Are your carb cravings out of control? Do you have allergies or sinus headaches which don’t respond to treatment? Recurring infections like colds, ear aches or sinus infections?
Do you have symptoms of IBS, flatulence, bad breath or acid reflux? Or mental emotional difficulties like attention deficit, depression, irritibility, poor memory? Or perhaps have cold hands, cold feet or a cold nose?
If you’ve been getting thyroid treatment but still these and other health issues which won’t go away, its possible you might have another condition called Candida. Thyroid and Candida problems are direclty related and both may need treatment.
Most commonly we hear about Candida in the form of yeast infections of the genital area, but less commonly discussed is Candida’s affect on the whole body. Here is my experience with Candida…
Yeast in Unexpected Places
After I was on thyroid treatment for over a year, even though I felt a lot better in general, I still experienced low energy and lethargy, frequent sinus headaches, sinus infections, post nasal drip, chest congestion, wheezing, irritability and other symptoms.
Also I experienced a painful, red, itching, burning rash on the corners of my mouth, and the inside of my elbows. Over the years I had asked doctors and dermatologists about this rash but they didn’t have a diagnosis.
When I explained the symptom to Dr. Brummer, my super awesome doctor, he was the first one to suggest it might be “Thrush” or Candida, more commonly known as yeast overgrowth. I never had yeast infections in my girl parts, but he explained that yeast is throughout our bodies and when the body is out of balance the yeast can overgrow and cause many health problems.
Also Dr. Brummer asked about, ahem, my bowel movements. On a side note, bowel movements are a really important indicator of body health. More on that later. Anyway, I explained that some days I was very constipated (which is part of low thyroid) and other days I would have very loose stinky bowel movements (sorry TMI, but its important).
Dr. Brummer explained that the bowel movement problems and smell could definitely be Candida. Candida lives in the intestines so it can cause bad gas as well as bad breath. In fact, people who have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) may in fact be battling Candida.
How Yeast Grows
As noted on Overcomingcandida.com, the primary factor for yeast overgrowth is the use of antibiotics, especially over a period of time with repeated uses. The antibiotics destroy bacteria allowing the yeast to grow. In women, its common knowledge that antibiotics can cause vaginal yeast infections.
But what if the yeast infection wasn’t just in the girl parts? What if the yeast overgrowth was in the entire body? And what if it affected men the same way? That’s exactly what happened to me.
Yeast also feeds off of simple carbohydrates like sugar, grain, rice, potatoes, and alcohol. I always felt pretty awful after eating simple carbohydrates but never knew why. It happened because the yeast would make me crave carbs, then it would feed off the carbs, causing a yeast bloom which caused the various symptoms like sinus infections, thrush, flatulence and more.
So in addition to having yeast on my mouth and skin, I believe it was in my lungs, intestines, and also in my sinuses.
Allergies, Sinus Infections or Candida
For twenty years I had terrible sinus headaches and sinus infections. I would get sinus infections with a bad fever and chillsat least four to five times a year. Each time the doctor would give me antibiotics. When the antibiotics stopped working, they would put me on 3 week cycles of antibiotics. I was on antibiotics for years.
Over time, I believe, low thyroid and antibiotics led to Candida overgrowth in my body, and especially in my sinuses. Without knowing about the Candida connection, doctors continued to prescribe antibiotics for sinus problems when in fact the antibiotics were a big part of the problem!
The Candida Thyroid Connection
On Stop the Thyroid Madness, Mary shares her story of being undiagnosed hypothyroid and developing Candida. Eventually someone on the Yahoo Thyroid group explained told Mary:
“Hypothyroidism causes low body temps which allows fungal overgrowth. Get the temps up and the fungal/yeast will have nowhere to live.”
Some research even indicates that Hypothyroidism can be caused by Candida. Either way, there is a clear connection between Hypothyroidism and Candida.
Here is a full list of Candida Symtpoms.
If this sounds like you, there are treatment options for Candida. I will write a follow-up post with detailed treatment instructions.
