A naturopathic colleague of mine from New Zealand is kind enough to contribute to my blog with a highly informative post on yeast. Yeast is hard to eradicate once it has taken hold and many of us suffer from symptoms of yeast-overgrowth. The common red flags I watch for are: itchy ears, vagina or anus; skin rashes that involve tinea and resolve (or improve) with antifungal treatment; athlete’s foot or toenail fungus; digestive issues (gas, bloating, constipation, etc.); and foggy headedness or sluggishness climbing out of bed in the morning…even after a good 8+ hours of sleep. Read on as Dr. Eric Bakker busts some common myths about yeast!
Understanding Yeast Infections – Busting the Myths
One of the biggest problems I encounter when treating yeast infection patients is their preconceived notions of what yeast infections are and are not. It’s not uncommon for my patients to say things like “But I thought yeast infections were just a female problem,” or “But I eat a really healthy diet all the time.” The problem, in most cases, is that these people have only heard part of the story about Candida yeast infections and I spend a great deal of time educating them so they can achieve the best results.
What is a Yeast Infection?
The Candida yeast organism lives naturally within the body – in every body, whether male, female, young or old. It is generally kept in check by the balance of good bacteria in the intestines with it, but if that balance is altered the Candida organism can multiply and spread throughout the body. Common manifestations are the vaginal yeast infection, athlete’s foot, oral thrush, ringworm, and a host of other fungal skin infections. If the condition is chronic, you may develop more serious health conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, severe depression, and much more.
That said, there are some major points I’d like to help you to clear up today. Here we go:
Myth #1 – All Yeast Infections are the Same
All of the yeast infections I’ve dealt with are caused by Candida. Easily 75% are caused by the Candida albicans strain of yeast, but there are actually more than 200 different strains of Candida, including a few non-candida strains that can cause infections. This is one of the reasons I tell my patients it’s important not to self-treat without seeking some advice and formal diagnosis first.
Myth #2 – A Healthy Diet Will Cure Candida
Unfortunately, a healthy diet is only one of the components to an anti-candida lifestyle. If you are already suffering from a yeast infection, you’ll definitely have to cut sugars, carbohydrates, refined and processed foods, and alcohol and swap those things for healthy meats, vegetables, and a pretty strict list of choices. Truth be told, this alone won’t eradicate your Candida overgrowth. While you will stop feeding the existing Candida, you’ll need additional support to kill it off and get it out of your body.
Myth #3 – Simple Supplements Will Cure Candida
Not by a long shot. Let’s say you don’t make the dietary changes I mentioned above, but you do start taking a antifungal supplement. You’ll definitely achieve some short-term results, but they won’t last. The reason is that yeast will continue to grow in your body if you continue to give it fuel – like sugar or alcohol. You need a combination of a good diet, antifungals, some immune-supporting supplements, and lifestyle changes in order to achieve optimal results.
Myth #4 – You Can Cure a Yeast Infection with Yogurt
While yogurt can play a critical role in your healthy diet, yogurt alone can’t cure your yeast infection, no matter what kind you have. A lot of women use yogurt douches to alleviate some of the itching and burning associated with vaginal infections, and this is fine for the symptoms but definitely does not cure the underlying condition. Yogurt, especially homemade varieties, does contain probiotics, which I highly recommend for anyone on a Candida diet.
Myth #5 – Mercury Toxicity Causes Candida
Mercury itself, whether in your dental fillings or ingested in other ways, doesn’t necessarily cause yeast infections. That’s not to say that having mercury removed from your body, via a detox or by having your fillings removed and replaced. Metals do depress your immune system, and that alone can exacerbate your yeast overgrowth.
Dealing with Candida yeast infections is a lot easier when you understand some of the truths behind the treatment methods (and, of course, some of the myths). Talk to a trusted medical practitioner about your condition if you aren’t sure what you’re suffering from or if you aren’t sure what to do next. The sooner you start treating your yeast infection, the easier it will be to eradicate.
About the Author: Dr Eric Bakker is a naturopathic physician from New Zealand. He has dedicated his practice to the study and treatment of yeast infections. Visit him at yeastinfection.org to learn more. Find Eric on Youtube as well only on his candidacrusher channel.