Candida/Yeast, Diet, Natural Treatments and Remedies

Fungal Infections: (Candida/Yeast),  Diet, Natural Treatments and Remedies

There are more fungal infections in today’s society than ever before. There are a bunch of reasons for this. With today’s healthcare people are living longer and older folks are more prone to have weaker immune systems which increases the risk factor for fungal infections.

Also, the overuse of antibiotics has added to the growing infection rate. Fungal infections can occur after taking antibiotics, which kills off the beneficial bacteria that normally suppress fungus.

The most common organism that causes fungal infections is the notorious Candida. Candida is found in the mouth, human digestive tract and genital region. Under normal conditions, Candida is controlled by beneficial bacteria. However, if the bacteria/fungus ratio is off balance, which commonly occurs when taking antibiotics, or if the immune system is weak, an overgrowth of Candida happens to lead to a fungal infection.

Candida overgrowth is supported by certain pH levels and the over consumption of sugar. The right conditions for a Candida infection are high sugar diet and a compromised immune system. Candida infections can also be spread to people with weak immune systems, who are in a hospital. In hospitals the fungus is commonly found on the hands of caregivers and catheters, which can allow an infection to take hold.

Below are areas that can be affected by Candida infections:

Skin. Candida infections of the skin generally are between the toes, fingers, around the anus and on the penis. A fungal infection of the skin usually happens at the site of an abrasion or where skin is moist for long periods of time. Nails that are infected can turn yellow or white and separate from the skin around it.

Genitals. The most common infections are vulvae vaginal. Majority of women experience a vaginal Candida infection at some point in their life.

The symptoms of a vulvovaginal infection are itchiness, burning or irritation. Even though Candida albicans is one of the most common reasons for vulvovaginal infections it is also caused by bacteria. Other symptoms can include redness of the vulva and inner thighs, painful urination or intercourse. Candida infections happen most often when there are PH changes. This can occur as a result of hormonal fluctuations, such as prior to and after menstruation, during perimenopause and menopause.

Mouth and throat. Oral Candidiasis, or more commonly known as thrush, occurs in the mouth. It looks like white areas or patches on the tongue, lips, inner cheeks, or roof of the mouth. Most cases of oral Candida occur in neonates and people with weak immune systems, especially people infected with HIV or people undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.

Systemic infection. Under usual circumstances, small amounts of Candida can be found in the gut and in different locations within the body. People who have a decreased immune system can have Candida infections that occur throughout the body. This condition is known as systemic or deep tissue Candidiasis.  Candida infections should be taken seriously with immediate treatment.

Systemic Candida infections usually occurs in people with one or more of the following: high sugar diets, corticosteroids, antibiotics, skin damage, decreased immune system, organ transplantation, or serious illness requiring hospitalization in an intensive-care unit.

If candidiasis is associated with diabetes or other medical conditions, the root problem must be addressed in order to discourage Candida/yeast over growth. Invasive Candida (deep candidiasis) can affect major organs, such as the kidneys, digestive system, spleen, lungs, liver, eyes, heart or brain.

Diagnosis and Conventional Treatment of Candida/Yeast Infections

Diagnosis of a Candida infection can often be accomplished by the presence of symptoms. To be certain of the diagnosis, samples of the fungus have to be identified under a microscope. Also, biopsy samples can be taken from deeper lesions. Candida antibody levels in the blood can also be tested and measured. There are also stool tests that measure the amount of Candida in your digestive system.

When a candida infection has been determined, its treatment plan depends on where in the body it is located. If the infection is severe medication may be needed along with hospitalization, but many times a good nutritional approach with supplements is effective.

Nutritional, Diet and Natural Approaches to Healthy Intestinal Bacteria

People with chronic Candida/yeast infections or anyone at a higher risk for fungal infections, should consider supplementing their diets with nutrients and foods that discourage Candida overgrowth. One area that must be addressed is to maintain a good healthy amount of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Probiotics and yogurt. Multiple studies have demonstrated that daily intake of yogurt enriched with live probiotics, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus can increase levels of beneficial (friendly) bacteria in the vagina and gut. Many studies have demonstrated that a cup of yogurt eaten daily drastically reduces the risk of Candida infections and colonization. This natural remedy or nutritional treatment is usually well tolerated, except with people with specific milk allergies. In addition supplemental probiotics should be added to the diet to replenish the beneficial bacteria. This product should be chosen by a qualified health professional which is an area I often assist many of my clients with.

In addition to the above recommendations, dietary changes should be made. A low sugar and low yeast diet should be implemented. Candida can feed and grow from a high sugar and high yeast diet. It is best to starve the fungal infection by not providing it with any food.

Other Nutrients, Natural Remedies and Treatments that Battle Candida/Fungal Infections

Lots of nutrients can reduce the risk of fungal infections by attacking the microbes directly or boosting the immune system. These include the following list, but there are many other nutrients and herbs that can kill candida:

Goldenseal. The main Candida killing ingredient of goldenseal is called berberine. Its therapeutic actions are inhibiting and killing certain organisms, including Candida.

Nine other antimicrobial properties have been discovered in goldenseal, which contribute to its antimicrobial properties.

Volatile oils from oregano, thyme, peppermint, tea tree, and rosemary have all shown antifungal actions. The volatile oils are absorbed quickly and are associated with  heartburn. They have to be taken in coated capsules, so they don’t breakdown in the stomach but instead are transferred to the small and large intestine. These capsules are known as enteric coating.

Garlic. Garlic has a bunch of antiandida properties and has demonstrated to stop the growth of Candida. Additional studies have shown that garlic extracts begin their anticandida effect within one hour of ingestion.

Lifestyle, Diet, and Nutrition Recommendation to Reduce Candida Infections

People who deal with yeast infections may want to make lifestyle changes that minimize the risk and severity of yeast infections.

The following changes can be effective:

  • Reducing or eliminating refined sugar
  • Eliminating foods that have a high yeast content
  • Eating 6-8 oz of yogurt everyday to restore normal flora in the digestive tract
  • Getting ample sleep for optimal immune function

Candida and Fungal Infections Safety Concerns

A dietary supplementation program should not begin without the supervision of a qualified doctor. Several of the nutrients included in this article may have adverse effects.

I often consult in this area and if you are dealing with chronic Candida issues feel free to contact me to see how I can assist. 201.618.3534 or email Rob@drrobertg.com

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