Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by LouiseK, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. LouiseK

    LouiseK New Member


    I just saw you mention in another post that you have yeast problems. I know this may sound naive but would you mind telling me what your symptoms are? I think I have yeast problems but find the standard questionaire not that useful as it's so general. I am hoping to get some information from someone who has more specific symptoms and perhaps solutions.

    Thank you.
  2. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Hi Louise,

    Right now I am looking at a book that has an excellent chapter on yeast. It is called "Optimal Wellness" by Ralph Golan, M.D. I recommend it strongly to anyone with CFS, since it tackles a variety of issues of relevance to us as well as the yeast.

    The simplest way for me to do this seems to be to go down the list of symptoms and state a) how I feel "with yeast," b) how I feel "without yeast" (e.g. just CFS), and c) how I feel during yeast die-off.

    Note that "with yeast" and "without yeast" are relative terms. No matter how hard I've tried (i.e. extremely hard!), I've never been able to get the yeast totally under control. This, I believe, is the nature of CFS.

    However, there are marked differences between how I feel when the yeast is addressed as well as I can vs. less well. I've been through this cycle several times, and so I can recognize the symptoms by now.

    Note that I am allergic to yeast/mold and also prone to being overrun by it. I believe that some of my symptoms (especially the mental ones) are caused by the allergy. (My biggest symptom--the BPPV noted in my bio--is just due to yeast overgrowth rather than the allergy though. The gastrointestinal, urogenital and sinus problems undoubtedly are caused solely by overgrowth rather than allergies as well.)

    I'm going to go through the list. (Some of the symptoms on the list I've never had, and so I'm leaving them out.)


    "With Yeast": Constipation, coated tonguee (white), cracked/fissured tongue, oral thrush (once), itchy anus. (Note: Diarrhea also can be a sign of yeast.)

    "During Die-Off: Increased constipation, loose stools/diarrhea, increased anal itch, intestinal growling, gas.

    "Without Yeast": Easy and regular bowel movements, bright pink tongue with no coating or cracks, no other symptoms above.


    "With Yeast": Chronic stuffy nose, congested/allergic sinuses, sinus headaches, bad snoring, BPPV (see my bio)

    "During Die-Off" (only with anti-yeast enzymes and cream of tartar): strongly increased sinus congestion and pain

    "Without Yeast": Eventually--weeks after intestinal symptoms cease!--somewhat less congestion in sinuses, sinus headaches and BPPV gone, stuffy nose lessened. Snoring and some sinus congestion continues. (I've been treated at various times for bacterial sinus infections with no effect. I've not yet used enzymes or cream of tartar to know if they will solve this problem, although the die-off reaction makes me think it's plausible.)


    "With Yeast": Depression, emotional fragility, irritability, anxiety, delayed periods, irregular periods

    "During Die-Off": PMS Irritability increased.

    "Without Yeast": Emotional symptoms decrease somewhat. (Most have been controlled with other measures though, and thus seem to be only exacerbated somewhat by yeast.)


    "With Yeast": Fatigue and lethargy, crying, nervousness, grumpiness, spacey or unreal feeling, cloudy headedness, lightheadedness, insomnia, lack of physical or mental stamina, mood swings, agitation, explosive irritability, loss of ability to concentrate, hyperactivity/poor attention span, clumsiness/lack of coordination, manic-depressive syndrome, depression, anxiety, restlessness, decreased intellectual functioning, headaches,

    "During Die-Off": fatigue/lethargy, spacey or unreal feelings, lack of mental stamina, loss of ability to concentrate, cloudy headedness, restlessness, headaches increase substantially. General feelings of mental and physical discomfort. Other symptoms above consistent.

    "Without Yeast": Spacey/unreal feeling, cloudy headedness disappear. Very few headaches. Grumpiness, fatigue/lethargy, irritability, loss of concentration, decreased intellectual functioning somewhat better. (The other emotional symptoms are now pretty much gone, and some of the cognitive ones have been improved. However, I do not believe the yeast relief had much if anything to do with those improvements.)


    "With Yeast": Vaginal itching/burning, vulvar itching/inflammation.

    "During Die Off": Unchanged.

    "Without Yeast": Symptoms prevented but not cured. (I have hopes that Candidase or cream of tartar might fix this, but have yet to experiment enough to find out.)


    "With Yeast": Rough, dry or scaly skin

    "During Die-Off": No change

    'Without Yeast": No change.


    "With Yeast": Ringing in ears

    "During Die-Off": No change.

    "Without Yeast": Has disappeared, although I'm not sure it's related to yeast.


    "With Yeast": Muscle pain/aching/discomfort

    "During Die-Off": No change

    "Without Yeast": Has almost disappeared over the years, although I'm not sure how much credit to give the yeast treatment.


    "With Yeast": Beer, wine. Many others.

    "During Die-Off" No change

    "Without Yeast": Most food allergies have decreased substantially over the past decade. I do not know how much credit to give the yeast control though. (It's possible that might have helped leaky gut, thus decreasing allergies slowly.) Beer (which contains yeast) and wine (which contains mold) are still problems.


