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Is Candida Causing Insulin Resistance?

October 10, 2012 12 Comments by Scott Isaacs, M.D.

I have heard some people say they believe that insulin resistance and blood sugar problems are caused by overgrowth of a type of fungus or yeast, known as Candida albicans. In fact some books have made the outrageous claims that Candida overgrowth or toxicity is responsible for many chronic medical conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, eczema, psoriasis, scleroderma, lupus, arthritis, attention deficit disorder, asthma, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis, autism, food allergies, carbohydrate cravings, insulin resistance and diabetes. Proponents of the candida theory blame antibiotics, birth control pills and high sugar diets for yeast overgrowth. There’s even something they call leaky gut syndrome where they claim that Candida migrates from the bowels into body. The yeast in bread is blamed for causing diabetes (I blame the carbohydrates and calories in the bread).

I have seen patients who take heavy duty anti-fungal medications to fight what they believe to be Candida overgrowth. My opinion and the opinion of many of my colleagues is that Candida has nothing to do with these conditions. Every human being has Candida in their intestines and in their stool as part of what is called the intestinal flora. Medical problems that lower the immune system, like AIDS and uncontrolled diabetes can lead to infections with Candida, primarily vaginal yeast infections and mouth infections (known as thrush). But a yeast infection is a consequence of high blood sugar, not the cause of it. Candida can infect the whole body and get into the bloodstream, but this is only seen in patients that have severe immune system problems, like AIDS or transplant patients. This condition, known as systemic Candidiasis, is a life threatening condition with severe illness and very high fevers. Although Candida infections can be a real medical problem, there is absolutely no truth to the claims that Candida overgrowth is a cause of insulin resistance.

For more information, please read my book Hormonal Balance: How to Lose Weight by Understanding Your Hormones and Metabolism or visit my Facebook page.

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12 Comments

  1. quake3guy says:
    Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 8:40pm

    Can Insulin Resistance and/or chronically elevated Blood Glucose exacerbate Yeast Infection?

  2. Scott Isaacs, MD says:
    Friday, December 21, 2012 at 1:55pm

    Hi blood sugar can do it.

  3. roberta says:
    Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 7:58am

    Hi, I am a diabetic of 37 years on a insulin pump, Uncomplicated -uncontrolled my last a1c was 9.0 I was told by my Endro. ‘that my out of control Diabetes did not make him look good “.I live in Elk Point South Dakota .a few years back my Good Endro. moved out of state . I have not been able to find an Endro . who will treat me as a Whole person . depression ,thyroid ,yeast , sinus infections ,cholesterol, carpel tunnel right hand, arthritis , 165-168 lbs and I feel as if I can’t do anything right . I need a good Endro.could you , would you recommend one from this area Omaha Ne,Sioux falls SD. I think I would even go to Rochester Minn . at this point . I need to change this Now! Can you help with some referrals ?? Thank You ,
    Very Sincerely ,
    Roberta Wendt
    1607 Country Club Dr.
    Elk Point S D. 57025
    6050761-0029

  4. Scott Isaacs, MD says:
    Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 8:38am

    Hi Roberta, It sounds like you had a bad experience. With “pay for performance” many doctors are paid lower rates if their patients have uncontrolled diabetes. There has been an increasing trend to dismiss patients with uncontrolled diabetes from their practice. This has become a more serious issue in England and the hope is that newer reimbursement models will not encourage this practice. Hopefully, you can locate an endocrinologist who does not have his salary tied to your diabetes control. Here is a link so you can find a new endocrinologist in your area. I wish you the best!
    https://www.aace.com/resources/find-an-endocrinologist

  5. Ken says:
    Sunday, August 3, 2014 at 12:08am

    Ahh, your opinion and the opinion of many of your colleagues. I don’t see any evidence here though or even any reason to believe you adn your colleagues.

    I cannot imagine any infection, candida or otherwise, not affecting blood sugar negatively. I’ve no idea what would make candida infections any different.

    I ran into this site looking for some more useful information on this phenomenon, what I see here is simply turning a blind eye to the matter, it’s not my opinion.

    You’re going to have to do much better sir to convince me :p

  6. Scott Isaacs, MD says:
    Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 7:46am

    I understand your point. Candida infections may affect blood sugar, but the vast majority of people who think they have a candida infection do not truly have an infection. And the vast majority of people with insulin resistance do not have a candida infection.

  7. Jason says:
    Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 11:53am

    Scott Isaacs, MD. If this information is wrong you can cause people to die. Are your findings based off experience or are you and your colleagues all merely in alignment with your textbooks?

  8. Scott Isaacs, MD says:
    Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 8:22am

    Although Candida infections can be a real medical problem, there is absolutely no scientific evidence to the claims that Candida overgrowth is a cause of insulin resistance. This pseudo-disease is not even discussed in textbooks because it is not a real disorder.

