the immune system further, which will leave a person (especially diabetics) at increased risk for other types of opportunistic infections. Additionally, controlling blood sugar levels will also be much more difficult when the immune system is compromised by a Candida infection.

Can Candidiasis Cause Diabetes?

Candida infection, also known as Candidiasis, is a common symptom of diabetes. However, it is not a cause of diabetes. Candida infection is more common in individuals who do not work diligently to control diabetes. By controlling the symptoms of diabetes—regulating blood sugar levels—the risk of recurring yeast infections will be significantly reduced. It is important to be aware of the symptoms of both diabetes and Candida infection so that effective treatment can be carried out if necessary.

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes

• Unusual thirst
• Frequent urination
• Unexplained weight loss
• Fatigue
• Irritability
• Extreme hunger

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes may include any of the symptoms of type 1 diabetes, but may also include:

• Blurred vision
• Recurring infections
• Numbness or tingling in the hands and/or feet
• Bruises or cuts that heal slower than usual

Symptoms of Candida Infection

The most common type of fungal/yeast infection with diabetics is Candida albicans. This fungus can create a number of symptoms and can occur in different parts of the body. Candida infections most commonly occur in moist, warm folds of the skin, including in the groin, armpits, around the nails, between fingers and toes, under the breasts, and in the corner of the mouth. Symptoms include:

• Skin problems: rashes, hives, cysts, eczema, body odor, psoriasis, dermatitis
• White coating on tongue, bad breath, cracked tongue or corners of the mouth, canker sores, metallic taste in the mouth
• Digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, bloating, indigestion, mucus in stool
• Poor memory, depression, inability to focus (brain fog), dizziness
• Sore throat, persistent cough, mucus in throat, sinusitis

Candida is often misdiagnosed since it shares many symptoms with other health disorders. It is important to tell your doctor about any and all symptoms that you are experiencing, even if you don’t believe they are connected to a Candida infection, in order to get the most accurate diagnosis possible. If you do have a Candida infection, a misdiagnosis can make the probably worse. For example, a steroidal anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed if your doctor believes that you have Gastroenteritis or Crohn’s Disease (two conditions that cause similar symptoms to Candida infection). Anti-inflammatory Cortisone often has the undesirable effect of causing a growth in Candida yeast. With a comprehensive diagnosis and by sharing all of your symptoms with your doctor, you will be able to get a handle on the condition much quicker. This, of course, includes letting your doctor know if you have any form of diabetes.

The Candida/Diabetes Diet

Fortunately, both Candida and diabetes can be managed with the same type of diet. In a nutshell, this diet involves avoiding sugars and starches, increasing the “good” fats in your diet, and getting moderate amounts of protein.

Diabetics must work to control their blood sugar levels. Candida feeds on sugar. For this reason, restricting your intake of sugar is essential. Stevia is one type of sweetener that has been found to not affect blood sugar levels, yet offers the sweet flavor you may crave.

People with diabetes or Candida are often told what they can’t eat—alcohol, cheese, sugar, chocolate, and so on. However, it’s helpful to know that there are still plenty of foods that you can eat that will reduce your symptoms. Many people discover that, with time and perseverance, they develop a taste for healthier foods and begin to feel their overall health (physical and mental) improve dramatically on a Candida/diabetes diet. Foods that will promote your overall health and reduce your symptoms include:

  • Vegetables. Eating a wide spectrum of non-starchy vegetables will starve yeast of the mold and sugar that it thrives on. In addition, vegetables assist in removing fungal poisons from your body.
  • Probiotics. Foods that are high in probiotics, such as Kimchi or raw sauerkraut, will help in killing off Candida yeast in your digestive tract. You can also take probiotic supplements as advised by your doctor. Live yogurt cultures found in plain yogurt or kefir provide probiotics as well.
  • When eating meat, make sure that it is fresh and organic. Processed meat, such as lunch meat, contains high amount of sugars, dextrose nitrates, and sulphates, which promote Candida growth.
  • Non-glutinous Grains. Quinoa, amaranth, millet, wild rice, brown rice, buckwheat, and oat bran are high in fiber and nutrition. The high-fiber content will ensure that your colon is “clean” and less susceptible to the growth of Candida.


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