By Dr. David Sheridan
Symptoms of Yeast Overgrowth
Yeast overgrowth in the colon is associated with a host of gastric issues. Intestinal gas, belching, bloating, reflux and IBS all can be a result of yeast overgrowth. As if any one of these issues isn’t enough, there’s more. Those of us with allergies can easily become allergic to yeast which makes our allergies worse. Yeast also creates a host of toxins that can create their own health problems, some of which by way of hormonal disruption. Some yeast symptoms are easy to see. However, it can be easy to overlook secondary issues, like weight gain, caused by yeast toxin overload. They can be connected.
Yeast-Free Eating Plan
The diet most directly resulting in yeast overgrowth – consisting of simple carbohydrates – also causes weight gain. Sugar, cows’ milk and grain intake are the leading culprits for both problems. Although we see these items as separate, they are all just sugar masquerading as something different: starch. A starch is simply multiple glucose molecules joined together, which is known as a polysaccharide (if you like big words). So, our yeast-free eating plan is really a sugar-free eating plan. If you feel this eating plan is “boring,” I’ve got news for you. This eating plan allows hundreds of foods and eliminates one “non-food.” It’s not eating yeast-free that’s boring!
If you think about it, the more you see the yeast-free eating plan as foreign, weird and even CRAZY; the more you need it! In fact, there is little, if any, nutritional value derived from sugar in its various forms. Once again, if you are wondering what you can eat, the answer is easy: food! Meats, vegetables, nuts and fruit make up a long list of food items that do not foster yeast overgrowth. If you don’t want to eat meat, then don’t. There is still plenty of nutrition in what remains on the allowed list and nothing of nutritional value on the “forbidden” list. By the way, the definition of starch tells us it is a tasteless substance! Any taste comes from the same sauce and/or seasoning you can use on pretty much anything you eat. So be creative and start breaking the sugar habit with food.
A Word on Cravings
Unfortunately, many have severe cravings for sugar and/or grains. Did you know that wheat can literally be addicting? Some of us have a metabolic defect that causes the accumulation of an opiate compound when we eat wheat. If you have this, you can actually go into withdrawal from stopping wheat abruptly. In that case, you may need to gradually reduce wheat intake. There’s more to food cravings than wheat addiction.
Certain yeast toxins may also be responsible for sugar cravings. Several years ago, an unusual yeast toxin was discovered that seemed to cause chocolate cravings. Test subjects that were “chocoholics” were found to be excreting this toxin in their urine while other test subjects did not. So, walking away from sugar may not be as easy as it sounds. You may have to start slowly and proceed gradually. That’s okay. You’re worth it!
How Yeast Toxins Affect Your Hormones
There is more to the toxin story. A few toxins have been shown to be capable of attaching to hormone receptors, like those for thyroid hormone and progesterone. Blocking either or both receptors can cause deficiency symptoms, including weight gain. This is one reason why weight gain may not be a simple calorie issue. It may not be a will power problem either, so we need to give ourselves (and others) the benefit of understanding. Remember, most things that are worthwhile require work. That includes your good health!
Do you have symptoms of yeast-overgrowth?
Take our symptom checker quiz to find out if you have symptoms that could be caused by yeast-overgrowth, so that you can take action today. Do you need help getting started on a yeast-free eating program? Sign up for Yeast-Free with Me, which is a 30-day support system that was designed to help guide you through the yeast-free eating plan. You will receive emails with tips to guide you.