Candidiasis and Weight Gain

Candidiasis and weight gain infection symptom

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), candidiasis is a fungal infection that is caused by yeasts belonging to the genus candida. Candidiasis and weight gain is a frustrating symptom of the infection.

Candida albicans is the most common yeast of this group that can cause infections in humans, although there are more than twenty kinds that can cause candidiasis. Although infections don't always occur, overgrowth of these yeasts can cause a host of problems. Weight gain is a common symptom that can occur with this type of yeast infection. If you're struggling with weight gain, this may be a sign of a Candida overgrowth in your system.

Symptoms of candidiasis

It's estimated that approximately 46,000 candida infections occur in the United States every year. This type of yeast is incredibly opportunistic and can quickly grow out of control causing wide-ranging symptoms.

Other than weight gain, people with an active overgrowth of yeast may experience several many symptoms.

Symptoms of candidiasis include

  • Toenail fungus
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Rectal itching
  • Vaginal thrush
  • Low sex drive
  • Digestive issues
  • Leaky gut
  • Bladder infections
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Mood swings
  • Brain fog
  • Dizziness
  • Sore throat
  • Oral thrush
  • Persistent cough
  • Sinus inflammation
  • Skin rashes
  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Sugar cravings

The last symptom, sugar cravings, is one of the more common reasons for the weight gain that often accompanies these infections. Digestive issues, particularly leaky gut, can also be contributing factors.

What causes candidiasis?

Since candida is opportunistic, it is always looking for ways to multiply. Although it is a normal member of the community of microbes that live in our digestive tracks, mouths, vaginas, and moist areas of our skin, it can quickly get out of control if allowed to multiply.

It will build biofilms around groups of candida to protect them from other microbes and bacteria. Candidiasis can be caused by a variety of things and can contribute to yeast overgrowth.

Causes of yeast overgrowth include

  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Antibiotics
  • Birth control pills
  • Blood sugar imbalance
  • Too much sugar
  • Immunosuppressive drugs
  • Nutritional deficiencies/poor diet
  • Chronic stress
  • Exposure to mold
  • Weakened immunity

The connection between candidiasis and weight gain

There are several reasons that candidiasis can cause weight gain.

Candidiasis and weight gain connections

  • Sugar cravings - Yeast thrives on sugar and uses it as its main source of fuel. When candida growth gets out of control and infests your body, the yeast will cause you to have cravings for carbohydrates and sugar in order to feed itself.
  • An overloaded liver - Candida can release up to 79 different types of toxins into your bloodstream as the candida cells naturally die off. Because toxins are processed by your liver, a steady stream of these toxins can quickly overtax it. When your liver is overworked, it will store excess toxins to process at a later date. The problem? Those toxins get stored in new fat cells and create hard-to-lose weight around your abdomen, thighs, and hips.
  • Hormone disruption - When the candida in your system releases toxins in its natural process of dying off, it can create hormonal imbalances and slow down your metabolism. It can also cause your thyroid to become sluggish by blocking hormone receptors and decreasing the hormone's effectiveness. Since the thyroid controls metabolism, a sluggish one can create a slow metabolic rate. A slow metabolism and underactive thyroid not only causes weight gain but can make it exceedingly difficult to lose the weight once it's on.
  • Overtaxed adrenals - As with your liver, adrenals can quickly become overtaxed from the stress placed on your body due to a candida overgrowth. This again leads to a sluggish metabolism and hypothyroidism which causes you to gain weight.
  • Fluid retention - While fluid retention isn't quite the same as fat gained, too much water weight and bloating can make you feel just as uncomfortable and put weight on your body, particularly around your abdomen. When a hormonal imbalance is created in your body from too much Candida, this can cause an influx of progesterone, a hormone that is known for causing fluid retention. There is also some belief that your body retains fluid in order to deal with the overflow of toxins into your bloodstream.

How to deal with weight gain from candidiasis

Luckily, making some simple changes in diet and taking an anti-fungal can help to not only eliminate candida but keep weight gain at bay.

  • Eliminating foods high in sugar. Sugar feeds yeast. So the more of it you eat, the more likely it is for the candida to grow. Be sure to read those labels carefully as well. Sugar can hide in products where we don't often expect it to.
  • Eliminate foods containing yeast such as bread and alcoholic beverages, refined carbohydrates, brewer's yeast, fermented foods, vinegar (with the exception of apple cider vinegar), and any supplements that are yeast based. Again, check labels for these ingredients.
  • Garlic and thyme are natural fungicides, so cooking with them may help to stave off candidiasis or slow growth. Also, it's thought that garlic, in particular, can cut off the creation of hyphae, the long strands created by the yeast that help it to grow.
  • Some research suggests that coconut oil may help to kill yeast cells because of its lauric, caprylic, and capric acid content. Be sure to take the virgin coconut oil not the hydrogenated kind.
  • Anti-fungal medications. Diet is usually not enough on its own to combat candidiasis and the resulting weight gain. A strong anti-fungal prescribed by a doctor can control the growth of yeast. This coupled with a low-sugar diet can make weight loss easier.
Last Reviewed:
August 21, 2017
Last Updated:
October 18, 2017
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