I keep meaning to write something about yeast, aka candida albicans, because it's linked to fertility problems, I think largely because it's a signal of a weakened immune system. Everyone has some candida, but if you have a lousy immune system--or take birth control pills or antiobiotics or eat a lot of sugar--the candida takes over and is hard to remove. And it's not just the ol' yeast vaginal infection--yeast can get in your gut and in other parts of your digestive tract (thrush) as well.
Just in time, here's a guest post from reader Wendy at the Candida Blog . Thanks Wendy:
Candida is an issue many people, especially women deal with. Many women think intestinal candida, and vaginal yeast infections are two separate things, but in reality they are connected. Women who have vaginal yeast infections often improve when they go on a strict anti-candida diet, and go on a candida cleansing regimen with an anti-fungal.
Getting rid of candida can be tough, and I can attest to this. Candida basically ruined my life, as I aimlessly searched for what was wrong with me. I went from doctor to doctor, and was just prescribed antibiotics, which worsened the condition. Back in the summer of 2002, I discovered alternative medicine, and cleansing. I soon learned about the rich alternatives to medicine, such ashttp://www.colonzone.org bowel cleansing, fasting, juicing, detox baths, and rebounding.
There are 10 basic steps to getting rid of candida, and they are:
1. Follow my candida diet guidelines. Most guidelines on the 'net or in books have weird rules that are scientifically incorrect, such as avoiding vinegar. Vinegar is a yeast killer. You can use it to clean and disinfect your house even. It's nearly as thorough as bleach. Avoid foods generally thought to be healthy that aren't, such as soy milk, rice crackers, puffed cereals, fresh raw wheatgrass juice, raw veggies in general except for small cleansing salads.
2. Follow all the guidelines for digestive power. That means making sure you have adequate stomach acids, digestive enzymes, and eat small, easily digestible meals. If you don't digest it the yeast will, so even if you avoid sugar you may still be feeding the yeasties. Prepare foods so they are easy to digest with fast transit times. Most people need to avoid short-grain brown rice because it is constipating.
3. Do pungent therapy. That means eating and preparing things that are mostly cooked with hot, pungent and carminative spices such as cumin, ginger, garlic, basil, onion, cayenne, chili pepper, turmeric, curry, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves.
4. Do two weeks of anti-fungals every 3 months. Take probiotics the rest of the time, preferably as unsweetened kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar, and live acidophilus supplements from the refrigerated section of the health food store. You can also take Primal Defense in large doses for 2 weeks after the anti-fungals, small doses after that.
5. Do thorough bowel management. That means salt water flushes weekly, candida fiber shakes daily, and the occasional enema/colonic/colema. I did enemas 3x a week for months even tho I have rarely had constipation, and this kept me from getting any brain fog or die off symptoms whatsoever, so a home setup such as an enema bucket is highly recommended.
This is essential, probably the most important part of curing candida because it removes the trash that candida is living on. It's also important to oxygenate the bowels, so you should be taking liquid chlorophyll or chlorophyll tabs, and taking a super-green supplement like Perfect Food. It's also a good idea to do 2-4 weeks of Colonix or OxyPowder.
6. Practice thorough lymph management. Your immune system needs support! That means daily dry skin brushing, weekly full-body massage or near daily self-massage, and detox baths, near-daily sweating such as a sauna, regular bath, castor oil pack.
7. Oxygenate!!! light cardiovascular exercise will help you cure your candida much faster. Rebounding, walking, yoga, stretching, 5 Tibetan rites, are all good things to do. You can also supplement oxygen by drinking aerobic water and increase circulation with cayenne tincture.
8. Liver management. Since candida excretes alcohol, your liver is very overworked and needs to be dredged. Liv.52 or Dr. Cabot's Livatone Plus are great for that. It would be a good idea to do at least 2 liver flushes after a month of liver herbs. Coffee enemas done every 2 weeks are fantastic.
9. Support the body and every system, especially lymphatic and endocrine, nutritionally. Support electrolytes, and become more alkaline. Super-foods and supplements such as cod liver oil, fish oil, nutritional yeast, Emergen-C, Cal-Mag Fizz and my Protein Shake are highly recommended. Avoid synthetic vitamins for the most part, especially the "one a day" pills. Total junk.
The Candida Blog has many more tips for those who are looking to finally put an end to candida.
A note from me: Mary Shomon, the About.com Thyroid goddess, has a great post on yeast and possible links to fertility PLUS her own scary experience with yeast. Click here.