We’ve heard the old adage, in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. In the world of Candida it’s in the opportunity where difficulty lies. Candida, or Yeast, is considered an opportunistic fungus that generally peacefully co-habits our bodies with a myriad of other organisms. But, there are times when our body is weakened and yeast jumps at the chance to flourish and take over. An underlying process that enables yeast to proliferate isdysbiosis, where for a number of reasons the ‘friendly’ bacteria that colonize our entire anatomy are killed and are then outnumbered by lurking yeast. Inadvertently by just living our contemporary lives we instigate this by means of the following:
- Chronic antibiotic use
- Birth control pills
- Chemotherapy/Radiation and weakened immunity
- Chronic negative stress
- Hormone replacement therapy
- High intake of refined sugars
- Steroids including NSAIDS (Aspirin and Ibuprofen) and corticosteroids
- Heavy metal exposure
- Chemicals and food additives
Most of us are aware of the most advertised manifestation of human fungi overgrowth as vaginal yeast infections. Because yeast is ubiquitous to mucous membranes its effects are much further reaching than merely the female reproductive tract. A few other symptoms to recognize as resultant from systemic yeast overgrowth are: fatigue, gas/bloating and IBS, allergies, depression and anxiety. An exhaustive list of potential yeast-induced symptoms could read this entire page so it is important to consult a qualified and informed healthcare practitioner to discern the origin and nature of one’s health concerns. Once it is determined that Candida is overgrowing the following steps may be taken to return the ecosystem in the human body to its most balanced state:
- Starve the yeast – Candida feeds on glucose and so refined sugars are generally limited while trying to control and eliminate an infection.
- Kill the yeast – Certain antimicrobial botanicals formulations are very effective at eliminating yeast and its metabolites. Clove, Garlic, Oil of Oregano and topical Tea Tree are potent anti-fungal medications.
- Repopulate – Replenish the friendly bacteria by consuming probiotics in dosages greater than ten billion active cells.
- Immunize – Strengthen the immune system by eating whole foods with a full complement of daily required nutrients and supplant with immune boosting botanicals such as Astragalus.
Please consult a health care practitioner like a Naturopathic doctor for the best guidance to undertake the preceding instructions and further suggestions.
Dr. Bobby Parmar, BASc, ND