We’ve got a man here who seems to have yeast. I don't know how to deal with it, You do, don't you? Over the years, I've received several calls like this from doctors or nurses in nearby clinics. Even though most medical doctors don't know how to treat yeast, naturopathic medicine has answers.

Candidiasis is the medical term for an overgrowth of the fungal organism Candida albicans, commonly known as yeast. The over growth occurs most often in the digestive tract, though yeast can flourish on the skin or in ear canals, sinus cavities and the vagina. Antibiotics, birth-control pills, anti-ulcer drugs and corticosteroids are common causes of candidiasis. Candidiasis can cause or worsen an array of conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, vaginitis, prostatitis, eczema, psoriasis, hives, sinusitis, depression and chronic fatigue.

A stool culture is available to diagnose candidiasis, but it is often inaccurate. Therefore, I look for the cardinal signs of yeast—strong cravings for sweets (yeast feeds on sugar, so it may trigger this craving), gas, bloating, red and scaly skin rashes, rectal itching and generalized fatigue. I also review a patient's history of medication use for common candidiasis culprits' if you have two or more candidiasis symptoms, follow these steps for one month…

  • Improve your diet. Avoid refined carbohydrates, including desserts, bread, pasta, chips and pretzels. Eliminate all juice, dried fruit and foods containing sugar, corn syrup, honey and maple syrup. Give up alcohol and artificial sweeteners. Curb your intake of starchy vegetables, such as white potatoes and corn. Reducing sugar and starches (which are converted in the body into sugar) starves the yeast. Eat only organic poultry, meat and dairy-other types may contain antibiotics, which worsen a yeast overgrowth. Freely consume all vegetables (excluding white potatoes and corn), protein (beans, soy and fish) and whole grains. Have two one-cup servings of fresh fruit daily.
  • Hydrate well. Drink one-half ounce of water per pound of body weight daily, and limit caffeine to two cups of coffee or tea daily.
  • Use probiotics. Take 4.5 billion colony forming units (CFUs) of L. acidophilus and B. bifidus daily. These "good" bacteria, available at health-food stores, help with digestion and immune health. Antibiotics and other medications, such as antacids and corticosteroids, reduce these beneficial bacteria, allowing yeast to proliferate.

Finally, take a botanical antifungal preparation for a limited time in order to kill yeast and restore normal intestinal flora. Effective natural antifungals include caprylic acid, Pau d'arco, Berberis vulgaris, lavender and thyme. Single and combination formulas are available at health-food stores. Follow the label recommendations for daily dosing. Take the antifungal for one week, then stop it for 10 days. If your symptoms persist, repeat the antifungal for another seven days. Antifungals should be taken on an empty stomach.

If this program doesn't leave you feeling better within one month, see your doctor for an exam and evaluation.

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