Thrush is a super common women’s health complaint. It’s caused by an overgrowth of Candida albicans, a type of fungus, which can happen when there is too little other beneficial bacteria (probiotics) such as Lactobacillus to help keep the levels in check. The vaginal ecosystem should be dominant in Lactobacillus, which keeps the vaginal pH acidic, to keep other problem causing microbes at bay.
Causes of Candida overgrowth and thrush can include:
- Excess sugar/processed carbohydrate intake
- The oral contraceptive pill
- Mirena coil/intrauterine device (IUD)
- Heavy metal toxicity, such as mercury
- Hormone imbalances, such as oestrogen
Because Candida produce excessive amounts of acetylaldehyde, there can be impacts on dopamine and brain function including anxiety, fatigue, reduced motivation, addictive behaviours and low libido. Candida overgrowth can also impact our skin, ears, mouth and digestive system, causing symptoms like bloating.
In order to effectively treat recurrent or chronic thrush, the whole microbiome needs rebalancing. Rather than just taking antifungals, you need to repopulate the missing beneficial bacteria, as this is what will prevent the Candida from overgrowing in the first place. A holistic view is essential when managing chronic Candida and thrush.
Vaginal microbiome testing can be incredibly beneficial to determine exactly what is going on with the microbes: Candida, Ureaplasma, E.coli, Lactobacillus, etc. Specific treatment tailored to your exact symptoms and test results can then be put in place to resolve thrush for good.