Reprinted from Sunshine Sharing
What causes Yeast Overgrowth and how to fight the "Beast"?
By Steven Horne
Read "4" steps to eliminate yeast
Also : How to use essential oils to treat thrush
Everyone has yeast in their body and normally, this yeast is completely benign. The body's defenses have to be compromised in some way in order for yeast to start to multiply out of control. The most common reason why yeast starts growing out of control is antibiotics. Antibiotics not only kill disease-causing bacteria, they also kill the friendly bacteria in our bodies. These friendly bacteria keep yeast in check, so when they are gone, yeast start multiplying. But antibiotics ARE NOT the only factor in yeast overgrowth.
Sulfa drugs, chemotherapy and steroids (including corticosteroid drugs and birth control pills) also disrupt normal intestinal flora, contributing to yeast overgrowth. Even chlorinated water may be a problem. Antacids and acid-blocking drugs also contribute to yeast overgrowth because they inhibit the hydrochloric acid that also helps keep fungus in check. Mercury from fillings may also be a factor.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to treat a yeast infection is that they assume it is an ‘on the surface’ problem that should be treated with antibiotics, creams, and over the counter drugs. Most people are not aware of the potentially risky complications of this types of treatments, which is why educating yourself on your yeast infection is so important!
One important thing you need to understand is that yeast infection is an internal problem, not external. Like most chronic conditions, there is never one cause to this fungal problem. Therefore, a yeast infection cannot be permanently eliminated using over the counter creams and medications that work superficially and fail to tackle the actual root factors that trigger the formation of candida infection in the first place.
Dietary factors further feed the yeast problem. Excessive consumption of sugar and other refined carbohydrates fuels yeast growth. Alcohol and caffeine consumption can, too. While we are at it, there are several things we should point out that don't cause yeast infections. The first is eating foods that contain natural yeasts like bread or beer. There are thousands of strains of yeast and the yeasts used to raise bread or ferment alcohol aren't candida. To suggest that these yeasts cause candidiasis makes about as much sense as suggesting that you should not eat yoghurt because it contains bacteria.
Eating mushrooms is not going to contribute to yeast overgrowth, either. In fact, some mushrooms, such as reshi, ganoderma and miatake are actually helpful in combating yeast overgrowth. Finally, eating foods containing natural sugars, such as fruit, whole grains, etc. doesn't cause yeast infections either. The body needs sugar for fuel, so all carbohydrates and sugars aren't bad.
Once you have yeast overgrowth, however, the yeast "hijack" even these good sugars to grow, so you may need to limit consumption of natural sugars for a short period of time until the yeast is back under control. You will probably also need to avoid foods containing yeast and mold (bread, beer, aged cheeses) just while you are getting the yeast back under control. Yeast overgrowth causes the body to crave sugar because the yeast secrete chemicals to increase sugar cravings. They also release chemicals that contribute to intestinal inflammation, leaky gut and reduced immune activity.
Reduced immune activity also creates an environment for yeast overgrowth, which is why AIDS patients are particularly susceptible to yeast infections. It's also why infants (whose immune systems aren't fully developed) are more prone to getting the oral candida infection known as thrush. So, once yeast overgrowth has started, a person's health and immunity start to spiral downward. That is why it becomes important to control yeast overgrowth.
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Four Steps to Taming the Yeast Beast
For starters, we need to make one thing perfectly clear-you will never get rid of all the yeast in your body. In fact, you would not want to. We play host to a wide variety of microorganisms collectively known as friendly flora. These organisms live on our skin and in our intestines. Women also have colonies of friendly flora in their reproductive organs. Yeast are a natural part of this mix of friendly microorganisms.
Normally, the competition between these various microbes keeps them all under control. In particular, the friendly lactobacteria such as Lactobacillis acidophilus and L. bifidophilus secrete lactic acid which keeps yeast under control. Yeast overgrowth occurs when the balance of friendly flora tips in favor of the yeast, allowing the yeast to take over. What is needed is to "tame" the yeast, that is, to bring it back into proper balance, not to completely destroy it.
