Tag Archives: yeast overgrowth

Alternative Medicine Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food Toxin Alert!

Dietary Changes & Supplements for Removal of Candida Overgrowth, Part I

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Many people have yeast overgrowth in their bodies and don’t even know it. Candida albicans is a type of fungus or yeast which naturally occurs in the human body, and especially in the digestive tract. Candida levels are normally kept in check by microbes found in the digestive system. Each person normally has some yeast and other potentially negative microorganisms in the intestinal area. In ordinary circumstances, this situation is harmless.

Amongst people in the food/sustainable communities, implementation of the GAPS diet – created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride is becoming a more and more common method of detoxification in the body to regain health. Before I knew about GAPS, I put myself through what I still call a candida cleanse protocol in 2006 that lasted about two years total in length. While this was going on, I ate lots of meat, poultry, fish, some cheese and lots of butter, olive oil, coconut oil, eggs, vegetables, and almonds and fruits now and then. I did eat grains occasionally – perhaps once a month or less, but they were always sprouted.

During this time, I didn’t know anything about the value of super-foods like cod liver oil, bone broths, or fermented foods like home-made yogurt and kefir or cultured vegetables. I was taking therapeutic-grade probiotics daily, digestive enzymes, and bile salts to make sure I was digesting my food. Because I lack both a gallbladder and an appendix, this was essential. Although not everyone is short these important organs, many people do have compromised digestive function (which can adversely affect these and other organs) due to poor dietary habits which can lead to their failure and ultimate removal.

I thought this cleanse was the way to regain health. But without following a protocol that heals and seals the gut such as the GAPS protocol, healing of the mucosal lining in the gut is incomplete. When this occurs, you will still likely experience symptoms of candida overgrowth.

This is why I highly recommend this protocol as well as using super-foods like cod liver oil, cultured vegetables, and home-made broth from the bones of animals during any type of detox you undertake, whether it be what is termed “candida cleanse” or some other protocol such as GAPS because these foods are highly nutritious, containing many minerals, vitamins, and amino acids which assist the body not only in healing but detox to be able to regain health.

An overview of candida overgrowth

When the immune system function becomes overly-reactive and its ability to effectively function, defend, and maintain a normal environment becomes compromised, that is when yeast have grown out of control in the body. In this type of environment, unfriendly microorganisms multiply rapidly, causing deterioration in digestion and elimination function.  Continued growth of harmful microorganisms and parasites, including toxins they produce enter the bloodstream. This causes damage to surrounding tissue and organ systems become involved, and the body is further weakened.

When a yeast overgrowth becomes excessive or reaches a chronic condition, its ability to trigger disease and illness can easily overwhelm the body.

What are the causes of candida yeast overgrowth?

When you experience a yeast overgrowth, the result can be a variety of unpleasant, and some seemingly unrelated symptoms. One of the most common causes of yeast overgrowth is the use and overuse of antibiotics – both directly and indirectly.  Antibiotics do not discriminate – besides wiping out harmful bacteria, they also eliminate beneficial or ‘friendly’ micro-organisms (probiotic flora) in the intestinal and vaginal areas, as well as other locations. Beneficial bacteria strains keep yeast levels in check. Without them, yeast can overtake tissue and organ systems.

Sources of antibiotics are not limited to the prescriptions we get from our doctors – a huge amount of the antibiotics we ingest actually come from our own food supply – from commercially-raised meat and dairy products.  According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, approximately 70 percent of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used on healthy livestock to “prevent” disease. Here’s my question – What exactly is being prevented by raising animals on feedlots in filthy conditions, with mandatory antibiotic use to “control” diseases created by the very conditions in which the animals are made to live? The continued use of antibiotics in the food supply only adds to the resistance of super-bacteria, which will continue to add pathogenic yeast to your digestive tract and increase the risk of inflammation and disease.

If you have ever taken the following medications/drugs:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antacids
  • Anti-ulcer medications and steroids/cortisones
  • Birth control pills

Or if your diet regularly includes the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Diet lacking in nutrition and including high sugar and refined carbohydrates – including grains

Or if you experience the following conditions or symptoms:

  • Compromised immune function
  • Hormonal imbalance – thyroid, reproductive, endocrine, etc.
  • Chronic stress
  • Intestinal parasites and worms

you may have a candida yeast overgrowth.

How do I know if I have candida overgrowth?

