Its April. Here in Vancouver we are definitely ready for spring and sunshine. At this time of the year, many people are hitting the gyms, getting on healthy eating plans and have weight loss on their mind. After all, summer is just around the corner! One of the most common complaints I hear from my patients is belly bloat. No matter how much they work out or change their diet they cannot get rid of the stomach bloat.
If you can relate to this and do deal with stomach bloat consider yeast overgrowth as being a part of the problem.
There are some classic signs to look for that could indicate gut dysbiosis and fungal overgrowth may be a problem. If you wake up with a flat stomach and as the day progresses you get more bloated think fermentation. If you also get gas, you can pretty much say you have bacteria or fungus fermenting the food you are eating and producing gas. Some of the gases are released, but some can cause constipation.
Other signs and symptoms of yeast overgrowth include gas, bloating, constipation, loose stools, itchy skin, itchy vaginal or rectal area, vaginal yeast infections, itchy scalp, fatigue, brain fog, spacy brain, having a white coat on your tongue… the list goes on and on
The next question I get asked frequently is “how did I get a yeast overgrowth?” One of the main reasons is diet! A diet high in sugar and fruit, fermented drinks such as beer, wine, champagne, eating bread and baked goods all contribute to yeast overgrowth. In addition a history of multiple antibiotic use will also increase the risk of developing yeast overgrowth problems.
Now that you have determined you may have a yeast problem, what is the next step? Lets discuss treatment options. The first step is a change in diet! This is the most important first step. Eliminate processed sugars, reduce fruit intake, avoid fermented alcohol (choose clear spirits), avoid baked goods and choose yeast free breads.
Add a high quality probiotic. The good bacteria can keep the yeast in check and reduce future overgrowth.
There are also some great natural antifungals that can be used for treatment. Some of my favorite antifungals include garlic, grapefruit seed extract, and caprylic acid.
Of course anytime I develop a treatment plan for a patient I like to get a clear picture of what I am treating. I recommend a stool test to test for bacteria and yeast. Once we confirm what we are treating, a specific treatment plan can be developed that may also include prescription antifungals.
If you have a yeast overgrowth, reducing the yeast levels is very effective in reducing gas, bloating, improving digestion, treating constipation, improving energy, clearing brain fog, helping mood and reducing irritability. Lets not forget the reduction in stomach bloat too!! One step closer to getting that flat stomach!
For more information on stool testing and treatment options book an appointment with one of our naturopathic doctors.
Best wishes for an amazing spring season!
Yours in health,
Dr Tasreen Alibhai, ND