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Advanced Alternative Medicine Center

Advanced Alternative Medicine Center

Specific Health Concern  >>    Yeast/Candidia

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In this video, Dr. Huntoon discusses the BIGGEST health condition in our country, which is the underlying foundational cause of all health concerns we suffer with, and he offers advice for what you can do about it. 

We all have this condition to one degree or another due to antibiotics from medical treatment, dental treatment or the foods we eat that have been treated with antibiotics.

Call the office for true solutions to this epidemic health concern.

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Yeast Infection (Candidiasis)

Yeast Infection (aka Candidiasis) is an infection caused by an overgrowth of a group of both normal and abnormal Fungi.  Yeast, a type of fungi, are different from Candidia in that Yeasts are a distinct organism.  There are more than 20 species of Candida, which is really a sub-class of fungi classified as a mold, the most common being Candida albicans. Both of these fungi live on all surfaces of our bodies, both on the outside (all skin areas) and the inside (from the mouth through the digestive tube, and vagina in women. Under certain conditions, they can become so numerous they cause infections, particularly in warm and moist areas.  Examples of such infections are vaginal yeast infections, oral thrush, skin and diaper rash, and nail bed infections.  The most common of these is in our Digestive System causing us to crave sugar, the very thing that feeds the imbalance.

Candidia infections commonly occur in warm moist body areas, such as your underarms. Usually the skin effectively blocks yeast, but any breakdown or cuts in the skin may allow this organism to penetrate and grow.

Typical affected areas in babies include the mouth and diaper areas.

In adults, oral yeast infections become more common with increased age. Adults also can have yeast infections around dentures, under the breast and lower abdomen, nail beds, and beneath other skin folds. Most of these candidia infections are superficial and can clear up easily with proper treatment that addresses the cause of the condition.

Rarely, the yeast infection may spread throughout the body. In systemic candidia disease, up to 75% of people may die without proper treatment. Even common mouth and vaginal yeast infections can cause critical illness and can be more resistant to normal medical treatment.  That is why proper causative treatment becomes so vital to the health and welfare of the individual.

Yeast infections that return may be a sign of more serious diseases such as diabetes, leukemia, or AIDS, and are secondary to improper medical intervention.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of a candidia infection can vary depending on the location of the infection.

The most common place to develop this health imbalance is within the Digestive System and is related to problems within the microbiome (the delicate balance of microorganisms within the bowel system) after exposure to antibiotics, chlorinated water, medication use, hormones and antibiotics found in our food, fluoride treatments, sugar, alcohol and stress.  Essentially, everyone has some degree of this imbalance and it will lead to many unexplained health issues related to fatigue, slow healing, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, auto-immune problems, cancer, among many others.

In women, signs and symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection are a white cheesy discharge that typically itches and irritates the vagina and surrounding outer tissues. On occasion there may be pain with sexual intercourse or burning with urination.

Oral candidiasis is also called thrush. Thick, white lacy patches on top of a red base can form on the tongue, palate, or elsewhere inside the mouth. These patches sometimes look like milk curds but cannot be wiped away as easily as milk can. If the white plaques are wiped away with a blade or cotton-tipped applicator, the underlying tissue may bleed. This infection also may make the tongue look red without the white coating. Thrush can be painful and make it difficult to eat. Care should be given to make sure a person with thrush does not become dehydrated.

Candidia organisms naturally live on the skin, but breakdown of the outer layers of skin, most commonly from antibacterial soaps and hand cleaner/sanitizers, can promote the yeast's overgrowth on the skin. This typically occurs when the environment is warm and moist such as in diaper areas and skin folds. Superficial candidia skin infections appear as a red flat rash with sharp scalloped edges. There are usually smaller patches of similar appearing rash nearby, known as "satellite lesions." These rashes may cause itching or pain.

