Candida aka Yeast Infections

Yeast InfectionsWhat is Candida or Yeast Infections?

This is one of the conditions that affect almost all women. In fact, estimates given by doctors show that at least seventy-five percent of women will experience this at some point in their lives. This is usually found in the vaginal area but could also occur in the mouth, throat, and gut.

Candida is an infection that is brought about by yeasts called Candida Albicans. These yeasts exist in low levels in the gut and  they are usually balanced by healthy bacteria. However, the problem starts to arise when these yeasts begin to grow out of control. They can irritate the linings of the gut, which could eventually exacerbate the symptoms. It is important to know what cause Candida so that the proper preventive action could be taken to avoid the infection.

 

What Causes Candida or Yeast Infections?

It is important to know the things that trigger yeast overgrowth. Here are some of them:

  • Antibiotics. This is one of the common causes of Candida. This destroys harmful and friendly bacteria in the body, thereby giving the yeasts the chance to multiply.
  • Birth control pills. This has been found to promote the growth of yeasts in the body. Studies have shown that one of the most common complaints of those taking birth control pills is Candida.
  • Tap water. This is high in chlorine, which destroys good bacteria in the gut. Once good bacteria are destroyed, the yeasts will definitely increase in number.
  • Stress. People under stress release the hormone Cortisol, which is known to raise the blood sugar levels in the body. This raised level will feed the yeasts, thereby promoting their growth.
  • Parasites and other intestinal worms. These also destroy friendly bacteria.
  • Constipation. When the bowels are moving slow, it could lead to a very alkaline gut where the yeasts love to live.
  • Alcohol. Alcohol could destroy good intestinal bacteria. Beer in particular, having a high malt sugar content, can be one cause of Candida.
  • Hypothyroidism. This is also attributed to Candida. This condition debilitates the proper functioning of the digestive system, making one prone to Candida.
  • Diabetes is also among the causes of Candida, although it is often a difficult condition to deal with because as long as the blood sugar is high, Candida could be present too.

 

Diagnosis, Signs and Symptoms of Candida or Yeast Infections

Since Candida can enter the bloodstream and could affect various organs in the body, it also creates a host of symptoms. Some affected by Candida may have one or more of these symptoms:

  • Migraine
  • Headache
  • Abdominal gas
  • Anxiety
  • Vaginitis
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Alcohol cravings
  • Itchiness in the rectal area
  • Cravings for sweet foods
  • Mood swings
  • Finding hard to concentrate
  • Hyperactivity
  • Constipation
  • Acne
  • Depression
  • Eczema
  • Persistent cough
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Muscle weakness
  • Low sex drive
  • Athlete’s foot

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is best to assess your condition and see whether you are suffering from Candida.

 

Diet for Candida or Yeast Infections

Foods to Avoid

  • Eliminate fermented and yeast foods from your daily diet. This would include breads, and mouldy cheeses.
  • Avoid alcohol. This could kill the friendly bacteria in your intestines. Avoid beer since its strong malt content, when converted to sugar, will act as the yeast’s food and will promote their proliferation.
  • Foods that contain vinegar must be avoided as well like pickles, ketchups, salad cream, and baked beans.
  • Mushrooms. This is one food that must be avoided when suffering from Candida.
  • White-flour products. Avoid pizza, pasta, and crackers.
  • Avoid sugar. This feeds the yeast and must therefore be avoided. This would include honey, dextrose, maltose, and even really sweet fruits like melon, peaches, grapes, and kiwi. Dried fruits and fruit juices must be avoided as well. Artificial sweeteners like Aspartame must be eliminated from your diet too.
  • Malted products. These include malted drinks as well.
  • Foods that harbor mold like peanuts and peanut butter.
  • Cow’s milk must be avoided for a month.
  • If you feel that you have a serious Candida, you need to avoid carrots, corn, and courgettes for the first 2 weeks.
  • Ultimately, steer clear of foods that you are intolerant to.

Friendly Foods

If there are foods that you must avoid, there are also foods that you could eat. These are:

  • Garlic. This is a very potent anti-fungal spice that you can eat. If you could eat it in its raw form, then so much better.
  • Fish, shellfish, chicken, turkey, eggs, lean meat, and tofu.
  • Oily fish like mackerel, salmon, anchovies, fresh tuna, herring, as well as nuts, could help in combating infection.
  • Eat more asparagus, broccoli, avocado, aubergine, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, green beans, celery, leeks, onion, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, and watercress could help too.
  • Fruits such as pears and apples could help too.
  • Opt for organic rice or soya milk instead of a cow’s milk
  • Eat plain unsweetened yoghurt that has live friendly bacteria
  • Yeast-free rye bread instead of wheat
  • Coriander helps in controlling infection too.

 

Remedies, Treatment and Cure for Candida or Yeast Infections

  • Use yeast free B complex
  • Multi-vitamins and minerals could help too
  • Ginseng and pantothenic acid could help in supporting adrenal function
  • 1g of Vitamin C could help cleanse the liver
  • A good digestive enzyme will be very useful

More Helpful Hints

  • Before adding anti-fungal supplements, try to follow a yeast-free diet for two to four weeks.
  • If you are having persistent problems on indigestion and bloating, and digestive enzymes don’t help, then your problem might be low in stomach acid.
  • Consider taking a food intolerance test as Candida is often linked to food intolerances.
  • You may also take a comprehensive stool test. This could help in identifying Candida and other parasites.
  • Avoid stress and you might try taking a week’s vacation to relieve yourself from stress. This could help in boosting your immune function.
  • Avoid moist and humid areas where moulds are usually present. This would include cut grass and compost heaps.
  • For women, it is always best to wear cotton underwear instead of nylon ones. Those who often wear the latter are known to suffer twice as much with Candida.
  • Avoid bubblebaths. What you can do is to add drops of tea tree oil to your bathwater. Tea tree essential oil has antiseptic and anti-fungal properties.
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