Who You Callin’ Yeasty?!
Most women think that when yeast strikes, the result is an itchy vag. This is a misconception: turns out the problem is broader and deeper — typically your vaginal symptoms are spillover from yeast in your gut.
Yeast love dark, sugary, moist hotels, e.g., the gut and vagina. When they set up shop and get a stronghold, they cause a host of symptoms including intense cravings for what they want more of: sugary foods. How do you know if you have yeast hanging out in you hotel? Symptoms or, better yet, the gold standard – a comprehensive stool analysis.
Symptoms? Most commonly: Fatigue, Headache, Mood swings, Sinus congestion, Cravings for Sweets, Depression, Brain fog, Lousy memory, Constipation/Bloating/Gas/Diarrhea, Joint pain or swelling, Abdominal pain. Clearing out yeast also helps with optimizing hormone balance.
What helps? There are many “Candida Cleanses” on the market and I haven’t seen good evidence that one is better than another. I tend to side with Dr. William Crook, author of the Yeast Connection, who favors Nystatin orally, major nutritional change, increased fiber and probioitics.
Herbs that have anti-yeast properties include: oregano, thyme, peppermint, golden seal, pau d’arco.
How does this happen? Normally, small communes of yeast reside in our bodies in relative harmony and balance. Changes over time in your homeostasis, however small, can make the yeast grow. Examples of subtle and not-so-subtle changes include: taking antibiotics (wipes out the protective, good bacteria), eating excess sugar, alcohol, stress, and birth control pills or other synthetic hormones.
There does seem to be a link between thyroid dysregulation and yeast, as described by Mary Shomon in About.com. Whether yeast cause hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism increases your risk of yeast overgrowth is unclear.
One other root cause that is more clearly understood is adrenal dysregulation. If your adrenals are max’ed out and cannot power your immune system properly, you are more likely to develop yeast overgrowth. If you have adrenal problems due to high stress or poor stress resilience, a two-pronged approach of eliminating yeast plus healing the adrenals is necessary. The alternative is that you remove the yeast, but you just get reinfected because your immune system cannot safeguard you.
As always, you should see your healthcare provider with yeast symptoms, as it can be a marker of a deeper issue such as pre-diabetes, diabetes or even HIV. Particularly with vaginal symptoms, we can misdiagnose ourselves (i.e., it’s something other than a vaginal yeast infection causing your vaginal discharge and discomfort). But once more serious things are ruled out, you may notice that there’s a huge gap between what might help you and what your conventional doctor is offering. Turn to Dr. Crook’s book as a first start.
Written by, Dr. Sara Gottfred
Tags: candida cleanses, link between thyroid dysregulation and yeast by Mary Shomon, misconceptions about yeast infections, natural remedies for yeast, root cause of adrenal dysregulation, symptomsof a yeast infection, the gut and the vagina yeast, yeast love dark sugary moist hotels, yeast spillsover from your gut