Yeast overgrowth is a term used to describe the condition known as candidiasis or an overgrowth of the yeast species known as Candida Albicans. Yeast is naturally present in the body and at healthy levels it actually helps balance the system as part of a protective barrier against the bacteria that would otherwise invade the system.
The good bacteria acts as a counterbalance of the yeast in the system holding it in check against a Candida infection. When this balance is not maintained yeast overgrowth can occur. The use of antibiotics (anti = against, bio = life) kills not only the bad bacteria but also the good bacteria that was helping to maintain the system balance. When this happens the existing yeast in the system is not held in check and begins to colonize causing an excess production of yeast.
A weakened immune system can also lead to more severe yeast issues known as candidiasis or "leaky gut" syndrome.
The colonization of yeast in the body releases toxins into the system that can cause symptoms such as fatigue, allergies, joint aches, rashes, and many others. Treating these symptoms with additional antibiotics only perpetuates the cycle of sickness when what the body really needs is the balance of bacteria to be restored.
Eating yogurt can help to fight against Candida overgrowth by replenishing the healthy bacterial strain known as Lactobacillus acidophilus. This bacteria is found naturally in mouth, gastrointestinal tract and vagina and produces and unfriendly environment in the system for harmful bacteria.
The acid produced by this strain of bacteria through the breakdown of nutrients helps control the growth of Candida Albicans and prevent yeast overgrowth in the system. Certain spermicides and contraceptive creams can kill acidophilus and open the door for a yeast infection.
Research has indicated this strain of bacteria could help gastrointestinal function, decrease in vaginal yeast infections, and boost the immune system. A nutritional supplement for Lactobacillus acidophilus can also usually be found in health food stores.
In order to get the Candida yeast back under control it is important to cut out all yeast and sugary foods. A general listing would include items such as alcohol, vinegar, fruits, lunch meats and baked goods. A more extensive list of foods to avoid can be found on the yeast diet guidelines page.