Do antibiotics lead to Candida overgrowth?

I often hear from clients that tell me they have tried everything to rid themselves of candida overgrowth. They complain that they have been trying for years without finding relief and they struggle with:

  • Digestive distress
  • Skin rashes
  • Oral thrush
  • Chronic yeast infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Skin and nail fungus
  • Joint pain

It can be frustrating as heck! I know because I was there once, too.

When I was riddled with Candida albicans overgrowth, the more healthful I ate, the more I suffered. It was a never-ending cycle of feeling like my body was failing. I cover details about my Candida healing journey here: The Curse of Candida

But, my overgrowth didn’t actually begin with my healthy food journey, it started way before then.

As a teenager and young adult, I remember taking multiple rounds of antibiotics for throat infections. Interestingly, while taking the antibiotics and afterward, I suffered with chronic yeast infections.

I never understood the extent of the damage being done to my gut by taking so many rounds of antibiotics.

And, my doctors’ were clueless about that as well. It’s not their fault. They haven’t been taught about the importance of maintaining a healthy microbiome.

Each time I took heavy duty antibiotics, I was slowly destroying my intestinal flora, damaging my digestive terrain, and weakening my immune system, allowing the fungus to proliferate elsewhere.

“Disseminated candidiasis involves the spread of the same fungus seen in yeast infections and oral thrush to other parts of the body. It is seen primarily in immune compromised individuals and is associated with an increased risk of death.”[1]

Normally, the immune system keeps the C. albicans in check. But, when the immune system in the gut is compromised, the fungus begins its own journey inside your body wreaking havoc.

“Systemic infection, or disseminated candidiasis, is a much more serious disease. This occurs when a patient is immunosuppressed (due to immunosuppressive drugs, chemotherapy or neutropenia) and C. albicans, normally kept under control by the immune system, invades tissues and enters the bloodstream. C. albicans commonly lives in the human gut therefore invasion of the gut wall by C. albicans (for example, through an ulcer or wound) is thought to one way in which disseminated candidiasis can start.[2] 

When our immunity is compromised or worse yet, suppressed, it makes perfect sense that the fungus would thrive unchecked and travel elsewhere invading the blood and tissues.

What can you do to stop this type of systemic overgrowth and start your healing process?

First and foremost, stop taking antibiotics unless they are absolutely necessary!

Below are some common viral infections and other infections that do NOT require or benefit from taking antibiotics[3] [4]:

  • Cold
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Sore throat
  • Bronchitis
  • Fluid in the ear
  • Sinus infections
  • Stomach flu

If you have any of the above issues, use natural anti-bacterial ingredients, rather than antibiotics, that do NOT destroy your intestinal flora and immune health.

Some of those healing ingredients include these three delicious culinary herbs:

  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Thyme

The essential oils in these herbs are anti-bacterial and help fight infections.

I wish I had known to use thyme and honey tea, or garlic toast for my chronic sore throats rather than destroying my gut with antibiotics.

But, that’s life… you learn as you go.

Secondly, you’ve got to recolonize your gut and promote healthy flora.

There are many foods and natural probiotic supplements that support a healthy and happy gut:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Salt brine pickles
  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Probiotics

Eat a couple of tablespoons of probiotic-rich food each day to replenish your body or take a good quality probiotic. There are so many to choose from.

And, if you want to learn WHY Candida overgrowth gets worse the more healthfully you eat, watch my Candida cooking class.

You’ll get access to gut-supportive recipes, herbal remedies to dry a damp condition (Candida albicans THRIVES in a damp internal environment), plus a lifetime of healing wisdom.

Sign up here and meet me in the kitchen! Healing Candida with Food