How to Treat SIBO and Candida Together
Have you ever experience symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and other abdominal discomfort? Then you might have seen SIBO and candida overgrowth as you search the internet for common digestive health disorders that can exhibit such symptoms.
Both of these digestive tract disorders, SIBO and candida overgrowth, often have overlapping symptoms that makes it confusing to determine which is which. And in addition, both of them are linked to other digestive tract disorders such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and leaky gut which can add to the confusion.
Although SIBO and candida overgrowth have many similarities, these digestive tract disorders have unique distinction from each other especially on their diagnosis and treatment.
Before you embark on a candida free diet, I put together a short Candida questionnaire that can assess your risk for Candida. Based on the results of this questionnaire, you can then decide what action steps to take. If you want to assess your potential risk for Candida you can take the quiz here.
SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) and Yeast Infections (Candidiasis)
It is all too common for a person with SIBO to also experience yeast or candida overgrowth. If you are suffering from candida or yeast overgrowth in addition to SIBO, the confusion can worsen. Although candida symptoms can at times be vague and non-specific, they should be used and viewed as clues.
One of the primary reasons candida is over diagnosed is because some people self-check and consider a sugar/carb craving and brain fog as signs that they have a candida overgrowth. Even though both of them can be symptoms of candida, they can also mean that your body has hormonal disturbance. This is why proper testing should be done to ensure if you even have the condition before treatment can be started.
Before you embark on a candida free diet, I put together a short candida questionnaire that can assess your risk for candida. Based on the results of this questionnaire, you can then decide what action steps to take. If you want to assess your potential risk for Candida you can take the quiz here.
Difference Between SIBO and Candida or Yeast Overgrowth
Since both of SIBO and candida overgrowth are caused by microbes, they are often mixed up with one another. The key difference on both diseases are what specific microbes causes the disease. SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is due to bacterial infection while candida overgrowth is caused by fungal infections.
Another difference between SIBO and candida overgrowth would be their symptoms. SIBO’s (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) symptoms are often limited to digestive or gut issues in the small and large intestine. While symptoms of candida or yeast overgrowth include chronic fatigue syndrome, rashes, brain fog, adrenal fatigue, intestinal dysbiosis and even the symptoms of SIBO itself. Other symptoms that are specific to candida are vaginal tract infection, urinary tract infections, nail fungal infections and skin infections and tongue thrush.
Symptoms of SIBO vs Candida
SIBO is generally caused by the slow passage of food and waste through the digestive system, creating an ideal environment for bacterial overgrowth. As the levels of bad bacteria rise, they produce dangerous toxins that result in a number of SIBO symptoms:
- Abdominal Pain
- Diarrhea & Constipation
- Nausea & Upset Stomach
- Fullness After Eating
- Loss of Appetite
- Bloating & Gas
- Unexplained Weight Loss
- Malnutrition & Poor Diet
On the other hand, Candida albicans is a fungal yeast normally found on digestive tract small quantities. But when our body’s immune system is compromised or there is disruption in the normal gut microbiome, their numbers can multiply and it leads to candida overgrowth. Here are some candida overgrowth symptoms:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Adrenal fatigue
- Intestinal dysbiosis
- Skin and nail fungal infections
- Brain fog, lack of focus and concentration, ADD, ADHD
- Skin issues such as psoriasis, eczema, and hives
- Mood swings, anxiety, depression
- Sugar cravings
- Sinus infections
- Blood sugar issues
Testing for Candida Overgrowth
Similar to SIBO, symptoms of candida are not definitive and a test is your best bet to diagnose it properly. If you are unsure about testing, take the Candida quiz first and then decide if testing could be a good idea.
Since certain tests are more sensitive than others, it is smart to rely on multiple methodologies. Most Functional Medical practitioners use stool testing which helps locate candida in the intestines specifically in the colon.
Another test is the Urine organic testing that identifies yeast overgrowth by measuring the yeast metabolites in the stool. If there is a high presence of metabolites in your urine, then its usually a good idea to start a Candida Support Protocol.
To learn most about the test methods for candida overgrowth, click here.
Treatment of SIBO and Candida
- Healing Tip #1- Reduce biofilms in the body
Candida has the ability to change from its yeast form to a hyphal form causing the disease to dig in deep into the body’s tissues and cause inflammation. Besides harming the tissues, the hyphal form of candida can also start affecting the organs and make it difficult for the immune system to mount a proper response.
The production of mature biofilms in the body is also due to the hyphal morphology of candida. This guards the yeast from antifungal attack. To treat candida biofilms must be broken down back to their yeast form. A number of compounds can act biofilm disruptors such as Interfase Plus.
InterFase is a potent enzyme formulation specifically designed to disrupt gastrointestinal biofilm communities. Although a normal survival mechanism for commensal bacteria, undesirable organisms may become entrenched in biofilm and therefore unresponsive to conventional and natural remedies including probiotics.
InterFase® enzymes have been selected for their ability to lyse foundational extracellular polymers as well as degrade bacterial and yeast cell walls. The addition of disodium ethylenendiaminetetraactic acid (EDTA) in InterFase® Plus delivers more aggressive anti-biofilm action by binding metals needed for biofilm formation.
If you suspect you have candida overgrowth, it is best that you test to be sure.
- Healing Tip #2-Use antimicrobials and anti-fungals
- Healing Tip #3-Increase Gut microbial diversity.
