Last updated September 7, 2017 by Lisa Richards, CNC

Candida And Inflammation

Inflammation can be linked to imbalances in the gut flora

The symptoms of chronic inflammation are remarkably similar to many of those caused by Candida Related Complex. Fatigue, joint pain, digestive problems, and allergies can all be triggered by inflammation, and they are certainly part of the daily lives of many Candida sufferers. But looking at these two conditions separately is actually the wrong approach. That’s because there is a powerful link between chronic inflammation and Candida.

The byproducts produced by Candida include acetaldehyde, ammonia, and uric acid. These harmful substances (along with a long list of other toxins) can enter your bloodstream and cause a host of diverse symptoms. An inflammatory response is your body’s way of dealing with Candida and its byproducts. This inflammation contributes to many of the symptoms regularly associated with Candida.

What Is Inflammation?

Inflammation is a sign that your body is trying to heal itself, for instance after an injury or when harmful pathogens get into your system. It’s different from an infection. An infection is the result of a bacteria, virus, or fungus, whereas inflammation is directly caused by your own immune system. Inflammation is in fact your body’s way of dealing with an injury or infection.

There are two main types of inflammation. Acute inflammation is the one most of us are familiar with, usually caused by a brief illness or physical injury. This type of inflammation comes on quickly, is often localized, and disappears after a couple of days or a week. Chronic inflammation, however, is an inflammation that lasts for a longer period of time, from a couple of months to several years. Symptoms of chronic inflammation include congestion, joint pain, a weakened immune system, digestive problems, and even weight gain. In the long term, this can be a debilitating and even life-threatening condition.

How do we know that Candida causes inflammation? A review of the current research on Candida and inflammation found that, “Candida colonization delays healing of inflammatory lesions and that inflammation promotes colonization. These effects may create a vicious cycle in which low-level inflammation promotes fungal colonization and fungal colonization promotes further inflammation.” So Candida albicans not only causes inflammation; it also uses that inflammation to colonize your gut.

Free Guide To Beating Candida
Sign up to our free, 8-part email course today, and learn how to create your own, personalized Candida treatment plan :)

The Right Diet Can Reduce Inflammation

Certain types of food increase the risk of inflammation. They include trans fats, sugar, white bread, and alcohol. You will find many of these foods on our foods to avoid list. You can already see that there is a significant overlap between inflammatory foods and those which can lead to a Candida overgrowth.

To reduce inflammation, research suggests that it’s best to eat plenty of vegetables, lean protein, and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, which you can find in flaxseed and fish oil. You can add some extra flavor to your foods with ginger and turmeric, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties.

If you follow a good Candida treatment program like the Ultimate Candida Diet plan designed by Dr. Eric Wood and me, you will be greatly reducing any inflammation caused by your diet. That’s because none of those inflammatory foods are on the list of foods to eat.

Be Kind To Your Body

The way you treat your body in general can also affect inflammation. Obesity increases the risk of inflammation in your gut, and that inflammation promotes the colonization of Candida. It’s a good idea to keep your weight in check, and reducing your sugar intake is a great first step.

Getting enough exercise is important too, since it lowers the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in your body. CRP is your body’s marker for inflammation, and the higher the levels of this protein in your body, the greater the chances that you are suffering from inflammation.

Candida sufferers should always be careful not to over-exercise, as intense exercise has been shown to weaken the adrenal glands and immune system. However, activities like yoga and walking can improve circulation and speed up the elimination of toxins. In addition, exercise helps you shed those extra pounds and does wonders for your heart health, your respiratory system, and your mind.

Reducing Stress

Research has found that stress can also increase the levels of CRP in your body. And as you know, chronic stress is one of the major causes of Candida overgrowth too. If you want to lower these levels and reduce inflammation, you need to find a way to relax.

Exercise is a great way to deal with stress and anger. Try to meditate or do breathing exercises when you need to relax. Do things that you enjoy doing to keep your mind off whatever it is that stresses you. Get enough quality sleep so that you’re rested. When you’re tired, you won’t have the strength to deal with whatever it is that is stressing you in the first place.

100% Risk-Free Guarantee

3-Month Candida Elimination Kit Start Your 3-month Candida Cleanse

This Candida Kit contains all the supplements recommended on the Candida Diet:
- LIVER ONE to process and remove the toxins created by Candida.
- CANDASSIST to inhibit and weaken the Candida colonies in your gut.
- PROBIOTIC to replace the Candida yeast with probiotic bacteria.
Plus... the CANDIDA DIET RECIPE BOOK with 50+ low-sugar recipes

Learn More


  1. Sally Farrington says:

    I have been on this diet for well over a year now, symptom free EXCEPT that now I seem to be engulfed with arthritis in multiple areas. I have been told that this is common factor and that it primarily comes from the dead yeast cells in my system. My doctor is suggesting a liver cleanse using Juniperus Communis and cutting out nightshade vegetables. Any thoughts on this?

