Lactose Intolerance: Natural Remedy Treatments

There’s an epidemic of food sensitivities surrounding us. Allergies to foods, food intolerances, or even just increased sensitivity are becoming more and more common right across the population. Food allergies arn’t so common, but food intolerances seem to be increasing at an alarming rate.

there's an epidemic of lactose intolerance

FOOD INTOLERANCE CAN BE DIFFICULT TO DIAGNOSE

Unfortunately for many people, food intolerances are often misdiagnosed or even missed altogether.

Symptoms are often very diverse and can take anywhere up to days after eating to appear. This means often they’re not directly linked to the troublesome food. The delay makes it very difficult to pinpoint exactly what is the causing the problem.

In addition, the person may often be intolerant to more than one food. If it happens to be an ingredient that’s commonly found in many different foods, such as gluten or lactose, it may be near impossible to detect. Simply eliminating one food from the diet doesn’t stop the symptoms as the other problem foods still cause problems. When this happens it’s easy to assume the eliminated food is not the cause, when in fact it may be a PART of the cause.

Common allergy tests don’t detect food intolerances and the sufferer is often given a clean bill of health after testing, but continues to endure the debilitating symptoms.

Gluten sensitivity is also becoming very common and you can read about it here.

LACTOSE INTOLERANCE

Lactose intolerance is a condition where the person is unable to digest the sugar in milk (lactose) properly. It’s fairly common with estimates that about 65% of the world’s adult population have the condition to some extent. It’s not a dangerous condition but can be very unpleasant, even ruining the quality of life for the person.

Some people have the condition mildly only experiencing symptoms if they overload on dairy foods. Others have it severely with strong symptoms occurring with even the tiniest amount of dairy foods.

Symptoms include diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, stomach bloating, flatulence, and appear anywhere from thirty minutes to a few hours, or rarely, even days after consuming the food.

The severity of symptoms depends on three things:

  • The amount of lactose consumed
  • The levels of the lactase enzyme present
  • The speed of gastric emptying – the faster the gut transit the worse the symptoms.

WHY LACTOSE INTOLERANCE OCCURS

People with lactose intolerance don’t produce enough lactase, an enzyme required for lactose metabolism.

Not everyone with lactase deficiency has lactose intolerance. The deficiency develops over a long period. Although it starts around two years of age most people don’t develop symptoms until adolescence or adulthood. It may also develop as the result of damage to the intestine through illness such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, severe diarrhea or chemotherapy.

It’s long been thought that lactose intolerance was entirely due to this enzyme lack in the gut. It’s now thought that low levels of good intestinal bacteria may also be the cause. In many instances low bacteria levels are the result of other problems or illnesses.

It is now thought that low levels of good intestinal bacteria may be the cause of lactose intolerance.
It is now thought that low levels of good intestinal bacteria may be the cause of lactose intolerance.

EAT RIGHT FOR LACTOSE INTOLERANCE

There are studies that show many of those with low lactase levels actually do absorb lactose in small amounts. These people don’t necessarily need to eliminate lactose entirely or to take extra foods or supplements to balance the gut to improve their symptoms. Rather they just need to cut back on the amount of dairy foods they consume.

For others the only way to get rid of symptoms for good is to adopt a dairy-free eating plan.

Dairy foods include all forms of cow’s milk, cheese, cream, ice-cream, butter, yoghurt, curds, and many foods made from these. It may include the milk products of goats, sheep and camels. It doesn’t include eggs. Here’s a comprehensive list of all dairy foods.

If the gut symptoms are due to an illness such as IBS eliminating dairy foods won’t give significant symptom relief.

Evidence shows that eating yoghurt, probiotics and kefir replaces certain gut bacteria which improves symptoms. This is certainly worthwhile but it doesn’t address the underlying cause of the problem.

LACTOSE FREE FOODS

There are many lactose-free foods now available. While soy milk previously was the standard replacment for milk there are now many others. Now coconut milk often replaces milk in a product. Rice milk, almond milk, oat milk and soy milk are others that are all lactose free.

There are many lactose-free oils to replace butter. Ghee is butter with the lactose skimmed out of it and may be an excellent substitute.

Some fruit sorbets have no added milk.

Read the labels on processed foods and you’ll find many lactose-free alternatives.

Words that indicate the presence of lactose include:  Milk, lactose, whey, curds, milk by-products, dry milk solids, non-fat milk powder, milk solids

Lactose is also used in many prescription medicines, including birth control pills, over the counter medications and health supplements.

Some people can tolerate low-lactose foods made from goats or sheep milk. These foods have less lactose than those from cow’s milk.

Often our bodies know what’s not tolerated and let us know. When I stopped eating dairy I very quickly remembered I hated milk and cheese as a child, and had only started eating them as an adult in response to peer pressure.

