Everyone has candida. It’s a bacteria that lives naturally in all human bodies, mostly in the small intestine and the mucous membranes. It doesn’t do anything harmful, and our bodies don’t notice it. When it is allowed to flourish, though, it becomes problematic. The condition of system-wide candida symptoms is called candida dysbiosis.
The symptoms of candida dysbiosis are fatigue, headaches, weakness, the feeling of being “hungover,” diarrhea, nausea, and memory loss, among others. Yet it’s vital to note that another condition — celiac disease — has many of the same indications. Could your candida actually be celiac disease instead?
First, let’s consider the causes. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder of the small bowel that is caused by an abnormal reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, and similar proteins found in barley and rye. Candida can be caused by taking antibiotics or hormones, or by alcohol, stress, or a poor diet. Candida and celiac disease have entirely different causes, in other words, even though some of their symptoms are the same.
Celiac disease and candida often share these symptoms: chronic fatigue, weakness, headaches, general flu-like achiness, joint pains, chronic sinus problems, allergies, irritability, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, and gas.
On the other hand, these symptoms are common in candida but NOT in celiac disease: dizziness, cold sweats, sore throat, low-grade fever, chronic athlete’s foot, heart pains. If your symptoms include any of those, celiac disease is probably not what’s ailing you.
If you suspect you have celiac disease, it’s imperative that you get diagnosed properly as soon as possible. The condition is often misdiagnosed. Many of its symptoms suggest not just candida but irritable bowel syndrome and several other ailments. To accurately diagnose celiac disease, a blood test is needed. Other tests, such as an endoscopy, may also be necessary.
It’s important that if you think you have celiac disease, you don’t stop eating gluten products on your own before getting tested. Doing so may decrease the symptoms, but it will also make it harder to detect the disease when you do get tested. Instead, continue on with your regular diet until your doctor confirms you have celiac disease.
Once the diagnosis has been made, you’ll have to make some changes. There is no “cure” for celiac disease; the only way to deal with it is to stop eating foods with gluten in them, and to continue on that diet for the rest of your life. Fortunately, many food manufacturers are making gluten-free versions of their products, and some health insurance providers even reimburse patients for the cost of these special foods.
After undertaking a gluten-free diet, your intestines will be able to heal themselves. In the vast majority of cases, all the celiac-related symptoms go away. Occasionally, a celiac patient will find that even with a gluten-free diet, the symptoms remain, sometimes because the disease persisted for so long that the damage to the intestines was irreparable. In these rare cases, steroids may be used to combat the symptoms.