Yeast Candida Overgrowth
Yeasts live in balance with bacteria in your colon. The problems begin when the harmonious balance shifts and the yeast begins to overgrow. This can happen through use of antibiotics (which kill of the good bacteria), parasites, or bad bacteria. Though all the former can cause Ulcerative Colitis symptoms, yeast overgrowth (Candida) by itself can cause Ulcerative Colitis symptoms also. An overgrowth of yeast can cause leaky gut which causes the symptoms.
Even though a tremendous amount of information has been written about yeast overgrowth and leaky gut, and even though studies have been conducted, some doctors still don’t believe there is such a thing as yeast overgrowth nor believe it can cause Ulcerative Colitis symptoms. Your doctor may be one of them. However it does exist and you should become familiar with it. My son ended up with yeast overgrowth because of all the antibiotics he took trying to get rid of the parasites. We did not know about the anti-parasitic drugs that are out there. The doctor treating him did not know about them either. It took reading on the internet to find the Nitazoxanide that finally got rid of them. But even though my son got rid of the parasites his symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis did not clear because of the yeast overgrowth. My motto is research, research, research.
To be fair, there are some doctors out there who are familiar with yeast overgrowth. Hopefully your doctor has read up on it. There are also doctors who understand that it causes a suppression of the immune system, adding to the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis.
You can find out if you have a yeast overgrowth in the colon by sending a stool sample to a reputable parasitologist lab like http://www.parasitetesting.com/ who knows what they are looking at. My son had been tested by local labs but none of them caught it so we found a parasitologist. By sending another of his stool sample this lab we found out he had the yeast overgrowth and parasites.
The body can also develop allergic reactions against yeast. The colon of people with Ulcerative Colitis will often contain histamines, a sign of an allergic reaction. A recent Mayo Clinic study showed that most cases of chronic sinusitis seem to be associated with a reaction to yeast in the sinuses.
Many things can prompt yeast to overgrow. One of the most common causes is antibiotic use. Antibiotics kill off the good bacteria in the bowel along with the bad bacteria. When this happens, the yeast begins to overgrow. The body is often able to rebalance itself after one or several courses of antibiotics, but after repeated or long-term courses–and especially if the body has an underlying immune dysfunction–the yeast can get the upper hand because the good bacteria is being killed off by the antibiotic.
Other factors are also important. Studies have shown that animals that are sleep-deprived and/or have increased sugar intake develop bowel yeast overgrowth. Many physicians feel that eating sugar stimulates yeast overgrowth in people as well. Sugar is food for yeast. Yeasts ferment sugar in order to grow and multiply. Yeast overgrowth due to the overuse of sugar also seems to cause immune suppression, which facilitates bacterial infections, which then requires even more antibiotic use. Poor sleep also results in marked suppression of the immune function. As the immune system goes down, risk of fungal and parasitic bowel infections, and secondary spastic colon/irritable bowel syndrome, also increase.
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