Feeling Spaced Out? It Could Be Candida
Do you feel like you have brain fog? Many candida patients I’ve seen complain of brain fog or like they feel stoned or drunk to a certain degree. An unusual symptom of certain people with a severe yeast infection is the presence of alcohol in the blood stream even when none has been consumed. First discovered in Japan, and called “drunk disease,” this condition creates strains of candida albicans which turn acetaldehyde (which is the chemical created by sugar and yeast fermentation) into ethanol. This is a process well understood by distillers of homemade brew.
A medical test has been developed in which, after an overnight fast, the individual is given 100 grams of pure sugar. Blood samples taken both before the sugar loading, and an hour after, are measured for alcohol. An increase of alcohol indicates yeast “auto-brewery” intoxication. Another strong connection between alcohol and candidiasis was found in a study of 213 alcoholics at a recovery centre in Minneapolis, USA.
Test and questionnaire results indicated that candidiasis is a common complication of moderate to heavy drinkers and alcoholics due to the combination of high sugar content in alcohol and the inability of drinker to assimilate nutrients. Additionally, female moderate to heavy drinkers with yeast infections were significantly sicker than non-drinking women with candida yeast infections.
Many of the symptoms exhibited in drinkers such as insomnia, depression, loss of libido, headaches, sinusitis/post-nasal drip, digestion and intestinal complaints, actually overlap with those in candida overgrowth.
What Is Acetaldehyde?
It is interesting to hear those who are chronically infected with candida yet who don’t drink alcohol, to say that they may feel “drunk”, spaced out or a bit intoxicated. As the alcohol produced by the yeast begins to be broken down it creates acetaldehyde, a chemical which is even more toxic to the brain than ethanol itself, which insidiously undermines brain functions and damages neurological structures.
Acetaldehyde is a chemical which enters the body in various main ways:
* Drinking alcohol
* Inhaling exhaust fumes or cigarette smoke (active or passive)
* Having an overgrowth of candida in your body
When we drink alcohol, it is broken down in the liver where an enzyme known as alcohol dehydrogenase converts it into acetaldehyde. Then another enzyme breaks it down further into acetate, which gives our cells energy. The problem is that in alcoholics or people with a high level of toxicity the body’s ability to convert acetaldehyde is undermined. High levels of this chemical remain in the body and can cause a kind of poisoning which not only does physical damage but can very much distort mental perceptions.
Depression and Anxiety
This is why some people I have seen with chronic and systemic candidiasis (and especially those who drink plenty of alcohol) can have brain fog, depression, anxiety, mood swings and irritability. So now you understand, if you like a drink and have candida you must stop drinking for some time and restore your digestive system, repair the leaky bowel and work on building a healthy bacterial population and then in time re-introduce alcohol.
Let’s drink to – your recovery. Just kidding. The day you finally decide to kick that habit of drinking regularly if you exhibit ANY of the signs and or symptoms of a candida yeast infection will be the day that your health turns around. I know, I experienced this with many patients with intestinal yeast overgrowth and can attest to this fact. But don’t believe me – just do it and find out for yourself. You will see that it will work for you. All the best, and, please do drop me a line and let me know how you go.
Email in response to this post:
THANK YOU DR. BAKKER!
I’ve only been drinking since ’08 & have been suffering from chronic yeast infections ever since. I am by no means an alcoholic – I used to drink only 2-4 nights a month (~3-4 drinks each time), & I workout/eat healthy routinely, but I always end up with a slew of symptoms (anxiety, chronic fatigue, insomnia, depression, a general sense of lack of wellness & raging yeast infections) if I drink “too much”. I also get the strangest feeling of being “dirty” under my skin, I would feel a sticky, tingly, acidic sensation. I have done your Candida Program a couple times & it’s been a GREAT help, & I limit my alcohol consumption now to ~ 4 drinks/month. Your article’s been the only one I’ve been able to find that explains what part of alcohol consumption actually causes candidiasis. Do you have any other research you could recommend on this topic, or tips as to which alcohols should 100% be avoided versus others that might be “safer”?
M. Jenn, Seattle