Did you know that an unhealthy gastrointestinal (GI) tract can affect your brain and how you feel? If you suffer from anxiety or depression and have persistent digestive symptoms and /or recurrent vaginal yeast infections, and have been placed on repeated or prolonged courses of antibiotics, then yeast overgrowth, or Candida, could be a possible cause.
Your brain and GI tract are closely connected. Your intestines send signals to your brain, and vice versa. Therefore, when your intestines are not healthy, this can cause symptoms like depression and anxiety, and many people with these symptoms can correlate them with the onset of GI problems. When you have yeast overgrowth or Candida, it can produce 180 toxins. As these toxins are absorbed in the colon and enter the bloodstream, they can cause symptoms in other areas of your body, including your brain.
Candida and How it Affects Your Brain
Candida Albicans is a fungus which lives and overgrows in our intestines causing an imbalance in the normal bacteria of the colon so that we get less normal healthy bacteria, and more yeast.
Candida overgrowth causes sugar and carbohydrate cravings, which can cause your diet to spin out of control. You then develop nutritional deficiencies and endocrine disturbances occur, which further weakens your immune system. This promotes the release of certain brain chemicals that disturb the brain’s normal mood regulating balance, triggering increased anxiety or depression.
Of the more than 180 toxic byproducts of Candida that have been identified, two, alcohol and acetaldehyde, are known to be particularly harmful. When acetaldehyde reacts with the brain chemical dopamine, it can cause feelings of anxiety, depression, poor concentration and a sense of being “spaced-out.” Acetaldehyde also binds to B vitamins which are needed for the synthesis of neurotransmitters. Another of Candida’s predominant toxins, canditoxin, depletes essential dietary nutrients and has been associated with behavioral changes.
A normal healthy gut with normal microbial flora is needed to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood. Candida can suppress this production, leading to depression and anxiety.
Yeast Overgrowth Has Been Linked To:
Inability to concentrate
Memory loss (1)
How do you know if you have yeast?
If you have ever taken an antibiotic, eaten antibiotic-injected meat or dairy products, taken birth control pills, or steroid medications, then you are susceptible to yeast overgrowth and its varied symptoms.
How to Improve Your GI Tract
Do a yeast-free eating program
Include fiber in your diet
Avoid sugar, processed and refined foods
Supplement with probiotics, the “good bacteria”
At the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, we believe in solving the underlying cause of your symptoms. If you suffer from depression and anxiety, and also have other symptoms of yeast overgrowth, then addressing the yeast could give you relief. Don’t wait. Take our symptom checker quiz today to find out if you have symptoms of yeast overgrowth, so that you can start taking action to eliminate the yeast, protect your mental health, and feel your best.
Source: The Yeast Connection and Women’s Health, by William G. Crook, M.D. with Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. and Elizabeth B. Crook
1. Candida Albicans Exposures, Sex Specificity and Cognitive Deficits in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder
2. The Possibility and Probability of a Gut-to-Brain Connection in Autism
3. Altered Fecal Microbiota Composition in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder