The following excellent article explains the correlation between Celiac and Candida and is VERY interesting. Shawn and I both have been trying to unravel the connection we have with the two and it makes perfect sense. Thank you to the author of the linked site for providing this information.
Doctors are only now beginning to recognize and understand the symptoms of celiac disease candida and the relationship between candida and celiac disease.
What Is Candida?
Candida albicans is a yeast that normally lives in the mouth, throat, intestines, and genitourinary tract. Almost everyone has this yeast in their body. It is not normally a problem. However, sometimes the yeast growth gets out of control, a condition known as candidiasis. Then it can cause unpleasant symptoms, some of which can be fairly serious if not treated properly.
What Does It Have to Do with Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which gluten, a protein found in some grains, triggers an immune system response that inflames and damages the lining of the small intestine. Candida albicans contains the same sequence of proteins that are found in gluten, so in people with celiac disease, an overgrowth of candida can trigger the same symptoms they experience if they eat wheat. Many people diagnosed with celiac disease also have candidiasis, so some doctors recommend that everyone that is diagnosed with celiac disease should also be tested for candidiasis.
In addition, some doctors believe that candidiasis can cause someone to develop celiac disease, although not all doctors agree with this.
Symptoms of Celiac Disease Candida
Symptoms of celiac disease candida are far-reaching and include:
- Runny nose
- Vaginal itching and discharge
- Rectal itching
- Abdominal pain and bloating
- Sore throat
- Urinary tract infections
- Bad breath
- Dry, itchy eyes
- Sore muscles
- Mood swings
- Allergic reactions
- Hives and rashes
- Increased susceptibility to infection
- Recurrent fungal infections, like athlete’s foot and ringworm
Note that these are symptoms of candida overgrowth in both people with and without celiac disease. Not all people with candida overgrowth experience all of these symptoms, but the longer the condition goes on untreated, the more symptoms a person is likely to experience. People with celiac disease may experience more severe symptoms than people without celiac disease, but some people without the condition do experience very severe symptoms from candida overgrowth.
Treating Symptoms of Celiac Disease Candida
Symptoms of celiac disease candida often respond to treatment with oral antifungal drugs like fluconazole (Diflucan). Vaginal yeast infections can be treated with topical antifungal drugs like miconazole and nystatin. In severe cases, IV medications may be necessary.
To completely eliminate symptoms of candida overgrowth and to prevent symptoms from returning, dietary changes are recommended. Candida albicans feeds on sugar, so sugary foods should be avoided until the condition is resolved. This includes foods like candy, cookies, cakes, and so on, but also includes fruit because fruit is also high in sugar. Alcohol is also high in sugar and should be avoided. People with candidiasis are advised to avoid foods that contain mold or fungus, like mushrooms and cheese. In addition, many meats contain antibiotics or hormones that may make symptoms worse, so people with candidiasis may want to avoid meat products or limit themselves to only organic meats.
People with celiac disease should also avoid gluten in their diet. Eating foods containing gluten will make symptoms of celiac disease worse and it may also make symptoms of candidiasis worse as well. Gluten is found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye, and can be found in a large variety of foods. People with celiac disease and candidiasis should talk with their doctors or registered dieticians about dietary changes that might help.