Fatigue, Itch, Headache, and Weight Gain Signal Yeast Overgrowth.
One of the trickiest infections to identify in women, candida yeast overgrowth can cause a variety of symptoms ranging from cystitis and endometriosis to chronic fatigue and PMS. If you have recurrent vaginal or urinary infections, suffer overwhelming fatigue, headache, or feel sick all over, a systemic yeast infection may be to blame.
One in three Americans has candidiasis (chronic yeast infection). And the majority are women.
Yeast thrives in the female bladder, urethra, and vagina, which provide the perfect moist environment for overgrowth. Plus frequent and regular hormonal changes from birth control pills, menstrual cycles, and pregnancy encourage yeast growth.
Women are also more likely than men to seek medical treatment even though yeast infection is hard to diagnose because the symptoms—headache, sinus congestion, abdominal or joint pain, depression, insomnia, skin itch or rash, irregular periods, and weight gain or loss—are so varied.
Without a correct diagnosis, women may be offered drugs—antibiotics, birth control pills, and steroids—that encourage an overgrowth of yeast in the body while masking certain symptoms. In women, yeast infection is more likely to spread throughout the body, depressing the immune system and making it hard to fight off future infections.
Dr. Ann Louise’s Take:
Candida is a Jekyll and Hyde micro-organism. This normally harmless yeast, an ever-present inhabitant of our gastrointestinal system, can turn dangerous overnight when antibiotics or other drugs upset GI balance or pH—and kill off beneficial bacteria.
The malfunctioning of endocrine glands like the adrenals or thyroid may be a hidden factor in some yeast infections. Candidiasis creates a vicious cycle, weakening an already depressed immune system and causing nutritional deficiencies that feed yeasts.
While it’s advisable to share your medical history and symptoms thoroughly with an integrative practitioner, a yeast infection that presents itself as Mr. Hyde during testing can prevent an accurate diagnosis. One self-test I recommend to my clients—as a starting point for more advanced testing—is to spit into a glass of water. If saliva rises to the top and looks stringy, ropey, and sticky, chances are the stools are too—a potential sign of candida yeast.
For yeast overgrowth or infection, try these safe ways to fight Mr. Hyde:
1. Eliminate yeast and mold from your diet – breads, pastries, pretzels, and other baked goods using yeast, brewer’s yeast, most fermented foods (buttermilk, cheeses, sour cream), vinegar and condiments, most alcoholic drinks (beer, brandy, cider, rum, whiskey, wine), and yeast-based supplements (read labels carefully). Exceptions are apple-cider vinegar, which does not produce yeast, and foods with probiotics (like yogurt with live, active cultures).
2. Boost yourself with Biotin – this B vitamin has been found to prevent candida from showing its dangerous Mr. Hyde side. Biotin 5 mg contains the optimal dosage advised by clinicians. If you’ve been losing hair or have problem nails with yeast overgrowth, biotin will strengthen both.
3. Replenish your body’s supply of beneficial bacteria – take Flora-Key with 6.5 billion active organisms. Numerous studies show a number of probiotics fight candida yeast infection and the inflammation it causes.
4. Cut out sugar – it feeds both infection and yeast. Besides avoiding sweets and soft drinks, limit processed foods like tomato sauce and baked beans, which are hidden sources of sugar. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a sprinkle of Flora-Key – this probiotic doubles as a sweetener in no-heat recipes.
5. Limit refined grains and high-glycemic carbs – if not fully absorbed, they provide a fertile environment for yeast. Don’t eat fruit for at least two weeks on a candida-free diet, starting back with only one small serving a day once you feel better.
6. Support beneficial bacteria and continue fighting yeast with Y-C Cleanse – a homeopathic formula clinically proven safe and effective against yeast overgrowth. Because this product is designed for both acute yeast infection and candida-free maintenance, take Y-C Cleanse for at least 24 days, and then give your body a five- to six-day break to rebalance itself while you assess symptoms. If they persist, resume treatment.
7. Support your adrenal glands – an adrenal supplement is essential if you’re stressed out (and, believe me, a yeast infection is certainly stressful). Also pay attention to your copper-zinc balance. Zinc deficiency and copper biounavailability are also factors in yeast overgrowth. UNI KEY Female Multiple is a copper-free multivitamin-mineral supplement especially created for women with both iodine and zinc to support endocrine function and the immune system.