Candida albicans is a yeast that occurs naturally in the digestive tracts of us all, where it is one of hundreds of yeasts and bacteria that live harmlessly in our intestines.
Problems can occur when candida begins to spread and multiply, and the balance between all these organisms gets upset. Exactly why this happens no one seems sure of – it may be connected to anti-biotics, and certainly you are more susceptible to an imbalance in gut flora after a course of anti-biotics, but it could be any number of factors.
A candida overgrowth will cause indigestion, bloating and possibly flatulence, and may be accompanied by vaginal thrush – which is just candida in another place. It can also interfere with correct digestion, and may lead to headaches, fatigue and food allergies. All of these symptoms are pretty general, which means an exact diagnosis is difficult. If you have bad breath and a thick yellow coating on your tongue or in you mouth, then you can be fairly sure it is candida, but otherwise I think most people only get the diagnosis confirmed when they treat their problems as if it was candida and get improvements in symptoms.
Candida can be tricky to shift if it has become very firmly established, but if it is a recent condition and is still relatively mild, then first of all I would suggest a good probiotic to try and re-establish balance in your gut flora. If it proves difficult to shift, then a combination of an anti-fungal such as caprylic acid or black walnut with a fibre supplement such as psyllium husk could do the trick. Also stay away from refined sugars, which cause candida to thrive.