For effective recovery, gut microbial diversity is the key. Microbial diversity can be defined as the range of different kinds of unicellular organisms, bacteria, archaea, protists, and fungi. Various different microbes thrive throughout the biosphere, creating conditions conducive for the survival and evolution of other microbes.
Stimulate the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC)
The MMC are electrical waves that pass through the body are ultimately responsible for moving food through the digestive system by peristalsis. MMC waves are what causes the contents of your stomach to empty. The migrating motor complex are also known as the cleaning waves, as they push and remove debris throughout the GI tract.
Heal leaky gut
Leaky gut is often a problem coexisting with SIBO. It occurs when the tight junctions of the gut become “leaky” and allow undigested proteins into the bloodstream. This sets off a global inflammatory response that can cause a variety of symptoms.
Certain probiotics have the ability to kill bacteria in the gut. By adding probiotics into you supplement regiment, it can help help rebalance the gut ecosystem and push out unwanted bacteria, yeast and parasites.
Reduce Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is experienced by more than 60% of people with IBS and SIBO. This pain is often caused by inflammation in the intestines that causes nerves in the gut to be hypersensitive to stimuli. Probiotics have been shown to help with this.
Decrease intestinal inflammation
Inflammation in the intestines is at the root of many IBS and SIBO symptoms. Chronic long standing inflammation has devastating effects not only on the gut but the entire body including the brain. addressing gut inflammation is a critical piece to correcting SIBO and healing the gut.
Improves and balances secretory IgA levels
Secretory IgA is an antibody that is produced in the gut to help keep bacteria populations in check. For a variety of reasons, people with IBS and SIBO have either too much or too little secretory IgA. Correcting secretory IgA is one of the most important things you can do to help your gut.
- Healing Tip #4-Use probiotics
There are a lot of misconceptions around prebiotics, probiotics and SIBO. The good bacteria have been found to have a direct impact on the MMC (migrating Motor Complex) function and is the reason food will not remain in the small intestine for the yeast or bacteria to digest. If you are at a point where your SIBO has stabilized, it is now super important to start incorporating prebiotics.
Prebiotics also play a major role in long term gut health as they increase the levels of short chain fatty acids. Supplements that can help increase your levels of short chain fatty acids include Galactomune, Fiber Plus, and Fiber Factors. I recommend these to patients on a daily basis.
- Healing Tip #5-Avoid a low carb diet
When you are treating candida, it is usually advised that your diet should have minimum or zero carbs. This advice is not only unhelpful, it can also hurt your microbiome. This is because absence of carbs can activate the stress hormones and reduce the thyroid hormones.
In order to fight candida, it is imperative that the immune system is strong. With a low-carb diet, the stress hormones increase there by affecting the body’s immunity. There will also be hindrance in proper blood flow, nutrients and enzyme production in the GI tract due to cortisol. As a result, you are likely to have indigestion and a poor gut function.
The reduction in thyroid hormones causes hypothyroidism which affects the GI motility. The patient will have both bacterial and fungal overgrowth in the small intestines. We’ve also written extensively on why Adrenal glands are so important to Thyroid function.
The amount of carbs you include in the diet depends on how active you are as well as the hormonal and health status of the body. Although refined carbs should be limited if you have candida, do not avoid carbs completely.
- Healing Tip #6-Support and Detox Your Liver
Sometimes when individuals with SIBO and IBS attempt to kill certain bacteria and yeast, they can experience “die-off”. Die-off occurs when the yeast and bacteria release mycotoxins and acetaldehyde when you start the kill protocol. The release will often be in a large quantity and can make the patient feel sick. A patient suffering from SIBO may experience the same feelings of SIBO but more intense. This is where binders can be helpful. Much of this has to do with how severe the overgrowth is and how healthy the individuals detoxifications pathways are running.
There are methods that can bind to toxins in order to regulate their excretion from the body. One of them includes the use of activated charcoal and certain clays. If you are unable to flush out the toxins from your body, the fungal cells can reabsorb them into the colon and prevent you to eliminate them from the body. We recommend using the supplement GI Detox to help with this condition.
- Healing Tip #7-Get yourself checked and treated by Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner
Not all doctors have the experience in working with patients who have multiple conditions occurring at the same time. If you have multiple issues goin on thyroid disease, Hormone imbalances, histamine intolerance, SIBO, Candida, it is best that you work with Functional Medicine Doctor who can look at the “Big picture” and determine what needs to be addressed first and in what order.
Related To This Artice: How To Prevent Another SIBO Recurrence
Not sure where to Start?
- Take the Candida Quiz
- If you Candida Quiz shows that you are at high risk for Candida- I suggest a few things
- Schedule a 15 minute consult after filling out a health questionnaire. The health questionnaire is different from the Candida Quiz in that it helps me understand what other problems might be a consideration. If you decide to fill out the health questionnaire, we can then discuss the results of both your Candida Quiz and your Health questionnaire and make recommendations on the next step.
- Learn more about testing for Candida
- If you are looking to do something right now, Start the Candida Support Pack. While I mentioned many supplements throughout this article. This support back was designed for people who need more immediate help. This comprehensive and advanced Candida protocol, designed by Dr Hagmeyer, addresses key areas of Candida overgrowth. This Candida support pack includes Key areas such as;
- Immune Support
- Biofilm disruptors
- Detox Support
- Antimicrobials support
- Digestive support
You can learn more about this support pack here