Great Smokies Medical Center of Asheville

Archive for the ‘0903’ Category

Treating Yeast-Related Health Problems

Sunday, September 11th, 2005

The cornerstone of the medical treatment of candidiasis is diet. For a patient suffering from yeast overgrowth, eating sugar is like pouring gasoline on a fire. The patient needs to avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates, including white flour and rice, and to eat foods rich in protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Additionally, many substances are known to be antifungal, including grapefruit seed extract (GSE), caprylic acid, garlic, berberis vulgaris, and Pao d’Arco tea. Essential fatty acids and lactobacillus (the friendly, beneficial bacteria in healthy colons) are usually required to restore health.

Prescription antifungal drugs including Diflucan, Nizoral, Sporanox, and Nystatin may also be used. Strict avoidance of sugar is necessary to first reduce the population of yeast to avoid uncomfortable symptoms of toxicity from a Herxheimer reaction or "die off."

Candidiasis doesn’t develop overnight, and its treatment similarly must often be sustained for a long period of time.

Dr. Wilson: Herxheimer or “Die Off” Reaction

Sunday, September 11th, 2005

In the 1890s, two dermatologists, Karl Herxheimer and Adolph Jerisch defined a cluster of symptoms that are now known as a Herxheimer or “die off” reaction. Herxheimer symptoms resemble flu symptoms: chills, fever, body aches, headaches, and rashes. They occur as a result of therapies that kill “bugs” such as bacteria, viruses, or, yeast. The symptoms usually occur from four to 24 hours after taking a drug or other therapies that kill the “bugs.” The symptoms are not side effects of a therapy, per se, but are proof of both the effectiveness of the therapy and the existence of an infection, as it is the toxins that are released from dying organisms that result in Herxheimer symptoms. The load of toxins can be so great that the body’s natural detoxification processes can’t keep up with the toxin load. Natural support of the body’s detoxification processes is recommended. Drink plenty of water and get light exercise. Avoid constipation and eat a light diet. Consider getting lymphatic massage or colonics. Take internal-grade absorbent clay to absorb toxins from the digestive tract, Epsom Salt baths, Vitamin C, and GSMC’s Detox Offset, a homeopathic remedy formulated to treat detoxification symptoms. The dose and frequency of the drug or therapy that resulted in Herxheimer symptoms can often be adjusted to slow toxin release so as to not overwhelm the body’s detoxification ability.

Employee Longevity

Sunday, September 11th, 2005

GSMC takes pride in having employees who have been with us for many years. Employee longevity helps us serve you, our patients, more efficiently. At the top of the list is Alice King, who has now been serving GSMC patients for over 15 years this month. The phrase "can’t do" is not in her vocabulary. Alice is generous and friendly and is a one-woman potluck. Congratulations, Alice, and thank you for your years of service! How does the track record of the rest of us stack up in comparison? Dr. Wilson and Connie each start their 13th year this month. Art has worked at GSMC for over 11 years and Rosalie for almost ten years. Dr. Wright and Vianne each recently started their seventh year and Denese, her sixth year. Rick will start his fourth year next month; Darlene, Dottie and Cynthia are in their second year; and Jamie is in her first year. Pat recently started her fourth year, but she is quick to tell you it is really her eleventh year as she also worked at GSMC from its inception in 1979 for 7 years. That’s over 85 years of experience working for you!

Probiotics: Beneficial Bacteria and Yeast

Sunday, September 11th, 2005

Supplemental beneficial bacteria are called probiotics for their ability to support life, the opposite of antibiotics which are designed to kill bacteria. Unfortunately, antibiotics kill both harmful and beneficial bacteria.

Lactobacillus acidophilus is the most commonly supplemented species of the bacteria genus Lactobacillus. It is used to treat health problems, including traveler’s diarrhea and imbalances of healthy bacteria in the colon following antibiotic therapy.

Lactobacillus, as the name suggests, has the ability to ferment milk sugar, lactose, into sour byproducts. These include lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide, which make the intestines and stomach an undesirable environment for disease-causing bacteria, including H. Pylori, the bacteria that causes gastric ulcers.

L.bulgaricus is a Lactobacillus species that ferments milk into yogurt. Since it’s not a normal inhabitant of the colon, its benefits disappear quickly when a person stops eating yogurt.

L. plantarum ferments cabbage to give sauerkraut its sour taste. It is normally a beneficial inhabitant of a healthy colon, so its benefits can persist for a long time after you eat sauerkraut. Lactobacillus supplementation decreases the incidence of colon cancer, infectious diarrhea, and food allergies. It also lowers cholesterol levels, and activates the immune system to ward off infections. Bifidobacteria is the most common beneficial bacteria in the large bowel. Eating vegetable fiber, especially from asparagus, garlic, onion, and artichokes, favors the growth of Bifidobacteria.

Saccharomyces boulardii is related to baker’s yeast and is used to treat acute diarrhea caused by antibiotic use. Rarely, patients with mold allergy may react to it.

A lack of beneficial bacteria is diagnosed through a stool analysis. GSMC carries high quality Lactobacillus, Saccharomyces, and Bifidobacteria, all of which require refrigeration since they are living products.

Back to the Basics: Yeast Related Health Problems

Sunday, September 11th, 2005

Many physicians who have made the transition from a conventional to an integrative medical practice have done so as a result of having seen a patient who feels "terrible all over" and for whom conventional medical testing can find nothing wrong. "All your tests are normal" can be discouraging words for such a person to hear. Adding insult to injury, patients are apt to be told that their condition is due to "stress." The doctor who believes that the patient’s symptoms can be caused by something other than a psychological disorder may eventually diagnose candidiasis as a result of his willingness to think outside the box. Candida albicans is the king pin of yeasts (molds) that affect health. It is an opportunistic organism, preying on cells weakened by frequent courses of antibiotics or prednisone (cortisone), overexposure to environmental molds, excess alcohol (especially yeast-derived beer and wine), birth control pills, and a diet high in sugar and processed foods. Like other molds, C. albicans thrives in a warm, dark, damp environment, making the colon particularly vulnerable to its overgrowth. Candida and other molds are responsible for ailments including athlete’s foot, thrush, chronic sinusitis, jock itch, yeast vaginitis, asthma, allergy, fatigue, numerous gastrointestinal symptoms, toenail fungus, sensitivity to cigarette smoke, and mood disorders, including depression.

Candidiasis can co-exist with other diseases such as diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and various gastrointestinal ailments.Candidiasis can be life threatening to a person with diseases that severely compromise immune function, such as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS); but it more typically compromises the quality of life for its sufferers, who end up with symptoms of fatigue, irritability, brain fog, being run down, difficulty concentrating, bloating, gassiness, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and achy muscles and joints. The neurological symptoms resulting from candidiasis are likely due to the more than 300 known mycotoxins that are generated and circulate through the bloodstream during the life and, especially, the death of C. albicans.

Candidiasis is diagnosed through a history, physical exam, stool culture, skin allergy testing, and, if there has been a sustained exposure to high levels of Candida, elevated Candida antibody titers. However, since low levels of Candida exist normally in the colon, many doctors don’t recognize that Candida is capable of causing disease.

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