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Are You Suffering From a Yeast Problem?

Aug 17, 2007
Candida Albicans, also often known as a yeast infection affects approximately 1 in 3 or 90 million Americans. Candida is a yeast and is part of the fungal kingdom. It is very widespread, often misdiagnosed, but it is manageable from the right approach.

Normally in a healthy body, Candida is kept in balance by the immune system and digestive system. When conditions change and they yeast numbers grow, the yeast bores through the gastrointestinal mucosa with its root like structures. This allows the Candida to pass into the bloodstream and it becomes systemic.

A main factor in what allows Candida to grow out of control is a weakened immune system. This can happen as a result of taking steroids or immune suppressing drugs.

Repeated use of broad spectrum antibiotics also allow the yeast to grow out of control. Antibiotics do not distinguish between good and bad bacteria. So while they are great for killing off an infection, antibiotics also kill off the beneficial flora of the intestine that usually keeps Candida and other yeasts in check.

Too much sugar and other carbohydrates feed they yeast and help it to grow out of control. The typical Western diet consumes far too much sugar which will greatly increase our odds of Candida overgrowth.

The high levels of hormones in birth control pills also lead to Candida overgrowth. These high levels of hormones damage the mucosal membrane in the vagina which allows the yeast to proliferate.

A lack of essential fatty acids can also lead to Candida issues. These essential fatty acids are found in oils like flax, fish, olive, macadamia and oils from other nuts and seeds. These good fats strengthen cell membranes which makes it more difficult for Candida to damage cells. Essential fatty acids also help to prevent yeast from spreading in the bloodstream and becoming systemic.

Candida is often misdiagnosed because it can manifest itself in so many ways. One of the most common symptoms and easiest to recognize is when it shows up as jock itch in men, or vaginal yeast infections.

Other common symptoms are depression, brain fog, achy joints, skin rashes, sinus pressure or sinus infections, constipation or diarrhea, thrush, headaches and mood swings. With so many common symptoms it is easy to see why Candida can be misdiagnosed and then treated in a way that may actually make the condition worse.

The most common treatment for Candida from medical doctors is the anti-yeast drug nystatin which is relatively safe. Some of the most common side effects are headaches and achiness that last for several days after starting the drug therapy. Other side effects include diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. This is not an over night treatment and can take as long as two years to work completely.

If you are apprehensive about taking prescription drugs to treat your Candida, or if you are one who simply prefers to take the "natural" course in healing health problems, there are options and effective ways to treat the problem.

Changing your diet can make a big difference in Candida management. Eating foods with anti-fungal properties can help, but what can make the biggest difference is following a low carbohydrate and low sugar diet. Since sugar feeds the yeast, cutting back on sugars can help to diminish the Candida in the body. One warning if you do cut down on carbs and cut out sugars is that there is often a "healing crisis" when you feel worse before you feel better. Usually on the third day of a cleanse, one may feel flu like or have a headache as the yeast starts to die off.

There are also herbs, probiotics and enzymes which work very well at killing off Candida and controlling yeast overgrowth.

Herbs like pau de arco, grapefruit seed extract, and olive leaf extract have all been proven to have anti-fungal properties.

Probiotics like lactobacillus acidophilus and other beneficial bacteria help to keep the gastrointestinal flora in balance. Supplementing these probiotics can help to replace and kill off the Candida that lives in the gastrointestinal tract.

Supplementing therapeutic enzymes work great at killing off Candida. They key is to supplement these on an empty stomach. If you take them with food they will simply digest your food, but on an empty stomach, the enzymes can get into the blood stream and find the yeast. These enzymes will actually digest they yeast on a systemic level.

If you suspect that you suffer from an overgrowth of Candida Albicans it is important for you to do your research and find the right program to address the issue for you.
About the Author
The author of this article publishes then health and nutrition blog
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