What Are Yeast Infections?
Yeasts are tiny organisms belonging to the fungi group (mushrooms & mould). When there are problems with the type and numbers of your beneficial flora, overgrowth becomes problematic in the body and can lead to over growth of yeast! Thriving in warm temperatures, they require food in order to survive preferring to feed off sugars and starches to assist with the natural fermentation process!
They can be the cause of many unpleasant symptoms in your body, so you’d rather avoid this occurring!
Commonly Detected Yeast Overgrowth’s?
Candidia Albicans is by far the most known of overgrowths, becoming famous well before my time, but there are other fungal species causing issues! Rhodotorula, Geotrichum, Cryptoccocus are also quite prevalent.
Typically, these types of yeast infections are rarely serious as they help with nutrient absorption (in particular B Vitamins) and digestion but when they become overproduced they can cause issues with the intestinal lining (Leaky Gut Syndrome).
Yeast generally feel most at home in the gastrointestinal, reproductive tract, oral cavity and skin. In invasive cases, infection can spread to the eyes, brain, heart and bones!
Acute Signs Of Yeast Infection?
- Oral thrush
- Vaginal itching or pain
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Pain when urinating
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
Do you have Yeats infection?
Symptoms range from chronic fatigue, mood disorders to itching, bloating, gas, upper body pain, brain fog, allergies and food intolerances. More importantly, nutrient deficiencies, generalised toxicity and liver dysfunction can subtly start to present over time due to the secretion of harmful chemicals (ethyl alcohol and acetaldehyde) produced by yeast.
Other Signs of Yeast Overgrowth
Fungal infections in skin and nail
Reoccurring urinary tract infections
What are the causes?
Anyone can get a yeast infection especially those with a compromised immune system. High refined sugar diets are certainly a cause, we weren’t designed to eat refined products! Most of the time infection is kept under control by diet and optimal host immunity, but when the diet isn’t right, this disrupts the microbiome and yeast proliferates.
Reoccurrence rate (through immune suppression) is so frequent which means anti-microbial or anti-fungal pharmaceuticals are required over a period of time to treat the overgrowth! Excessive use of these drugs and yes even Naturopathic herbs can exacerbate the situation through destruction of the beneficial flora, so a professional treatment strategy is critical. Other causes of immune dysregulation are sleep issues, alcohol use, recreational drugs and poor diet.
Associated Causes Of Yeast Infection
- Chronic Stress
- High sugar foods
- Oral Contraceptive Pill
- Oestrogen Dominance
- Antibiotic use
- Host Immunity status
- Chemical exposure
What About Beneficial Nutritional Yeast?
Yes, and nutritional yeast has become quite popular because it is often fortified with Vitamin B12. This of course isn’t a real form of the vitamin however because of the fortification process has become a regular add on to a vegan diet. The food additive is made from Saccharomyces Cerevisiae and it’s not the same as brewer’s yeast. This type of yeast is inactive form (so it wont cause yeast infections) and therefore doesn’t feed or grow just a good source of vitamin!
How to treat Yeast Overgrowth?
Before attempting to eliminate yeast overgrowth it’s important to identify the underlying reason of why it is happening in the first place. Boosting your immune system, cleaning up your diet limiting refined sugars and starches is a good start. Killing the yeast infection is not successful if the host environment is not changed. Main treatment goal is to let the body and gut naturally reset and balance the microbiome, reduce inflammation and stop the excessive proliferation of yeast from occurring. Basically, you need to Weed, Feed and Seed the GUT 😊
Weed – starve the yeast from the food in consumes.
Seed – adjust the internal environment of microbiome with probiotic rich food or supplements.
Feed – Feed the probiotics with their prebiotic food allowing them to grow and compete with the other fungi.
Foods to avoid!
- Sweets, biscuits, chips
- Refined bread, rice, pasta, cereals
- Excessive fruit
- Fruit juices, soft drinks
Foods To Include!
- Protein, meat, seafood, eggs
- Probiotic rich foods, sour yoghurts, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi
- Prebiotic rich foods, garlic, onion, Jerusalem artichoke, leeks, chicory root
- Green leafy vegetables, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, tomato, chilli
- Oregano, coriander, parsley, sage, mint
- Coconut oil, olive oil
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