How to Slay The Yeast Beast by Emily Kennedy, MSc RHN
In my experience as a clinical nutritionist, overgrowth of candida albicans has got to be one of the most common, most annoying and most tedious conditions to deal with. Why is it so hard to get rid of this pervasive fungus that has made a home in your body? Because the Yeast Beast makes its host crave sugar and foods that metabolize quickly into sugar (aka glucose). Sugar feeds yeast, and, unfortunately, sugar is everywhere in the typical North American diet.
Step 1 in your battle against yeast is to break-up with sugar. Sugar is devious and works under many pseudonyms including white sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, maple sugar, molasses, date sugar, raw sugar, demerrara, amasake, rice syrup, sorghum. Read labels carefully because there may be hidden forms of sugar. When reading the label, words to watch out for include: sucrose, fructose, maltose, lactose, glycogen, glucose, mannitol, sorbitol, galactose, monosaccharides, polysaccharides.
Once you’ve completely eliminated sugar from your diet, the next step is to work to incorporate supplements that help to rebalance the gut flora. The steps required to do so can be discussed during consultation with a Functional Medicine practitioner, such as Dr. Tatiana, ND or Dr. Gannage, MD.
Dr. Gannage Weighs In….
Dysbiosis is the general term I use to describe the overgrowth of unfriendly organisms inhabiting the digestive system. This occurs almost as a matter of routine in chronic illness, and I identify it frequently as a triggering process. Candida is one species – other types of fungi and bacteria can also be identified. Together, they constitute the gut microbiome, in either a healthy or unhealthy manner.
At MIM, lab tests can be conducted to assist the assessment, whether it be an Organic Acid profile of a morning urine specimen to measure dysbiosis markers, or a Comprehensive Stool Analysis performed to culture unfriendly organisms. The lab results help in the development of a treatment plan – using the arsenal available to an Integrative Medicine practitioner like myself. Off-label prescription of Nystatin, an anti fungal that is not absorbed into the body, is an example of a common strategy I use in select cases.
Why does dysbiosis matter? Because its continued presence is a factor in bowel diseases (including IBS, colitis and Crohn’s), obesity, joint conditions, cancer, skin conditions, respiratory illness, autoimmunity, mental health conditions and even autism. It is one of the most significant underlying processes in the development of the chronic medical conditions that I see daily.
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