The topic of Candida or yeast became quite popular a few years ago with the book, The Yeast Connection by Dr. William Crook. Since then, folks have become much more aware of this growing health problem and how it effects a large portion of our population and has been linked as a source of dis-ease. It's quite obvious by watching TV ads that intestinal challenges are a growing trend in our society with issues such as bloating, constipation and IBS. The source of many of these issues is often yeast! So, how do you know if you carrying a mother load of fungus?
If you are experiencing five or more of the following symptoms, you may have a problem with yeast overgrowth:
*Gas and bloating
*Fatigue or low energy
*Sugar or carb cravings
*Food sensitivities or allergies
*Rashes or unexplained skin irritations
*Nail fungus, jock itch, thrush or recurrent vaginal yeast infections
*On birth control pills for 6 months or more
While yeast is found naturally in our intestinal tract, it is the most common overgrowth we experience due to things like the over use of antibiotics, poor diets and stress. Many folks run to antibiotics at the first sign of a cold or flu and the problem with this is that they kill all the bacteria...good and bad. So, if you aren't taking measures to re-populate the good guys, the bad guys tend to rule the roost. This overgrowth can take time to develop, but many times comes on with a vengeance. One of the most common signs we see first is gas and bloating. Fatigue is the other common symptom, followed by unexplained weight gain or weight loss.
Many of us even feed the yeast beast with sugars, grains, alcohol, cheese and other yummy foods the yeast likes...even fruit! Bottom line, sugar feeds yeast. Have you ever seen what happens to yeast when you give it a sugar source? It bubbles and expands. Yeast is what we use to make bread rise so imagine what happens in your gut the more the yeast gets out of control. It's not that these foods are all bad but once the yeast begins to grow, they tend to fuel the fire. For this reason, a temporary removal of such foods is often necessary.
As mentioned earlier, there are certain medications that can cause issues such as antibiotics, birth control pills, steroids, chemotherapy, and even antacids as they inhibit they hydrochloric acid that helps keep the fungus in control. We don't want to kill all of the yeast in the body as it does play an important role in our gut biome health but we do need to keep it in proper balance.
So, what's the solution?
Here are 4 things you can do to tame the beast:
1. Avoid foods that feed yeast like sugars, alcohol, dairy and wheat.
2. Improve your gut biome by taking a high quality, multi-strain probiotic to repopulate the good bacteria and digestive enzymes to break down foods for better absorption. Be sure to drink plenty of water to help eliminate the yeast and other toxins.
3. Avoid the use of anti-biotics if at all possible. Try natural anti-virals and anti-bacterials first, such as olive leaf extract, garlic and silver sol.
4. Use anti-fungals such as PauD'Arco, Caprylic Acid, Garlic and coconut oil. For chronic cases or intestinal distress, consider doing a more intense yeast/fungal cleanse while working with a natural health practitioner to guide you through the process.
Dr. Leslie Shew is not a medical doctor and does not diagnose nor treat disease. This blog and website is intended for educational purposes only. Nutritional suggestions and supplements are not to be used as treatment for disease. Please consult with your medical doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Do not stop any prescription medications without the direct advice of your medical doctor. Herbal and nutritional supplements have not been evaluated nor approved by the FDA.