Yeast Infections are not limited to the genitourinary tract as you might think. These infections are powerful systemic processes that affect the entire body and occur in both men and women. People with yeast infections typically feel sick all over, have taken many antibiotic medications, often feel spaced out, are bothered by muscle aches and digestive problems and crave sugar. These same people are unusually sensitive to tobacco, perfume and other chemicals, are bothered by food sensitivities and have sought in vain for help from many different physicians.
In women, yeast infections are common between the ages of 20 and 50 and manifest as recurrent vaginal yeast infections, PMS, recurrent urinary tract infections and sexual dysfunction. These women can also exhibit pain on intercourse, endometriosis, bladder infection and infertility. men with yeast infections complain of fatigue, headache, digestive symptoms, muscle and joint pains, food and chemical sensitivities, memory loss, sugar cravings, sexual dysfunction and depression.
Physicians must carefully evaluate infants and children for yeast infections also. Common symptoms include content colds, irritability, sleep problems, digestive problems, attention deficits, skin rashes, ear problems, hyperactivity, fatigue, poor school performance, depression and headache.
Yeast such as Candida can become attached to the intestinal wall and the connective tissue between the cells. This creates holes through the cell membranes which then release toxic waste products back into the system. Candida can produce over 400 mycotoxins (toxic products from fungus) which can cause systemic illness, fatigue and suppression of the immune system.
Complaints and illnesses that may be yeast related include Numbness, Crohn’s disease, Scleroderma, Myasthenia Gravis, Eczema, Lupus and Psoriasis. Add to this list Multiple Sclerosis, Sinusitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acne, Asthma and Chronic Hives. For instance, positive fungal cultures were found in the nasal secretions in 96% of 210 consecutive chronic sinusitis patients!
Yeast inhabits our digestive tract in small amounts. But once it overgrows, pathology results. Decreased digestive secretions, dietary factors, impaired immunity and nutrient deficiency all cause yeast overgrowth. The use of medications such as antibiotics, birth control pills, synthetic estrogen, steroids and chemotherapy can also cause yeast overgrowth. And patients with impaired liver function, altered bowel flora, hormonal changes associated with the menstrual cycle and AIDS, cancer or diabetes are all at risk for yeast overgrowth.
Dietary factors that promote the growth of yeast include milk intake (lactose promotes overgrowth of candida) and mold and yeast congaing foods such as alcohol, cheese, dried fruits and peanuts. Other foods that promote the growth of yeast include mushrooms, potatoes, winter squash, yams, apricots, figs, melons and raisins. In the next post we will discuss the pathology of yeast infections and move on to treatment and prevention. Thanks for reading! Please comment!