However, the opposite can just as easily occur. Many people who have strong cravings for creamy dairy foods or milk actually have an intolerance or allergy. If you experience either strong cravings or aversions it’s worth considering your tolerance of that food.

coconut oil Phu Thinh Co

NATURAL WAYS TO REDUCE LACTOSE INTOLERANCE

There are a number of foods and supplements that help reduce unpleasant digestive symptoms caused by eating dairy foods.

Probiotics

Probiotic bacteria useful for lactose intolerance include Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria and Streptococci. Bifidobacterium longum is very efficient at metabolizing lactose, although all three are capable of producing lactase to improve lactose digestion.

While probiotics are live strains of good bacteria, prebiotics are the nourishment these bacteria needs to stimulate growth. Taking prebiotics as well as probiotic supplements help to significantly build levels of good bacteria. Some foods containg inulin, the most common form of prebiotic, are asparagus, garlic, leek, onion, and artichoke.

Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV can be a very effective way to reduce, even eradicate, lactose intolerance. It helps to balance the body. Try one tablespoon in ½ to one full glass of water every morning. Adding ¼ teaspoon of bicarb soda (baking soda) to the ACV before adding the water seems to help. It takes several weeks to improve symptoms and you must be diligent and not skip a day.

Coconut Oil

Taking 1-2 teaspoons of virgin coconut oil daily may help reduce intolerance. Alternatively, use coconut milk as a milk replacement in many recipes.

Yoghurt

Even though yoghurt is a dairy product, a few spoonfuls of good quality, full fat yoghurt, (such as Jalna – I am NOT an affiliate) with each meal introduces beneficial bacteria to your gut. Many people with lactose intolerance can digest yoghurt because it contains live bacteria in it to help break down the lactose and improve digestion.

Fermented Products

Sauerkraut and kimchi are foods made from fermented cabbage that contain good bacteria which helps re-populate the gut and regulate the digestive system. Drink the juice of the sauerkraut as well as eating it. Kimchi is quite spicy. It takes a few weeks for the bacteria to build up to sufficient levels to reduce symptoms.

Lactase Enzyme Supplements

Lactase is an enzyme produced in the small intestine that breaks down lactose in the body. When a person doesn’t produce sufficient lactase they experience the symptoms of lactose intolerance.

Lactase supplements are a small pill taken with foods containing lactose. They’re useful as a temporary measure or when you’re eating large quantities of dairy foods, but may not be so good for the long term. Adding the enzymes to milk a few hours before drinking it helps break down the lactose. They’re available from health food stores

Some people become immune to lactase pills over time. Sometimes you may not even be aware you’re eating dairy foods. I once watched a famous chef on TV divulge that the secret ingredient in his amazing clear chicken stock was cow’s milk.

One other problem with lactase supplements is that when the lactase arrives in the gut from another external source the body no longer needs to keep producing any lactase at all. You may very quickly go from producing some (if insufficient amounts) lactase to producing absolutely none.

Hard, aged cheeses have less lactose than soft cheeses.
Hard, aged cheeses have less lactose than soft cheeses.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO

If you’re only slightly lactose intolerant  all you may need do is cut down the amount of dairy you eat. You may tolerate some dairy foods better than others and if you choose carefully you may feel better in ways you hadn’t really noticed were wrong before.

If your intolerance is a little more severe you could find adding fermented foods, apple cider vinegar or probiotics gives you huge improvements.

  • High fat milk is digested more easily than low-fat milk.
  • Hard, aged cheeses have less lactose than soft cheeses.
  • Butter is low in lactose.
  • Milk products containing live bacterial cultures are already partially digested and may be tolerated.
  • Eating good quality yogurt containing live culture 10-15 minutes before eating dairy products may help your symptoms.

To eliminate symptoms eating dairy-free is often the best choice. These days it’s not difficult as there are many alternatives, including soy and coconut. If you’re able to tolerate a little lactose, and most people can, add very small amounts of one of the more easily tolerated dairy foods to remind your gut to keep producing any lactase it can.

For many simply cutting back the amount of dairy products is enough to eliminate the symptoms. Drinking less milk every day, eating yoghurt instead of drinking milk, replacing cows cheese with goat’s cheese are just a few things you could do.

