Did you know that there are 79 toxins that can be released by candida? And one of them is histamine?
What?! So there could be a very real possibility that if you have candida that it could be increasing or making your histamine intolerance worse.
Are you curious about the connection of Candida and histamine intolerance? In this blog, I delve deeper into the topic. I’ll explore what Candida is, uncover lesser-known symptoms to watch out for, and discuss steps you can take if you suspect a Candida issue.
What is Candida?
Candida is a type of yeast or fungus that is commonly found in small amounts in various parts of the human body, including the mouth, throat, gut, and genital area. Candida is typically harmless when it exists in small quantities. It is then kept in check by the body’s immune system and other microorganisms.
Normally, the population of Candida is typically regulated by the communities of ‘beneficial’ bacteria and other microorganisms residing within your gastrointestinal tract and on the surface of your body.
However, under certain conditions, Candida can overgrow and lead to infections. The most common type of Candida infection is called candidiasis.
What are the different types of Candidiasis?
Candidiasis can affect different parts of the body and may present in various forms, including:
Oral Thrush: This is a fungal infection that occurs in the mouth and throat.
It can cause:
- White or creamy lesions on the tongue, inner cheeks, and other areas inside the mouth.
- Difficulty swallowing in severe cases.
- It is most often seen in infants, older adults, and individuals with weakened immune systems.
Vaginal Yeast Infection: Candida can cause vaginal yeast infections.
This results in:
- Itching, burning, and discharge in the genital area.
- Abnormal vaginal discharge, often white and thick.
- Often referred to as ‘thrush’.
- Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse or urination.
- Vaginal yeast infections are quite common in women.
Cutaneous Candidiasis: This type of infection affects the skin.
It can cause:
- Red, itchy rashes with pustules or pimple-like eruptions in skin folds.
- Typically in the groin or under the breasts.
Small Intestinal Fungal Overgrowth or SIFO for short:
SIFO is characterised by an overgrowth of fungi, specifically yeast, in the small intestine. Candida species, particularly Candida albicans, are often the culprits in cases of SIFO, but other types of fungi can also be involved. This form of Candida infection is often seen at the same time as the previously mentioned types of candida.
SIFO shares some similarities with Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), another condition where there is an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. Both SIFO and SIBO can cause digestive symptoms and disrupt the normal functioning of the small intestine, leading to various health issues.
Common symptoms of SIFO may include:
- Digestive Issues: These can include bloating, gas, diarrhea, leaky gut and abdominal discomfort.
- Fatigue: SIFO may lead to fatigue and a feeling of general sickness and “yuck”.
- Nutritional Deficiencies: Because the overgrowth of fungi can interfere with nutrient absorption in the small intestine, SIFO may lead to nutritional deficiencies.
- Skin Problems: Some individuals with SIFO report skin issues such as rashes or itching.
- Joint Pain: Joint pain can be a symptom of SIFO, although it is less common.
- Food cravings: especially for sugary or high-carbohydrate foods.
Invasive Candidiasis: (systemic infection)
In severe cases, Candida can enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body, leading to systemic infections that can be life-threatening, especially in individuals with weakened immune systems or those who have undergone invasive medical procedures.
It may present as:
- Fever and chills.
- Rapid breathing and heart rate.
- Confusion and altered mental state.
- Low blood pressure.
- Organ-specific symptoms, depending on where the infection spreads (e.g., kidney pain or abdominal pain).
With Candida overgrowth, typical symptoms are vaginal thrush or oral thrush however overgrowth can present in a number of unsuspecting ways. Often making diagnosis difficult and therefore prolonging treatment.
Some of the sneakier ways candida overgrowth can present is:
- Difficulty with memory or concentration, including problems with focusing on tasks.
- Sore throat, bloating
- Nerve pain and joint pain
- Persistent feelings of low energy or fatigue.
- Autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma, or multiple sclerosis.
- Behavioural challenges like ADD, ADHD, or experiencing brain fog.
- Low mood, irritability, mood swings, anxiety or depression.
- Urinary tract infections or rectal itching.
- Severe seasonal allergies.
