How Yeast Overgrowth Affects Your Body

What is Yeast?

Yeast is a fungus, and there are many kinds of yeasts. One is used to make bread, and another to brew beer. One type of yeast, called candida, lives inside your body. If it grows out of control, you can get an infection.

Candida albicans are naturally occurring yeast that is usually kept under control by beneficial bacteria (probiotics). However, these bacteria can be destroyed by birth control pills, antibiotics, steroids, cortisone drugs, chlorinated water, poor diet, and extreme stress, and several other things. When this occurs, candida can grow out of control and trigger the following conditions: chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, brain fog, chronic immune suppression, chronic sinus issues, skin rashes or infections, acne, joint aches, depression, irritability, dizziness, difficulty focusing, extreme fatigue, loss of memory, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and weight fluctuation.

More than 100 million Americans are thought to suffer from candida overgrowth.

If the bad guys, like yeast, become too strong, they may cause problems for the bowels. This is called dysbiosis. Symptoms include bloating, abdominal pain, and fatigue. If the problem is not adequately addressed, poor functioning of the bowels can lead to other issues in the body.

For that reason, the candida diet, a low-sugar, low-carb diet, eradicates excess yeast and brings the gut back into balance. It is estimated that 70 percent of our immune system resides in the digestive tract, so potential infections can be promptly addressed. However, exposure to diets high in processed food and refined sugar, chronic stress, food triggers, and intolerance or frequent antibiotic use can shift the ratios of beneficial to infective bugs in our bowels.

Your Immune System Is Always Involved

Yeast overgrowth, or the overgrowth of any unwanted bug, can happen when the body’s defenses are out of balance. If any bug has grown beyond the immune system’s boundaries, and if your immune system isn’t at its best, yeast can overgrow in your body.

Babies, older people, and those with diseases like diabetes or HIV infection can have weakened immune systems. Chemotherapy for cancer and steroids can zap your immune system, too. Sjogren’s syndrome, which affects your immune system, can raise your risk of yeast infection.

All About Candida

It’s the yeast most often to blame for health problems. Candida albicans is the most common strain. However, at least 20 candida species cause infections in humans. Candida auris is a new fungus in this family, and that’s a big concern. Hospital patients infected with it can get gravely ill and may not get help from antifungal drugs.

Yeast Allergy’s

Some people are allergic to yeast in foods like bread, vinegar, and beer. It can cause hives on your skin. A severe yeast allergy could make breathing hard or cause your throat to swell. You’ll need to work with your doctor to determine which yeasty foods cause an allergic reaction and cut them out of your diet. Baked goods leavened with yeast are common culprits.

The Definition of Candida

Candida is a genus of yeasts that usually live inside the body and on the skin. There are hundreds of these yeasts, but many species can cause fungal infections if their numbers grow out of control or enter the bloodstream or other organs. This type of infection is called candidiasis.                                                                                                                             

What Causes Yeast Infections?   

We usually have yeast all over our bodies and guts, and it plays an essential role as it lives side by side with bacteria. When there is an imbalance in the normal flora of the vagina, the yeast can grow and cause what we know as a symptomatic yeast infection. In the vagina, these symptoms usually include itching, discharge, redness, and burning.

How Yeast Infections Develop

Your body is usually good at regulating itself, maintaining all the proper chemical levels for good functioning.

Additionally, the population of C. albicans is naturally kept in check by the bacteria and other microorganisms that make up your microbiome, the community of microorganisms that inhabit your body.

Sometimes, problems will occur that alter that chemistry, throwing certain bodily functions off-balance and disturbing the microbial balance.

When this happens, the scales may tip in favor of C. albicans, allowing the fungus to grow out of control and cause a yeast infection.

What Lifestyle Factors Contribute to Yeast Infections?

Many lifestyle factors may contribute to the development of vaginal yeast infection, such as high sugar, high carbohydrate diet, high stress, or high alcohol intake may also make you more susceptible to an overgrowth of yeast.

Antibiotics And Yeast Infections

Another factor is the use of antibiotics. Some antibiotics are known to encourage yeast overgrowth by killing off normal genital bacteria, which throws off the vaginal microbial community’s balance and makes it easier for the yeast to thrive.

Antibiotic use is one of the most common causes of candida overgrowth. Antibiotics are sterilizing to the microbiome or the collection of bacteria in the gut. Along with killing off “bad” bacteria, the good goes, too, which can also throw off the balance of yeast in your body.

How Steroids and Yeast Infections Are Connected

Steroids are another type of medication that can cause people to develop an infection from yeast.

The higher the dose and the longer you use them, the greater the risk, but even low-strength topical steroid creams may make yeast infections more likely by damping the body’s natural immune defenses.

Medicines like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and cortisone-type drugs, like prednisone, can impact the gut microbiome in unhealthy ways.

How the Candida Diet Works

Generally speaking, the candida diet removes all sources of flour, sugar, and yeast from your diet and encourages lean proteins, non-starchy vegetables, healthy fats, and several supplements to promote the process. Doing so staves off yeast overgrowth. It’s also essential to use supplements that support yeast’s die-off and remove this yeast and its by-products from the body.

When you start on a candida diet, you may notice that you may feel worse before you feel better. Nausea, headaches, flu-like symptoms, and fatigue may appear within the first two weeks of the cleanse.

However, remember that what may be happening can occur as the body switches from burning carbohydrates for fuel to fat. When we reach a ketosis state, we often experience a few weeks of keto flu symptoms, like foggy head, headaches, and fatigue. Limiting carbs on a low-sugar candida diet has the potential to trigger ketosis and the associated symptoms.

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