We talked the other day about my friend who is being treated for athletes foot/nail fungus. She's currently taking an anti-fungal prescription and getting blood drawn occassionally to make sure it's not affecting her liver or kidneys. After watching her down chocolate covered pretzels with a Mountain Dew chaser, I asked if her dermatologist had suggested any dietary changes to compliment the oral meds she was taking. The answer was no.
I've learned an awful lot over the past months researching why sugar is such a beast in our diets and why some say we should eliminate all of it! I tend to disagree and am of the camp that fruits, although containing natural sugar, are an important part of our diet. They contain fiber and other vitamins and minerals that we need to continue being healthy. Eating foods containing natural sugars, such as fruit, whole grains, etc. will not cause yeast infections. The body needs sugar for fuel, so all carbohydrates and sugars aren't bad.
Sugar, specifically refined sugar, is said by some to be the bain of all yeast infections and candida overgrowth. Although it will add to existing issues, research shows it's not the main cause. It all comes down to our gut!
Everyone has yeast in their body. The body's internal system has to be compromised in some way in order for yeast to grow out of control. The most prevalent reason this happens is antibiotic usage. Antibiotics not only kill disease-causing bacteria, they also kill the friendly bacteria in our bodies. These friendly bacteria found in our intestines keep yeast in check, so when they are gone, yeast starts multiplying. Ask any woman who is at the doctor. If they leave with an antibiotic, they are encouraged to take probiotics and just in case, something for the yeast infection that is sure to follow. Stress, weakened immune function or a diet really high in refined carbohydrates can also lead to yeast overgrowth.
Dietary factors further feed the yeast problem, but they don't cause it. Excessive consumption of sugar and other refined carbohydrates fuels yeast growth. Alcohol and caffeine consumption can, too. So what do we do?
We take care of our bodies internally and externally. Listen to your doctor if you're on antibiotics. Ask your pharmacist or physician what a good probiotic is for your situation. Eat yogurt or kefir. Make sure you're reading labels. You wouldn't believe how much sugar is packed into some yogurt to make it taste good.
A yeast infection cannot be permanently eliminated using creams and medications that work on the surface but don't do anything to attack the actual problems that triggered the formation of a yeast infection in the first place. The key is to keep your body clean inside and out. Remember, this is not a "fast food" wellness treatment. This is a slower process that is going to assist in healing your body internally and externally!
In theory, we need to cut back on refined sugars, eat a diet that is based on whole fresh foods, work on removing stress and strengthen our immune system. It's also important to know when it's time to contact your physician for medical attention.
Let's start eliminating foods that aren't fueling our body with foods that are not only going to keep us going, but bring us closer to being the healthiest we can be.
An apple a day!
Be Well <3