How loneliness can make your Candida symptoms worse
Being lonely not only makes you want to crawl back under your bed covers, scientists are beginning to find out more and more correlations between social isolation and its effects on our immune system.
Any chronic strain on our immune system opens the door for Candida to take a foot hold, being it through prolonged use of antibiotics, steroids or asthma meds as well as emotional and work related stress.
An impaired immune system encourages Candida growth
It makes sense if you think about it – your immune system cannot put out fires in two places at the same time. It either mobilises all energy reserves for fight or flight to get you out of harm’s way or it is keeping your defences strong and letting your internal organs and metabolism work on all cylinders. Only the latter allows your body’s digestive processes to function well and keep Candida in check.
When you are stressed or your immunity is low then not only are you craving sugar and stimulants like coffee to give you an energy boost, you are also losing your appetite or desire for cooking healthy meals which again is undermining your optimum nutritional wellbeing and can potentially encourage yeast growth and eventually enable the harmless yeast to mutate into a parasitic fungus that severely robs you of the nutrients you are consuming and also causes infections that further weaken your system.
How loneliness affects your immune system
According to new research on the topic of how social isolation causes illness in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences researchers found that being socially isolated actually affects your DNA in a negative way – the cells that are responsible for your immune system were changed in those study participants who also happened to be lonely.
Apparently the genes that are normally involved in bringing down inflammation or in helping to fend off bacterial or viral infections were changed. The researchers deducted that this was due to higher levels of certain neurotransmitters in the lonelier folks, and those neurotransmitters happened to lower the amounts of white blood cells we produce for our immune system to work properly.
Since immune-suppressed people have more Candida issues, and lonelier people are more immune suppressed we can safely say that lonely people unfortunately get sick more often, and also struggle with Candida more often.
A vicious circle begins
Candida prohibits socialising because you cannot join in when your friends and family eat sweet treats or when they enjoy cocktails etc. So you are much more likely to stay at home instead of going out, which inevitable makes you feel more lonely which in turn raises your stress levels, lowers your immunity and encourages Candida growth. Darn! Now that’s a real pickle to find yourself in!
So what’s the solution?!
Community! In today’s day and age of 24/7 digital connectivity there’s no reason why you couldn’t join an online group, forum or community with like-minded people who are going through a similar situation as you.
There are dedicated facebook groups for Candida diets as well as groups for people with anxiety and depression (the ultimate form of loneliness!) Yes, it can be awkward at first to open up with strangers, but you’d be surprised how therapeutic it can be to find that you are not the only one with weird symptoms or who is too tired to make a meal….
Sometimes it’s just nice to talk and get things off your chest, other times you might just want to listen in on others conversations. In any case it can make you laugh, give you inspiration for what simple recipes to try, and you might even find some amazing friends!
You’ll get encouragement & support, and hopefully this should make you feel less lonely, boost your immune system and keep Candida in check. Team spirit and a healthy amount of peer pressure (seeing others eat candida diet friendly foods or trying different treatments) can motivate you to step your game up a notch which speeds up your healing. Win- win!
So don’t neglect your friends and family in this time of need. Use opportunities to get out of the house and meet up with interesting people, and perhaps also explore some online communities.
Chin up, there are lots of lovely people about who can cheer you up and listen to what you are going through. You don’t need to suffer in silence! We’re on this journey with you.