One of the most under-diagnosed conditions among both men and women today is candida overgrowth, also known as a fungus or yeast infection. What was once considered to be a "female" problem that causes itching, burning and swelling in and around the vagina has now been linked to a host of debilitating conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), spastic colon and sinusitis.
Common Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth
According to Dr. Jacob Teitalbaum, a MD and staff writer for the Dr. Oz Show, some of the common symptoms of yeast overgrowth include:
Irritable bowel and/or spastic colon
Sores in the mouth which are slow to heal
Dr. Mark Hyman, a practicing physician and medical editor for the Huffington Post, explains that in addition to the above symptoms, a fungal overgrowth within the body can lead to headaches, painful skin rashes, rectal itching, food allergies and frequent bladder infections(2). Candida overgrowth can also cause hormonal disruptions such as irregular menstrual cycles and thyroid disorders among both men and women.
In addition to the physical effects that an overgrowth of yeast can have on the body, it can also take a toll on mental health. Many people who have fungal infections also suffer from depression and attention span issues, while excess body fat is also a common symptom of candida overgrowth. Basically, if you are suffering from an overgrowth of yeast in your body, you probably feel tired and irritable much of the time.
What Causes Candida Overgrowth
To date, there has been very little funding available to research the scope of yeast overgrowth, making it difficult to know how many people are impacted by this problem. Because there are currently no standardized, recognized medical tests for yeast overgrowth, mainstream medical practitioners have been reluctant to overlook fungal and yeast problems because they can't actually 'test' for them.
One of the most widely-recognized causes of candida overgrowth is the use of antibiotics, which disrupt the natural balance of probiotics in the gut and digestive tract, allowing yeast and parasites to flourish. Other factors that can impact candida overgrowth include stress, hormonal fluctuations (including insulin fluctuations in diabetics and pre-diabetics), excessive dietary sugar consumption and insufficient fiber in the diet.
In spite of this lack of clinical knowledge surrounding the issue of candida, medical practitioners like Dr. Hyman, Dr. Oz and Dr. Teitalbaum have begun to diagnose and successfully treat candida infections among their patients based on observation and in-depth patient interviews.
Fungus Prevention and Treatment Strategies
While treatment strategies vary among practitioners, the principal treatment method for yeast overgrowth is to adopt a diet that is low in sugar, yeast and refined carbohydrates that has high levels of healthy substances like fiber and antioxidants. One of the simplest ways to do this is by adding healthy products like ProEnergy Protein Shakes and Permalean Protein bars into your daily diet. These low-carb, high-protein shakes and bars are an ideal replacement for sugary snacks that can fuel a fungus overgrowth.
Another product that can help to counteract the effects of candida in the body is the Omega Mix Blend, a tasty high-fiber ground seed blend that can be added to salads, shakes and cereals to help boost candida-fighting fiber while supporting the immune system with essential fatty acids.
As with all health concerns, if you think you might be suffering from a candida/fungus overgrowth, consult with your health practitioner.
Dr. Mark Hyman: