Frequently Asked Questions #21

1. I have constant sore throat even though there are no signs of a cold. What else could it be?

If you don’t have a cold or have no other symptoms of a cold besides a sore throat, you could be dealing with a throat infection called Streptococcus pyogenes, also commonly known as strep throat. One of the main and most common symptoms of strep throat is a sore throat. Other symptoms could include difficulties swallowing, headache, fever. When diagnosing, your doctor will examine your throat to see if it is red, or if the tonsils are enlarged. The other thing that they look for which gives away if it’s a strep throat or not is the presence of pus.

Having strep throat does not always mean having a candida overgrowth or thrush. Thrush of the throat can also cause a sore throat. Thrush of the throat can happen to any one of us, regardless of age or sex. If you have recently been on antibiotics or have a weakened immune system, you could be at risk. When you have sore throat as a result of yeast infection, you may not think of yeast as the culprit from the get go. In such events, you will be look for a white coating on your tongue. The coating looks like raised cheese and upon scraping of the area, it can lead to bleeding. There would also be loss of taste.

If you are concerned that your sore throat is a result of yeast infection and not a bacterial infection, consult with your doctor so they can diagnose it medically. The sore throat caused by a yeast infection usually goes away once the candida overgrowth is managed.

2. Why am I having a hard and painful time swallowing my food or water?

If you do not have signs of a cold or any other conditions that can make swallowing hard, you may have oesophagitis candida. Oesophagitis candida is fungal in nature and caused by the same candida family that causes other thrushes (yeast infection, oral thrush), candida albican. As with other types of thrush, oesophagitis is caused in those with a suppressed immune system, who have taken antibiotics in the past. Symptoms include painful swallowing.

Patients with oesophageal candidiasis have the infection in their throat starting from the passage of the mouth leading down to the stomach. It can also cause oral thrush (or perhaps you got the throat yeast infection as a result of the oral thrush), vaginal thrush, diaper rash in babies. We all have a safe amount of candida in our body. When it overgrows in numbers is when it can cause infections in different parts of the body. Watch this video by Eric Bakker to learn more about candida and throat infections.

Painful swallowing is commonly seen in those suffering from this fungal infection. Other symptoms include weight loss, nausea, oral thrush, etc. It can be easily diagnosed and confirmed by doing an endoscopy, a throat swab or a barium swallow. It can be treated by anti-fungal medications, changes in diet, and supplements. It is important that you are on top of this infection as it can cause holes in the oesophagus or spread itself to other parts of the body. If you have a recurrent fungal infection, you may want to discuss with your doctor about getting a stool test. A stool test can show whether there is a candida overgrowth in the gut which may be causing the recurring throat infection.

3. I keep getting recurrent urinary tract infection and I am tired of taking antibiotics each time. How can I prevent them?

Recurrent urinary tract infection can be super annoying and uncomfortable. It is most common in women. Usually, a UTI is the infection of the bladder, the urinary system and urethra. If left untreated, a UTI can spread and cause a kidney infection. Bacteria that normally live on the vagina or genital areas, if enter the urethra and travel to the bladder can cause the infection. It can happen during a sexual activity. UTIs can also be caused if you have chlamydia, gonorrhea, etc. The following risk factors are most likely to cause UTIs: if you have had one before, if you are obese, if you have diabetes, or kidney stones.

You know when you have a UTI! The symptoms are hard to miss. There is burning when you pee. The pee smells bad and has a cloudy look to it. People also complain about the pressure or cramps felt in the lower belly. If along with these symptoms, you also feel chills, nausea, vomiting, you may be dealing with a kidney infection. In that case, please seek out medical treatment. Recurrent UTIs are when the person has them more than once a year. If such is the case, an urologist can do a urine culture test to dig deeper. Based on the cause, appropriate treatment plan can be created.

Note that in most cases, a UTI is often treated with a round of antibiotics. Use of antibiotics can lead to an overgrowth of candida in the body, which can cause more harm than not. If you must take the antibiotics, ensure to replenish the body with good gut bacteria in order to avoid the overgrowth. To prevent the recurring UTI, drink lots of water to flush out the bacteria. Urinate as often as you can, especially if the urge is there. Wipe from front to back and not back to front to avoid bacteria from bowel movements touching the vagina.

4. My son is battling with severe depression and his medications don’t seem to work. What else can we try to help him with?

Although not life-threatening, not treating a candida overgrowth can lead to depression. It has been shown that candida can cause depression in people with a weakened immune system and gut health. Candida can produce up to 180 toxins which it can leak to the bloodstream. These toxins travel up to the brain causing all sorts of emotional distress in the host.

Serotonin, responsible for regulating mood in our brains, is primarily produced in our gut. A healthy gut which is suppressed can halt production of the neurotransmitter which can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mood irritabilities. If your son has ever been exposed to the use of antibiotics, has a diet high in sugar and carbs, then he may be dealing with this unfortunate takeover without realizing it.

Gut health and flora can be improved by following a candida cleanse, reduction of sugar and carb in diet, supplements and probiotics. Long time sufferers of candida who also have complained about depression have seen mood changes once they took control of their bodies by following a healthy diet and lifestyle. To find out if your son is dealing with a yeast infection, you can ask him to begin taking the following test. In addition, ask his doctor to do a stool test to determine and confirm the diagnosis. Once it has been confirmed, a candida overgrowth can be eliminated by following the steps listed above.