Systemic yeast infections, or candidiasis, commonly occurs among women as a health problem. According to Mayo Clinic, an estimated three in four women will have a Candida yeast infection during their lifetime. Systemic yeast is also commonly found in those with compromised immune systems, such as cancer and HIV patients. With proper diagnosis through basic lab tests and vigorous treatment, you can safely eliminate Candidiasis.
Candida, a type of yeast, is naturally found in the intestinal tract; good bacteria and the immune system suppress candida overgrowth. According to Marcelle Pick, ob/gyn nurse practitioner and founder of Women to Women, "When Candida proliferates, it changes from its simple, relatively harmless form to an invasive form, with long root-like structures that penetrate the intestinal lining. Penetration can break down the boundary between the intestinal tract and the circulatory system." Once the strands of candida enter the bloodstream, it further colonizes to areas, such as the vagina, bladder, throat and, in serious cases, the heart valves.
When affecting the gastrointestinal tract, Candida becomes visible and easily diagnosed much faster with a problem known as thrush. Thrush occurs when the yeast implants itself in the throat and mouth and forms white patches as it multiplies. This type of overgrowth is common in babies, pregnant and nursing women, those taking oral steroids for the treatment of asthma, and those with suppressed immune systems.
Vaginal yeast infections are the most common indicator of a candida overgrowth. Symptoms of this type of systemic yeast include menstrual and premenstrual problems, bladder inflammation, chronic urinary tract infections, bladder inflammation, cystitis, PMS. Occasionally, candida will not infect anything on the body's surface, but a person will feel generally sick.
Natural Treatments Through Diet
Using a natural treatment plan for candida requires a vigorous stratagy that attacks the candida and eliminates its food source. The first step is to begin a restrictive diet. On the candida diet, all foods that contain processed sugars, white flour, and processed ingredients must be eliminated. Yeast feeds on these ingredients. Also, avoid eating foods that contain high amounts of natural sugars or are a type of fungus. For example, avoid mushrooms, bananas, milk and cheeses containing molds.
The next step is to use digestive enzymes to increase the body's digestive ability, thus preventing foods from fermenting during the digestion process. According to Marcelle Pick, digestive enzymes assist in the efficient digestion of food to assist in a decrease of overall yeast formation. Look for enzymes such as "Betaine HCl" and "Candex," which are vitamin-based and gentle on the stomach.
Herbs and Probiotics
Another means of attacking systemic yeast is by directly killing the candida strands using natural anti-fungal herbs and probiotics. Garlic and tea tree oil both contain potent anti-fungal properties. Garlic is most effective when consumed fresh. Tea tree oil is not considered safe for consumption, as it causes nausea; however, you can apply it directly to skin and genital outbreaks or gargle with it to treat thrush. Probiotics are helpful bacteria that excrete vitamin B to boost the immune system. Fresh yogurt includes probiotics. Higher concentrations come in probiotic supplements, available at any health-food store in the refrigerated section. Also, give the immune system an extra boost by increasing the amounts of vitamins C, B and E on a daily basis. Eat foods rich in these vitamins, such as citrus, green vegetables and lentils.
Physicians can offer relief in the forms of anti-fungal creams and in more serious cases, oral medications. These medications will eliminate any strains of the yeast that are found in the blood stream, allowing their levels to return to normal. In the more serious cases, IV treatments, such as amphotericin-B, may be necessary. Those with diabetes should control blood sugar levels to better facilitate healing from systemic yeast infection. For skin and vaginal irritation, doctors may also prescribe anti-inflammatory creams to sooth the tissue while the infection is healing.