Thrush is the common name for a yeast infection; an overgrowth of candida in the human body is never welcome. Women and men will associate it with embarrassing genital problems, bad breath, fatigue, itchiness, swelling and discharge, and for some, it becomes a more serious chronic and debilitating illness.
Thrush develops in warm, moist areas of the body such as the vagina, penis, throat, mouth and in the folds of skin. Candida spores grow rapidly, upsetting the balance of the microbiome and the resulting lack of friendly bacteria flora wreaks havoc with our digestive system and our overall long term health.
Given the right conditions, that is lack of opposition, sugar, stress, candida fungus changes from its normal single-celled organism to a thread-like 'mycelial' form (think of the furry structures that grow on moldy bread or the top of the jam), and this penetrates your gut wall and enters your bloodstream. You now have 'leaky gut', and now partially digested food molecules can enter your bloodstream and set off allergic reactions.
In addition, candida ferments sugary foods causing bloating and flatulence. It can irritate the lining of your gut, so that the gut goes into spasm like a cramp and is less able to assimilate food, leading to constipation or diarrhea. Candida also produces increasing quantities of toxic by-products, which can lead to physical and even mental symptoms:
"Although an association between enteropathy and certain psychiatric conditions has long been recognized, it now appears that gut microbes represent direct mediators of psychopathology. Here, we examine roles of gut microbiome in shaping brain development and neurological function, and the mechanisms by which it can contribute to mental illness."
However, despite available clinical research the symptoms of candidiasis are still largely misunderstood and drugs like Nystatin are given to treat symptoms but not the cause. Candida is acknowledged as the cause of thrush, but many doctors continue to deny candidiasis as a medical condition that left untreated has long term consequences.
Candida itself isn't the enemy. Candida and other yeasts live in every one of us without causing harm. However when the equilibrium that is naturally created by competing gut bacteria is destroyed with broad-spectrum antibiotics, candida can mutate into its fungal form, damaging the intestinal wall and producing a myriad of unwanted symptoms.
In addition to antibiotics, toxins, heavy metals and a poor diet can equally contribute towards a yeast infection, as can a weakened immune system and or diabetes.
Systemic Candida refers to a yeast infection which has spread to multiple locations rather than being localized to one part of the body.
Symptoms of thrush in men include:
Symptoms of oral thrush include:
Cut out all foods that contain yeast, or have been fermented or pickled, since these encourage the growth of Candida. These include yeast extract, stock cubes, most bread, alcoholic drinks, cheese, black tea, and anything containing vinegar.
Eat plenty of salad, fish, poultry, meat and fresh vegetables (apart from the starchy ones like potatoes, parsnips and carrots). Try to obtain organic poultry and meat to avoid antibiotic residues.
When preparing meals, include liberal amounts of garlic, ginger and extra-virgin olive oil, and herbs such as rosemary, thyme, marjoram and lemon balm - which have strong anti-fungal properties.
Consider information on using 3% hydrogen peroxide as suggested in this clinical research.
Here is a letter from a customer that will also prove useful:
I just wanted to send you the details as discussed about how I used coconut milk to help with some of my problems. I have suffered on and off from thrush since I was young and following your advice in the summer I think I have sorted out the problem. I would take 2 tbsp.'s twice a day and I have not had any vaginal problems since.
I hope that helps
Unit 7, Pyramid Court
York, YO26 5NB