Some of the symptoms experienced by patients with yeast overgrowth include:

  • Allergies
  • Chronic fatigue and malaise
  • Compromised immune system function
  • Chemical sensitivities
  • Recurring yeast infections such as fungal nail infections, vaginal, athletes foot, thrush, athletes foot, etc.
  • Depression, mood swings, panic attacks, and other mood disorders
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Headaches, poor memory skills
  • Chronic or recurring allergic reactions, sinus issues, UTI infections, asthma and chronic chest congestion
  • A variety of digestive disturbances such as cramping, bloating, gas, indigestion, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, etc.
  • Cravings for sugar and carbohydrates
  • Dry and/or itching skin

These are just a few of the symptoms people may experience if they have a yeast overgrowth. It is also entirely possible to have a Candida overgrowth or candidasis and not be aware of it.

If you ask a typical doctor to help with a candida overgrowth, the most likely response will be either that you don’t have a yeast problem or you will be placed on anti-fungal medication to treat the condition. Many doctors simply disagree that candida overgrowth is a problem or can be the culprit of such a variety of health issues.  But the fact is, most people in developed countries do have a yeast overgrowth problem due to eating a highly processed diet replete with sugar, carbohydrates, and grains. For the most part, there are no tests conventional doctors perform to determine how much of an overgrowth existed, or if they do treat it with drugs, there is usually no way for them to tell whether the overgrowth had been fully removed.

You can find a variety of candida-self tests in books and on the Internet, but here is a good, self-assessment test available from Jigsaw Health to help figure out where you are at in the likely possibility that a Candida yeast overgrowth being the cause of your health issues, and also how much overgrowth exists in your body.  And, here’s a questionnaire specially designed for children too. The questionnaires were created by Dr. William Crook, author of The Yeast Connection Handbook.

You may be wondering: “If these tests are useful, why hasn’t my doctor ordered them?”  Because most conventional doctors either lack the experience, knowledge, or simply don’t believe enough scientific evidence exists to prove that Candida actually is the cause of many degenerative health issues for many people. The good news is that many individuals who have been unable to get help from conventional doctors have succeeded in using the self-testing method recommended above as a way to gauge where to begin to improve their health.

Be sure to check back tomorrow to read Part II of Dietary Changes and Supplements for Candida Overgrowth Removal. I’ll talk about foods to avoid and foods to include, the importance of probiotics (beneficial bacteria), quality supplements to assist in candida overgrowth removal for those who wish to use them, and how long you can expect to maintain a candida or yeast control diet.

Activism Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food Toxin Alert!

14 Ways To Eliminate Sugar Cravings

www.mypicshares.com

Do you ever stop and think about how much sugar you consume each day? It may be more than you think.  Sugar cravings are usually a sign of poor eating habits. The more sugar and refined carbohydrates you consume, the more you’ll crave.

One of the reasons we have so much trouble with sugar is because it is a substance which is very pervasive in our modern food supply – especially if you consume the Standard American Diet. Sugar is responsible for causing obesity and Diabetes, and contributing to heart disease and cancer. Even if you don’t have a weight problem, you could be consuming more sugar than you should be.

Here are just some of the side-effects a high-sugar diet can cause:

  • a weakened immune system
  • increased levels of fasting glucose (during times when you are not eating)
  • causes an acidic digestive tract, which reduces the amount of friendly bacteria in the gut
  • induces a rapid rise of adrenaline – especially in children
  • causes deficiencies in various nutrients such as copper, chromium, and other important trace minerals
  • interferes with the absorption of calcium and magnesium
  • causes premature aging
  • increases the risk of Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, and other digestive disorders
  • can weaken eyesight
  • causes irritability, hyperactivity, crankiness, and difficulty in focusing – especially in children
  • contributes to asthma, arthritis, heart disease, appendicitis, multiple sclerosis, and gallstones
  • contribute to or cause food allergies
  • cause a rise in cholesterol and blood pressure
  • can contribute to toxemia in pregnancy

For a complete list, see 146 Reasons Why Sugar Is Ruining Your Health by Nancy Appleton, PhD.

As we draw nearer to the holiday season, you may find yourself tempted and unable to say no to all the seasonal treats and snacks hanging around in places you frequent – your office, your child’s school, holiday events and gatherings, friend’s houses, and even your own home.