    1. Candida has been shown to cause inflammation in the body, and arthritis is one of the most common inflammatory conditions. In fact a Japanese study in 2011 found that “C. albicans gut colonization promoted limb joint inflammation in collagen-induced arthritis”. So treating your Candida could definitely help reduce your arthritis symptoms.

    2. Sara says:

      I discovered that chicken was causing arthritis pains deep in my chest and in my arms. It also happens to be one food that my blood type should avoid. Perhaps there is a particular food that is your culprit. When I went on the Candida diet, my pain symptoms from eating chicken became worse. I am also avoiding night shades because I noticed they were causing me itchiness. Nuts also seem to be suspicious for me I think because of the phytic acid.

    3. Alma says:

      Look up youngevity liver cleanse

    4. Shanda says:

      Yes do organic coffee enemas with pure water so 3 tablespoons of organic coffee with 2 cups of water bring to a boil in a saucepan then strain the unwanted coffee grinds then let sit for about 10 mins to get room temperature pour in enema bag try to let it stay in for 15 min so it can reach your liver and gallbladder to detox the candida ECT.. if you can’t hold for 15 try to do 5 min then the next day try for longer minutes.hope this helps but drink plenty of water. Also talk to a doctor you can you tube it to watch on videos as well. 1 a week is what my hollistic doctor recommended

  2. Mary Wilhelm says:

    Hopefully this helps

  3. Gabrielle Mainguy says:

    Hi Lisa,
    thanks for all this precious information, each post helps me understand this complicated symptoms puzzle. I’d really like to understand exactly what happens when a candida sufferer does too much exercise? I often tried to do sport like jogging or bicycle or even dance and up to now these activities are too much for me, I feel extremely exhausted afterwards and have big headaches.

    Thanks again,


    1. There is evidence that too much intense exercise causes a long term weakening of the immune system. You might feel great immediately after your workout, but in the longer term it could weaken your defenses against Candida.

  4. Julia says:

    This is happening to me. I am going to go on this diet.

  5. Norma says:

    Why do candida sufferers have to be careful of over exercise? I dance and usually feel better when I have danced for 90 minutes spread over 2 to 3 hours.

    1. There is evidence that too much intense exercise causes a long term weakening of the immune system. You might feel great immediately after your workout, but in the longer term it could weaken your defenses against Candida.

  6. Donna says:

    I have been on the diet for 6 months. I am doing alittle better but my fingers are started to hurt. My concern is that I am a runner and really don’t want to give it up. I am only running 2 days a week, bike one day and weight training one day. I have cut back to 4 days. In the past I worked out 6 days. How do I know if I am doing to much?

    1. You will know if you are over-exercising doing too much if you start to see your immune system weakening – i.e. more regular colds and flus – or if you notice a worsening in your Candida.

  7. Bruce says:

    I have some of these candida symptoms in addition to hallux rigidus (a stiff arthritic toe). I read high uric acid levels are often caused by candida. Do you think candida could have caused my toe problems? Can I have uric acid levels tested?


    1. Uric acid is one of the byproducts of Candida, and it can cause gout in your toes. You can get a blood test to check if your uric acid levels are elevated.

  8. Busi says:

    I have discovered that i have a candida overgrowth through a full body scanning and health analysis process (Diascan)and i also did a home test (spitting my saliva in a glass of water in the morning). This was a shocking discovery for me as I have never heard of this illness before and dont even think that our doctors overlooks it. Thanks to your newsletters and emails i’ve been able to deal with it through my strict anti candida diet BUT the biggest weakness i have is alcohol. I’ve managed to cut out all the carbs etc except for alcohol which i consume twice a week.

    1. I’m glad to hear your treatment is going well (but definitely cut out the alcohol if you can!). By the way, the ‘spit test’ really has no scientific basis – it’s more of a marketing tool for certain probiotics manufacturers.

  9. Teniel says:

    Can you have nutritional yeast on the candida diet?

    1. The yeast cells in nutritional yeast are dead, but they are not always well tolerated by Candida sufferers. You can think of it as a test food – avoid it at first but introduce it later in your diet and see how it goes.

  10. Janetta says:

    I’ve had chronic sinus headaches for years, as well as joint pain in my legs, chronic fatigue, and weight gain. I went on this diet, and for the first time, I have NO headaches! My sinuses are back to normal! I used to have 16 migraines a month. My stomach was reacting to the pain medication. This is fantastic. I’ve solved a problem that doctors could never give me an answer to. This really is an overlooked health concern.

    1. Hi Janetta, I’m glad the program has been so helpful! Here is another post I wrote on sinus infections and how they are linked to Candida –

    2. Tammy says:

      I second that!!

