[updated August 2019]
Yeast overgrowth, called candida or candidiasis, is a pandemic today that affects millions. You might already know that yeast overgrowth can cause vaginal yeast infections and digestive issues, but did you know that Candida can also cause brain fog?
Typically yeast is harmless but when it overgrows it turns into an opportunistic pathogen in your body. Candida overgrowth and mycotoxins, by-products of candida, can attack any organ or system in the body. If not treated, it becomes a pathogenic fungus with roots that cause a myriad of symptoms including brain fog.
Understanding Candida Brain Fog
Anyone who has experienced brain fog understands all too well that this phenomenon isn’t like normal fatigue or concentration difficulties. It’s a debilitating symptom that causes patients to process information very slowly, feel confused and mentally sluggish, and be unable to focus on even the simplest of tasks. Brain fog adversely affects an individual’s ability to perform well at work or school and to fulfill obligations at home.
Candida brain fog occurs when inflammation inhibits the ability of the neurons to transmit information. One of the major toxins that are produced with candida Albicans (overgrowth) is acetaldehyde which the liver converts into a harmless substance. But when an excess of acetaldehyde exists and the liver becomes oversaturated, it is released into the bloodstream thereby creating feelings of intoxication, brain fog, vertigo, and loss of equilibrium. Additionally, acetaldehyde creates a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1), a vitamin critical for brain and nerve function and essential for the production of acetylcholine, one of the brain’s major neurotransmitters.
To adequately address brain fog and other symptoms of yeast overgrowth, Candida specialists recommend a holistic approach.
Managing Blood Glucose Levels
This holistic approach typically includes improving one’s management of blood glucose levels, since glucose encourages yeast to thrive and contributes to systemic inflammation. A doctor can give you all the details on the candida diet, which requires the strict elimination of refined sugars and processed foods from one’s meal plan. On the candida diet, you can expect to avoid alcohol, dairy products, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, and refined carbohydrates. If you have diabetes or prediabetes, be sure to tell your doctor before proceeding with any major dietary changes.
Organizing Your Daily Life
Working with a Candida specialist can greatly improve your symptoms, but it’s also helpful to find ways of coping with brain fog while you’re beginning your treatment. Cut yourself some slack on “foggy” days by reducing your responsibilities as much as possible. Carry around a small notebook and pen with you to jot down the information that you need to remember. Create multiple lists, such as a to-do list of items that must be accomplished that day and a separate list of items that can be accomplished later in the week. Additionally, take your time when executing tasks that require attention to detail.
How to Treat Candida Brain Fog
Most doctors still don’t recognize intestinal and systemic candidiasis as a health condition. Thankfully your body has an innate intelligence that allows it to heal itself, you simply need to give it the right environment for a long enough period of time. There are doctors who specialize in treating candida through natural, holistic treatments. They help you kill fungus and eradicate excess yeast to get your body back into balance. The treatment is simple but takes diligence, discipline, and consistency to achieve a successful outcome.
If you’ve been experiencing severe Candida symptoms, you should seek help at a Candida treatment center in New York, NY. Your doctor can discuss holistic ways of managing Candida and coping with brain fog. At Mitchell Medical Group we use a 3-step approach to treating candida which includes antifungals, a specific diet, and sublingual immunotherapy.
Gluten Grain Brain and Candida Brain Fog – What’s the Difference?
There is a lot of attention in health magazines and in scientific literature pointing to the connection between our diet and our brain health. The notorious offender these days is wheat.
This food we were all brought up eating was once considered wholesome and nutritious. What happened?
Gluten and Candida
Processed foods are what happened. The bread our ancestors ate thousands of years ago bears no resemblance to the processed bread we have available today. The strain of wheat is even different.
The wheat today is high in gluten and in yeast. This presents problems to my patients that have either candida hypersensitivity or Gluten sensitivity. The biggest revelation of late is that these foods can affect your brain health.
In his book, Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers, Dr. David Perlmutter, a Florida neurologist and frequent guest on The Dr. Oz Show, lays out the case that wheat causes brain problems ranging from Alzheimer’s to strokes. The premise of this is that wheat is inflammatory by affecting your blood sugar and insulin response. He advocates removing wheat completely from your diet to protect your brain.
I agree with him because an even more compelling book, Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health, by William Davis, cites numerous studies where wheat causes an increase in belly fat, obesity, and diabetes. After reading his book, I could never look at a piece of bread the same way. I have seen in my own practice that patients feel better avoiding wheat and gluten products(barley, rye) with more energy and they seem to be more alert and energetic.
About the Author – Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D.
Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D. is a Board Certified Allergist and Immunologist based out of NYC. He graduated from the Sackler School of Medicine and completed training at the Robert Cooke Allergy Institute in New York City. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, and the author of Dr. Dean Mitchell’s Allergy and Asthma Solution: The Ultimate Program for Reversing Your Symptoms One Drop at a Time. Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D. has also been featured in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Fitness Magazine, Dr. Oz and News NY 1. Dr. Mitchell also hosts the podcast The Smartest Doctor in the Room – a combination of a lively, personal and in-depth interview with top healthcare specialists.
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Boroch, CNC, Ann. “The Candida Cure – Yeast, Fungus and Your Health.” Quintessential Healing Publishing, Inc., 2009.
Candidiasis, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/index.html
Candidiasis. Harvard Health Publishing, The Harvard Medical School. https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/candidiasis-a-to-z