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There are four steps to this process of reducing yeast overgrowth
Modify the Diet to Stop Feeding the Yeast
Improve General Digestive and Intestinal Health
Yeast love carbohydrates, especially simple sugars. For a period of two to four weeks eliminate all simple sugars and refined grain products from your diet. Simple sugars include table sugar (or sucrose), glucose, fructose, corn syrup and even natural sugars like honey, brown sugar and fruit juices. Refined grain products include white flour, white rice, corn chips and breakfast cereals. You're going to have to read labels carefully to do this because sugars and refined grains are added to most prepackaged foods.
Avoid alcohol because it is also converted to sugar in the body. In fact, if your problem is severe, you may wish to avoid even whole grains, most fruit and starchy foods like potatoes for at least the first two weeks.
Avoid foods that contain yeast or mold, such as bread, beer, aged cheeses and so forth.
Have a 3-4 ounce portion of high quality "organic" protein at each meal, such as fish, free range poultry, red meat, eggs, plain yoghurt, nuts or legumes.
If you don't particularly care for green leafy vegetables, consider taking Ultimate GreenZone as a food supplement to help you get your greens. You can also eat low glycemic fruits, particularly berries like raspberries and blueberries.
It is also important to include some good fats in your diet such as organic butter, flax seed oil, olive oil and Super Omega-3 EPA.
Remember that yeast get out of control when the environment becomes conducive to their growth. So, if we want to get them back under control, we need to change the environment of the digestive tract.
The hydrochloric acid and enzymes found in our stomach help keep these microbes in check. These can be stimulated by taking Digestive Bitters 15-20 minutes before meals. It will also help to relieve the gas and bloating common in people with yeast overgrowth.
Also consider taking Proactazyme or Food Enzymes with meals.
Taking High Potency Protease between meals will also help to regulate digestive microbes.
Yeast overgrowth is often accompanied by intestinal inflammation and leaky gut syndrome. In cases where there is intestinal inflammation, such as colitis or other inflammatory bowel disorders, consider using Intestinal Soothe and Build to soothe digestive inflammation and promote healing.
Intestinal membranes can be repaired by using Una De Gato to tone intestinal membranes and reduce gut leakiness.
Use Anti Fungal Agents to Reduce Yeast Overgrowth
Repopulate the Body with Friendly Bacteria (Probiotics)
Now that we've cut off the yeast beast's food supply and started altering the environment to make it unfriendly for his growth, we can knock it down using antiftingal herbs and supplements.
A convenient way to do this is with the Candida Clear Pack. This pack contains three anti-fungal agents, Pau D'Acro, Caprylic Acid Combination and Yeast Fungal Detox, which provide a three pronged attack to put the yeast beast back in its place. Candida Clear also contains packets of Candida Cleanse Enzymes which should be taken between meals to break down dead yeast cells and avoid "cleansing reactions." Here's a little more information about the products in Candida Clear.
Pau D'Arco bark is one of our most valuable antifungal herbs. It not only reduces yeast overgrowth, it also tones intestinal membranes and acts as a "blood purifier" to remove toxins and help clear skin conditions.
Yeast/Fungal Detox is a blend containing several herbs that reduce yeast overgrowth.
Caprylic Acid Combination a medium chain fatty acid found in coconut oil that is known to have antiftingal and immune-enhancing qualities.
One of the problems associated with knocking down excess yeast in the intestinal tract is that their death results in cellular debris that can cause adverse reactions. To counteract this effect (often called a "cleansing reaction") Candida Clear contains a pack of enzymes designed to be taken between meals. These enzymes "digest" the dead yeast and allow them to be destroyed without adverse effects. Without these enzymes, you have to take much lower doses of the anti-fungal products to avoid these die-off cleansing reactions.
The final step in taming the yeast beast is to repopulate the intestines with friendly bacteria or probiotics. Naturally fermented foods such as yoghurt, raw sauerkraut and miso are good dietary sources of these friendly microbes to take after your cleanse, but you will probably want to also take probiotic supplements.
Probiotic Eleven, a formula containing eleven strains of friendly bacteria that can help restore normal intestinal flora.
