An excess of yeast may be contributing to your unexplained weight fluctuations (up and down), mood swings, stomach pain, acne, bleeding gums, and even loss of hearing.
The Fungus Among Us
You just can’t escape yeast. Candida albicans is in the air, in your throat, and in your gut. That’s a fact of life. This yeast is everywhere, coexisting with all the other microorganisms that fill the microscopic spaces of the world. But when Candida grows out of control you can end up with many seemingly disconnected symptoms, including intense fatigue, sinus pain, headaches, joint problems, and urinary infections, and more.
Yeast is like a super villain with a secret identify. When yeast cells are under control, these single, mild-mannered elliptical cells reside on the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract and peacefully coexist with the other denizens of the intestines.
But give them a chance to multiply and take a majority position, and their mild manners fade and they quickly overwhelm the body’s defensive mechanisms.
Risk Factors for Yeast Overgrowth
Many of our difficulties with yeast are the unintended consequences of lifestyle habits that were supposed to bring better health or help us lose weight. Here are some of the most common risk factors for yeast overgrowth.
Repeated antibiotics. Antibiotics kill off all bacteria, including the beneficial probiotics that would otherwise block yeast from adhering to the intestinal walls.
Compromised immunity. Anything that weakens your immune system offers yeast an enhanced prospect for furthering its own interest at your expense. Medications such as steroids and other pharmaceuticals that restrain the immune system often have side effects that include decreased resistance to yeast.
Cool, rainy climates. Many of my clients with the toughest cases of candidiasis live in and around San Francisco. This cool, perpetually damp part of the West Coast has a climate that Candida seem to love.
Being female. Women are yeast’s favorite victims, since their internal environment offers up the most tempting terrain for candidiasis.
Low-fat, high-carb/good-carb diets. Fungus needs food, and sweets and starches keep yeast happily well fed. Even if you eat whole grains, any meals with excess carbs is a feast for yeast.
Nutrient deficiencies. When you lack certain key minerals or your body isn’t using them efficiently, your internal defenses against yeast fall apart.
Underactive thyroid. Thyroid insufficiency also interferes with your yeast defenses.
Do You Have Excess Yeast?
If you experience any of these health problems, note the number of points for that question. When you finish the questionnaire, add up the total points. Your final score indicates the probability that your health problems are linked to yeast overgrowth.
- Have you taken repeated or prolonged courses of antibiotics? 4 points
- Have you been bothered by recurrent vaginal, prostate, or urinary infections? 3 points
- Do you feel “sick all over,” yet the cause has not been found? 2 points
- Are you bothered by hormone disturbances, including PMS, menstrual difficulties, sexual dysfunction, sugar cravings, low body temperature, or fatigue? 2 points
- Are you unusually sensitive to tobacco smoke, perfumes and colognes, and chemical odors? 2 points
- Are you bothered by memory or concentration problems? Do you sometimes feel spaced out or in a brain fog? 2 points
- Have you taken a prolonged course of prednisone or other steroids, or have you taken birth control pills for more than three years? 2 points
- Do some foods disagree with you or trigger your symptoms? 1 point
- Do you suffer with constipation, diarrhea, bloating, or abdominal pain? 1 point
- Does your skin itch, tingle, or burn; or is it unusually dry; or are you bothered by rashes? 1 point
Women’s scores: If you score 9 or more, your health problems are probably linked to yeast overgrowth. If you score 12 of more, your health problems are almost certainly connected to yeast.
Men’s scores: If you score 7 or more, your health problems are most likely linked to yeast. A score of 10 or more indicates that your health problems are almost certainly connected to yeast.
Solutions for Controlling Yeast
Phase out pharmaceuticals that support yeast growth. Always consult your doctor before you discontinue medication, but if you’re already taking steroids, birth control pills, or antibiotics, talk to him or her about any possible alternatives.
Cut back on carbs. Severely restrict sugar, refined grains and whole grains that contain gluten, especially wheat, rye, and barley.
Buttress your probiotic population during antibiotic treatments. If you must take antibiotics, then make sure to double up on your probiotics for at least three months. You can take probiotics two hours before or two hours after antibiotics. This is perhaps the most critical anti-yeast measure you can take.
Use Flora Key powder in place of sugar. This powdered intestinal flora formula supports a healthy intestinal environment. This probiotic contains acidophilus, bifidus, and fructooligosaccharides (FOS) which make it an ideal sweetener and a convenient way to take probiotics if you don’t like swallowing pills. Use about one teaspoon per day instead of sugar in no-heat recipes. Each teaspoon of Flora Key powder contains 6.5 billion active organisms.
Say goodbye to excess yeast with Y-C Cleanse. This homeopathic formula is clinically shown to be safe and effective against Candida albicans and other yeast overgrowth. Y-C Cleanse is designed for both acute symptoms and maintenance. The product should be taken for at least twenty-four days with a five- or six-day break; then resume treatment if symptoms persist.
Fortify with a quality Female Multiple Vitamin. This is an all-in-one copper-free supplement I have designed to fulfill a woman’s special needs. Formulated to be safe for both pregnant and breast-feeding women (with 800 mcg of methylated folic acid), this supplement contains twice as much magnesium as calcium, a ratio that optimizes calcium absorption for strong bones and relaxed muscles. The Female Multiple supports balanced hormone levels for women of any age. Take two capsules three times per day with meals.
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