November 17, 1999
Most common complaint heard from the general public (especially with women) is being constantly tired. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has become a common diagnosis for many people. But I ask you to look inside to the root of this problem. New evidence suggests that many puzzling, chronic health problems resistant to treatment - from infections, allergies, aches and exhaustion to chronic fatigue syndrome - are often yeast related.
The type of yeast regularly found on the body’s mucous membranes, especially the intestinal tract and vagina, is Candida albicans. It is by far the predominant type found in the body.
In a healthy man or woman, Candida is kept under control by so-called friendly bacteria living in the intestinal tract. But several factors can upset the yeast-to-bacteria balance, especially long-term use of broad-spectrum antibiotics. When this happens, yeasts grow out of control leading to unpleasant symptoms.
Continuing research reveals that there are 3 possible mechanisms for yeasts troublesome effects...
- Just as some people are allergic to pollens or mildew, some may be allergic to Candida.
- Candida may produce certain toxins that are harmless in small amounts, but in larger quantities they weaken the immune system resulting with the body vulnerable to disease.
- Yeast overgrowth in the intestinal tract may lead to changes within the intestine. These changes can cause the body to absorb and react to allergens in food.
The connection between yeast and health problems is highly controversial. It started with Dr. C. Orian Truss’s article in the late 70s regarding yeast. Since then a number of reports have linked yeast to illness, but the mainstream medical community remains skeptical.
William G. Crook, M.D., a recognized member of the American College of Allergy and Immunology, American Academy of Environmental Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics, wrote a book that I find very informative. It’s calledThe Yeast Connection and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
. He has successfully treated hundreds of chronically ill patients and suggests that a diet designed to curb yeast growth, along with certain antifungal medications, will help alleviate fatigue. Chronic fatigue is devastating. Not only is the immediate person affected, but their friends and family as well. Prevention is so much easier than battling the syndrome, but it can be reversed.
Do You Have a Yeast Problem?
There is no simple diagnostic test for yeast related problems. For this reason, patients must undergo a thorough physical exam to rule out other possible causes of their symptoms. You may have a yeast problem if you…
- Have used antibiotics repeatedly over a long period of time, such as for acne control or recurrent infections.
- Have used birth-control pills. Women on the pill are far more prone than others to vaginal yeast infection.
- Eat a high sugar diet. A recent study at St. Jude Research Hospital in Memphis found that mice eating large quantities of the sugar glucose had 200 times as much Candida in their intestinal tracts than other mice.
- Experience frequent digestive problems, such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation or diarrhea.
- Have a history of vaginal or urinary infections. Women develop yeast related health problems far more often than men for a number of reasons. These include anatomical differences and hormonal changes associated with the menstrual cycle that promote yeast growth.
Treating a Suspected Yeast Problem
The cornerstone of treatment is a sugar-free diet. Yeasts in the digestive tract feed on sugar and multiply. Some patients show remarkable improvement from dietary changes alone. Others need additional help with over-the-counter anti-yeast preparations sold in health-food stores or for more serious cases possibly prescription antifungal medications.
What to do to control yeast within the body:
- Eliminate sugar and other simple carbohydrates, such as honey and corn syrup.
- Avoid foods containing yeast or molds, such as cheese, vinegar, wine, beer, other fermented beverages and pickled or smoked meats. Try eliminating yeast breads for a few weeks.
- Strengthen your immune system by boosting intake of vegetables, minimally processed whole grains and other wholesome foods. Eat lean rather than fatty meats and cut back on other sources of fat. Avoid potentially harmful additives, including artificial colors and flavors.
Yeast containing foods should be avoided not because intestinal yeast feeds on food yeast - it doesn’t. But most people with Candida related problems are sensitive to yeast in foods and can have negative physical reactions. As the Candida problem improves, the sensitivity may subside and yeast can again be included in your diet.
Some physicians recommend eliminating fruits from the diet, because fruits are quickly converted to simple sugars inside the body. Dr. William Crook believes that fruits are safe unless yeast related symptoms are severe. However, he recommends avoiding commercially prepared fruit juices, because they can be contaminated with mold.
Follow this recommended diet for al least 3 weeks. If symptoms subside, resume eating “forbidden” foods one by one. If symptoms flare up again after adding one of the “forbidden” foods, stop eating that food for good.
Some good news… after significant improvements, most people can follow a less rigid diet and can occasionally consume a bit of sugar.
Many preparations sold in health-food stores are useful when used along with the yeast-controlling diet. Here are a few…
- Citrus-seed extract: an antimicrobial substance made from tropical plants. Since this extract can irritate mucous membranes, it should be generously diluted with water before drinking.
