Many women will, at some point during their lifetime, experience this disease. Candidiasis or, more commonly known as “a yeast infection,” is the overgrowth of candida, a yeast-like fungi in the body. The fungus is common in everyone’s body. When the body experiences disharmony or weakness, yeast infections can occur. It is a condition, which is mainly caused by irregularities in the digestion or sometimes with a poor diet, but can also be also triggered by stress, overwork, overuse of antibiotics, or a weakened immunity system. External pathogens, such as the weather, viruses, or other environmental factors do not commonly cause this disease. Many of the common accompanying symptoms include fatigue, food allergies or sensitivities, digestive problems, infections of the skin, bowel disruption, throat congestion, and bladder and vaginal irregularities. Symptoms of the female genitalia include an increase of discharge that can be curd-like or milky-white, itching, and irritation.

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In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the common diagnosis or pattern of yeast infections is the accumulation of dampness in the body. To treat candida, the dampness must be removed and the patient’s digestion must be addressed. To treat the acute manifestations, the dampness must be dried or drained from the body by using bitter foods and herbs. To treat the chronic manifestations, the stomach and spleen organs must be strengthened with a proper diet. Once the spleen and stomach are normal, the dampness should be transformed.

Many of these foods can cause dampness in the body: Sugar, meat, dairy, starches (potatoes, wheat), too little fiber, alcohol, additives, moldy foods, excess fruits, caffeine, smoking, stress and antibiotics. The first four mentioned can cause more dampness than the latter. Keep in mind, when changing your diet, you need to start eating foods that will promote better health.  These are foods one can add to their diet to help fight future candida problems: Leafy vegetable greens, cucumbers, beets, celery, dandelion tops, romaine lettuce, bitter melon, alfalfa sprouts, kale, barley, mung beans, rye, rice & wheat bran, adzuki beans, garlic, rice vinegar and citrus fruits.

And I cannot stress enough to drink an adequate amount of water. Drinking water throughout the day will promote routine urination and will help eliminate the candida. Relying on soda, coffee products, juices, and teas for liquid intake often times prolongs the yeast infection. If you are accustomed to drinking these products, try to rotate more water consumption into your daily routine.

Candida is a relatively harmless disease and is more of a discomfort more than anything. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs treat this disease well and will help aid to a quick recovery during an acute or a chronic outbreak.

Dr. Brian Grosam