What are yeasts? Yeasts are a single cell fungi that belong to the vegetable kingdom. They are related to the mold family, and like any molds, they live year round.
Do you know what Candida albicans is? Candida albicans is a species that lives normally in the body. This is primarily found in the intestinal and digestive tracts. When you have a healthy immune system yeasts normally are unable to cause infection. It is when our defenses are weakened that they become troublesome. Some people develop yeast infections when taking antibiotics. This is due to the weakened state our body is in when we are fighting an infection and Candida albicans is responsible for this yeast infection.
Many types of yeasts you may have heard of are brewer's yeast, baker's yeast, yeasts found in beer, ale and wine and some are fementers found in milk beverages. Foods that are high in yeast include alcoholic beverages, cheeses, peanuts, mushrooms, dried fruits, yams, figs, apricots, winter squash, melons, raisins, breads and baked goods that contain yeast.
Some of the more common conditions that are associated with yeast include thrush, nail fungal infections, diaper rash and vaginal infections. But what causes these fungi to overgrow and how do they make us sick? We naturally have some yeast germs that live on the mucous membranes along with billions of friendly germs. Yeast really likes the warm, dark areas like the digestive tract and vaginal wall. These are prime areas for the yeast to grow. Many bacteria, viruses, allergens and others can find their way into these membrane lined passageways and areas like the respiratory tract. When our bodies have a strong, healthy immune system they are not able to penetrate into the deep tissues or blood stream to cause illness. Some photos of yeast can be found at http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Candida+Albicans+Pictures&qpvt=Candi...
Antibiotics are made to kill the enemy that lies within yet along with the bad germs it is also killing the friendly germs inside. Yeasts are not bacteria therefore not killed by antiobiotics. They are able to spread out and multiply. Yeast, like Candida, can attach to the intestinal wall and connective tissue which in turn creates holes through the cell membranes and releases toxic waste back into the bodies system.
Yeasts contain an enzyme called decarboxylases that change amino acids and cause alterations in the permeability of the blood vessels and other tissues. This is also known as leaky gut syndrome. The Candida albicans toxins suppress the immune system by decreasing the white blood cells in the body. If you have other issues in the body, like food allergies, physical or emotional stress, or nutritional deficiencies your body becomes highly susceptible to illness.
There are many things that encourage yeast to grow but the most common culprits include a diet high in sugar and yeast. People who have diabetes, hormonal changes, low stomach acid, menstrual cycle, impaired liver function, altered bowel flora, chemotherapy and cancer, birth control pills or oral estrogens, steroids and antiobitics. The list is quite long and many people are involved in one of the above.
Some of the symptoms related to Candida overgrowth include feeling sick all over, muscle aches, digestive problems, craving sugar, feeling spaced out, sensitivity to tobacco, perfume or other chemical odors and food sensitivities. Many people go through years of seeing multiple doctors looking for answers to why they feel so bad before they find an answer, and some never do.
Many women have experienced multiple yeast infections, PMS, sexual dysfunction, vulvodynia, endometriosis, dyspareunia, interstitial cystitis, infertility and recurrent urinary tract infections.
Men usually experience headaches, digestive issues, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, chemical and food sensitivity, sugar craving, memory loss, depression and sexual dysfunction.
Children usually have irritability, skin rashes, ear problems, sleep problems, digestive issue, constant colds, are hyperactive, school performance is poor, food and chemical sensitivities.
Some additional illnesses that have been associated with yeast overgrowth include asthma, chronic sinus infections, acne, lupus, myasthenia gravis, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and psoriasis.
So how do you find out if you have a yeast overgrowth? Your physician can use a specialty lab to test for the yeast overgrowth. You will want to avoid any foods that are known to produce yeast growth. Your liver will need support when removing the excessive yeast from the body so you don't have additional flu like symptoms. Some people need to go on an antifungal medication while treatment is taking place. Some herbal remedies include garlic, berberine, coconut oil, and certain essential oils. While we all have yeast in our body it is the overgrowth that creates havoc within. If you suspect you have a yeast overgrowth, talk to a qualified practitioner to find out if you do and what treatment you will need.