Now that summer is here, lets talk about a condition that can impact your summertime health. Candida or the yeast syndrome has been around for a long time. However, it was not until Orion Truss published the “Missing Diagnosis” and William Crook published “The Yeast Connection” that many physicians and the public became aware of the magnitude of the problem. The common yeast is present in every individual. Normally, yeast live harmlessly in the gastrointestinal tract but occasionally, the yeast will overgrow and lead to significant disease. Candida yeast overgrowth can cause a wide variety of symptoms. The major body systems most sensitive to the yeast are the gastrointestinal, genitourinary, endocrine or glandular, nervous and immune systems. Allergies also have been attributed to yeast overgrowth.
Candida overgrowth is most often associated with chronic antibiotic use. In addition to antibiotic use, other causes include use of other drugs such as corticosteroids, anti-ulcer drugs, birth control pills, lack of digestive enzymes or too much sugar in the diet. Any disease that can suppress the immune system can increase susceptibility to candida, like diabetes, thyroid disease and cancer.
Avoid Summertime Yeast Infections
The summer is a time for fun in the sun! Typically, this means less and tighter clothing for women. It is the combination of summertime heat and humidity and tight clothing that sets the stage for candida overgrowth, leading to an increased incidence of yeast infections. Candida can be found in small amounts in the vagina, as well as in the mouth and digestive tract of both men and women. Also, residing in these areas are friendly bacteria to help keep the candida in check, however, when the balance gets disrupted the candida takes over causing yeast infections.
Common instigators of this overpopulation of candida can be: pregnancy, diabetes, birth control pills, antibiotic treatments, baths (bubble baths), fragrant detergents, synthetic underwear (especially nylon and pantyhose), douching, diet (avoid sugar) and other infections. Symptoms of a yeast infection include itching and burning in the vaginal area, a white or yellow discharge and a burning sensation while urinating. Note that itching alone does not always indicate a yeast infection. Other possible conditions could be bacterial infections, urinary tract infections and some STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). It may be necessary to make a trip to your doctor in order to determine exactly what is causing the symptoms.
Some simple ways to avoid being plagued with summertime yeast infections are:
- Wear loose clothing
- Wear white cotton underwear and change them often
- Change out of wet swimsuits or damp work out clothing as soon as possible
- Avoid sugar and sweets (including beverages)
- Stay hydrated (as always drink lots of water)