What is Yeast and Why Should I Care?

You are probably thinking this is a nobrainer. But we are not talking about the yeast used to make bread and other baked goods. We are talking about yeast in your body that can cause a host of problems starting with a yeast infection.

Yeast is a single-celled living organism capable of causing infection or disease. Yeast is a fungus and requires a specific environment in which to grow. A moist, dark place, with a constant food supply allows yeast cells to thrive and flourish. Yeast cells feed on any form of sugar and multiply in the presence of vinegar or other fermented products such as alcohol, soy sauce, store-bought salad dressings, etc. The only way to rid the body of yeast is to remove its food source and actively destroy it. One treatment without the other will not be effective. Diet alone may help to prevent proliferation of yeast, but will not destroy what’s already present. Certain prescription medications, as well as some over-the-counter supplements are fungicidal, and are used in conjunction with a yeast-free eating regimen to rid the body of disease-causing yeast.

Yeast is normally controlled by the immune system and by beneficial bacteria in the GI tract. However, if the normal flora in the colon is altered, yeast can overgrow. When antibiotics are taken to kill harmful bacteria, they also kill beneficial bacteria in the GI tract, as antibiotics do not discriminate. Therefore, use of antibiotics is enough to disrupt the delicate balance of the body’s normal flora. This balance can also be disrupted by the use of birth control pills, steroids, alcohol, environmental factors, and
high carbohydrate diets that include simple sugars such as breads, pasta, cereal, and candy.

Yeast is harmful to the body in the following ways:
• Taxes the adrenal glands and immune system, leading to adrenal fatigue and immune dysfunction
• Often results in the body developing an allergy to yeast, thereby causing the person to be allergic to foods containing yeast, such as beer, wine, and bread.
• Yeast produces a toxin that absorbs into the body from the gut and may cause a host of symptoms, including fatigue, joint pains, behavior changes, rashes, allergy symptoms, and decreased mental sharpness.
• Coats the lining of the gut, leading to malabsorption of important nutrients, and leading to irritable bowel symptoms such as heartburn, gas, bloating, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. The presence of yeast is best determined by symptoms, the patient’s history of antibiotic use and other factors, as well as by testing for blood levels of yeast (candida) antibodies.

The presence of yeast antibodies is helpful, but absence of them does NOT rule out a yeast problem.

To remain free of yeast, it’s important to continue with healthy eating habits. In addition, we recommend taking Nystatin and a probiotic while taking any antibiotics, and for a week thereafter.

Once you have successfully eliminated yeast, you can safely add certain foods back into the diet (milk products, salad dressing etc.) Overall, resolution of symptoms is the best indicator that yeast has been successfully eradicated.

By |2014-04-14T14:22:52+00:00October 3rd, 2012|Articles|
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