The “gut microbiome” consists of a trillion one- and two-celled organisms living in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract: funguses, viruses, bacteria, and other types of microbes. Most are good guys; others, like E. coli, not so much.
In a healthy body, the good guys keep the others in line. The members of the vast microbiome community get along well, and they do important work, individually or as a team. For instance, they
- Pull or make nutrients from the food we eat and send them to the body’s cells
- Send chemical messengers to other parts of the body, including the brain
- Create most of the body’s “happiness hormone,” serotonin
- Keep the colon’s tissues mended and lubricated
Microbiome species that get too pushy can throw the community off-balance, disrupting its good work and causing problems throughout the body.
Candida Run Amok
One species with a tendency to become obnoxious is the yeast-like fungus called Candida. There are 150 Candida species hanging out in the body, but it’s usually just one of them, called Albicans, that causes trouble.
Mostly annoying at first, an overgrowth of Candida can end up punching through the wall of the colon to infect the bloodstream and start growing in distant organs. When it reaches this advanced stage, it’s called systemic candidiasis. (Candida also lives in other parts of the body. Local outbreaks of candidiasis elsewhere take the form of oral thrush or vaginal yeast infections.)
It’s unclear what exactly turns Candida from a cooperative citizen of the human body to an over-zealous tyrant. There are certain conditions that present it with opportunities, however:
- Other illnesses of the gut, such as colitis or Crohn’s disease
- A weakened immune system
- Uncontrolled diabetes (high sugar levels in the blood feed Candida yeast)
- Antibiotic use (unfortunately, antibiotics tend to knock out both pathogens and good microbes)
- An unbalanced diet that relies too much on simple carbohydrates (such as white bread) and sugar (soda’s a biggie!). Simple carbs quickly turn to sugar when digested.
Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth in the Gut
When Candida grows out of control, some of it will just go out with the garbage. The presence of Candida in the stool isn’t abnormal in itself. But if Candida is bothering your gut, you might start to feel crummy, and the yeast in your poop will get noticeable. These symptoms might show up:
- Abdominal pain
- Mucus in the stool
- Blood in the stool (rarely)
The most common medical treatment for candidiasis in the gut is antifungal medication. As with antibiotics, because antifungals kill funguses, some of the good microbiome members will be wiped out along with the Candida scofflaws.
The healthiest way to deal with Candida overgrowth is to look to prevention and quick recovery. Probiotics can help with both.
Prevention and Recovery: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
The first line of defense, of course, is a healthy diet. Keeping the microbiome in good shape with a wide variety of food will enable its microbes to go about their business, which includes maintaining the walls of the intestine in tip-top condition.
The intestines love a colorful and fiber-full array of food along the lines of the Mediterranean diet, including:
- Whole grains (cooked) and whole-grain bread and pasta
- Fish (especially fatty types) at least twice a week
- Vegetables and fruits in greens, yellows, reds, purples, and the rest of the rainbow
- Non-tropical oils (meaning no palm or coconut oil)
- Limited amounts of meat and dairy
How Probiotics Help
Probiotics give the gut’s good microbes a boost—especially when our diet isn’t entirely ideal.
Jetson Digest supports overall gut health with probiotics (good microbes) from a variety of sources: green tea, soil, and the human gut microbiome itself. It eases bloating and cramping, enriches the mucus lining of the intestines, helps crowd out pathogens, and removes free radicals—unstable atoms that cause digestive issues and other illnesses and aging.
For additional effectiveness, Jetson Gut Prep includes a prebiotic along with its probiotics. The prebiotic creates an environment in which the probiotics prosper. Gut Prep also inactivates bad bacteria and sends them out of the body with the stool.
Both Jetson Digest and Jetson Gut Prep get to work within hours, so they’re great for getting the gut microbiome back on track after an antifungal treatment.