    "With Yeast": Many

    "During Die-Off": No change

    "Without Yeast": No change


    "With Yeast": Mold, hay fever, mildew, dust

    "During Die-Off": No change

    "Without Yeast": May or may not have contributed to improvements.


    "With Yeast": Cold hands and feet, sensitivity to noise and light, low thyroid, low adrenal, food allergies, general feeling of ill health, cravings for sweets/bread

    "During Die-Off": Craving for sweets/breads increased

    "Without Yeast": Craving for sweets/breads disappear as result. General feeling of ill health significantly less. Possibly a contributing factor to improved adrenal functioning, lessening of food allergies over time (this took years).

    Note the following responses to different sorts of yeast control:

    Traditional (eliminate sugar, very high amounts of probiotics, use of herbs/nystatin, ampotericin-b): high die-off symptoms in all categories except sinus issues

    Candidase (anti-yeast enzymes) and Cream of Tartar: die-off symptoms in all categories, including sinus issues. (In theory these products should eventually relieve sinus and vaginal yeast, but I've not used them long enough yet to know.)

    Diflucan: Relieves all symptoms (to some extent) within a couple of days with no die-off. However, eventually this stops working (yeast becomes resistant). It's also toxic on the liver. Yeast generally returns as soon as drug is discontinued unless other measures are taken.

    Personally, I do not yet feel comfortable with cream of tartar. I do not understand how it works (e.g. why it kills sinus yeast directly), and that bothers me. The fact that it is supposed to be stopped after a month makes me wonder if the yeast would easily return afterwards.

    I feel more comfortable with the idea of anti-candida enzymes (like Candidase). Their mechanism makes sense to me (dissolves cell walls of yeast) and since it's supposed to be okay to use them long-term.

    Regardless of what kind of treatment is used, eliminating sugar (and cutting back on white flour and fruit juice) plus adding large amounts of probiotics is usually recommended. (My doctor recommends 60 billion units of mixed strain probiotics, although it is difficult to get this strength from most vendors. He has a product compounded---it is one of only a couple proprietary products that he sells to patients.)

    Others' yeast problems might be very different from mine.

    And note that I am scrupulous about yeast due to my BPPV. Again, please see my bio for details. (Just click on my name to the left of this post.)

    Good luck!

    Best, Lisa

    [This Message was Edited on 04/19/2007]
  3. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Recently, doctors specializing in CFS have started making a point of saying that even for people who "just" have intestinal problems as a result of yeast, these could be extremely important to address.

    (Gut yeast can manifest itself either as constipation or diarrhea, along with other symptoms.)

    Dr. Kenny de Meirleir (a well-known European researcher/doctor) seems to be one of those who headed this approach, but other doctors have quickly picked up on it.

    Addressing gut yeast (and gut health in general) seems to these researchers important for the following reasons:

    * Problems with the gut cause problems with the immune system. While addressing gut issues may not be enough to resolve fully the viral or bacterial infections that plague many CFS sufferers, even somewhat increased immunity it thought to be of help to us.

    * A yeast-filled gut (especially with constipation) is very toxic. Since CFS sufferers seem to be very toxic in general, this adds to the burden.

    * It is very hard for the liver to function effectively if the gut is toxic. A liver that is not functioning well contributes to feelings of ill health in general. (It seems that many CFS sufferers do indeed suffer from liver problems. Maintaining a strong liver is especially important for those of us taking pharmaceutical drugs, since short-term and long-term side effects of them are much more likely if the liver is unable to get the drug remnants out of the body in an efficient manner.)

    * Yeast problems are said by many to lead to "leaky gut," where undigested food and other stuff gets outside. Amongst the potential problems as a result are food allergies, which plague many CFS sufferers. Allowing toxins or pathogens that are supposed to stay in the bowel to escape from it is a very bad thing too.

    Thus, constipation in itself may be sufficient reason to address yeast (or at least to experiment to see if yeast is the cause). Even if the constipation per se does not feel troublesome to the individual, seeing it as a symptom that something is inherently wrong and taking measures to address it may have the potential of resulting in generally improved health into the future.

    This is my own opinion, but it is based on what I have heard/read from a fairly large number of respected MD's. I did not make it up myself or base it on comments from "alternative" health practitioners or laymen. However, other people certainly are free to disagree or add their own comments.

    Best, Lisa

    [This Message was Edited on 04/19/2007]
  4. LouiseK

    LouiseK New Member

    Thank you so much for all this. Very informative and very well organized.

    I don't know how you keep all these treatments organized, let alone swallow all the supplements (or pay for them). I admire you.

    Some of these things I don't understand although I read them everywhere. How to know if you have a "leaky gut" for instance and if you do should you have colonics and all that pressure pushing stuff through your colon walls to wherever . . .? Where is that -- the spaces between the organs? Can surgeons find this stuff between your organs when they cut you open?

    Sugar is making the yeast reproduce, I read. And, strictly speaking isn't a lot of our food reduced to some fairly simple sugars by the time it gets through the intestines? And don't the yeasts eat that? Can they only eat refined sugar??