What have you found to be the best way to deal with your lactose intolerance?

dairy-cows-175309_640

Disclaimer

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatments suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

Source articles

http://www.naturalnews.com/036379_food_intolerance_allergies_epidemic.html

http://www.bio-kult.com/research-technical/134/lactase-activity-of-probiotic-bacteria

http://earthclinic.com/CURES/lactose-intolerance.html

http://chriskresser.com/how-to-cure-lactose-intolerance

http://natureheals.hubpages.com/hub/ways-to-cure-lactose-intolerance

http://jillgrimesmd.blogspot.com.au/2011/08/lactose-intolerance-chocolate-milkthe.html

http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/lactoseintolerance

http://healing.answers.com/remedies/natural-remedy-treatments-for-lactose-intolerance

 

Stevia – The Key To Kicking Your Sugar Habit

sugar Kicking the sugar habit is easier said than done. For some people even making the decision to get rid of sugar from their diet is beyond thinking.

One of the biggest health pushes of 2013 was to encourage both us and food manufacturers to dramatically cut back the amount of that ‘giant nasty’ sugar that we consume. Suddenly it seemed that the finger was pointed squarely at sugar as the primary culprit behind one after another health problem.

We all know that too much sugar is bad for us. But most of us don’t really know why,  or how much too much actually is. But it seems that many of us have now picked up on the message that it could be that ANY sugar is bad for us.

But actually removing sugar and sweet foods from what you eat is another matter altogether. Only last week someone was talking to me about their New Year resolutions and breaking their bad habits. “I really need to lose weight” she said “but I don’t think I’m quite ready to say good bye to sugar”. And therein lies the problem that the majority of Australians, and probably most other Westerners face. They love their sweet food and they know just how hard it is to say goodbye to it completely.

Add to this reluctance the fact that sugar is addictive, and the resolve to abstain dissolves.

It is not just about deciding to give up sugar. It is also about breaking the physical effects of sugar. As with any other addiction, sugar metabolism sets up a chemical reaction in the brain as well as the body. Within the brain, glucose from metabolized sugars causes a higher release of dopamine and opioids.

Dopamine is often called the ‘feel-good neurotransmitter’. But while it may make you feel good, the release of too much has many health consequences. Many addictive drugs including nicotine, cocaine and methamphetamine also cause increased levels of dopamine to be released in the same way that sugar does. The opioids released by sugar metabolism also make sugar hard to beat by playing a part in the withdrawal symptoms.

I Love Sugar

HOW SUGAR AFFECTS THE BODY

One health problem where sugar plays a part is ADHD /ADD. Although sugar is not thought to cause ADHD, it does raise levels of dopamine. Increased levels of dopamine have been shown to lead to high activity level and impulsive behaviour in the person. So it seems that when parents notice behavioural changes in their child after eating sugar, they may be seeing the dopamine effect.

During 2013 it was suggested that sugar should be included amongst the big three causes of high cholesterol. The other two being trans fats and stress. It was thought that saturated fat was the main cause of high cholesterol levels but the question is now whether it may be sugar instead. At present this remains a controversial topic.

SUGAR AND ILL HEALTH

Here are some of the many illnesses that sugar is known to either cause or where it  plays a significant role or aggravates the symptoms of illnesses:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Mineral depletion which interferes with the absorption of magnesium & calcium
  • Food allergies
  • Slows down your immune system
  • Increases your risk for cancer – as hypothesized by Dr Walberg
  • Heart disease
  • Behaviour problems – ADHD, ADD
  • Insulin resistance
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Increased triglycerides
  • Reduces (HDL) high-density lipoproteins
  • Poor nutrition
  • Suppresses your immune system
  • Causes inflammation within the body
  • Causes a decline in tissue elasticity and function
  • Raises dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline levels and release
  • Lead to an acidic digestive tract
  • Arthritis
  • Learning disorders in children
  • Candida overgrowth

 For more from this impressive list of 143 Ways That Sugar Ruins Your Health check out this list from Nancy Appleton.

MORE SUGAR PROBLEMS

Over time you become desensitized to sugar. The more you eat, the more effective your body becomes in absorbing it, and the more sugar you absorb the more damage it does. As well as becoming more sensitized to sugar you also become more sensitized to its toxic effects. But fortunately this sensitization to sugar can be decreased so you become less reactive to it, by taking a sugar holiday, even just two weeks off sugar can be effective.

 Sugar is an expert at masquerading and is excellent at hiding in the foods you are eating. It goes by many names but an easy way to identify many sugars is to read the ingredient panel and take note of any ingredients that end in “ose”. Dextrose, lactose, sucrose, glucose, maltose – these are all just different forms of sugar, which when they are metabolized in your body all end up as the same thing, and all have the same effect on your body.

Remember that natural sweeteners, although better for you than white cane sugar because they are not so processed, all essentially become the same thing in your body, blood sugar or glucose. If you want to cut back the amount of blood sugar you cannot just replace one for the other.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

The alternative is NOT to turn to artificial sweeteners. Diet soft drinks, artificially sweetened yoghurts, lo-cal, lo-joule or diet anything are most definitely a poor alternative choice when  they contain artificial chemical sweeteners.