  9. Sunny says:
    Friday, August 28, 2015 at 8:21pm

    I sincerely hope you live long enough to learn how wrong you are. The fact that you admit it’s not even discussed because it isn’t considered ”a real disorder” shows you are talking about a subject you and your “colleagues” dismiss. Find someone with advanced candida spread it on the inside of your gentials urethral canal, anus and mouth. Then come back after a year and report your findings. If its nothing like you say, you’ll be fine. Then your opinion will have a leg to stand on.

  10. Donna says:
    Saturday, November 7, 2015 at 8:42am

    Candida plays a part in these conditions but I don’t think the underlying cause. Diet – especially sugar, antibiotic use, stress, artificial ingredients chemical toxins and genetics are the main cause.

    I believe an imbalance in the small intestine and or large intestine of the gut flora is what causes insulin resistance. This imbalance is caused by all of the above and yeast usually comes along for the ride.
    Toxins from all of the above along with the toxins from the overload of bad bacteria cause terrible reactions in the body.

    Histamine reaction is one of them. Too much Histamine in the body can cause a slew of symptoms and if you are genetically challenged to break down histamine then it causes things to be even worse.

    Elevated cortisol levels is another.

    The liver is in charge of our blood sugar levels, especially when fasting. When the liver is overloaded with toxins and histamine it can not function properly.

    There are to many toxins for the body to handle. On top of that if you are genetically challenged at removing toxins then that becomes a big problem.

    I am a mother that came down with insulin resistance when I was 42 (also lost my gall bladder) along with my husband 42 was diagnosed with insulin resistance and my sun at the same time who was 17 also diagnosed with insulin resistance. We did not look like the usual type of people to come down with this condition. We were directed to see an infectious disease doctor.
    The above stress factors gave us what we have. I do not know how long my son had insulin resistance. He could have been born with it.

    I do know that we have terrible problems with histamine levels and detoxing.

    There is no one thing that causes insulin resistance. I believe it is caused by many different factors and it is accumulative. Gut health is the key to all health conditions. I believe my sons gut health was poor when he was born, likely do to my poor gut health when I had him. I passed my health condition to my son.

    He got his first round of antibiotics at 5 months old for an ear infection that persisted for 4 years. Developed terrible allergies and asthma at 3.
    I have read the ear infection along with sinus infections are caused by fungal infections. These two things are the illnesses he always had. He was always given antibiotics for these. Never once given a probiotic or antifugal medication.

    My sons gut imbalance along with yeast imbalance caused his health issues. The antibiotics miss use caused his condition to become worse. He is only 24, turning grey, severe allergies, asthma, chonic fatigue, exercise is difficult do to fatigue, acne, has scoliosis, and is over weight.

    I do not think you should say that yeast is the cause of these things because you can not prove it is not an underlying factor. Until the medical community can see inside the entire intestine that includes the small intestine then you can not prove your statement otherwise.

    One last thing, I took fluconazol for 2 months strait and felt great after only to relapse a few weeks later. Yeast is a cause of my health condition but there are other factors at play, like biofilms and mercury poisoning. I finally had all of my emalgum fillings removed and I got rid of my chronic swollen glands that I had for the past 15 years.

    Answer that one!

  11. Scott Isaacs, MD says:
    Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 5:26pm

    Sunny, that is quite harsh. If you read my article, my comments are about how candida does not cause insulin resistance. But people with insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar are especially prone to candida infections.

  12. Jennifer says:
    Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at 6:32am

    Very interesting conversations. In 2007, I had an antibiotic overdose. During the next couple of years, I changed my diet to compensate for digestive issues. It took me several years to learn about probiotics and improve the damage that happened. After improving my gut flora, I never changed my diet- it eliminates breads and grains and fried foods. Anyhow, I had been eating allot of sugars and I had this idea to do a detox. At the end of the detox I got a horrible candida infection. Went to my doctor and she cultured it finding three types of candida. She prescribed duflican for 7 days. On the 5th day I became very fatigued but took all the pills. The next week I went into the most difficult period of time with so little energies. It was a coincidence that Wednesday after finishing the pills I had an appointment for blood work. This was a routine test and not connected to the infection. My blood sugars were 900. You might wonder if I had been diabetic for awhile and not known it but my blood had been checked a month and half before and it was normal range. The nurse called in tears and wanted me to go to the emergency room right away. I did not do this but Saturday morning, I went to have the blood sugar checked again. It had dropped 400 points in 3 days. A week later it was at 312. The medical people wanted to put me on insulin and a diabetes pill which I refused. I know that the fungus pill is what through my body into this condition. What I found was that doctors define diabetes by blood sugar numbers alone, they do not consider what caused the blood sugars to go up. I had been leaning on sugars and the fungus pill removed them throwing me into a temporary insulin resistance. As I pulled through this health crises, the candida returned and I quit sugars entirely, now for 5 weeks and the candida arises every time I even eat a natural sugar in fruit. During the critical 3 week period in March, I lost 25 lbs and the high blood sugar completely took my appetite away. I read that some people go into comas at high blood sugars…I think it must be a genetic tendency how the body responds. I have found the best cure for candida and it can be used locally and taken 2drops in water several times a day and it is oregano oil. I read that many people fail to balance the candida because of their inability to stop eating the sugars.

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