    I have candida and yeast/fungal issues on my skin and in my vagina. My doctors have told me that they don't have as much bacteria as the gut does to keep the yeast in check and that the gut has so much bacteria in it that it's not the same problem.

    Isn't there some kind of mainstream stool-sample kind of test for yeast in the gut? And how about the trush?

    Thank you so much.
  5. Gosia

    Gosia New Member

    Genova Diagnostics is a lab which doas the tests

    1) Intestional Permeability ( leaky gut syndrome) ( about $150 ).

    2) ComprehensiveDigestive Stool Test ( shows Yeast, healthy and bad bacteria, parasites, digestive enzymes ). ( about $80 ).

    Your doctor has to order it.

    I hope this helps.
  6. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Hi Louise,

    Now you're getting into the harder questions, the ones where there is controversy about the answers. I'll give you my understanding of the topic. You might want to ask other people or explore more yourself though.

    To my understanding, the holes in "leaky gut" are teeny tiny (maybe microscopic). They're just big enough for little bitty food particles that are still recognizable as food to pass through.

    This is bad, since by the time anything gets out of the digestive system, it's supposed to be totally transformed into raw materials (e.g. amino acids, vitamins, etc.). The body knows those raw materials are supposed to be there and uses them as is appropriate.

    If an undigested food particle makes its way outside of the intestines, the body doesn't know what it is. It thus may be viewed as a pathogen and attacked. This causes an allergic response, which is why leaky gut tends to lead to food allergies.

    With regard to having a colonic.....the "leaks" in the colon are extremely small, and waste matter is pushing against them all the time. Logically, I wouldn't think a colonic would hurt, since it's more washing the waste material out than pushing it against the sides of the colon. The water used for colonics is pretty pure, and water is one of the substances that the body does not recognize as foreign. I don't know that colonics would help leaky gut problems, but I've not heard it would hurt it. Someone else might disagree though.

    The "Optimal Wellness" book says that yeast feed on refined sugars "more readily" than on complex carbohydrates that have been converted into sugars. However, it is true that even complex carbohydrates feed yeast once they are digested. One "established" (but still "alternative") treatment for yeast does indeed recommend eliminating all carbohydrates for a certain period of time. This is commonly referred to as "The Diet" (caps intentional). The problem for CFS sufferers is that not eating any complex carbohydrates (i.e. omitting all fruits, all grains and many vegetables) is not very healthy to use long term, and that yeast is a life-long problem for us. Removing the worst offenders (such as raw sugars and white flour) tends to be seen as a good compromise by many people.

    What are the symptoms of yeast on your skin?

    Having excess yeast in the gut may lead to vaginal yeast infections (since yeast easily moves externally into the vagina....hygiene is important). A vaginal yeast infection thus can be considered a sign that intestinal yeast _might_ be a problem. Unfortunately, vaginal yeast is hard to eradicate once you get one (especially if yeast is a resistant strain). Minimizing its presence in the gut can be a good preventive measure, even if it doesn't necessarily resolve a current vaginal infection.

    I wasn't aware that Genova had a leaky gut test and am not sure how good it is. I've had the stool tests from them a number of times. My experience is that if I know the yeast is _really_ bad, the stool test will pick up on it. If my yeast is only moderately bad, it won't come out on the tests.

    The best way to know if I have yeast problems is for me to actively treat the yeast, therefore. I currently am doing this with Candidase and am amazed at the response I'm getting, considering that my yeast problem is as much under control as it has ever been.

    Please take a look at my current Famvir Status Report (Week 22) if you want more info on the Candidase. Also, this is going to sound kind of silly, but I like to think of my status report threads as a sort of "salon"---a gathering place for pleasant and supportive conversation about a variety of topics (health-related). if you have time, please feel free to join in. :)

    Best, Lisa
  7. LouiseK

    LouiseK New Member

    All great info. Thanks for taking the time.

    As you asked about my skin I get a lot of like "jock itch", and little attacks of fungus in the ear folds where it stays wet after showering or behind the ears and, also (don't listen guys) under breasts and in the tiny creases around nipples (really guys don't listen!)

    I know it's fungal because as soon as i use an anti-fungal cream it clears up. Unfortunately I think I have used them too much and my skin has gotten worn from them and the fungus takes ahold easier than ever. Likewise about the vaginal yeast and "jock" area.

    Interesting remarks about the vaginal/intestinal issues. I think that might be true in my case.

    Any rate, I am treating the symptoms over and over and not getting "healing" just some symptom relief so I need change. It was suggested that I take a lot of probiotics to start with which seems right and easy enough.

    Also, I have been on anit-biotics for THREE months. Isn't that unbelievable?? For a rosacea problem that suddenly just got totally out of control and it got into my eyes and now if I skip even one dose of the anti-biotics it comes right back into my eyes. I think that is bad.

    I went to the stupid HMO dermo who had sort of just arrived from his med school graduation if you get my drift and tried to ask him about fungal problems and the rosacea. He acted like he'd never heard of either and mumbled something stupid. Ah, managed care.

    Anyway, thanks for all this. Onward! I think yeast is where my focus needs to be right now. Thanks.