Case study: Natural strategies for fighting yeast

Natural strategies for fighting yeast

| November/December 1999

Not long ago, I saw two very different cases of candidiasis, or candida overgrowth, in one week. Each case required a unique treatment.

Candida albicans, a yeast-like fungi, is normally present in the digestive system. But when it grows out of control within the digestive tract and elsewhere, it can cause gas, bloating, and vaginal yeast infections.

Some evidence suggests that candida is also associated with asthma and recurrent sinus infections. Whether excessive ­candida leads to other pervasive physical and mental symptoms—such as fatigue, memory problems, and depression—is a matter of debate.

Case study:
Chronic infections

Sharon, a thirty-year-old writer with ­continual vaginal yeast infections, had tried over-the-counter preparations and prescription anti-yeast medications, but these only kept the condition at bay for a month or two.

Diagnosis. Using the diagnostic principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), I felt Sharon’s pulse and examined her tongue. Her pulse was full and taut; the back of her tongue had a thick, yellowish-white, cheesy-looking coating. This indicated she had a yeast overgrowth, as well as excess fluids, phlegm, and heat in her intestines. In TCM, this latter condition is referred to as damp heat. Dampness includes edema, excess mucus, or watery accumulations in all or parts of the body; heat is a ­drying up of bodily fluids that can cause inflammations and swelling, as well as a dry mouth and cravings for cool beverages.

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