I'd like to talk a little bit about the differences between acute yeast infections (vaginal, oral thrush, etc.) and systemic candida.
It is common knowledge amongst high carb vegans that too much dietary fat can cause a systemic candida imbalance and overgrowth. We usually see this candida balance itself back out when overts are limited to under 10% of daily caloric intake, or when overts are avoided altogether.
However, as a Licensed Midwife, I see nipple thrush on breastfeeding women and oral thrush in babies quite often. Usually this is the result of maternal antibiotic use during labor or in the postpartum period. However, sometimes, thrush just "appears" with no clear reason why. Now, there is obviously a good chance it is diet-related, as new mothers don't exactly have the best diets immediately postpartum because they are sleep-deprived, often unsupported, and forget to eat quite often, so when they remember to eat, it's usually something fast and unhealthy (lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, leftovers, frozen meals, boxed mac & cheese, etc.). This is not always the case either, though. Sometimes thrush appears in healthy breastfed babes and healthy mothers who are eating a very low fat diet.
My main question is...if yeast is almost always diet-related, why does the breastfed baby get thrush? The baby may be strictly breastfed, and there are studies that show that a mother's fat intake does not increase or decrease the fat content of her milk. So for the baby, it is definitely not an issue of too much fat in the blood causing excess sugar to feed the yeast. These babies usually get oral thrush, genital thrush, and even diaper thrush (another reason not to use diapers on your baby and instead practice Elimination Communication!).
Annnddd...if this entire situation (non-diet-related acute candida cases) can happen in a breastfed infant, isn't it safe to say that it can also happen in an adult? This would explain why a very small percentage of people tend to experience recurrent acute yeast infections even when eating a diet very low in fat.
And if this thrush is not diet-related, then how on earth can it be cured naturally? I need suggestions from long-term high carbers with candida experience, both for myself (because I am one of those adults who experiences mild recurrent acute yeast infections while eating a diet with an average 10-15% of calories coming from fat, and I have done so for the past 2 years), and for my breastfeeding clients.
Thanks in advance!
Midwife Melissa :)
Great tips in this post. I never know garlic, onions, and chilis are like antibiotics.
Very good point about antibiotic foods! Thank you for sharing, Peter! What I find absolutely fascinating is that inserting a peeled garlic clove into the vagina at night is one of the most commonly recommended "natural cures" for a yeast infection. Many care providers don't realize that when the garlic kills the (localized) yeast, it also kills the lactobacillus--the beneficial bacteria that colonizes the vagina. No wonder so many women who try to "treat" yeast infections are so frustrated! Their flora is always imbalanced! :(
And yes, you are absolutely correct about clothing choice. Usually this is not an issue with my clients (pregnant or postpartum), as it (vaginal health) is one of the first things we go over in prenatal appointments. But even things like scented toilet paper, pantyliners, lubricants, and soap, among other environmental irritants, can definitely lead to yeast infections.
Interesting topic, for sure. :)
Candida takes advantage of a lowered immune system, too, which would apply to most sleep-deprived, stressed out mothers. I don't know about the baby, though.
Ah! Very true! Interestingly enough, stressed out mamas usually equal stressed out babies.
This is a really long video, but it does mention candida and Douglas Graham mentions that he believes that candida is related to having fluctuations in blood sugar.