Yeast: The Hidden Cause of Your Exhaustion

Are you suffering from yeast overgrowth? Yeast are not bacteria. It’s a more highly evolved life form that can also make you sick and cause an array of diverse and nonspecific symptoms.

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Keep in mind, this test is not 100% accurate and it’s not the only test you can take to test for yeast. You can also have your doctor take a swab sample from your mouth or your vagina and test it for yeast overgrowth. Doctors can also do blood tests for yeast antibodies, stool tests or organic acid urine tests for yeast metabolites. However, the best method of diagnosis comes from a good solid history of symptoms.

WATCH: Dr. Oz's Exhaustion Lab

How to Manage Yeast Overgrowth

Wellness physician and dietician, Dr. Elizabeth Boham suggests three easy steps that can help fight yeast overgrowth symptoms and fight your exhaustion.

The first step is called the cut out and cut back approach. This involves cutting the yeast’s fuel, allowing your immune system to kick in and fight the yeast. Skip sugary foods like baked goods, ice cream and candy. You should also cut back on starches, like potatoes, bread, pasta and cereal. These sugary and starchy foods encourage the growth of unhealthy bacteria and yeast.

Instead, eat foods that help your good bacteria take over. Focus on fermented foods, which have good bacteria in them. They include foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, which you can put in eggs, soups or rice. Vegetables are always a good idea because of their high-fiber content. Some high-fiber grains like quinoa, oats, brown rice, seeds, nuts and buckwheat are also helpful. Fiber helps to feed and nurture the good bacteria.

LEARN MORE: The Belly Benefits of Gut Bacteria

The second step involves using probiotics to tip the scales in your gut. By building up good bacteria in your gut, you help counter the effects of the yeast and bad bacteria causing inflammation and irritation within the gut. Yogurt and fermented foods are both great sources of   probiotics; however, if you need a more powerful dose, you may want to get your probiotics from a pill that has at least 25 billion active live organisms. Learn more about probiotics.

The third step involves combating the yeast directly with anti-fungal herbs. Two helpful herbs are raw garlic and thyme. Dr. Boham recommends eating 1 to 2 cloves of raw garlic per day. Chop it up and put it in olive oil or add some to a salad. As for thyme, you can use a thyme oil tincture on your skin in yeast-prone areas, for example to help treat athlete’s foot or an itchy scalp. Do not ingest the thyme oil, since it has been associated with toxic reactions.

Try this for two weeks and see if your symptoms go away. If not, see your doctor.