Bifidophilus Flora Force is another good probiotic supplement.
Probiotics should always be taken after a round of antibiotics. They should also be taken regularly by anyone on medications that disrupt friendly flora.
Probiotics can also be introduced into the vaginal area via a douche for chronic yeast infections. It's also a good idea to provide food for these friendly microbes.
A particular form of fiber known as fructooligosaccharides (or prebiotics) really helps these lactobacteria grow.
Everybody's Fiber contains these prebiotics and is a good fiber supplement to keep the lactobacteria happy and the-yeast beast under control.
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How to use essential oils to treat thrush
Here’s a basic formula (By Steven Horne).
2 drops tea tree oil
2 drops lavender essential oil
1 drop thyme essential oil
1 drop lemon essential oil
Dilute the above mixture in about one
teaspoon olive oil or grapeseed oil.
For thrush in infants, you
simply give them one drop twice daily for
three to seven days. It’s easy to administer
and it works remarkably fast. My kid’s thrush
cleared up completely in two days, although
I continued the remedy for a few more days
to make sure it was under control.
The blend works equally well for adults with yeast infections, only the dose is higher.
Use two drops twice daily for seven to fourteen
days. You don’t need to take it any longer. It
works that fast. Oregano oil is even stronger, so it really surprises me when
I hear that people have been taking it for a month or more.
If you’ve been taking an antifungal agent that’s that strong
for a month and your problem hasn’t cleared up, it’s probably
something other than yeast.
What is the Yeast Beast?
Yeast normally don't behave like "beasts." In fact, these little critters can actually be helpful at times. After all, they make bread rise and ferment carbohydrates to make beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages. They even produce antibiotics to help fight infection. In fact, these "yeastie beasties" can be found everywhere (including in our own bodies) and are normally quite benign creatures.
However, under the right conditions, these normally friendly micro-organisms can multiple out of control and transform from friendly allies into nasty yeast beasts that ravage our good health. The yeast most likely to do this is a little creature called Candida albicans, or candida. for short. When candida gets out of control, you develop candidiasis. Other species may also turn into beasts, so we're going to call the problem of excessive yeast in the body yeast overgrowth.
Yeast overgrowth in your body will undermine your good health because yeast secrete toxins which weaken the body's immune system. Obvious signs of yeast overgrowth include recurring vaginal yeast infections, thrush, athlete's foot, nail fungus and jock itch, but yeast overgrowth can also be an underlying factor in chronic indigestion, asthma, allergies, chronic sinus congestion, skin problems like acne and general immune weakness.
Signs and symptoms (from Wikipedia)
Most candidial infections are treatable and result in minimal complications such as redness, itching and discomfort, though complication may be severe or fatal if left untreated in certain populations. In immunocompetent persons, candidiasis is usually a very localized infection of the skin or mucosal membranes, including the oral cavity (thrush), the pharynx or esophagus, the gastrointestinal tract, the urinary bladder, or the genitalia (vagina, penis).
Candidiasis is a very common cause of vaginal irritation, or vaginitis, and can also occur on the male genitals. In immunocompromised patients, Candida infections can affect the esophagus with the potential of becoming systemic, causing a much more serious condition, a fungemia called candidemia.
Thrush is commonly seen in infants. It is not considered abnormal in infants unless it lasts longer than a couple of weeks.
Children, mostly between the ages of three and nine years of age, can be affected by chronic mouth yeast infections, normally seen around the mouth as white patches. However, this is not a common condition.
Symptoms of candidiasis may vary depending on the area affected.
Infection of the vagina or vulva may cause severe itching, burning, soreness, irritation, and a whitish or whitish-gray cottage cheese-like discharge, often with a curd-like appearance. These symptoms are also present in the more common bacterial vaginosis. In a 2002 study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, only 33 percent of women who were self-treating for a yeast infection actually had a yeast infection, while most had either bacterial vaginosis or a mixed-type infection.
Symptoms of infection of the male genitalia include red patchy sores near the head of the penis or on the foreskin, severe itching, or a burning sensation. Candidiasis of the penis can also have a white discharge, although uncommon.