How to Know If You Have Candida Overgrowth

Check with your doctor before feeding your child live-culture yogurt to combat thrush, one form of candida overgrowth.
Check with your doctor before feeding your child live-culture yogurt to combat thrush, one form of candida overgrowth. (Image: Rayes/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Candida overgrowth occurs when the friendly flora that naturally lives in your gastrointestinal tract is not able to keep it in check. Candida albicans lives in the GI tract and if you are ill or eat a lot of refined sugar, yeasted or fermented foods, the candida grows and can result in a variety of physical symptoms, according to William Crook, MD, author of "The Yeast Connection."

Things You'll Need

  • Live-Culture Yogurt
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus probiotic supplement

Notice if you have an obvious vaginal yeast infection. Women know immediately if this is the case by the presence of an obvious vaginal discharge. Candida albicans can result from overconsumption of refined sugar, yeasted breads or fermented foods such as pickles. Candida overgrowth can also occur if you have taken antibiotics which can kill off the friendly flora that would help keep candida from overgrowing. Men can have a candida yeast infection but not have any physical symptoms. They could check with their doctors to determine if they do.

Observe if you have “thrush,” which is what candida overgrowth is called when it is inside the mouth, according to the National Institutes of Health. Candida albicans can thrive on the skin, in the mouth or in any moist environment of the body, as well as in the GI tract. Doctors describe thrush as sores on the tongue and inside the mouth that can occur from being ill, taking antibiotics, steroidal medication, having HIV/AID or being treated for cancer. They add that thrush is also found in infants and the elderly. They say that sometimes the overgrowth receds on its own as your immune system recovers.

Observe if you have frequent bouts of abdominal bloating or indigestion after eating, or also diarrhea or constipation. Candida overgrowth can interfere with normal digestion and detoxification. Dr. Crook writes that people who complain of candida overgrowth may consume a lot of sugar, including fruit and juices, aged cheese that has micromold, yeasted breads and pizza and fermented foods including wine. He writes that eliminating each of these foods can reduce the symptoms.

Tips & Warnings

  • According to the Mayo Clinic, one remedy for candida overgrowth is consuming probiotic supplements that contain lactobacillius acidophilus, bifidus and other probiotics that help combat candida infections.
  • These probiotics are also found in live culture yogurt: read the labels to see that it has at least one of these probiotics.

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