In people with weakened Immune Systems, candidia infections can affect various internal organs and cause pain or dysfunction of the organ. Approximately 85% of people with AIDS contract a yeast infection called esophagitis in their upper gastrointestinal (GI) systems. This infection is similar to thrush but extends down from the mouth and esophagus to the stomach. Candida esophagitis can cause painful ulcers throughout the GI system, making it too painful to swallow even liquids. If the infection spreads into the intestines, food may be poorly absorbed. People with this condition are in danger of becoming dehydrated.

If Candida gets into your bloodstream, you may become sick with or without fever. If the infection spreads to your brain, you may have acute changes in mental function or behavior.

Causes

In women, yeast infections are the second most common reason for vaginal burning, itching, and discharge. Yeasts are found in the vagina of all healthy women and can begin to overgrow if the environment in the vagina changes.  Antibiotics and steroid use is the most common reason for yeast overgrowth. But pregnancy, menstruation, sperm, diabetes, and birth control pills also can contribute to getting a vaginal yeast infection. Yeast infections are more common after menopause once hormonal levels drop in these areas.

In people who have a weakened immune system because of cancer treatments, steroids, or diseases such as AIDS, candidia infections can occur throughout the entire body and can be life-threatening. The blood, brain, eye, kidney, and heart are most frequently affected, but the candidia fungus also can grow in the lungs, liver, and spleen. Candida is the leading cause of esophagitis (inflammation in the throat) in people with AIDS.

Almost 15% of people with weakened immune systems develop a systemic illness caused by Candida. These infections enter into the bloodstream through breakdowns or cuts in the skin or mucous membranes. Candidia organisms may build up in an area because of frequent use of strong antibiotics, which kill the bacteria that normally keep it under control.

Use of devices implanted in the skin such as urinary catheters and IV ports also provide access for the yeast to over-populate the body. IV drug addicts using dirty needles may inject the yeast directly into their bloodstream or deep tissues. 

Traditional Medical Treatment Options and Diagnosis

A wide array of treatment options is available to treat candidiasis. Options include creams, lotions, pills, troches (lozenges), and vaginal suppositories. Talk to your doctor to find the option that is right for you.

Azole medications are a family of antifungal drugs that end in the suffix "-azole." They block the manufacture of ergosterol, a crucial material of the yeast cell wall. Without ergosterol, the yeast cell wall becomes leaky and the yeast die. Fortunately, ergosterol is not a component of human membranes, and azoles do not harm human cells.

Polyene antifungals include Nystatin and Amphotericin B. Nystatin is used for thrush and superficial candidal infections. Doctors reserve amphotericin B for more serious systemic fungal infections. The antifungals work by attaching to the yeast cell wall building material, ergosterol. These drugs then form artificial holes in the yeast-wall that causes the yeast to leak and die.

As with all medication, certain side-effects are known and others are not known. It is important to consider the side-effects and to do some research into the medication being prescribed to determine if the side-effects are worse than the symptoms associated with your Yeast/Candidia. Talking with your medical doctor or pharmacist is warranted.

Next Steps & Outlook

With proper treatment, most candidia infections go away without further problems. The symptoms of vaginal yeast infections, thrush, and diaper rash usually clear in one to two weeks. In people with weakened immune systems, these infections can come back and become harder to treat.

Medicines Two Choices for You

Dr. Huntoon's Alternative Medical Treatment Options

Consulting with a Holistic Chiropractor, Homeopath or Naturopath who has experience in treating Yeast/Candidiasis is both important and your BEST option.  Making sure to discuss their success and experience in treating Yeast/Candidiasis is vital before beginning any treatment when considering this ideal form of care.  Finding one that will work with your medical doctor is necessary. Making sure they also have the ability to treat the side-effects of any antibiotic therapy is important. Proper follow-up during and after any medical treatment involved with antibiotics is absolutely necessary for true resolution of this difficult health imbalance. The treatment to restore balance to your system will take at least 1 year to complete.  This is vital to restoring your health and preventing future Yeast/Candidiasis infections.

