Causes and Prevention of Yeast Infections

Learn all about the causes of yeast infections and make necessary changes to prevent them from proliferating in the future.

| February 2018

  • We are each biochemically unique, thus some people are tolerant of the spread of a certain amount of yeast in their body.
    Photo by Getty Images/Tharakorn
  • Stress, nutritional inadequacy, and pollution, as well as the use of specific drugs that weaken the immune system further, cause the overgrowth of Candida albicans.
    Photo by Getty Images/Aquilegia
  • “Candida Albicans” by Dr. Leon Chaitow highlights the importance of rebuilding the immune system to enhance health and help prevent future Candida imbalances.
    Cover courtesy Healing Arts Press

Inflammation and antibiotic treatments disturb the balance of flora in the gut. Candida Albicans: Natural Remedies for Yeast Infection(Inner Traditions, 2016) by Dr. Leon Chaitow explains how to recognize yeast as a personal problem, reveals how overgrowth occurs, and explains its connection to many common health concerns. Chaitow explores how to control Candida naturally with enzymes and herbs, as well as detailing a sugar-eliminating anti-Candida diet to “starve” existing yeast overgrowth in the body. The following excerpt is from Chapter 3, “How Candida Can Run Amok.”

Factors in Yeast Overgrowth

Anyone affected by yeast overgrowth is likely able to identify a number of interacting causes. Seldom will only one factor be involved. Among the main causes:

An underlying inherited or acquired deficiency of the immune system: people who are nonsecretors of their blood type are much more likely to be carriers of candida and to have problems with persistent infections. Anyone who has type O blood who is a nonsecretor will be the most vulnerable, since candida finds it easier to colonize (attach to) O blood typecells. it has been shown that women who experience ­recurrent ­vulvovaginal candidiasis (i.e., thrush) are much more likely to be nonsecretors.

Steroids (hormones) and antibiotic residues from consuming nonorganic animal products: Antibiotics and hormones are given to conventionally raised animals to speed up their growth and control their susceptibility to disease. Anyone who regularly consumes factory-farmed beef, pork, veal, and poultry will absorb large amounts of antibiotic and hormone residues. Antibiotic residues are also found in dairy products and eggs unless they are guaranteed organic. Even low-level intake of these foods over many years can have a negative effect on one’s ability to control the growth of candida.

Blood-sugar imbalances: Conditions like diabetes and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) encourage candida to take over. Diabetes involves higher levels of sugar in the blood than are safe. Yet many nondiabetics have fluctuating blood-sugar levels for various reasons, including such habits as nicotine use, high caffeine consumption, high stress levels, or simply a dietary intake of refined sugars and carbohydrates. The anticandida diet is suitable for diabetics as well as those whose blood-sugar levels are unstable for other reasons.

Immune-System Considerations

The body’s response to an intruder such as candida is to produce antibodies to meet a particular antigen (a foreign substance that stimulates a response on the part of the immune system). Candida has many antigens, and the efficiency with which the defensive operation is carried out against any particular one of these antigens can to some extent be inborn (that is, genetic). There is great variation in the degree of response by any one person to the different antigens. This can lead to a situation in which the immune system, unable to counteract and expel the candida invasion adequately, tolerates it in increasing amounts. 

3/20/2018 2:25:14 AM

The vagina is home to numerous beneficial microbes, which keep pathogenic (disease-causing) microbes, including Candida, in check. The yeasts grow out of control when something — such as antibiotics or hormones — disrupts that delicate balance. Because of this fact, one of the most common natural remedies for yeast infections has long involved restoring the vagina's population of friendly bacteria, especially Lactobacillus acidophilus, by using yogurt or probiotics. Overall, the evidence for consuming healthy bacteria to treat or prevent yeast infections is inconsistent at best. Regards, Jack

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