The chemicals such as aspartame that are used to sweeten “diet” or low-sugar foods are linked to all manner of health problems.

But there is one sweetening agent now readily available that is a good alternative to sugar, or to any other sweetener, and it is very safe.

That product is STEVIA.

Stevia rebaudiana
Stevia rebaudiana

Stevia rebaudiuna is a herb that comes from Paraguay in South America, where it has been used for centuries as a sweetener and a health tonic by the Guarani Indians.

The leaves of Stevia are intensely sweet. This naturally sweet extract is in fact up to an amazing 300 times sweeter than cane sugar, so you only need to use a tiny amount of stevia.

The thing that makes the use of stevia so attractive and exciting is that it does not cause an increase in blood sugar levels, in spite of being so sweet. Stevia allows you to enjoy some sweet foods in your diet without the health or weight issues that are caused by cane sugar.

By the way, stevia can used in cooking.

Occasionally some people find stevia has a metallic aftertaste but this seems to be related to the way the plant is processed. The plant leaves have no aftertaste. If you find this a problem it may be worth trying another brand of Stevia, or search out a liquid form.

Be very careful when you buy your Stevia. I was reading the ingredient of a product claiming to be stevia on the shelves at the supermarket and discovered that although the box was covered in the word “Stevia” in fact it was a mixture of stevia and aspartame!

Be careful to buy only pure Stevia. If you are concerned shop for it at a Health Food Shop. It is just as important to read the ingredient panel on foods that are sweetened with Stevia as it is any other to make sure there are not other artificial chemical sweeteners added as well.

Crushed stevia leaves
Crushed stevia leaves

SOME OF THE REPUTED HEALTH BENEFITS OF STEVIA

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Provides sweetness without elevating blood glucose level
  • Research shows taking 1000mg a day of stevioside reduced blood sugarlevels after meals by up to 18 percent in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Studies conducted at Mahidol University in Thailand showed stevia to have the following actions: Lowers blood pressure; anti-inflammatory; anti-tumour; anti-diarrhoeal; diuretic; immunomodulating

Currently further research is being conducted into the effects of stevia on diabetes.

So why not make the decision today to reduce your sugar and other sweetener intake and give stevia a go.

Have you tried stevia? Have you totally removed sugar and sweet food from your diet? Tell us about your experience in the Leave a Reply section below.

If you are local (Mitcham, Melbourne, Australia) you can pick up Stevia at Indigo Centre for Health & Wellbeing.

Small stevia plantation
Small stevia plantation

Disclaimer

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatments suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

Source articles

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/12/16/stevia-the-holy-grail-of-sweeteners.aspx

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/04/20/sugar-dangers.aspx

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/106/4/523.full

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2235907/

http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/healthscience/2012/october/cholesterol-myth-what-really-causes-heart-disease/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dopamine

http://nancyappleton.com/141-reasons-sugar-ruins-your-health/

http://www.healthylife-healthyplanet.com/health-problems-caused-by-sugar.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2356674/Stevia-First-natural-sugar-substitute-help-fight-obesity-diabetes.html

http://owndoc.com/pdf/Stevia%20new%20rural%20industry.pdf

 

Getting Naturally Candid About Candida

You may start to wonder if you will ever get well when you feel ghastly but test after test comes back clear.
You may start to wonder if you will ever get well when you feel ghastly but test after test comes back clear.

It is so common to have clients come in and say “I feel just awful but all my tests have come back normal”. Whilst they could have a number of different problems, often they are suffering from yeast overgrowth, or Candida.

This has become so widespread within the community with research suggesting that 90% of the population, men and women, may suffer from it. Many individuals regularly use fungal treatments when obvious symptoms flare up. But they are not addressing the problem at its source in the digestive tract and so the symptoms persist or recur. The yeast overgrowth leads to chronic systemic problems that leave them feeling exhausted with a variety of other seemingly unconnected symptoms, ranging from itchy throat to joint pains, or brain fog.

Candida albicans is a robust form of yeast normally present in our body. It can lead to fungal infections in the digestive tract, as well as the mouth, the vagina and on our skin. The presence of other friendly bacteria, normally keep it in check and hold it to levels that do not create problems for the immune system.

But many people’s gut bacteria are not in balance. When you have sufficient numbers of “good” bacteria they keep the candida bacteria in check. But when the numbers of good bacteria are diminished it allows the candida to grow and multiply rapidly until it overtakes the good bacteria, and causes a variety of chronic health problems in both women and men.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THERE IS TOO MUCH CANDIDA?

First the candida bacteria damages the lining of your intestines causing them to weaken and allowing toxins to pass through, which are then carried throughout your body. This is known as Leaky Gut. As well as spreading the toxins right through your body it leads to intolerances to many foods that were previously well tolerated such as dairy foods, eggs or gluten.

Next you start to crave sugars and carbohydrates more and more. Candida feeds on sugars both refined and unrefined. Carbohydrates break down in your gut into sugars and so are just as appealing to the candida bacteria as are simple sugars. As the numbers increase so does their need for food and so you seek out more of these types of food.

As the candida matabolises and then dies it creates 79 different toxins. These cause symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea or gas within the digestive system. As the toxins leak out of your gut, enter your bloodstream and are carried around your body they make you feel terrible. You may feel like you have the flu or even that you are drunk. As the numbers of candida increase the quantities of released toxins also increases.

Oral and vaginal thrush, or candidiasis, plus skin affections such as nappy  (diaper) rash, are commonly recognized and treated with western medicine. However dysbiosis, where the candida has become so prolific in the intestines that it causes the wide-ranging symptoms throughout the entire body, is more controversial and often rejected by many doctors.

WHAT CAUSES THE PROBLEM?

Dysbiosis is thought to be created by a few things. Taking lots of antibiotics is considered one of the main things that can lead to this situation as many of the “good” bacteria are killed. Candida however is not affected by the antibiotics, and with fewer numbers of other bacteria left to maintain the balance, it is able to flourish and reproduce wildly.

The overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics is most often the cause of the problem, particularly when the person has been on them for long periods to treat problems such as acne or sinus. But there are other medications that can also create the problem. Birth control pills are a perfect example of these medications. Taken for very long periods, often many years without a break, they has a strong bearing on gut bacteria, allowing the proliferation of Candida albicans. Commonly prescribed oral corticosteroids like prednisone, is another.

Other factors that increase susceptibility to dysbiosis are stress, lowered immune function, high-sugar diets, diabetes, and the hormonal changes in pregnancy.

When you remember that the command centre of the immune system is found in the gut it is obviously essential that significant problems in the intestines are addressed and turned around.

COMMON SYMPTOMS OF CANDIDA

The imbalance of intestinal bacteria, or flora, is often called dysbiosis. It leads to many symptoms including:

  •  Nail fungal infections, discolouration of toenails
  • Skin fungal infections such as tinea, athlete’s foot, ringworm
  • Feeling tired, fatigued, worn down or exhausted
  • Digestive problems – bloating, diarrhea/constipation, gas, new food sensitivities, spastic colon
  • Autoimmune diseases including Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ulcerative Colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma, Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Poor concentration, poor memory, disorientation, brain fog, lack of focus, dizziness, headache
  • ADD or ADHD
  • Skin problems – eczema, psoriasis, recurrent rashes
  • Sinusitis, recurrent colds, chronic nasal congestion
  • Mood swings, irritability
  • Recurrent vaginal yeast infections, vulvar itching (women)
  • Prostate and bladder infections (men)
  • Rectal itching
  • Urinary tract infections
  • PMS, decreased libido
  • Strong cravings for sugar and sweets or refined carbohydrates (bread, pasta, cake, cookies etc)
  • Weight gain

HOW TO KNOW IF YOU DO HAVE CANDIDA

Candida can be measured with a blood test. Many natural health practitioners are able to test in their clinic, or a doctors can order a blood test to test for Candida Anti-bodies, or a stool test to identify candida in your colon. But make sure it is a comprehensive stool test, not a standard one.

HOW TO BEAT CANDIDA

Diet

A good way is to starve the candida out, and to use probiotics to repopulate the gut with the friendly bacteria that then keeps the candida in check. The damage to your intestines causing the leaky gut also needs to be repaired so any chemicals produced by the remaining candida can no longer travel through your body.

To starve the candida requires adhering to a strict diet for at least two months, although it can take longer. Candida flourish in the presence of sugars, refined and unrefined, and anything fermented. Foods such as sweets, soft drinks, most fresh, all dried and all juiced fruit, refined grains including bread, pasta, cakes, cookies, rice, or fermented foods like soy, alcohol and vinegar, create “candida heaven” in your intestines. Removing these from your diet and supplementing with probiotics to help repopulate the gut with “good bacteria” can starve out the candida and help to create balance between all the gut bacteria.

Eliminate all sweets and sugars on the Candida Diet
Eliminate all sweets and sugars on the Candida Diet

It can be quite difficult to maintain the diet, especially as our Western diet is based on sugar-rich refined foods. Many people baulk at the diet and give it away before it has killed sufficient candida to reduce their symptoms in the long-term. Although the diet does require commitment, when you consider just how far-reaching the effects of yeast overgrowth are, and the extent of its impact on your entire system, it seems worth the effort. The long term improvement in lifestyle as well as health makes it worth persevering.

Removing any foods that are causing inflammation in your digestive tract, such as dairy foods and gluten, will help your gut to heal and aid your digestion. Healing your gut stops the candida getting out and making its way right through your body. Reducing inflammation improves your overall health, helping to prevent chronic disease later.

Once you finish with the candida diet it is time to be pro-active with your diet. Introduce foods rich in good bacteria such as miso, sauerkraut, kombucha tea and kefir (fermented milk). And don’t go back to eating lots of sweet or processed foods.

fermented foods

Probiotics

You require about 25-100 billion units of probiotics daily to start to balance out the candida by restoring the good bacteria. The variety needs to be Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bifidus and saccharomyces boulardii (SB). The Lactobacillus varieties maintain the balance of friendly bacteria and the SB variety reduces the candida population by acidifying the contents of the intestine.

Eating yogurt alone will not replace a quality supplement.

Herbals

Echinacea angustifolia boosts the immune system to battle yeast infections.

Garlic (Allium sativum) enhances immunity and research has shown that it reduces Candida albicans. Adding garlic to your diet is very useful in fighting candida.

Goldenseal may be effective for candida-related diarrhea.

Silymarin supports the liver, which may have reduced detoxification ability due to being compromised by the candida-related toxins. It enhances function and offers protection.

There are a number of herbs useful for treating candida and their effectiveness varies. This has led to some saying that different herbs must be used in cycles. In order to ensure you are taking the best antifungal for your needs, you would be better to use them under the care of a Natural Health practitioner.

Fatty Acids

Caprylic acid, a fatty acid has anti-fungal actions. It works by interfering with the cell walls of the fungus. Your body makes small amounts but it is also found in plants, particularly in coconut and palm oils. Although there is no clinical data available as to its effect on candida, it has been found to reduce the ability of the candida to grow and replicate.

Lifestyle

An approach that incorporates change on all levels is far more effective than simply taking probiotics or changing your diet. Altering your lifestyle can make a big difference to the reappearance of yeast overgrowth.

Maintain an exercise program to support and enhance your immune system.

Reduce stress. Taking up meditation, yoga, qi gong or tai chi will help you deal with stress you cannot avoid.

Avoid commercial feminine hygiene products. Also, the perfumes in them can irritate the mucous membranes.

Eat yoghurt which is not sweetened and contains live cultures of acidophilus.

Increase fibre to maintain bowel habits to effectively eliminate toxins in the gut.

Avoid exposure to chemicals in paints, cleaning products, perfumes as chemical sensitivities are very common in those with overgrowth of yeast.

Take up meditation or yogato help you deal with stress you cannot avoid.
Take up meditation or yogato help you deal with stress you cannot avoid.

Natural Therapies

While western medicine has many strengths, it is natural therapies that shine when it comes to treating chronic illnesses. Two natural therapies are particularly useful in dealing with yeast overgrowth.

Homeopathic remedies can be selected to treat candida overgrowth, quickly reducing the associated symptoms, and at the same time building the immune system. They are also useful for dealing with associated food cravings for sweets. EFT (Emotional Freedom Technoque) is also great for stopping cravings.

Traditional Chinese Medicine combines acupuncture with Chinese herbs to clear the candida and strengthen the immune system.

For my clients I combine Homeopathic remedies with other natural therapies, the candida diet and probiotics. This combination addresses the symptoms and improves their general health, which has been undermined by the overgrowth. It also seems to speed up the process, and help with the symptoms that arise as the candida dies off.

HOW TO PREVENT FURTHER YEAST OVERGROWTH

To prevent yeast overgrowth avoid the use of antibiotics unnecessarily. If you do need to take antibiotics take probioics at the same time, and for about three weeks afterwards to rebuild friendly bacteria numbers. Avoid unnecessary steroid use. Rinse your mouth or nose after using a steroid inhaler or nasal sprays if you do use them. Consider your use of birth control pills, particularly if you use them continuously for long periods. Reduce the amount of sweet, refined carbohydrates and processed fermented foods in your diet.

Be aware that as large numbers of candida die off all at once they release significant toxins into the gut. These can cause a temporary return of symptoms such as bloating, pain or diarrhea, or general ‘flu-like’ symptoms. The symptoms pass as the waste toxins are removed.

Be careful about assuming that you have dysbiosis. Although it is quite common, and is often not diagnosed, the symptoms are similar to those of other conditions and problems. There is also quite a bit of misinformation about candida around and you need to be careful about diagnosing yourself from a book or the internet.

If you think you may have an overgrowth of candida consult with a Natural Health Practitioner. While you can make the necessary changes for yourself, this can be a very complex problem that can have extensive effects on your body, and one that is far better managed holistically by a practitioner. They will construct the best protocol for you and manage any difficulties you encounter along your way to overcoming this disorder and returning to better health.

lust for life

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue. 

Source articles

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/06/10/holistic-treatment-for-candida-infection.aspx

http://www.wholehealthchicago.com/76/candida-overgrowth-syndrome

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/what-your-body-is-trying-to-tell-you-9-signs-you-shouldnt-ignore.html

http://drmccombs.wordpress.com/2009/10/29/10-candida-myths

 

Living With The Seasons – Summer

Consciously living in harmony with the world around us supports our body, our emotions and our spirit. Within that consciousness we need to be in harmony with the greater cycles of life. When we tune into the passage of time by living with the seasons our energy synchronises with universal and earth energies to bring balance.

Living with the seasons

I’ve been luxuriating in the relaxing space between work finishing before Christmas and now, the New Year, doing very little and simply enjoying the summer. This two week period included the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year and the day when the sun shines the longest and the night is shortest.

I make it a practice to live in sync with the seasons, emotionally as well as in the basics like what I eat or wear. But slowing down over the Summer Solstice flies in the face of this practice. The energy of Summer Solstice is intense, joyous and one for celebration and partying. Taking it slow isn’t what’s called for but this year the seasonal energy called for rest.

The ancient teachings behind Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are perhaps where we see the theories of living with the seasons at its strongest in our modern world. This ancient discipline examines the effects that emotions and foods have on the different organs of our body. It provides guidelines about which organs of the body are most significant in each season and the steps needed to support the appropriate organ and create harmony within.

The steps of TCM are based on many aspects of diet including the quantities of food eaten, time of day, even your state of mind while you eat.

But living with the seasons requires more, it requires an wholistic approach.

Getting sufficient exercise, sleep, and clean water; reducing stress, anxieties and toxin exposure are equally essential to living a balanced life, in tune with the rhythms of the earth and the seasons.

Living With Winter

The natural way for your body as a whole to respond to the seasons is to ‘close down’ over the winter and to ‘open out’ over the summer. During the cold, dark winter months you need and want more sleep, your activities slow and quieten, your body requires external warmth from fire and warm, nourishing foods. Even emotions can close down and it’s not uncommon for depression to surface during the depths of winter, partly due to the lack of sunlight and associated decreased Vitamin D intake.

Living With Summer

During the warmer summer months, when the days are longer, the body requires and benefits from, less nourishment. It doesn’t need extra kilojoules to keep itself warm, you feel more energetic and your natural instinct is to get out, socialize, and be much more active.

Rise early and face the sunrise to benefit from the rays.
During summer rise early and face the sunrise to benefit from the rays.

Take a moment to think about how much easier it is to go out to a party on a warm, balmy summer night than it is on a cold, dark, rainy winter one, when all you want to do is curl up with a book or movie, or simply sleep. Think of how much easier it is to diet and exercise during the warmer months when your requirement is for lighter foods.

As more and more of us grow our own veggies and shop at Farmers Markets we are becoming increasingly aware of which foods are in season at any time, and beginning to direct our food choices towards only those foods that are in season. Obviously we don’t need watermelon in the winter when it doesn’t grow. Instead, we look for stews made from warming meats and root vegetables in season at that time.

Seasonal Wellness Books

Summer holidays are the time when many catch up on their reading. There are a few books I love that you might like to take a look at,  which are useful guides towards living in tune with the seasons.

One is a cookbook appropriately named Eating For The Seasons by Janella Purcell, an Australian Naturopath, Nutritionist and Cook. It’s a great book with tips and recipes carefully selected to benefit and support to your body in each of the four seasons.

Another book I love is Ancient Healing For The Modern Woman by Xiaolan Zhao. This book looks at the ‘seasons’ of a woman’s life, rather than the seasons of the year, and offers wonderful ways to naturally remedy problems like PMS, symptoms of pregnancy, menopause, and breast health. It contains lots of great, simple tips taken from the authors personal experience of Traditional Chinese Medicine used by her family in China. She is a doctor of both TCM and Western Medicine in Canada,  and her advice is very soundly grounded in both modalities.

If you’d like something a little more hefty you may prefer Healing With Whole Foods by teacher and nutrition researcher Paul Pitchford, a very comprehensive guide to Chinese Medicine. This book also contains lots of information about nutrition and diet, as well as a cookbook. There are sections on the Ayurvedic principles of food-combining, treating disease with foods, plus much more. As I say, detailed and comprehensive.

