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Alternative Medicine/Possible Systemic Yeast Overgrowth


QUESTION: Dear Sharon,   I've got a question for you. What do you think about yeast overgrowth, a popular cause believed by many in the holistic world as the cause for many people's health problems? After a long history of antibiotics back in 1990-92, my symptoms began. I was being treated for an alleged prostate infection. I was also ignorant at that time about the havoc antibiotics can bring about on one's health!!! My symptoms ever since then have been the same: red elbows, pain, discomfort and swelling in the left lymphatics, headaches and diarrhea. I think, also, that I've been prone to "so called" bladder or kidney infections. I was "diagnosed" once with eczema. I do get those red, scaly patches that itch like crazy, and are accompanied by diarrhea. This particular malady seems seasonal. I breakout every spring and fall, without fail.     What's your opinion, Sharon? What's your advice? Any ideas? Anything would be deeply appreciated! Thank you so much.     Mark

You must be feeling somewhat frustrated!   
The symptoms you describe could be a range of things, of which gut flora imbalance is one.  Some people feel improvement from such symptoms if they abstain from sweet foods and take probiotics. Others might feel that probiotics don't help at all.  
The symptoms of candida and those of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth can present quite similarly but require different treatments.  The latter is more easily diagnosed with a hydrogen-methane breath test.
If you do have systemic yeast, you're best to work with a herbalist or naturopath to get on top of it - assuming that you want to avoid systemic anti-fungal agents!
I hope you find someone in your area that can work with you.
All the best.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi again Sharon,  Thanks for the comment on SIBO. I had to look it up, but now I know what it is. I probably do have SIBO. But now I have another question you might be able to shed some light on.
     I check my stool from time to time. Just a little while ago I saw something unusual. So I scooped it out of the bowl. It looks to me like it might be something. It looks like a bug, but not really a bug. From the top view it looks like a raisin. From underneath it looks strange. It has like what appears to be two small tentacles. This underneath side looks odd, I'm serious. And no, I did not eat any raisins or nuts or any other roundish type of food last night.
     Please don't say take it to a doctor. That could take weeks to get an appointment. By then it will have dried up and disintegrated. Putting it in water won't preserve it either. So I guess I'll have to freeze it, but that will destroy it upon thawing out.
     I thought you might be able to help because of your experience in the health and/or medical fields. Have you ever had anyone ever explain or describe something like this to you??  
     Any comment would be appreciated. Help if you can. Thanks.  Mark

Hi Mark.
That does sound unusual.  And you have an unusually investigative mind!  You could take photos of it - that would be the best way to attempt to have it identified.
I'm sorry, but in New Zealand, I'd simply have you take it to a lab, along with a fresh stool sample.  How you'd get it positively identified in the USA is not something I can help with, sorry.

Kind regards

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Sharon Erdrich


Any health related question, particularly those related to an holistic approach, using nutrition, herbal medicine, aromatherapy and lifestyle options.


30 years as a registered nurse, Private health consultant and experienced educator of complementary medicine practitioners.

NZAMH, NZ Nursing Council., AIMA (Associate member), Naturopaths of NZ.

Kai Tiaki Journal. Healthy Options Magazine. See my website for downloadable articles.

Reg Nurse, Post Grad Cert Health Science (Nutrition), Dip Herbal Med, Dip Naturopathy, Dip Aromatherapy.

Awards and Honors
Best Research Paper, Top Naturopathic Student (2005)

Past/Present Clients
Varied, from all ages and with a range of health issues.

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