- Caprylic acid: a saturated fatty acid available in tablet form to help keep yeast from reproducing. Note: Some patients develop digestive problems or notice a slight worsening of yeast related symptoms during the first weeks on this medication. If these don’t go away with a few days, stop the medication and check with your doctor.
- Lactobacillus acidophilus: friendly bacterium that helps restore the normal balance of intestinal flora. It is present in yogurt, especially homemade varieties. Make sure that store bought yogurt contains active cultures and only consume unsweetened varieties.
- Acidophilus: another friendly bacterium is also available as a nutritional supplement. The best one in my opinion is Optiflora by Shaklee, whose supreme patented breakthrough delivery system delivers live friendly flora directly into the intestinal tract. No other supplement has this ability. I take Optiflora every morning to prevent Candida, especially during the holiday season since I love sugar and carbohydrate goodies!
- Garlic: an herb known to stimulate the immune system. At an international medical conference several years ago, researchers reported that garlic seems to fight Candida. For those who don’t like the taste of garlic or its effect on the breath, consider aged garlic extract Kyolic a deodorized supplement (available in most health food stores or vitamin shops).
- Grapeseed extract, vitamin C, zinc, and Echinacea. These nutrients in correct proportion boost the immune system, which is a key factor in preventing and/or treating Candida. I have a special formula in sublingual form called Immune Boost (2 oz = $19.95/on special until December 1, 1999 for $9.99). Interested? Please call T-Tapp toll free at 1-800-342-0717 to order.
When a yeast related symptom fails to respond to diet or supplements, prescription medication often helps - although the drug may take up to a year to have any effect in severe cases. Here are some drug options:
- Mystatin (Mycostatin or Milstat): In more than 30 years of use, this oral medication has demonstrated no toxic side effects. It knocks out Candida in the intestines. However, the bloodstream does not absorb it, so it is ineffective against severe cases of Candidiasis.
- Fluconazole (Diflucan): This safe, highly effective anti-yeast medication has been available in the US for about 3 years. Unlike mystatin, fluconazole is absorbed into the bloodstream.
- Itraconazole (Sporanox): This medication, a chemical cousin of fluconazole, was recently approved for use in the US. Although it appears to be quite safe, a related drug, ketocanazole (Nizoral) has been linked to liver damage.
Previously I have spoken about the importance of Vitamin B Complex to help keep the body in operational form (too offset physical damages of stress). I like the brand Country Life and their formula known as Co-Enzyme B Complex (found at most health food stores, but if not the store Sculpted Bodies will give you a 10% discount (to cover shipping) if you identify yourself as part of the T-Tapp Tip of the Week. Toll free # 888-929-0634). I also like the private formulation by nutritionist, Graydon Collins (425-486-5956). The new Shaklee formulation is good too. Whatever brand you choose, be sure to take with food and at least twice a day. I recommend taking B-complex at 10 am and again at 2 pm. On really stressful days, I take another one at 4 pm.
For quick energy, there is a way to get B-12 immediately into your system that has been clinically proven to work as well as a shot. It is the intra-oral spray delivery system whereby the B-12 is immediately absorbed through the lining of the mouth into the capillaries. Cost is $19.95 for one vial containing 240 sprays - 8 sprays is considered one dose. I recommend that you spray the inside lining of your cheeks for best results (don’t spray under the tongue). You’ll see that I have this product on my website for convenient ordering and at a 10% discount/free shipping (manufactured by Mayor Pharmaceutical Company).
Vitamin C is important for your body to absorb iron and iron is necessary for oxidation within the blood - thus energy. Therefore, I recommend adding 500mg of vitamin C (I take 1000mg) to your daily supplementation. Take twice a day for best effect, rather than all at once, because it only stays within your body for approximately 2 hours (same with any supplement) and the remainder is excreted. So you can take 250mg twice a day or 500mg twice a day like I do.
This, in addition to my Immune Boost, not only keeps my energy at full stream, but also keeps me from catching illnesses from others! Most vitamin C is good - I prefer the capsules made by Natrol called Ester-C.
Last of all, try to eat a varied diet of vegetables, protein, and grains. When overdoing the sugar, just take my Premium Blended of Alfalfa, eat some raw almonds, and/or spray the Pyruvyl Glycine to cancel out the glucose. Moderation is a wonderful word, if we could just apply it!!!!!!
Sorry this tip is late! I’ve been under major deadlines for next issue of Women’s Fitness. Next week’s tip will be on time! Topic: How to use Chitosan and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.