The Yeast Menace
A yeast infection has many faces: candidosis, thrush and monilia. It occurs when the division of yeast organisms is no longer regulated by your body therefore leading to an over proliferation.
Our colon is populated by numerous bacteria that assist digestion and in the manufacturing of some B vitamins. Yeast represents 20% of our colons bacteria and is known as Candida albicans. The other 80% of “friendly” bacteria in the colon are a majority of the lactobacillus acidophilus variety. These “friendly” bacteria alongside a healthy immune system regulate the growth of yeast. When either of these regulators is disturbed then the multiplication of yeast occurs.
So what can cause the disturbance of the regulators? Firstly we know that stress has immune suppressing effects as it promotes cortisol formation. Adding to this would be an unbalanced, unhealthy diet. Poor nutrient intake can lead to poor immune function. Also yeast feeds on sugar and its growth is promoted by dietary yeast.
Women suffer with candidosis more than men 10:1. This is due to the female sex hormone progesterone, which favours yeast growth. That is also why the contraceptive pill can worsen the infection. The contraceptive pill is a steroid type substance and along with corticosteroids drugs used for inflammatory conditions like acne or asthma) they suppress the body’s immune system.
Certain inflammatory disease such as IBS, RA, AS, Eczema can also increase yeast production as they weaken the gut flora. Diabetics suffer from yeast infections due to their High blood sugar levels.
Broad-spectrum antibiotics (tetracycline, vybramycin), as one used for ENT infection can wipe out an entire colony or “friendly” bacteria, as they cannot differentiate them with the “bad” germs or viruses.
So if all these regulators are disturbed there is a yeast overload. This causes the organisms to form a rhizoid like structure and burrow through the walls of the intestinal mucosa as they search for nutrients. This leads to a damage of the barrier between our external and internal environment causing the faeces, toxins and macromolecules (proteins) to slip through directly into the bloodstream. The multiplying yeast can produce 80 different toxins, 10 of them being neuro toxins which can induce food and chemical intolerance.
At this point the sufferer may experience a wide range of seemingly unrelated symptoms. The most common are recurrent thrush and cystitis. In addition, patients may experience an inability to lose weight, depression, chronic fatigue, anxiety, allergies, fluid retention, PMS, diarrhoea and constipation. The skin can be affected with acne and dermatitis. There is a supposed link with yeast infection and ME. Sufferers are hypoglycaemic and therefore have sugar cravings.
This article is by Eglantine Hallo the osteopath at the Angel Wellebing Clinic. If you wish to make an appointment with her at the Islington clinic please call 020 7288 2999 or click the link below.