Friday, June 17, 2011

The Yeast Beast. Part One.

Candida is the scientific name assigned to yeast. Yeast in our body is complicated and a bit controversial, though, it's pretty serious business! Everyone has yeast in their body. And we all have Lactobacilus acidophilus and some other bacteria such as lactobacillus casei which are collectively known as acidophilus. These bacteria are in our body naturally and useful for us in many ways such as, they protect us from parasites, yeasts and other micro-organisms. They help in digestion by producing enzymes. They boost up our digestive system. They restore the balance of the micro flora in our digestive tract. They regularize the pH balance of the intestines by producing lactic acid.

These friendly bacteria are present in our body along with the yeasts. There exists a delicate balance between the two. The friendly bacteria or acidophilus deter the overgrowth of the yeast. When acidophilus enters a sugar rich environment, it converts the sugar into lactic acid. This lowers the pH level of the food and makes the environment unsafe for the yeasts. However some factors such as use of antibiotics, or poor diet, destroy these helpful bacteria. The yeasts get unbridled and start proliferating rapidly. This is the main cause of the yeast infections.

If you eat healthy and have a healthy gut flora then for the most part, you probably keep your yeast under control and balanced. However, that's harder then you think. Foods that feed the yeast consist of gluten, yeast, and sugar which means LOTS of foods. Foods that replenish and produce the acidophilus would be most veggies, almonds, fruits, meats and plain yogurt (with acidophilus).

If you have a yeast imbalance or a yeast infection it will show up in many different ways. You could have a rash somewhere on your body, usually in warm crevasses like armpits, ears, corners of mouth, tongue (known as thrush), your butt, your genitals, under or between your breasts and your feet (known as Athlete's Foot). Or it could be causing you fatigue, depression, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, constipation or Acid Reflux. It could be the cause of lesions in areas like your nail beds, in your nostrils or the fold in your genital area.

I write this because we are fighting the yeast beast!! How did this happen?! When I thought about it, it's not surprising that this happened! Here's my story:

Back in February I had to go on Antibiotics. I knew that antibiotics can easily cause a yeast infection. I have been taking a probiotic for a couple years which means through my pregnancy. When I ran out I didn't get more. You know how it is with a new baby, days turn in to weeks which turn in to months. So then of course I went on those antibiotics and I still didn't get more acidophilus of any kind! (I know right, what the hell is wrong with me?!) And we all know about my baking addiction that really started when I first got pregnant which has turned me from a sugarholic to a crazy fiending sugarholic. Just think, all the ice cream cakes, the brownies, the cookies, the bread, the dough, the cakes and pies...HELLO YEAST. GOODBYE GOOD BACTERIA!!!! So really, why didn't I see this coming?! lol. My body was warning me, I ignored the signs. Then Adelaide started solids and of course I knew that pablum...boxed rice shit...was not necessary. But afraid of messing something up I just followed what people told me and what the mass does, I gave her some pablum with apples. I was using pablum as a thickener. Then I got her some Farleys Rusks! Why not right? They are deeeeelish and fun for her to feed herself. Well, those are gluten and sugar filled! Not long after, we discovered a rash on Adelaide's butt. I knew right away that it must be yeast related. A yeast diaper rash look like this. Of course, that prompted me to look in Bug's mouth and what do you know...thrush! A very mild case, but still, it was there!!

I knew I HAD to get acidophilus. We got some, I took 6 capsules a day, Julian took 2 a day and Adelaide had 1 a day that I broke open and dunked my wet finger in throughout the day to let her suck it off. You gotta treat the whole family otherwise it may not go away!! Since we use reusable cotton cloths for bum wipes with my own homemade natural wipe solution, I continued using them, only instead of the normal wipe solution I just used water with lots of apple cider vinegar because I read in many places that this would help. I wiped my boobs with this too after every feeding to avoid an infection in my breasts. I also took a few tablespoons of plain probiotic filled yoghurt and broke open one capsule of acidophilus to mix with it and used that to smother on Bug's butt whenever she was wearing a diaper. I made sure bug spent most of her day naked to air out her rash to keep it cool and dry. She only wore her cloth diapers when we went out. When she slept I just made an origami diaper using a receiving blanket. These are good to put on baby with or without a rash. They're so easy and all you need is a receiving blanket!

We also cut out sugar, gluten and dairy from our diets, except for plain yoghurt with probiotics. For me, this was challenging and shocking. I totally went through withdrawal from the sugar. I was irritable, got hot and cold flashes, got the shakes, always felt hungry, never felt satisfied, sweating, heart palpitations, exhaustion, and much more! I knew I was a sugar addict, but I didn't realize just HOW bad this was for me. After a few days, things got easier and much better. I started feeling fabulous. Better then I had since I was pregnant, which was the healthiest I had ever been. Though, with all this effort, after a couple weeks, Bug's butt wasn't getting that much better. It was like a roller coaster. It would be almost gone at the beginning of the day and flaming red by the end. Or she would wake up and it would be really bad and then it would get better throughout the day.

Enough was enough. We took her to see a Naturopathic Pediatrician in Toronto. They knew exactly how this problem happened without me even explaining. She knew I must've been consuming too much refined sugar and gluten. She wasn't surprised that I was prescribed antibiotics in the last year. And she knew that Bugs yeast infection must have sprung up right after we started her on solids because most people start baby on pablum or other boxed shit. She told us we did good research and we were doing everything right for treatment and to keep it up. She gave Bug a different acidophilus because she said babies need a different one then adult. This was a powder that I just put on my wet finger and give to Bug to suck off. The Doc liked the yoghurt acidophilus mixture idea on her butt, but also recommended tea tree oil. She said she's not sure why we still feed babies pablum as first foods. The yeasty constipating foods became popular during the war and we've just continued ever since. Babies can get all the nutrients and iron they need from fruits and vegetables. And of course she highly recommended we make food ourselves (which we obviously do) so you know where it's from and how it's been cooked. You have more control. It tastes and looks WAY better too. It's also SO SO SO easy! The Doc also said that I should see a naturopath as well and get my yeast balanced too because my milk was probably contributing to the problem. My naturopath is here in Winnipeg and since we were still in Toronto then but would be coming home soon, I knew I could wait the week to see her. So off we went home with hopes that we're on the right track to curing the actual candida problem and not just the side effect.


1 comment:

liz skene said...

im on antibiotics right now! thins is very helpful and interesting. love the blog heather