  11. Bonnie says:

    Am trying to decide if I have this or not! Have had “corner of the mouth” sores for 4 or 5 years now! They go away temporarily with Ketoconazole……….then come back. Can this be one of the symptoms of this fungus?

    1. If an antifungal eliminates your symptoms, but they come straight back, it certainly sounds like there could be an underlying Candida overgrowth behind it.

  12. Beth says:

    I was on a restricted diet to try and combat candida , I never weigh more than 58kg lost so much weight (6kg) that I went back to eating all those things I should be staying away from and even though it has been 3mths I am still struggling to gain weight.

    1. Weight loss can happen with the Candida diet but that’s not a good reason to go back to eating sugary foods! Try some of the suggestions here –

  13. Jane says:

    When you have dead yeast cells in system causing arthritis, could chelation be an answer?

    1. Hi Jane, it’s the byproducts of Candida that cause pain and inflammation, not the dead yeast cells. Techniques like sauna and detox baths can help, but the best way to eliminate those byproducts is to deal with the underlying Candida overgrowth.

  14. jane says:

    hi, i am just about to start the cleanse but i cant find ALA or NAC in australia, anything else you could recommend instead thanks

    1. If you’re looking for a detox supplement, milk thistle is a really useful liver-supportive option that is usually available in most health food stores.

  15. Susan Ripley says:

    I have been told I have M.E. chronic fatigue syndrome 17 years ago. the symptoms are very similar to candida problems. I went a kenesiologist many years ago and she diagnosed Candida which had led to full blown M.E. since then ive had it return twice and think I have it again as have been feeling worst since March. have been trying to eliminate yeast and sugar and finally starting to feel better but get strong cravings to eat chocolate. can one ever go back to eating these foods again. I have been buying dairy, caffien and sugar free chocolate sweetened by xylitol. I make my own cakes using this sugar with walnuts and grated carrots included and a tablespoon of flaxseed,and wholemeal flour, very tasty.


    1. Hi Sue, you may be able to return to your old diet at some point, but I would recommend against it. If you have already suffered through Candida once, you should switch to a long term low-sugar diet that will prevent it from coming back.

    2. keegan says:

      Sue, i have used a chocolate product like this as well, to feel normal, and try to enjoy life and my love of chocolate while observing this diet. Chocolate is a healthy food, so long as it is dark, high cocoa content, and is a good source of magnesium and iron. The problem that i see in observing a strict candida diet is that the cocoa powder is truly a starch. therefore i did not feel as good as i dogs when i was abstaining from all “offender” foods.

      1. keegan says:

        Oops, not sure how the “dogs” got out….

  16. gae says:

    hi lisa I have just discovered your web site> The other week my husband was diagnosed with candida. The symptoms are showing with flaky itchy scalp.Does this sound right & I was wondering if natvia sweetener was ok to use.Will it ever completely go away or will he always have to be selective with what he eats? Your book sounds helpful so will be getting a copy . gae thanks

    1. Hi Gae, yes many Candida sufferers also experience skin conditions as a result of their overgrowth. The diet will help, but you should avoid added sugars and artificial sweeteners. Try stevia instead.

      1. Ashley says:

        Being a sufferer I only use xylitol it helps fight off candida and has proven very well to speed up the proccess. I add it basically to everything I eat. There was studies That stevia may not be a good source for a sweetener. Candida can still feed off stevia from what I researched. Though if anyone is interested in trying xylitol there are two types one is from corn and most people won’t have a good reaction from it. Second, is from birch bark so far have not seen any negative reviews on xylitol birch bark.

  17. Gabrielle Mainguy says:

    Hi Lisa,

    thanks for your answer but personally I don’t feel better after doing intense exercise, I immediately feel exhausted and dizzy and begin to have headaches quite immediately as well. The last time it happened, my belly also reacted by becoming crazy for over a week; it was clearly inflamed and the tensions communicated to my back and kept me from sleeping at night. This added to fatigue and headaches. All because of about 30 minutes jogging.
    So my conclusion was that intense exercise sometimes have a direct effect on inflammation.
    Am I the only one like that?
    Thank you,

    1. Micheal Harris says:

      How ya doin Gabrielle,my name is Mike.I have similiar problems as you.If i over walk or jog,or try working out with wieghts,my stomach will act up,for 4-5 days,leaving me without much sleep! I dont smoke or drink so,working out was my passion.I was wondering was it because of my Candida Albicans,ive been suffering that i see your going through the same thing,this must be the reason,i can nologer wieght train,thanks for sharring,it answered some questions,that i couldnt find answeres to,your not alone!

