Can Yeast Overgrowth Be the Reason I'm Not Losing Weight?

Yeast overgrowth occurs when Candida albicans, a yeast which lives in your digestive system, becomes out of balance with the friendly bacteria that normally keep it in check. Scientist and candida expert Marjorie Crandall, Ph.D. reports that overuse of antibiotics is the major cause of candida imbalance, or candidiasis. However, antacids, corticosteroids, estrogen, cancer therapy and immunosuppressants may also contribute. Yeast loves sugar, and people with candidiasis may find it more difficult to resist carbohydrates and sugary foods, making it more difficult to lose weight. Consult your doctor about a diagnosis before changing your diet.


As yeast grows, it becomes invasive, creating small holes in the intestinal wall. According to Carolyn Dean, a medical doctor and naturopath, invasive yeast releases toxins into your bloodstream through these holes, causing allergic reactions and inflammation in your organs and tissues. Inflammation that affects your thyroid can cause your metabolic rate to slow, reducing your body's ability to burn fat and making it more difficult to lose weight.


One of your body's responses to inflammation is to retain excess fluid in an effort to dilute its impact, reports Dean. Fluid retention can result in both cellulite and weight gain. In addition, yeast overgrowth promotes intestinal gas and bloating, which can add inches to your waistline even if you are on a low-calorie diet. Some of the byproducts of yeast overgrowth can also block hormonal receptors, affecting their ability to operate correctly and interfering with weight loss, Dean says.

Immune Response

The release of waste products from yeast through the holes in your gut mobilizes your immune system which goes into action to disable the toxins. One of its responses, reports Dean, is to release cortisol. This triggers the fight-or-flight syndrome, causing your body to hang on to fat stores to protect you from what it is programmed to believe is an emergency which could lead to starvation.


Dr. William Shaw does research on the impact of toxic byproducts of yeast overgrowth. He found that one of these byproducts, tartaric acid, may inhibit your body's ability to properly extract food energy and provide sufficient blood sugar. The result can be hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, which causes feelings of weakness and brain fog. People with hypoglycemia may resort to eating sweets as a quick way to ameliorate these uncomfortable symptoms, which also continues the cycle of yeast overgrowth and weight gain.


There is much debate in the medical community about the role of yeast overgrowth in medical conditions. Mayo Clinic suggests that there is not good evidence supporting a yeast syndrome diagnosis. If you follow a diet designed to eliminate candida overgrowth, you may experience symptomatic relief but this may be due to healthier eating rather than treatment of candidiasis, according to Mayo Clinic.