I’d say it was about nine years ago I ran into an acquaintance and she proceeded to tell me she had candida. At that time I had no idea what candida was. My cut in response to what I thought was a too lengthy explanation was a flippant, “Wow you must have constant vaginal yeast infections.” Sensitive to my insensitivity she concluded the conversation by saying she did not.
Yeast infections occur on two levels; the localized infections of which skin rashes and vaginitis are the most common. The secondary may have similar symptoms but more often not. Secondary yeast infections have morphed into an intestinal overgrowth which has systemic reactions. The symptoms vary among those inflicted but relatively common to most: allergies, indigestion, food sensitivities, skin sensitivities, low immunity, sugar cravings, fatigue, irritable bowel, bloating, headache, joint pain, hormonal issues, confusion, environmental sensitivities… just to name a few.
The yeast syndrome is still controversial topic. Most conventional doctors do not want to hear about this condition and dismiss it curtly and confidently as a fad disease. In my opinion the reason for their dismissal could be because some of the main underlying causes of the overgrowth of yeast is antibiotic use, birth control and steroids.
With a long term infestation, the yeast ferment into a fungal form implanting roots in the intestinal wall or other mucosal linings. This allows absorption of the toxic by-products of fermentation into the blood stream. The immune system’s frantic response to these toxic antigens will send antibodies to the site. The trouble is as more yeast ferments, the immune system becomes hypersensitive to this barrage of toxicity. Hypersensitive immunity refers to undesirable actions produced by the normal immune system. These immune actions become ineffective to the toxic host and damaging to the immune system. The end result is a severely depressed immune system. And to top it off, these yeastie beasties eat the many nutrients in our intestines that were on their way to absorption into the the bloodstream. Particularly the very large B vitamin family. All the time they are stealing your nutrients, they are busy fermenting, often leading to gas and bloating for you. A fun time had by all!
- So the first order of business would be to stop eating what they like to eat. Two big ones are sugar and yeast.
- The second order of business would be to diminish the amount of yeast present. I am sure there are prescription drugs for this. Natural remedies that help reduce yeast (will totally rid with long term use) are essential fatty acids, garlic, primrose oil, tannin containing herbs (astringent action) such as goldenseal, pau d aco, oregon grape, barberry, yellow dock, cranesbill root. Also caprylic acid, a fatty acid extracted from coconut oil interferes with the duplicating process of yeast.
- The third facet would be to restore the colon to it’s natural state. Acidophilus containing products are primarily used for this restoration. There are many probiotics on the market. Or you could enjoy whole milk organic yogurt. You can ask my husband about the benefits of yogurt. He eats more of it than anyone on the planet, but it has to be organic and absolutely no low-fat garbage.
Source: Haas, Elson, MD. Staying Healthy With Nutrition. Celestial Arts, Berkley CA. 2006.