The concept of yeast causing conditions like chronic fatigue is not part of conventional medical thinking. This concept has developed through the evaluation and successful treatment of patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia (for more common questions and expert answers on Fibromyalgia, visit Sharecare.com) and other chronic ailments. Medicinal practices have long recognized forms of yeast as potential invaders, but usually in patients with conditions such as HIV or chemotherapy-induced immune suppression. In this article, we will examine treatments for and factors related to yeast overgrowth.

Many patients with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia have been looking to alternative forms of treatment, as often traditional medicine falls short. From a holistic approach, yeast overgrowth is considered in relation to these conditions.

Basically, it is thought that yeast, often the Candida albicans strain, has overwhelmed the immune system and is now wreaking havoc on the body with a host of systems. It is important to note that everyone has some yeast in their system. Typically it is located in the colon along with several other types of bacteria, many of which are essential for optimal digestion and protection from infection.

It is estimated that 70 percent of our immune system resides in the digestive tract so that potential infections can be promptly addressed. However, exposure to diets high in processed food and refined sugar, chronic stress, food triggers and intolerance or frequent antibiotic use can shift the ratios of beneficial to infective bugs in our bowels.

If the bad guys, like yeast, become too strong, they may begin to cause problems for the bowels. This is called dysbiosis. Symptoms include bloating, abdominal pain and fatigue. If the problem is not adequately addressed, poor functioning of the bowels can lead to other issues in the body. Yeast overgrowth has been suggested as playing a role in such conditions as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel, chronic fatigue, brain fog, chronic immune suppression, chronic sinus issues, skin rashes or infections, acne, joint aches and depression.

Yeast overgrowth, or the overgrowth of any unwanted bug, can happen when the body’s defenses are out of balance. If any bug has grown beyond the boundaries of the immune system, the body is not being adequately supported. Diet, sleep habits, nutritional support, detoxification capacity and hormone balance all need to be explored so that deficiencies and problem areas can be identified and treated.

Increase your servings of raw fruits and vegetables as well. Many physicians who treat yeast overgrowth suggest avoiding all forms of sugar, including fruit, but if the other potential sources of imbalance are taken care of, restrictions on healthy fruits like blueberries or raspberries should not be necessary. Refined sugars always pose a potential problem. Revaluating these areas will allow the immune system to resume its control over what bugs live where. Those concerned about the overgrowth of pathogens in the bowels should read the follow-up article on improving Digestive Health.

The topic of yeast overgrowth in relation to chronic illnesses has been discussed for years. Conventional medicine is slow to agree with yeast as a cause of conditions such as chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Patients, on the other hand, are educating themselves with resources that help explain why they feel sick. This gap in agreement has lead to a slow understanding of what is really happening in the body, and what needs to be done to correct the issue. The issues of poor diet, food triggers, bowel health, nutritional support and toxin detoxification should all be investigated in conjunction with yeast overgrowth.