- Headache or Migraine
- Waking feeling toxic or “hungover” without drinking the night before.
Could you have Candida overgrowth?
Do you think that you may have a candida overgrowth but aren’t sure? Some of the risk factors for Candida overgrowth and infection include:
- High insulin or high sugar diet
- Weakened immune function
- The use of broad-spectrum antibiotics
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- The use of corticosteroids or immunosuppressive medications.
- Cancer treatments
Candida and histamine – is Candida making it worse?
When the candida continues to grow in the gut, just like other infections, it creates an immune response in the body.
The body then:
- Releases histamine
- Creates an inflammatory response
- This can then create many other symptoms including bloating, pain and inflammation etc.
- Plus all the regular symptoms of histamine flare up too.
In some individuals, this also creates an IgE reaction or an allergy-type reaction in the body.
With histamine intolerance or Mast Cell Activation, candida overgrowth may be triggering the release of histamine, so even on a low histamine diet, your body is still producing additional histamine. Additionally, candida releases histamine, oxalate and other toxins which adds to this response. Combined this is overflowing your histamine bucket and creating symptoms of histamine overload.
What happens when Candida dies? The die-off reaction:
When Candida yeast cells die, they release a harmful substance containing approximately 79 toxins. This flood of endotoxins places a heavy burden on the kidneys and liver, forcing them to work harder to expel these toxins. This further exacerbates symptoms.
Among these toxins are:
- Uric acid
In particular, the neurotoxin acetaldehyde has a broad range of adverse effects on a person’s health.
In a normally functioning individual, the liver efficiently handles small quantities of acetaldehyde produced by Candida. However, in someone experiencing Candida overgrowth, the liver becomes overwhelmed as it attempts to process larger amounts of acetaldehyde. This accumulation of acetaldehyde, along with ethanol and other toxins, can impede numerous bodily processes. It can damage brain cells, impairing brain function. The endocrine, respiratory, and immune systems may all be impacted. Additionally, red blood cells can suffer harm, as their ability to transport oxygen throughout the body is hindered when the toxin attacks their cell membranes, resulting in symptoms like fatigue and cognitive impairment.
Because acetaldehyde is processed through the liver like alcohol, it can feel like you’ve consumed alcohol and have a hang-over feeling. Individuals often complain of waking up with flu-like symptoms, sore throat, feeling “yuck” and hungover.
Another symptom is waking feeling terrible and swollen up overnight, a possible sign of Candida.
These toxins have the potential to trigger allergic reactions, leading to inflammation. The body’s ability to distinguish harmless organisms is compromised, causing certain substances or foods to be mistakenly identified as antigens. Consequently, the immune system produces antibodies to combat these perceived invaders, resulting in inflammation and symptoms associated with Candida die-off.
What to do if you have Candida:
If you suspect that you have candida which could be increasing or making your histamine intolerance worse, try these ways to help manage and prevent candida overgrowth:
- Follow a low histamine diet.
- Avoid sugar. Candida feeds on sugar. Cutting down on refined sugars and carbohydrates can help starve the yeast.
- Use monk fruit and stevia instead of sugar to sweeten your food.
- Avoid refined carbohydrates like white rice and flour.
- Drink oregano and thyme tea. These culinary herbs contain antifungal and antiviral properties which can help keep Candida albicans under control.
- Stress Management: Chronic stress can weaken your immune system and disrupt the balance of gut bacteria. Practice stress reduction techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. Here are some articles on histamine and stress and the safe and sound protocol for stress management.
Remember that candida overgrowth can vary from person to person, and what works for one individual may not be as effective for another. If you have been experiencing the symptoms of candida overgrowth or you are feeling like you can’t get your histamine intolerance under control, then working with a practitioner to address candida can help you to resolve it and reduce your symptoms.
Struggling to get answers about your histamine intolerance symptoms?
Watch my free Masterclass – The 5 Steps to Healing from Histamine Intolerance.
You will learn my 5-Step plan, the exact same method I used to recover from histamine intolerance. These 5 steps everyone with histamine intolerance must know to resolve all those confusing symptoms and get back to eating foods you love without fear!