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Yeast Overgrowth Due to Asthma Medication: What do You Suggest?

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 27 Feb 2012 | comments*Discuss
Yeast Candida Sugar Flour Practitioners


After taking too many steroids and antibiotics due to acute asthma, I now have a yeast overgrowth and continually look pregnant - despite several diet changes problem persists and am now almost depressive. Can you suggest a relevant regime?

(L.S, 5 July 2009)


Poor you! Having an overgrowth of yeast is no fun. Yeast, or candida albicans, normally lives in our body where it does no harm, often in the intestines or the vagina. But when it multiplies and causes an overgrowth, the result is not a barrel of laughs.

There are many reasons why we see an overgrowth of yeast in the body. As you have rightly pointed out, steroids and antibiotics are two of the most common culprits. Other causes include pregnancy, contraceptive pills, sugar-rich diets, and reinfection from a sexual partner.

These best recommendation would be to see your GP and ask for a diet plan that would be suitable to you. Some people recommend a strict diet that cuts out flour and sugar, including bread, cake, biscuits, pasta, most breakfast cereals etc. The idea is to “starve” the yeast in your system and make it disappear.

The “candida diet” is rich in a variety of healthy foods, including many grain alternatives such as buckwheat and quinoa. You would have to strike out all foods that are considered “yeasty” such as mushrooms, dried fruits, alcohol and most juices. Yeast lives where you would not expect it - you will even have to cut tomato sauce from your diet for a while!

Holistic practitioners believe that yeast, or candida, is the menace behind a variety of disorders, including depression, vaginitis, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, sinus congestion, asthma etc. Most conventional doctors play down the role of yeast, saying that a healthy diet that contains normal helpings of sugar and refined flour will do you no harm, as long as you eat other healthy foods as well.

However, if you really are at your wit's end – and you sound like you are – you may want to try cutting out yeast completely for a while, and see if this method works for you. Talk with your GP first, and then find a holistic practitioner or dietician who specialises in this type of thing if you feel you will need support along the way.

The diet will be hard to stick to, especially at first, but it might work. At the very least, it will take your mind off your symptoms for a while as you deal with your cravings for bread and sugar! Initially you will even need to stop eating fruits etc, but you can gradually reintroduce them into your diet. Taking the probiotic bacteria acidophilus daily will also help.

The “candida diet” is a bit controversial and many scoff at it, although it is often prescribed by alternative practitioners. But it might work for you, and as long as you eat healthily and do it under a doctor's supervision, there is no harm in trying. Do let us know how you get on!

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