Candida albicans are yeast cells that consume substances such as sugar in order to survive, usually living in harmony with other bacterial flora present in and on the body. Candida overgrowth may occur when our internal environment is disrupted, resulting in a wide range of mental and physical symptoms. This page’s resources describe yeast’s role and connection to the human microbiome, as well as the impact of yeast on health issues such as endometriosis.
A growing consensus among healthcare practitioners is that disorders such as fibromyalgia and endometriosis may be yeast-related. These disorders often result from a weakened immune system, in which viruses are activated, yeasts multiply, food and chemical allergies become activated, and nutritional deficiencies develop.
BORIC ACID FOR TREATMENT-RESISTANT VAGINAL INFECTIONS
Boric acid is a mild antiseptic with anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Vaginal infections may be difficult to resolve if resistance to standard drugs develops. A clinical review of 14 studies found boric acid to be a safe and effective treatment for vaginal infections caused by resistant yeast.
According to Dr. Joseph McWherter, candida produces estrogen-like compounds that may disrupt normal hormonal function. For example, an overgrowth of candida may lead to excessive estrogen production. When candida grows out of control, it may also release part of its fungal wall, which induces inflammation.
Endometriosis is a fairly common but poorly understood disease that is frequently undetected, untreated, and misdiagnosed. No one is certain what causes endometriosis, although researchers believe that genetics, a dysfunctional immune system, hormones, and environmental factors may all play a part in it.
Learn more about endometriosis in this interview with Mary Lou Ballweg, founder of and Executive Director for the Endometriosis Association.
ENDOMETRIOSIS, YEAST, AND HORMONES
Dr. Wayne Konetzki, MD observed that many women with endometriosis have yeast allergies. Increased hormone blood levels may cause yeast to overgrow, which then exacerbates endometriosis symptoms. Endometriosis symptoms often diminish with anti-yeast treatment.
HORMONES, PROBIOTICS, AND THE HUMAN MICROBIOME
Microbial imbalance in our gut can affect other systems in the body, including the hormonal system. For example, when the flora in the intestines is disturbed, estrogen that should be excreted may instead be recycled into the bloodstream, creating hormone imbalance.
THE HUMAN MICROBIOME
Normally, we live in harmony with these vast numbers of microbes. In fact, a healthy microbiome aids us in some essential life processes such as digestion, the integrity of our immune systems, and even our behavior. However, many different things can cause changes in the composition of an individual’s microbiome.
INTERVIEW WITH ELENA MCHERRON
Over many years of personal health problems, Elena McHerron collected a lot of personal experience with health-related symptoms, misdiagnoses, and less-than-helpful treatments. This interview delves into how she got into health activism and became a motivator to others.
THE LYME DISEASE MERRY-GO-ROUND
Lyme disease weakens the immune system, which may allow intestinal yeast to overgrow. Antibiotic treatments destroy the gut bacteria that keeps yeast in check. Yeast, in turn, further depresses the immune system. Patients may get sicker due to a compromised immune system, hormone imbalance, and yeast overgrowth.
OPEN WIDE AND SAY “AH”
The coating on the tongue is associated with an overgrowth of yeast and is generally treated with antifungals. Some yeasts, such as saccharomyces cerevisiae, can actually produce the estrogen estradiol; others, like candida albicans, can bind estradiol making it ineffective.
Candida albicans is a normal component of our digestive system. However, when pH becomes unbalanced, Candida overgrowth may occur, resulting in candidiasis (commonly called a yeast infection), which may cause a wide range of chronic digestive problems, such as bloating and heartburn.
If the immune system is weakened, or the friendly bacteria have been wiped out by antibiotics, Candida may proliferate in the vagina. Conventional treatment of yeast infections relies on antifungal drugs, which eliminate the immediate infection but do not address the underlying cause.
YEAST SYMPTOMS ASSESSMENT
Because Candida is always present in our bodies, every individual has the potential for developing an overgrowth at some point during their lifetime. Women’s International Pharmacy has compiled an assessment to help you and your healthcare practitioner monitor various yeast symptoms.