As with all medication, certain side-effects are known and others are not known. It is important to consider the side-effects and to do some research into the medication being prescribed to determine if the side-effects are worse than the symptoms associated with your Yeast/Candidia. Talking with your medical doctor or pharmacist is warranted.

For children and adults with this condition, if you try a medication and it fails or symptoms worsen or the infection doesn't clear within one to two weeks,  then consult your Holistic Chiropractor. Also, fever, chills, vomiting, general illness, or worsening rash needs to be investigated promptly. All people with weakened immune systems should contact their doctors with any new symptoms or infections.

Various conditions can cause non-menstrual vaginal discharge in women, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and bacterial vaginosis.

If vaginal discharge lasts for more than one week, consult your doctor.

If yeast infections recur, see your Holistic Chiropractor for a more thorough work-up. Candidiasis that comes back may be a symptom of a hidden disease such as diabetes, leukemia, or AIDS.

Other symptoms such as bloody discharge, abdominal pain, fever, and increased urination also can indicate more serious problems, and you should seek medical help.

Oral thrush needs a prescription medication and a quick visit to the doctor. If children take no fluids for longer than 12 hours, contact your doctor for possible IV fluid replacement. Any fever or prolonged problems with feeding also warrant a visit to a doctor.

Diaper rash or other candidia infections on the skin can be treated with over-the-counter Nystatin powders (Mycostatin, Nilstat, Nystat-Rx, Nystex, O-V Staticin) or antifungal creams and lotions.

People with weakened immune systems must take all forms of candidiasis seriously and treat them aggressively. The infection may indicate that your immune system is functioning poorly. Your doctor should evaluate any symptoms of candidia infections.

What to discuss with your doctor

When to go to the hospital

Most cases of candidiasis do not have to be treated in the hospital. People with weakened immune systems may have more serious infections, however, and may need to be hospitalized.

Women should go to the hospital when fever, chills, nausea and vomiting, or abdominal pain accompanies vaginal discharge. These symptoms can indicate a more serious problem such as kidney infections, appendicitis, or pelvic inflammatory disease. These potential conditions need to be investigated promptly.

If thrush interferes with drinking liquids or eating for long periods of time, people may need to be hospitalized for more aggressive medications and reestablishing body fluids.

People with weak immune systems run the risk of the candidia organisms growing in their blood or internal organs, which can cause life-threatening illness. IV medication may be necessary to combat this systemic illness. Your doctor should promptly investigate symptoms of illness or general malaise.

Exams and Tests

For healthy people, most doctors can diagnose a candidia infection without lab tests. Occasionally, if the infection won't go away or involves the entire body, more extensive tests may need to be performed.

The only definitive way to diagnose a vaginal yeast infection is to complete a full gynecologic exam.

This exam includes a speculum exam, using a specialized instrument to hold open your vagina. The exam can be uncomfortable because of pressure against the tissues. The doctor will take a swab of the discharge and may obtain other cultures to rule out other diseases.

The doctor then may insert two fingers into your vagina and gently press on your uterus, ovaries, and surrounding areas to check for any tenderness or other problems. The doctor also may take blood and urine specimens after this exam. You should not douche or have sexual intercourse one to two days before the exam, because doing so may make the diagnosis more difficult.

In healthy children and adults, a quick exam in the mouth or of the skin usually confirms the diagnosis of candidiasis. If there is any confusion about the diagnosis, the doctor may obtain a small scraping of the area, which will be examined under a microscope.

In people with weakened immune systems, oral, vaginal, and skin candidia infections usually can be diagnosed by sight. When you become sick, the doctor may perform more invasive tests to confirm the diagnosis. Specimen collection may be necessary to check for Candida in the blood and urinary tracts. People with catheters may have their catheters changed and the catheter tips sent for culture. If a CT scan or MRI indicates candidiasis of the brain, doctors may take a biopsy to distinguish between Candida and other diseases. Usually doctors give IV antibiotics for serious systemic infections.

Yeast Infection Treatment -- Home Remedies

Most candidal infection symptoms can be treated at home with over-the-counter or prescription medication and can clear within a week. Understand that this will address the symptoms only and not the underlying imbalance.  Therefore, the likelihood of it returning will be high.  And if some other disease has weakened your immune system, consult your doctor for any new symptoms before attempting self-treatment. You may risk getting a secondary infection.

Digestive Yeast/Candidiasis

Being the most common health imbalance in our country, taking the time to address this digestive imbalance is the key to having or avoiding all chronic health concerns.  Understanding what is involved and working with a Holistic Chiropractor, like Dr. Huntoon, who is well versed in understanding how to restore balance is absolutely warranted.  This is the difference between getting well versus developing unexplained health challenges as you get older that seem to defy conventional medical treatment.

Yeast infections

Most women can treat the symptoms of yeast infections at home with over-the-counter drugs:

     _ Miconazole (Monistat-Derm, Monistat Vaginal)

     _ Tioconazole (Vagistat Vaginal)

     _ Butoconazole (Femstat)

     _ Clotrimazole (Femizole-7, Gyne-Lotrimin)

Massage these remedies into your vagina and surrounding tissues for one to seven days depending on the formulation. If increased irritation occurs to the area, discontinue the medication immediately.

If you are pregnant, consult your doctor before using these treatments.

If symptoms continue for more than 1 week, consult your doctor.

Thrush

In thrush, swish the antifungal agent Nystatin around in your mouth. Take care to maintain excellent oral hygiene.

All objects put into a child's mouth should be sterilized after each use.

Breastfeeding mothers should be evaluated for Candida of the breast.

If you wear dentures, clean them thoroughly after each use and practice good oral hygiene.

Adults have several treatment options not available to babies, such as troches (antifungal lozenges) or pills such as fluconazole (Diflucan), to help clear the infection in addition to nystatin.

Skin and diaper rash

Clotrimazole creams and lotions can be applied to superficial skin infections. Other medications need a prescription and a visit to your doctor.

The affected area should be kept clean and dry.

For diaper rashes, frequent diaper changes and the use of barrier creams will speed recovery.

If your Immune System is weak, the doctor may handle minimal local infections with home care. More serious infections may need IV antibiotics given at the hospital. Unfortunately, the treatment, although it will eliminate the symptoms, antibiotics will create the basis for another yeast/candidia infection.

As with all medical treatments, the possibility of side-effects and other complications are highly likely.  Consulting with your doctor or pharmacist is important.  Discussing other solutions that do not involve medication is warranted.  This can be done with your Holistic Chiropractor.

Prevention and Quick Tips

Alternative treatments and Hope

It's estimated that three out of four women will have a vaginal yeast infection in their lifetime. Factors that contribute to vaginal yeast infection include pregnancy, diabetes, and the use oral contraceptives, steroids, and antibiotics. Yeast infection is also more common after menopause due to declining estrogen levels, which thin the vaginal walls.

Essentially, 100 percent of the people who live here in the US have this Yeast/Candidia condition to some extent.  That is because of antibiotic treatments from medical care, dental care and the fact that 70 % of antibiotics manufactured in this country are put into our food supply.  The effects of antibiotic exposure is the basis for all our sugar cravings from our foods, alcohol, and other sweetened drinks.  Failure to address this condition properly will lead to more serious and hard to remedy conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, auto-immune disease and cancer that make the healthcare industry so much money.  Strongly consider this when seeking help for this or any of the other health conditions just listed.

There are many successful alternative treatments available for Yeast/Candidiasis. Consulting with a Holistic Chiropractor, Homeopath or Naturopath who has experience in treating Yeast/Candidiasis is important. Making sure to discuss their success and experience in treating Yeast/Candidiasis is vital before beginning any treatment when considering this form of care. Finding one that will work with your medical doctor is necessary. Making sure they also have the ability to treat the side-effects of the antibiotic therapy is important. Proper follow-up during and after treatment with the antibiotics is important. The treatment to restore balance to your system may take at least 1 year to complete.  Anything less is setting yourself up for failure.

Home Remedies for a Yeast Infection

Here are some natural remedies and home remedies that are used for yeast infection.

1) Probiotics

Probiotics are a popular natural remedy for yeast infection. They are live microbial organisms that are naturally present in the digestive tract and vagina. Probiotics, sometimes referred to as "friendly" bacteria, suppress the growth of potentially harmful organisms such as Candidia, which is why probiotic supplements have been explored as a natural remedy for yeast infection.

The type of probiotic being studied for yeast infections is Lactobacillus, especially Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1, and Lactobacillus fermentum RC-14. In some studies, low levels of Lactobacilli in the vagina have been associated with yeast infection.

Preliminary lab studies have found that Lactobacilli can block the growth of Candida albicans in the vagina. Some clinical trials support these finding, however, the quality of these studies has generally been poor, making it difficult to draw definite conclusions.

Probiotics are available as oral supplements. Probiotic vaginal supposities are also available, although they are more difficult to find. To learn more about probiotics, read my article on probiotics.

2) Boric Acid Suppositories

Another natural remedy for yeast infection is boric acid. Boric acid is a chemical substance with mild antiseptic and antifungal properties. A small Italian study examined the effectiveness of a topical treatment with boric acid compared to oral treatment with the antifungal drug itraconazole (Sporanox) in 22 women with recurrent yeast infection. The topical boric acid was found to be as effective as itraconazole.

A large study looked at a single 150 milligram dose of the oral medication fluconazole (Diflucan) or boric acid vaginal suppositories (600 milligrams a day for 14 days) in 112 diabetic patients with recurrent vaginal yeast infection. At the end of the study, boric acid vaginal suppositories resulted in a higher cure rate (63.6 percent) compared to fluconazole (28.8 percent).

In another study, the charts of all patients seen at a vaginitis clinic between 1989 and 1994 were reviewed. The charts of people who had been treated with boric acid suppositories (600 miligrams per day for 14 days) for a particular type of candida yeast infection caused by Candida glabrata were examined. Of the 26 cases, 81 percent had a clinical improvement or cure, and the fungus was eradicated in 77 percent of people. Boric acid suppositories were more successful than therapy with topical and oral antifungal medications, which had success rates of less than 50 percent.

Boric acid suppositories are available from some compounding pharmacies. A boric acid suppository product called Yeast Arrest is manufactured by a supplement company based in Oregon called Vitanica. Yeast Arrest contains boric acid and the herbs oregano, grape root and calendula.

There are safety concerns, however, with boric acid. Boric acid is toxic and should never be taken internally (by mouth) or placed on cuts or open wounds. It shouldn't be used for a prolonged period of time, or in amounts greater than what's recommended. It should not be used by pregnant women or applied to the skin of infants or children. Side effects of the suppositories may include vaginal burning and irritation.

3) Tea Tree Oil

The essential oil, tea tree oil, diluted and applied topically to the vaginal area, has shown some potential as a natural home remedy for yeast infection. A compound called terpinen-4-ol in tea tree oil appears to be sufficient. 

It is also very helpful for toe-nail fungus if applied after scrubbing the affected toes with a tooth-brush using a Listerine foot bath first.  Allow the toes to air-dry and avoid putting your feet back in shoes that are well insulated and do not allow for proper breathing of the feet.

Unfortunately, there haven't been any clinical studies in humans showing that tea tree oil is effective or safe for a digestive yeast infection. Until we have more evidence, it should not be recommended. 

Full strength tea tree oil should never be applied to the vaginal area.  Tea tree oil must be diluted before applying it to this part of the body. 

Full strength Tea Tree Oil can be used when applying to the hands or feet for nail fungus infections. 

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