If you find yourself constantly having sugar cravings and are unable to stay away from processed foods and refined carbohydrates, here are some suggestions:

  1. Resolve to make a food journal and keep track of what you are eating for one week. Make as many changes as you feel comfortable with at a time, but know that completely going off sugar for one week will bring about positive changes you might never have realized possible. Review your journal daily. You will be surprised at what you have kept track of and change will become easier each day. Continue your journal beyond a week and see how many other changes occur as time goes on.
  2. Start replacing snacks like chips, crackers, processed breads, cereals, pretzels, rice cakes, “food bars” and others with choices like sprouted nuts, raw cheeses, whole fruits and vegetables. When you find yourself going for the unhealthy variety, eat the healthy alternatives instead. When your body tells you it wants sugar, it usually means it needs the nutrients in foods with healthy fats.
  3. For a few weeks to a few months, until you can get your sugar cravings under control, avoid high starch and carb content in meals such as potatoes (white and sweet), white rice, and pasta.  Occasional brown rice or brown rice pasta is acceptable.
  4. Eliminate refined and processed carbohydrates.
  5. Eat fruit between meals. Eating fruit with large meals can cause bloating and fermentation in the stomach, and can also lead to digestive difficulty for your digestive tract. Fruit between meals helps keep your blood sugar level and is a great snack choice that delivers nutrients and fiber.
  6. Eat natural grass-fed meats, pasture-raised poultry, and eggs from hens on pasture. Obese meats such as those raised on feedlots and fed corn, grain, and soy add to your overall carbohydrate and glycemic load because those meats contain less protein but more fat and calories due to the feed they are given – grains, soy, corn, and other unnatural, inflammatory substances.  Feedlot meats are also full of antibiotics which eliminate healthy gut flora or bacteria and can contribute to sugar cravings. Healthy meats contain the correct amount of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, high protein, healthy fat and calories because they come from animals on pasture and grazing as nature intends. Also include in your diet home-made broths from bones of the meat you consume. Broths are highly nutritious, healing, and supportive of health.
  7. If you haven’t already, begin a regimen of moderate exercise that you enjoy and can engage in for 20 to 30 minutes three to four times a week. Make certain to start slow and go easy. Although exercise lowers insulin levels, helps keep your blood sugar even, and can aid in reducing sugar cravings, it can also be damaging to your adrenal glands which may already be exhausted from poor dietary and lifestyle habits. You don’t have to be a marathon athlete or competitive sports participant to gain benefit from regular, moderate activity. Walking is a great exercise to begin with for beginning a regular routine.
  8. Make sure you are taking a good whole-foods, organically-produced vitamin supplement. Consult with a knowledgeable health care practitioner who understands nutrition for recommendations.
  9. Make sure you are eating foods containing natural probiotics such as raw dairy – milk, cheese, butter, home-made yogurt, buttermilk, or other fermented foods such as home-made sauerkraut. You can also take a good quality, therapeutic-grade probiotic such as BioKult, Biotics Research brand, Prescript-Asisst, or Advanced Naturals, are reputable brands that provide good bacteria count.
  10. Include plenty of natural fiber from cooked and lacto-fermented vegetables in your diet.  Be sure to eat healthy fats with your vegetables – home-made salad dressing with salads and butter, coconut, or olive oil with cooked.  Throw out all bottled and packaged dips, toppings, and salad dressing as they are full of sugar and many contain MSG, other excitotoxins, and other dangerous chemicals.
  11. Make sure you have a good source of essential fatty acid supplementation – fermented cod liver oil from Green Pasture Products is, in my opinion, the only cod liver oil supplement worth using. Organic, cold-pressed flax seed oil is healthy as well, but should not be considered a substitute for a good cod liver oil.
  12. Consider performing a candida cleanse. People who eat refined foods on a regular basis almost always have a yeast overgrowth problem. This leads to sugar cravings, fatigue, immune system deficiency, weight gain, and long-term degenerative disease. Consult with a knowledgeable complimentary health care practitioner about how to go about this important step in managing health issues, and learn about the proper diet for this type of cleanse as well as professional grade supplements that are necessary to help remove candida overgrowth from your body.
  13. Obtain adequate rest and stress relief daily. Go to bed before 10:30 p.m. nightly and make sure to take time out for yourself during your busy day.
  14. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that using artificial sweeteners will be an acceptable replacement for your sugar cravings. All of these substances including Splenda, Aspartame, Saccharine, High-Fructose Corn Syrup and any type of corn syrup is highly-refined, will continue to cause sugar cravings, and leads to long-term health issues in the same way sugar can.

For more information on the impact alcoholic beverages have on a sugar addiction, read Alcohol and the Sugar Connection

Want some ideas for foods that will help reduce sugar cravings and boost your immune system and health?

Healthy and Nutrient-Dense Foods At-A-Glance

Wondering about exercise and weight?

Do Eating Habits or Exercise Dictate Weight?

Wondering what foods are healthy to eat?

How Well Do You Know Your Food? Find Out!

Weight issues?

Want to Lose Weight? DETOX!

Ideas for keeping your kitchen stocked with healthy foods that give energy and wellness?

My Kitchen Staples – How I Keep My Family Healthy

This post is part of Kelly The Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays Carnival.