Queen of Hearts

Sympathy for the yeast infected and afflicted

Dear Readers,
Now that my dang e-mail is back, I am overwhelmed by the number of people who wrote in to offer their good words to the woman whose severe yeast infections weren’t taken seriously by her doctor. If the world’s ever saved, I’m betting it’ll be done by a bunch of East Bay women who started by curing their own candidiasis. Here’s what some of them said.

Hi Carol!
To the woman who wrote about her yeast infections: I certainly sympathize! I have struggled against candidiasis for the last five years and now am finally getting it under control. There’s a good book titled The Yeast Syndrome that should help you as much as it helped me. When I became infested, I had no idea what was wrong, and neither did my doctor. It sounds to me as though you have more than a localized yeast infection, but actual candidiasis, which is a systemwide infection. You can have a yeast infection anywhere from your toes to your scalp, but it all springs from the intestines. Of course, taking antibiotics doesn’t work–they kill off all the friendly flora in your intestines except for the yeast, which then has room to grow and spread and make you even sicker. A small amount of yeast is present in everyone’s body–you can’t eliminate it completely–but when it becomes dominant, the toxins thrown off by its life cycle give your immune system a heavy load to deal with. This is why most candidiasis sufferers have multiple opportune infections, colds, flu, fungal skin infections, etc. Other unpleasant side effects can include depression, loss of libido, digestive problems, weight loss or gain, and “brain-fog”–caused by too many toxins in the bloodstream. Things you can do to get better: stop eating sugar and simple starches, and stop drinking alcohol (all of these feed the yeast); take lots of acidophilus and lactobacillus supplements (to give the yeast some competition for space in your intestines); drink lots of Pau D’Arco tea (an antifungal); stay out of bakeries and breweries (lots of spores in the air); and if all of these don’t help, consider going back to the doctor for a systemwide antifungal medicine. Antifungals can be very hard on your body, but may be the best way to kick-start recovery from an extreme case. Note that once you start these treatments, you will feel worse before you feel better; the more yeast you kill, the more toxins enter your bloodstream. After a while, the balance will tip in the other direction, and you will improve. Good luck to you! –Compadre in Candida

And three more replies, including this useful bit of info, perhaps one of the most important things we learned in the ’70s–cotton crotches, ladies!

· I had recurring yeast infections as a teenager, when I wore nylon undies. I switched to cotton undies and have not had one yeast infection since–that is, for the last thirty years or so. It might be that simple for some other women to cure their chronic yeast infections.

· In reply to the woman who had the yeast infection: I got one nine years ago due to a doctor’s neglecting to tell me about side effects of an antibiotic he’d given me. When I complained to him about the resulting yeast infection, he didn’t take me seriously at all. After going to five different doctors, none of whom helped me, I went to the local health-food store and bought goldenseal and echinacea capsules. They completely cured my yeast infection! (And they’re much cheaper than Monistat, which did nothing, by the way.) Do get the herbs in pure pill form. The liquid versions, which you mix in water and drink, are less potent and taste terrible.

· I’ve been dealing with recurring yeast overgrowth for years. I don’t get the full-body problems, just vaginal yeast. I’ve gone to the local woman’s health center for gyn needs, and have had many negative experiences there, I’m very sorry to say. All they do for yeast “infections” is sell an overpriced prescription version of Monistat ($45). I now take oral acidophilus supplements. I was finding that the week after my period stopped was when I got yeasty, month after month. So I figured that if I could make it through that week without letting my yeast multiply, I could make it through the month without springing for another $15 box of Monistat. This has been working! I sometimes insert an acidophilus capsule vaginally right after my period ends. I’m not one hundred percent yeast free, but I’ve only had a problem once in the past five months, which for me is a huge improvement over last year’s once-a-month schedule. Just wanted to share what I’ve come up with; maybe it could be of some help!

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