Did you know that many common health symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, depression, and constipation can be caused by an overgrowth of yeast in your large intestine? The answer could be as simple as adjusting your eating habits. Take Jenny’s story, for instance.
By the time Jenny came to see me at my wellness center, she had been suffering bad health for years. She’d experienced recurring respiratory infections and had severe allergies. She’d been on antibiotics for two years nonstop.
Jenny came to me because she was experiencing bloating, abdominal pain, recurring vaginal yeast infections, fatigue, “brain fog,” and depression, and she wanted it all to stop. When I heard these symptoms, I immediately thought of excess yeast, or yeast overgrowth. She had too much yeast in her body. It all added up.
What yeast-overgrowth does in the body
The body reacts poorly to an overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans in the body, which leads to a condition called Candidiasis. It can produce a wide variety of symptoms, including:
Many people experience a host of seemingly unrelated symptoms. They don’t know what’s causing their symptoms, they just know that their quality of life is suffering and they want to change it! When it turns out that excess yeast is the culprit, a large part of the path to recovery is embarking on a yeast-free diet.
Causes of yeast-overgrowth
Candidiasis can develop when antibiotics are taken frequently. These powerful drugs kill not only the “bad” bacteria that cause infection, but the “good” bacteria, too, leaving the body open to rapid yeast overgrowth. People who take antibiotics long term, to address conditions like acne, recurring bladder infections, or sinus infections, are particularly susceptible to yeast overgrowth. Women are eight times more likely than men to suffer from yeast overgrowth, in part because of the use of birth control pills and synthetic estrogen. Steroids can also be the culprit.
A blood test measuring yeast antibodies can show whether you’ve got excess yeast, but I’ve found it’s best to base diagnosis off of the patient’s symptoms and clinical history.
Note that mainstream doctors will often give patients with yeast overgrowth symptoms a diagnosis such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), without identifying the underlying cause. That Candidiasis could be the cause of their symptoms is not even on their radar. Many people aren’t aware that they have excess yeast; it’s never even crossed their minds, as well. That’s why I encourage people to try the yeast-free diet if they’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, because they have nothing to lose and health and vitality to gain.
Cutting yeast from your diet
By cutting out foods containing yeast and the foods that feed yeast, it’s more difficult for yeast to grow and take hold in the body. So why not just cut out yeast-containing foods? Because yeast, which is a living single-celled organism, needs food to grow and thrive, just like we do. The food it likes most is the sugar and the sugar that comes from simple carbohydrates. Thus, cutting out sugars and simple carbs deprives the yeast from its favorite food and prevents it from growing.
A yeast-free eating plan is only one part of the puzzle. While it slows or stops the growth of yeast in the body, it doesn’t eliminate the yeast that’s already there or replenish the good gut bacteria. The next step is to kill the yeast and then replace the good bacteria with probiotics.
A yeast-free eating program is recommended anywhere from one to three months, depending upon severity of your symptoms. Most people feel so good eating yeast-free that they make it a part of their permanent lifestyle. Working with the guidance of a physician is very helpful in determining the best plan for you. Try going yeast free and change your life for the better!
Dr. Hotze and Dr. Sheridan discuss the symptoms and treatment of yeast overgrowth: