Fatigue, digestive problems, skin rashes, dandruff, memory impairments, allergies, depression, an irresistible craving for sweets and starchy foods – many experts associate these and many other symptoms with an excess of yeast in our body. This is especially true for the female body. Functional medicine expert Dr. Amy Myers devotes a significant portion of her medical practice to addressing women’s health issues. What factors contribute to an oversupply of yeast? How can you tell if they are the problem? What is Candida? And how does stress, alcohol and antibiotics affect it? What dietary and lifestyle changes can help you overcome excess yeast? Dr. Amy Myers’ answers to these and other questions are in this post.
According to Dr. Myers, nine out of ten of her patients have an oversupply of candida (a type of yeast), and half of the women have an imbalance in candida – their bodies produce too much of this yeast (we need a very specific amount) to the detriment of beneficial bacteria. We used to think of candidiasis as an infection, but it’s much more complicated. It is encouraging that the overgrowth of this yeast can be stopped.
What is Candida? Where exactly in the body does it live? And how to understand that the problem is in her?
Candida is a fungus, a type of yeast. Many people use the terms “yeast oversupply” and “candida” interchangeably. There are hundreds of types of yeast, but the most common form is Candida albicans.
In a small amount, Candida lives throughout our body: in the intestines, on the skin, in the mouth, on various organs and mucous membranes. By being in the right balance with the good bacteria in our microflora, Candida aids digestion and nutrient absorption. We can make such a comparison: our microflora is like a tropical forest – when everything is in balance, the body is in harmony and functions smoothly.
The problem arises when the amount of candida outweighs the number of beneficial bacteria. This can lead to digestive problems, the development of fungal infections, mood swings, confusion and other troubles. Typically, an overabundance of candida is equated with female infections (thrush) or nail fungus. But the signs of an overabundance of candida can be much more subtle. Classical medicine only recognizes the systemic and often fatal form of candida overabundance, known as candidemia, when the blood is affected. About 90% of the patients I see have an overabundance of candida, which is not fatal, but extremely damaging to their health.
The symptoms of different types of yeast infections overlap significantly, and the vast majority of them require similar treatment. Laboratory tests will help determine the type of fungus that you may have.
What factors contribute to candida overgrowth?
There are several factors that contribute to candida oversupply. The main ones are:
Nutrition… A diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and an over-consumption of processed foods trigger excessive yeast overgrowth. The same can be said for alcohol such as beer and wine.
Antibiotics and other medications… Even one course of antibiotics can kill too many beneficial bacteria and disrupt the microflora balance. If a woman takes antibiotics during pregnancy or has a yeast infection, it can lead to an oversupply of candida in the baby. Also, a cesarean section can negatively affect the microflora of the child. The growth of yeast can also be promoted by taking steroids.
Birth control pills… Yeast loves high estrogen levels, which is why we are seeing a link between birth control pill use and an oversupply of candida.
Stress… By disrupting the balance of beneficial bacteria in the body’s microflora, high levels of stress can also cause candida to grow.
Symptoms of an overabundance of candida
When the body produces too much yeast, the intestinal wall breaks down, causing the intestine to leak and release toxic substances. Increased intestinal permeability interferes with the body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients. This can lead to serious problems not only with digestion, but also autoimmune diseases and thyroid dysfunction.
Another big problem with candida is the suppression of the immune system. It’s no secret that 60 to 80% of our immune system lives in the intestines. An oversupply of yeast suppresses the production of immunoglobulin A, which is vital to our immunity and health.
Yeast Overgrowth Symptoms:
- Blurred consciousness, poor memory, distracted attention, and hyperactivity
- Mood swings, anxiety, depression: 95% of serotonin is produced in the intestines. Growing, yeast prevents its formation.
- Fatigue and / or fibromyalgia
- Autoimmune diseases associated with leaky gut
- Digestive problems, bloating
- Skin problems, including eczema, hives, rosacea, and various types of rashes
- Seasonal allergies / chronic sinusitis
- Fungus on the skin and nails
- Special cravings for sweets and starchy foods: sugar is food for yeast
- High body mercury: Some alternative medicine experts believe that yeast can trap mercury in the body.
Can you diagnose yourself on your own?
There are tests for self-diagnosis, you can simply search for them on Google. I have no scientific data on its accuracy, but I know that many of my patients used this test before they came to me. But laboratory tests are, of course, much more reliable.
Candida pacification plan
Treatment for candida involves three stages:
1. Deprive yeast nutrition
Eliminate foods that contain yeast from your diet and those foods that are especially fond of yeast. These include vinegar, beer, wine, mushrooms, sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods. It is also recommended to reduce the amount of legumes, grains and starchy vegetables to one glass a day, and the amount of sugary fruits to one serving a day – unfortunately, even healthy carbs can stimulate yeast overgrowth.
I also advise you to temporarily abstain from fermented foods – sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi (not all experts agree with this). On the one hand, these foods are good for the good bacteria in our microflora, but on the other hand, yeast tastes them too (so these foods will not be beneficial if you have an overabundance of candida).
2. Defeat yeast
Some patients need antifungal medications or antifungal supplements. Caprylic acid (found in coconut oil, for example) and Candisol (contains enzymes that destroy the cell walls of parasites and fungi). Some people take oregano oil, which targets a wide variety of bacteria, but that means it will kill both good and bad bacteria in the flora. Therefore, I choose more targeted supplements that only have a detrimental effect on yeast.
3. Replenish the supply of good bacteria
High quality probiotics should be taken during treatment to help protect the body from future infections. If there is already a problem with yeast oversupply, probiotics can stimulate yeast development as well. Therefore, you can include them, along with the fermented foods discussed above, after candida overgrowth is under control.
Are there ways to get rid of candida without dietary restrictions? What foods should you add to your diet to combat excess yeast?
Getting rid of candida without a restrictive diet is very difficult. Even if you are taking medications, it is necessary to exclude foods that provoke the growth of yeast from the diet.
If we talk about healthy foods that you need to add to your diet in order to fight Candida more successfully, here they are:
- Coconut Oil: Contains caprylic acid, which inhibits yeast growth.
- Olive Oil: The antioxidants in olive oil help the body get rid of candida.
- Garlic: Contains allicin, a sulfur-containing compound that has anti-fungal properties.
- Cinnamon: Has antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: This is the only vinegar I recommend during your treatment.
- Lemons: They have antifungal properties and help detoxify the liver.
- Ginger: It has anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties and supports your liver.
- Cloves: A very effective anti-bending agent. Clove oil can also be used as a topical relief for infections.
- Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, radishes, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, etc. They contain sulfur and nitrogen-containing compounds that attack candida.
- Wild Salmon: Thanks to its omega-3 fatty acids, it is useful in the fight against fungal infections.
How long does it take to get rid of candida overgrowth?
This largely depends on what caused the candida overgrowth. Let’s say it was a one-off scenario: bronchitis, two courses of antibiotics, and, as a result, Candida. By following the instructions and diet provided, you will get rid of yeast overgrowth in a few weeks. If the situation is not one-time, then most likely it will not be possible to fix it quickly. However, this does not mean that you will never again be able to afford a glass of wine or a slice of cake. If the condition improves, the diet can be adjusted.
★ Amy Myers is MD, Founder and Medical Director of Austin Ultra Health Clinic in Austin, Texas. Dr. Myers specializes in women’s health, gut health, thyroid dysfunction and autoimmune diseases. Amy Myers is also the author of the New York Times bestselling books The Autoimmune Solution and The Thyroid Connection.
* Translation of an interview from Goop.com. The opinion of the author is published here for informational purposes and does not purport to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
⭐︎ A description of Natalia Rose’s system, also aimed at combating oversupply of yeast, is in this post. A detailed diet for the week is available in our online detox program, which also aims to tame yeast in the body.