  18. Kay Graber says:

    I have had tingling and semi numbness in feet
    For 2 years. It was in a few fingers, my lips and a few times in my nose but those have abated leaving just the feet. I have had blood tests, nerve conduction tests and. Brain MRI too. Nothing there but it responds unfavorably to caffeine and most forms of sugar. I do not eat white bread or rice, soy or vinegar. Take Nystatin but isn’t there another yeast/fungal drug one can take. Trying to avoid any processed foods -and drink maybe 2 glasses of wine a week. Has anyone heard of these symptoms before?

    1. Stephanie Harper says:

      Yes, my constantly changing merry-go-round of symptoms includes temporary numbness to toes and feet, and I am much more prone to pins and needles in my arms, hands, tips of fingers and toes, and feet since I became ill with candida.

    2. Royden Wagler says:

      I have the same symptoms you speak of, do you have any remedies so far? I’ve had all the testing done also like you listed. Some days I blame it on gluten and other days candida, maybe both. I have dealt with it for about 4 years.

  19. James Marsh says:

    Lisa, thanks so much for all of your great information.
    I am a long-time sufferer of chronic gout, and usually it is under control. When I do get an acute attack, it generally courses within several days, with or without treatment. But now, I am in the midst of an attack that has lasted several weeks and is flaring up all over. This is what first led me to think it was caused by a candida overgrowth.

    I am concerned about the dump of uric acid into my system from a die-off during the cleanse. Should I take a less aggressive approach?


    1. Hi James, my Candida treatment program is quite flexible and you can spend as long or short a time on each stage as you like. From what you say, it probably does make sense to take it a little more slowly. Good luck!

  20. Darren says:

    Dear Lisa,

    My ankles get swollen for about a month now.First it came with a rush on my both lower legs and it was spreading to my upper legs and also a huge stomach, it gets bigger every minute and I was like 8 months pregnant after 1 hour.I went to hospital, they gave me antibiotics,antihistaminic and and cortisone to get rid of the rush.It worked well rush is gone, stomach gets smaller.

    But I still have swelling on my both ankles and time to time huge stomach, especially after eating anything it gets like 6 moths pregnant( which I am not)

    And feeling a lot of pressure on my stomach and guts.
    I had high uric acid level but all the gastroentrolgist and immunologist doctors I went for he last 1 month dont understand why are my foot still getting swollen and my stomach gets bigger.
    I had so many test costs a lot of money and they still have no idea.

    One of them said it might be leaky gut syndrome or candida.

    And now my face, skin started t get small pimples all over ( which I had never before)

    I really dont now what to do , after I read candida symptoms, I have nearly have all symptoms of it but they are also symptoms for other illnesses too.

    Is there any specific test that I can ask to doctors or hospital to learn if I have all these because of candida or not??


  21. Jey says:

    Dear Lisa,

    I’ve been suffering from Candida albicans for last 2 years now. When I think it’s over, it comes straightly back. And I have recently had some joint pains like rheumatism in my legs and arm, I thought it may be because of this bacteria. I am trying not to consume sugar/yeast but still I have this problem. No alcohol. It effects my whole life. How can I get rid of it and is my joint pain related to fungus?

  22. Jack says:

    My wife has begain having swelling in her fingers, toe and a burning in her foot. Finding it hard to walk. Our doctor has put her on a candida med cleanse. Is the pain and burning a result from the candida

  23. Danni says:

    Hi all,
    I’m on an Anti Candida diet first week now and feeling alot better. I was a baskett case so ill when i went to see my Naturopath. Since i have experienced die off symptoms including chronic toe cramps and lower back pain. I have had these symptoms for such a long time not realising it was due to Candida and relating my foot cramps to my ill fitting work shoes.
    As well I’m on Anti fungal tablets, probiotic , magnesium and Zinc. I also suffered anxiety no sleep and nervous tension at night the Magnesium powder has helped reduce this dramatically and I have had two major sleeps since which was impossible before.
    My Naturopath also told me with Alcohol i can drink only Vodka, Gin, or Whisky with Soda water and lime.
    No wines nothing else. This is only my first week and i feel amazing already. I have avoided exercise as i need to focus on my sleep i feel like my adrenal glands are overworked and need to relax before i stress myself out more.

  24. Julie says:

    Yikes! I just went through Gout for the first time- it was in my fingers, big toe and outer ear lobe. Very painful. Couldn’t walk. My stomach almost always looks prego although I am not prego after I eat offending foods, ( breads mostly) my hubby thought I was kidding about how distended my tummy looks at times until I showed him. I do have lower back pain, and very flakey dry foot…. It’s all making sense now! I’m 39 yrs old and weight 125 at 5’6. I look healthy but feel fatigued all the time. Time to read about candida and get this under control. Thanks for being here everyone!

  25. Alfred says:

    I will use oregano essential oil only for 7 days ( until this sunday) following the advice of essential oil health practitioners.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *