Gluten Intolerance vs. Candida Symptoms

The symptoms of celiac disease and gluten intolerance occur when the body has an aversion to the compound gluten. This intolerance can cause changes within the lining of the intestine which leads to the failure of the body to absorb nutrients correctly. Many of the symptoms of gluten intolerance are related to this malabsorption (weakness, fatigue, and weight loss, for instance).

Candidiasis is an entirely different condition that is caused when a naturally occurring yeast within our bodies (Candida) begins to multiply and become too numerous. This can occur when a person takes antibiotics. Antibiotics kill the bacteria that are a normal part of the gut flora, leaving the Candida, which is a fungus, the opportunity to grow unchecked. Individuals with diabetes can also experience Candiasis, when the blood has more sugar in it than acceptable, giving the yeast cells more fuel with which to reproduce.

The broad range of symptoms and their sometimes unconnected nature make both gluten intolerances and Candidiasis difficult to diagnose. Gluten intolerances can usually be ruled out with a series of simple blood tests. There are no such tests for Candidiasis, so this diagnosis may be more of a last guess than anything else.

There are several symptoms known to affect both people with gluten intolerances and people with Candida infections. These symptoms include, weakness, headaches, flu-like achy feeling, muscle and joint aches, asthma, sinusitis, allergies, irritability, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, and gas. Both conditions are associated with chronic fatigue, but in Candidiasis, this fatigue can worsen right after eating.

There are symptoms that are known to be unique (for the most part) to individuals with Candida infections. Dizziness and numbness of the hands and feet can be experienced by many people with an overgrowth of Candida, but in only a handful of people with gluten intolerances. Other unique symptoms include heart pains, cold sweats, night sweats, persistent low grade fever, yeast rashes, feeling badly on damp days or after bathing, or when exposed to mold, dust, or pollutants. People with Candida infections may also have chronic yeast infections that manifest themselves as jock itch, skin rashes, or vaginal yeast infections.

There is no treatment for a gluten intolerance, but Candida infection is possible to treat. Anti-fungal drugs are often prescribed for people with Candidiasis. It is also a good idea for people with Candida infections to eat diets lower in sugar, so the yeast has no fuel on which to thrive. Probiotics are also recommended for individuals thought to have Candida infection, as they will restore the natural balance of this yeast within the body by bolstering the population of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

While there is much scientific evidence to support the fact that gluten intolerances exist, there are still many in the medical community that give an overgrowth of Candida yeast much credence for being responsible for the symptoms mentioned above. Thus, it is a good idea to thoroughly research your symptoms and present them to your physician so he or she can rule out any other condition.