FUNGI AND YEAST – WHAT IS IT AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT US?
Yeast, mold, fungi is millions of years old and it will still be present long after we are all gone. It plays a really important role, it breaks down matter and returns nutrients back to the earth. However, when it gets hold of us in our bodies, our immune system can become compromised which is not such a good thing.
Yeast is a single celled fungi, used in the kitchen for raising breads, ripening cheeses, great for yogurt and beer. Natural yeasts ripen fruit, and assist with soured creams, buttermilks, sauerkraut, soy and Quorn (mycopprotein). In our bodies the natural flora and fauna of our bodies and wet moist areas can get out of balance with yeast and problems may ensue.
So how does mold fit into the equation. Well Mold is a multi celled organism which can go in many directions with minute filaments. Mold in the body can be very serious if left unchecked, especially for the lungs which I will come on to a little later. People who live in thatched houses have to be especially careful as thatch encourages dampness, old buildings, bathrooms and window cills with little black spots. (Aspergillus)
Fungi and Yeast
The most common yeast talked about is Candida, which can be something that comes and goes if you do not watch your diet, as it can be a much more serious systemic infection.
There is one other reason you may have a fungal overgrowth and that is because you may be heavy metal toxic. Fungus can also be the good guy in our systems too. If you happen to be heavy metal toxic from your silver/mercury fillings. The fungus will encapsulate the heavy metal particles to protect the rest of your body. As the mercury is far more detrimental to your body than the fungus is. So spare a thought before you rush out and annihilate your fungal over growth, check whether it is there for a good reason. People who generally feel awful having done a “candida cleanse” do so because they have just released a lot of mercury back into their systems and the body cannot cope.
People who suffer from diabetes, or have issues with insulin sensitivity often have difficulties with yeast as there is a surplus of sugars around. Sugar will encourage these systemic infections to get out of hand. People with these issues need to be especially careful of the food they are eating.
Symptoms of Yeast/Candida Overgrowth
- Chronic Fatigue/Exhaustion
- Weight gain
- Food allergies
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Cravings for sweets
- White coat on tongue
- Hormone imbalance
- Brain Fog
- Joint pain
- Loss of sex drive
- Chronic sinus and allergy issues
- Constant Drippy Nose
- Digestive problems (gas and bloating)
- Weak immune system
- Bad Breath
- Vaginal and Penile Infections
- Leaky Gut
Stomach Acid PH Imbalance
Candida cells can develop very rapidly, and if your system is out of balance from eating unhealthy foods, taking certain prescription drugs, fighting an illness, and more, Candida can quickly grow out of control. Vaginal yeast infections, become very prevalent in women, when the normal acidity of the vagina changes, creating the perfect conditions for the yeast to multiply.
Sadly treating these vaginal infections with Over the Counter Anti-fungal Creams only treats the symptoms, and does not treat the body. This type of infection is generally throughout the whole body, but the symptoms are localised to one area.
A sign that candida is generally around is the overwhelming feeling of being run down, craving sugars and carbohydrates, pastries. The question you have to ask yourself, when you get these cravings is “Who am I feeding”.
Life style comes into this one hugely. The thing you have to remember is that all molds and fungi need sustenance, and that food comes in the source of sugar. However what most people do not take into account is that every time you eat something made of grain/flour it is converted into sugar. This keeps these microorganisms very happy. It is virtually impossible to recover from these infections without eliminating all sugars, grains, juices and fruits as they will merely serve as fuel for the yeast. So on one hand, finding you have a fungi and yeast infection is a great time to make some life changes and stick to them. Your body will thank you for it in the long term.
Wearing loose-fitting clothing and underwear keeps oxygen moving, and helps prevent the growth of fungus.
Watch Your Diet –Eliminate:
- Potatoes, carrots, beats, peas
- Vinegar and salad dressings, pickles, mustard
- Fruit Juices
- P Nuts
- Aged Cheeses
Avoid feminine products, especially with added perfumes. Many of these are quite harsh and can remove the natural protective oils of the body. Always try to use organic products and unscented soaps.
