A Woman walks into her doctor's office complaining of constant fatigue, frequent headaches, digestive problems, acne and, notably, recurring yeast infections.  A routine examination reveals nothing out of the ordinary, but she's worried: What can it be? A rare virus? A new strain of bacteria? With questioning and a bit of lab work, her physician reaches a diagnosis: She is suffering from the increasingly common but potentially debilitating condition known as candidiasis, or yeast overgrowth.
Several types of harmless bacteria live in different areas of our bodies at any given time.  Candida yeast (Candida albicans)—the fungus responsible for candidiasis—is naturally present in all of us.  It is found in the mouth, gastrointestinal tract and vagina and is innocuous in controlled amounts.  But if this yeast grows out of control, it begins to damage the delicate lining of the intestines permitting toxins, undigested protein particles and the yeast itself to pass directly into the bloodstream.  The body, believing these substances to be antigens or foreign invaders, initiates an antibody reaction, resulting in inflammation, fatigue, bloating and gas, allergies, headaches, constipation or diarrhea, acne, depression and sugar cravings.  Since many of these symptoms can be linked to other conditions, candidiasis is often diagnosed after all else has been ruled out.
Candidiasis is rampant today.  The reason is because we are eating way too much sugar and refined carbohydrates and not the fiber and nutrient-dense foods we need. Plus, most of us have taken a lot of antibiotics in our lifetimes.  Many everyday elements of modern life—including heavily refined foods, antibiotics, environmental toxins and hormone-based prescriptions—place considerable strain on the immune system and disrupt the natural defense systems that keep yeast levels in check.  Fortunately, a few not-so-modern treatments, such as herbs, supplements and fresh, whole foods can restore balance to your delicate inner ecology and keep candida at bay.
Although health practitioners differ on exactly which foods should be avoided and which can be eaten safely in the fight against candidiasis, most agree that switching to a low-carbohydrate, sugar-free diet is the most important step.  To rid the body of excess candida the yeast must be deprived of its favorite food: sugar.  In fact, in a study of 49 women suffering from candida-related vaginal infections, 90 percent of those who reduced their intake of sugar drastically reduced the incidence and severity of such infections over the next year (Journal of Reproductive Medicine, 1984, vol.  29, no.  7).  If you experience repeated bouts of candidiasis, eliminate all refined sugar from your diet, including packaged foods that contain sugar, and minimize your intake of other sugar and simple carbohydrate sources (honey, maple syrup, fruit, fruit juice,  white pasta, white rice, white bread and potatoes).  
For most people, dairy products should also be avoided, since the lactose they contain has been shown to promote candida growth.  Yogurt might help some people, but  you want to avoid any food with lactose.  It's safer to get your healthy bacteria from a dairy-free probiotic supplement.  Additionally, avoid foods that contain yeast or mold such as mushrooms, alcohol, cheese, melons and dried fruit, as well as fermented products like soy sauce and vinegar
To discourage candida overgrowth, the bulk of your diet should include lots of fiber-rich, low-carbohydrate vegetables such as dark leafy greens.  Modest amounts of fish, poultry and lean meat also can be eaten, along with unprocessed oils, nuts, seeds and plenty of purified water.  Avoid sugar altogether and fruit for at least the first month.  This is where stevia can help.  Stevia is not a carbohydrate so it can assist by providing “safe” sweetness during this time.  Spoonable Stevia One To One TM  is ideal  for this purpose as it is sweet, safe (net impact carbohydrate free) and contains the same prebiotic found in FiberrificTM, which has been clinically proven to increase the beneficial bacteria in the gut which fight candidiasis.
Along with dietary changes, studies have shown that the antibiotic and antimicrobial properties in Oil of Oregano (Oreganum vulgare), can inhibit the growth of yeast.
Boosting good bacteria in your body can also keep the digestive tract in balance.  To do so, supplement with protective flora such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus bulgaricus, as well as FiberrificTM, partially hydrolyzed inulin — a soluble fiber on which these good bacteria thrive.
Although over-the-counter, anti-yeast medications do exist, they generally provide only temporary relief since they do not address the underlying reasons why a candida overgrowth has occurred.  Only a comprehensive approach—including dietary changes and natural supplements—will rid your body of yeast overgrowth, restore balance to your bodily systems and prevent this insidious condition from recurring.  
© 2003 Pure-le Natural, Barrie Ontario Canada
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