Yeast infections - Candida - Fungal infections
Yeast infections, also called candida or fungal infections are very common. The infections can be vaginal, in the nails, in the intestine or systemic. Systemic yeast infections are very serious and are not the primary topic of this article. The topic of this article is a fungal infection in the intestine. The diagnosis is made by a stool test. Usually three samples are necessary over three days because yeast grows in colonies. If only one sample is taken the candida may be missed.
Symptoms of Candida
Yeast infections can cause a variety of symptoms. Gut pain, constipation or diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, brain fog and anxiety or other mood disorders are common. Yeast is a normal part of your microbiome. (the microbiome is the normal bugs that are in your gut) The fungal infection only causes problems when it overgrows. Balance and the diversity are the key to good gut health. How does yeast overgrow? To answer that question we need to look at what yeast eats. If you get a lot of food you will grow bigger. The same thing happens with yeast. It will proliferate if it gets a lot of it’s favorite food – sugar. Yeast eats or digests sugar by a process called fermentation. We can see this in the making of beer and wine.
The major problem is the when yeast eats sugar it poops out alcohol and aldehydes. These are toxins to your body. This is why an overgrowth of yeast can cause a wide variety of symptoms.
Yeast or candida does do some good in your intestines. It makes a very important co-factor in metabolism called nicotinamide adenine or NAD. Metabolism would be impossible without NAD. So there is a trade off with yeast. A little is okay. Balance is the key. Normal people have yeast in their gut. Only when it overgrows is there a problem.
Yeast can also overgrow into the small intestine. This is known as SIBO or small intestinal bowel overgrowth.
If you are having digestive problems or any of the above symptoms call our office or fill out the new patient form. 309 663-2423