Living In Tune With The Summer Season

Early and Mid Summer

living with the seasonsAccording to Chinese Medicine, summer is the season of Yang (masculine energy), and during early and mid-summer the heart and small intestine come to the fore. The emotions associated with the heart are joy and playfulness. Mental acuity is also associated with the heart in TCM, so memory, thought processes, emotional well-being and consciousness, as well as sleep also belong to this time.

When the heart is balanced the mind is calm.

Early and mid-summer is a time for celebrating and partying, as well as balancing that with enough rest and sleep.

When the fire element is out of harmony, so too is your experience of joy. You feel either depressed with too little fire, or joyous chaos with too much.

When your fire is unbalanced you experience associated symptoms that include agitation, nervousness, high blood pressure, heartburn, irregular heartbeat and insomnia.

Imbalance of the heart, governed by fire, can lead to confusion, crazy or no laughter, a very red or very pale face, stuttering, verbal diarrhoea, memory loss, mental illness or an aversion to external heat.

Late Summer

In the late summer (the fifth season in TCM) it becomes the time of the spleen and stomach. Overworked spleen and stomach is associated with worry and obsessive thoughts. Spleen is associated with damp and problems may kick in if the weather is humid.

The summer season is ruled by fire. Life and energy is at a peak.

 

Align With Summer Energy

The aim during Summer is to let your energy flow ‘out’, to get rid of the heat stored in the body over winter.

  • Eat spicy foods to induce sweat, it helps rid the body of heat
  • Rise early to benefit from the rays of the sun.
  • Go to bed later. Rest at midday if you need more sleep.
  • Drink plenty of clean water (water is the opposing element of fire), take cool baths, seek shade. Watermelon juice, an old remedy for dehydration, cools the body and cleanses the system.
  • Add pungent and strong flavours to your diet
  • Avoid drinks full of sugars and chemicals which don’t actually relieve thirst, but do bring toxins into the body which then have to be cleared out.
  • Refrain from anger, keep calm.
  • Green-vegetablesEat more cooling, hydrating yin foods to balance the fire heat of summer – raw foods, salads, seafood, legumes, sprouts (especially mung-bean), zucchini, cucumbers, kelp, and fruits like watermelons, apples, limes and lemons.  Cooling foods tend towards the green foods – lettuce, cucumbers, watercress. Very few vegetables are warming. Fish and seafoods are cooling but most meats are warming. Be careful not to eat too much raw or cold food though as it may ‘cool’ your digestion too much – you want to achieve balance in all things!
  • Bitter yin foods are associated with the heart and small intestine. They reduce the heat and drain dampness. Foods such as celery, dandelion, endive, watercress, quinoa and rye. But be careful not to overdo bitter foods, unless you have lots of fire in you. Asparagus and lettuce are both bitter and sweet.
  • Later in the summer add the sweet yang flavours of complex carbohydrates, legumes, nuts, oats, rice, peas, peaches, avocado, kiwifruit, cucumber and raw honey. These build and strengthen the spleen and thus the whole body. The spleen is the most important organ of the immune system. They also slow and relax an overactive heart and mind. But don’t have too much!
  • Eat foods that promote energy and activity. Use hot spices such as fresh (not dried) ginger. Black pepper, cayenne and horseradish will induce a sweat. Cardamon is a useful spice as it clears the digestive system of blockage caused by heat.
  • Eat in moderation. Keep your food light and simple. Indigestion, sluggishness and even diarrhoea can easily occur in the summer. It’s healthier for you, and it gives you more time to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.
  • Avoid heavy or salty foods – meat, excess grains, dairy, oil and eggs as they will make you feel sluggish during summer.
  • Avoid cold foods in early summer – iced drinks and ice-cream (they hold in the sweat and heat)
  • Focus on changes in your life related to joy, growth and spiritual awareness. With the predominant nature of Summer being Yang, related to excitement, assertiveness and exuberance, it is the perfect time to take action to make positive change.

 

The Key To Living With The Seasons

If you remember that the human body is simply a microcosm of the universe, the macrocosm, it becomes easier to understand that the same imbalances that occur in the environment are mirrored in the human being. By keeping this relationship with nature in mind we can become more conscious of keeping the rhythms  of life in harmony, of living with the seasons.

living with the seasons summer

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue. 

Source articles:

Purcell, J, Eating For The Seasons, Allen & Unwin, 2011

http://www.chinesemedicineliving.com/blog/nutrition/seasons/summer

https://www.acufinder.com/Acupuncture+Information/Detail/Summertime!+Chinese+Medicine+and+the+Summer+Season

http://www.pacificcollege.edu/acupuncture-massage-news/articles/454-traditional-chinese-medicine-summer-tips.html

http://straightbamboo.com/articles/how-to-stay-healthy-in-summer/