About Yeast Overgrowth Syndrome
- Yeast overgrowth syndrome refers to the Candida albicans that exists naturally in the body. If you are healthy, the friendly flora in the GI tract will keep the yeast from becoming an infection.
Candidiasis occurs from a compromised immune system, taking oral antibiotics (which kills off the healthy flora in the gut that combat yeast infections), or overconsumption of foods such as yeasted breads, beers, cheese, sugar and mold.
- Yeast overgrowth can develop into an infection present in the mouth or vagina or on the skin, or it can remain in the gastrointestinal tract.
Symptoms include feeling extreme fatigue, "fuzzy" thinking, indigestion, abdominal pain and obvious signs of the infection. In men, there may be no external signs of yeast overgrowth.
Many people are familiar with yeast infections in women, but men can also develop yeast overgrowth from overeating pizza, which contains baker's yeast, cheese and mushrooms, and beer, which has brewer's yeast.
- Do not ignore a yeast overgrowth as it creates an unnecessary burden on the immune system. Some people will feel a very strong stomach upset or abdominal pain, signaling the infection.
Women who use certain forms of birth control might also develop yeast infections.
- Greatly reduce or avoid the foods that are considered triggers for yeast infections, as discussed earlier. Also avoid excess sugars including all fruits, fruit juice, honey, maple syrup, cane juice, molasses, fructose and brown sugar.
Take probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, available at the health food store in the refrigerated section. Or eat live culture yogurt with labeling that specifically mentions Lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidus or other live cultures. Many yogurts are made without live cultures.
- Yeast overgrowth syndrome can be transferred to other people through intimate sexual contact such as kissing or sexual intercourse. Use appropriate barrier methods to avoid direct skin-to-skin contact or wait until the infected partner is treated and the yeast overgrowth is cleared up completely.
Working or living in moldy environments---and exposure to "micro molds" in damp cellars or storage closets---can also contribute to yeast overgrowth. Wear protective face masks and gloves to clean the areas and spray diluted tea tree oil to help destroy mold. Use a heater to dry completely.