Yeast imbalance in the body can cause many systemic problems.
Yeast occurs in nature, but not all of it is good for the body. The type that generally causes an imbalance, with associated problems for people, is called Candida albicans. Candida is a single-celled organism that can be the root of inflammation in the body. It lives on sugar and “robs your body of essential nutrients.” In general, the body can combat candida with beneficial bacteria and flora. When there is overgrowth, however, it can cause many problems. Not all yeasts are bad, but a poor diet and other causes for imbalance can lead to trouble. Yeast types include nutritional yeast, brewer’s yeast, baker’s yeast, and candida. The latter is the problematic one, especially in diets with poor nutrition, such as ones heavy in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and starches.1
Infections and Imbalance
Some of the problems that can come from unchecked yeast growth include upset stomach, genital infections/itching, hormone imbalance, dandruff and eczema, fatigue, headaches, and poor focus.2 There are other conditions that are also from this fungus, including infections such as thrush and skininfections. Skin infections can be problematic in those with compromised immunity, diabetes, and the obese. Thrush affects the mouth, and the corners of the mouth can be impacted by angular cheilitis. Diaper areas of babies can also get infection rashes from the candida fungus.3 Infections, as noted earlier, can come in a variety of forms. Some of the conditions are more obviously connected to candida, such as intestinal cramps, bloating, gas, diarrhea, rashes, itching, and genital yeast infections. Lesser known connections to this microscopic fungus might be bladder infections. Psychological disorders may also have a yeast component. Irritability, decreased libido, and depression, can be caused by yeast overgrowth. Allergies and food sensitivities, thyroid problems, fatigue, and menstrual irregularities may also have origins in candida problems.4 Antibiotics can trigger yeast issues.
Prevention and Treatments
Hygiene, and a healthy immune system and diet, can prevent some infections. Keeping the skin dry, loose-fitting/breathable clothing, losing weight, controlling blood sugar, and some antifungal ointmentsand creams (i.e., Monistat) can help as well. There are also oral antifungal medications that can treat severe infections (i.e., Diflucan). Even so, these fungal infections may recur.5 Dietary changes are important to combat overgrowth. Good nutrition can include probiotics (lactobacillus, acidophilus), to help the “good bacteria in your gut” combat the bad bacteria and yeast. Fermented foods and yogurt, fiber, and even supplements can make a difference. Some antifungal herbs include thyme and raw garlic.6 There are full yeast-fighting diets available online which suggest foods to avoid and supplements and dietary changes to add.7 To maintain alignment, improve the immune system, and decrease stress, chiropractic and massage can also be beneficial. There are CAM supplements and treatments available that are alternatives to traditional medical care.
1, 2 http://vegetarianspotlight.com/2012/is-yeast-good-or-bad-for-you/