Black Cumin seeds* – Nigella Sativa seeds have been shown to hugely inhibit candida in kidneys 5 fold and 8 fold in the liver and 11 fold in the spleen.
Cinnamon Oil* – has been found to be very helpful against oral candida infection, many people use it in combination with oil pulling.
Vaginal application of geranium oil may suppress candida cell growth and local inflammation. (Candida Albicans)
Tea Tree Oil has been found extremely useful for toe fungus.
Snakeroot Leaf Extract (Ageratina Pichinchensis) is a traditional Mexican treatment for superficial fungal infections of the skin. Speeds up the healing of wounds and diabetic ulcers.
If you are taking any form of antibiotic, the likelihood of a yeast infection is increased. Antibiotics will wipe out all the good bacteria as well as the bad bacteria leaving your body wide open without any defences. Probiotic foods (natural live yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut), help restore the natural gut flora that prevents Fungi and Yeast infections. The products advertised on TV as good probiotics I would strongly advise you to avoid, as they have been shown not to have the plethora of good bacteria they advertise, and are generally filled with sugar. Your kitchen is always best – make your own where ever possible.
Taking other medications, such as birth control pills and corticosteroids, is also known to promote yeast growth.
Suggestions To Help Beat The Fungi and Yeast
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Douche
A douching made from apple cider vinegar can soothe a yeast infection. Put 3 tablespoons of raw organic apple cider vinegar mixed in 1 pint of water.
Garlic has natural anti-fungal properties. Try eating several fresh garlic cloves on a daily basis or purchase some freeze dried garlic (best eaten at the end of a meal). Excellent for yeast and mold eradication. When cooking with garlic, to obtain the most allum from the garlic, crush it and leave it for ten minutes to allow it’s own enzymes to merge and then cook with it.
Organic Cranberry Juice
You can drink the juice, unsweetened, to help restore healthy pH balance in the vagina.
Organic Plain Yogurt – Yogurt can be used topically, internally and vaginally to reduce a yeast infection. Make sure yogurt has no added sugars, fruit or other ingredients.
Chronic Stress – Impacts the immune system hugely, try to make some positive changes in your life and find time for yourself. Breathing exercises, meditation, walking with the dog – just try and take life down a notch on the stress levels.
A Ketogenic diet is a wonderful way to combat yeast and mold in the system as you remove the fuel for the organisms whilst nourishing your brain and giving your body it’s optimum fuel – good fats.
Positive Organic Foods:
- Organic Meats
- Green Vegetables
- Healthy Oils
Lets Dive Deeper Into Mold.
Mold will be picked up from living in damp buildings, from not clearing those black spots from bathrooms and window areas. Mold can create very similar problems and avoiding all the same foods is essential, however you need to remove the cause if you know where it came from and you are living with it. The problem is mold does not generally leave the body without some help.
Symptoms of mold can be the same as yeast, however with chronic mold infections you will get a lot more sensitivities to foods, chemical sensitivities, histamine reactions, and liver toxicity. Mold loves to sit on the lungs and can lie dormant for years. However, if is not addressed can bring on pneumonia infections in the elderly and infirm. The main molds to test for are Aspergillus, Cladosporium and rare in the UK Stachybotrys (Black Mold).
Fungi and Yeast are probably one of the most common reasons for Chronic fatigue it may even be one of the reasons mixed with severe stress for some cancers. So if you suspect yeast is playing a role in any of your health complaints, it’s time to immediately make the lifestyle changes noted above, and also to seek the help of a knowledgeable natural health care practitioner. Contact me for more information or to book an appointment.
*Black Cumin Seeds Animal Study: Phytother Res 2003 Feb;17(2):183-6 PMID12601685
*Cinnamon Oil (cinnamaldehyde) had therapeutic activity against oral candida infection. Pubmed Nippon Ishikin Gakkai Zasshi 2010;51(1):12-21