Posts Tagged ‘fungal growth’
As a wellness professional, I spend a lot of time in the wellness community. I travel speaking to large groups about natural health and I hear a lot of stories. And I cringe every time I see an article or hear the advice that ___(fill in the blank problem)___ is just yeast! Your kid has ADHD? It’s just yeast! You have adrenal fatigue? eczema? attention span problems? poor digestion? no appetite? a speech delay? difficulty losing weight? thyroid problems? endometriosis? cancer? It’s just yeast! And you can cure it on an antifungal diet! (You’ve seen these, right? Eliminate ALL sugar, take some coconut oil and other antifungals and you’ll experience an uncomfortable “die off” then it will be all better.)
<sigh> If only that were true! How easy and attainable health would be. The reality is that there is just *so* much wrong with the phrase “you have yeast” To begin with – what kind of yeast? There are numerous strands – many of which are actually good for you!! Could you have one of those beneficial strands? Or a harmful type of yeast? How do you know? Next, how can you know it’s yeast without a laboratory test? Fatigue, distractibility, poor immunity, inflammation and toxin build up are all very vague and general terms that are applicable to countless disorders and imbalances within the body. They could be caused by certain types of bacterial overgrowth, nutritional deficiencies, reactions to environmental toxins within your home, food sensitivities… With so many other potential causes, we can’t just assume it’s yeast. Third, assuming that it *is* fungal overgrowth within the body, how do you know *this* antifungal diet is what will do the trick? Like bacteria, fungal growth can be resistant to various antifungals. How do you select the right one? Laboratory tests.
So, what do you do if you do suspect yeast? Or if you have any of the symptoms that are related to fungal overgrowth? If you suspect fungal overgrowth, visit an integrative care provider. Request diagnostic tests to determine what (if anything) you have growing in unsafe numbers within you and then learn what that microbe is (and is not) susceptible to. (These are generally going to be blood tests sent to a laboratory.) Then, treat the real issue. You may be surprised to find that your “yeast overgrowth” is actually a reaction to gluten or citrus or something else in your diet. Or it could be a blood sugar imbalance – or a vitamin deficiency. A restrictive diet may provide short term relief if its related to the real issue at hand, but once you consume those foods again, it will return. Which is why some people come up to me at conferences to ask why they’ve been battling “yeast” for years on end.
The “die off” stage is (unfortunately) real. If it is a type of yeast, it could be uncomfortable while your body endures the process of microbial change within the intestines. The same is true for removing sensitive foods from the diet and treating harmful bacterial overgrowth. However, all uncomfortable feelings are not die-off and it’s important to make sure that the treatment is actually treating the issue at hand.
And finally, just a note on sugar consumption – no, it’s not great. It should be consumed in moderation. However, eliminating it from the diet is (nearly impossible technically, but I digress) not going to eradicate *yeast* overgrowth. Antifungal solutions will, assuming that’s the problem in the first place. Excess sugar actually hinders the growth of yeast (more on this in my next book, coming spring 2012!) and unless your diet is all processed carbs (in which case that would likely be the key problem anyway) then the consumption of fruit, whole grain baked goods and minimal natural sweeteners isn’t going to significantly play a role in microbial overgrowth – unless you have a food sensitivity or other digestive issues.