Candidiasis is an overgrowth of Candida yeast which is caused when the body’s levels of friendly bacteria drop too low too keep the yeast in check. The overgrowth typically occurs in the mucous membranes of the mouth, gastrointestinal tract and vagina. The main risk factors for candidiasis are the consumption of a diet high in simple carbohydrates and prolonged use of antibiotics and corticosteroids. But just how prevalent is candidiasis? Are we overestimating the problem here? This article briefly examines the statistics behind Candida overgrowth.
Scientific data from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases tells us that nearly 75% of all adult American women have had at least one vaginal yeast infection in their lifetime. That data also tells us that of this 75%, 40 to 45% will suffer from a two or more of the infection. Also, 12 to 15% of men develop symptoms after sexual contact with an infected partner. Doing the math here, that means that about one third of all adult women suffer from recurrent (i.e. several) yeast infections. This data admittedly tells us nothing about the frequency of that recurrence, but that statistic really shocked me. Does it alarm you too?
Surely there’s something fundamentally wrong with our modern diet and lifestyle for this to be the case. Our Western lives are fueled by sugar, caffeine, additives, preservatives, stress and inadequate sleep. When we’re sick we’re prescribed antibiotics and corticosteriods. While they may be fixing some of our health problems, they also destroy the balance of micro-organisms in our bodies. For birth control, we take oral contraceptives which exacerbate this problem.
If you suffer from recurrent yeast infections, then you know just how infuriating they can be. Maybe it’s time to look at your lifestyle and habits to see if you can help restore the balance of friendly bacteria?