To learn more about Candida visit these websites:
Mary - May 2, 2013
Hey I'm that Mary! Ha, that's cool you found my story on STTM. Candida really is a pain in the ass isn't it? Still to this day I have occasional flare ups. They are always so frustrating but thankfully I can usually manage my lifestyle to avoid them. I just wish I could get my meds (ERFA and HC) optimized so I don't have to deal with it at all. :)I love your site and check back occasionally to learn more. Thanks for all the great info!
Emily Jones - July 25, 2013
Hey Lizzy, I love your site! Thanks so much for all the good info! I don't know if it's possible but I would love to ask Mary, the woman who commented on May 2, some questions. I actually read her story on STTM and then saw your post with her comment! I I hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue and am just now realizing that I also have candida. I would love to pick her brain. Do you have any way of putting me in contact with her?Thanks!Emily
mike - August 8, 2013
I don't agree with the lowered temps being the cause of it. I've been on HC, 4 grains of cytomel, and 100mg of diflucan for almost a year now. Every time I take my temp in the afternoons, it's always 98.6, but I still wake up with candida on my tongue.I will say that, for a small time period in this last year, it almost completely disappeared on just these meds. But that was when I wasn't smoking. As soon as I picked that up again, woke up feeling hung over and white tongue all over again. Nicotine obviously drains your adrenals, which makes me believe overgrowth is more about low cortisol levels than anything.Only other thing in the 12 years I've had overgrowth that was effective on it was something called Threelac. I remember very well that for 6 months on it, I did not even drink a single can of pop or have any desire for sugar. But the downside is that it's expensive, and a few months after stopping it, candida came back in full force. Although, maybe, with proper thyroid/adrenal levels and this, possibly might be permanent?Sure wish these was a pill that was a nuclear bomb for yeast, diflucan sadly wasn't it!
Lizzy - January 14, 2014
Hi Renee, yes if it were me I would be looking into Candida. I think this is an often-overlooked condition which can cause all kinds of symptoms including ones you described like the yeast like reaction at the corners of your mouth and other areas. Curezone has great information about Candida treatment. The folks on cure zone describe a pretty intense stage during treatment which is called "Candida Die-off". Its over pretty fast, but it put me in a depression/mood swing for at least a day. When I cleared my body of Candida, I felt so much better all around. I hope that helps solve part of the issue. xo!
Judy - February 13, 2014
So I found out I had a systematic yeast infection after no amounts of any type of thyroid meds (and there have been many meds over the last 10 years.) would resolve all my hypothyroid issues. Then I read Dr. Wm. Crooks' YEAST CONNECTION and realized that was me. I tried and backed off yeast elimination diets 2 times before trying a third time and riding out the "yeast die off" including extreme fatigue, back pain, depression, cravings, digestive distress and made it thru. I am not out of the woods yet and think I will need another round of Nystatin. Now after reading Dr. Steve Hotze's HYPOTHYROIDISM, HEALTH AND HAPPINESS I also think I have "estrogen dominance." I am going to see a Naturopath in hope of getting some bio-identical hormones therapy and balance out my hormones. It's been a long journey toward trying to get my thyroid optimal but I am feeling encouraged, I am so glad you are discussing the candida and thyroid connection here on your blog maybe someone else will be spared the frustration of not knowing why thyroid meds are not working for them. The bad breath is the worse no one will tell you and you can not smell it yourself..
JanJan - February 28, 2014
thanks for this page, I am sharing it with a dear friend who I believe has the wrong DR ( normal labs, yet feels awful)I myself have hashimotos and like you Im going to kick its A$$ ( after a nap)
Danna - March 15, 2014
Hi Lizzy,I found your site love this article. I am re-posting with full attribution and bio for you etc., on my website, but couldn't find and email. I would love to connect. I am hypo and have adrenal fatigue…..and I'm a Zumba Instructor. (those don't work so well together, ha!)Would you email me, please?Thanks, Danna 🙂
Lizzy - March 18, 2014
Hi Danna! Thank you thank you for writing. If you friend me on Facebook you can message me there. Hugs and kisses!Lizzy