Carolyn Dean, MD, ND
Depression casts a shadow over the lives of 19 million Americans,
two-thirds of them women. The precise cause, in many cases,
remains a mystery. Genetics, brain chemistry gone bonkers,
even environmental depredation have all been mentioned, and
documented, as causes of depression.
suggest that systemic yeast overgrowth is another often-overlooked
cause of depression.
their latest book, The Yeast Connection and Women's Health,
Dr. William Crook and Dr. Carolyn Dean say their colleagues
found a very strong link between Candida albicans yeast overgrowth
and depression in patients who had a history of any of the
of antibiotics, especially long courses of antibiotics
of birth control pills
vaginal yeast infections
his lifetime, Dr. Crook made the fascinating discovery that
85 percent of women suffering from depression who had even
one of the above elements in their history found relief from
depression and a host of other symptoms by following his Anti-Candida
Treatment Plan. Why? Let's look at the cycle of yeast overgrowth
in the body and how it affects various body systems, including
starts simply enough--you get sick and you take antibiotics
or cortisone-containing drugs to feel better. You get sick
again and take medications to treat your symptoms. This happens
many times over a period of years. You may also be taking
birth control pills. Over time, the natural, healthy balance
of yeast and microorganisms in your intestinal tract alters
its balance in response to the medications.
(literally meaning anti-life) indiscriminately kill bacteria
throughout your system. This is good if you have bacterial
pneumonia or an infected wound, because the "bad"
bacteria could eventually threaten your life. However, the
antibiotics also kill the "good" bacteria, especially
those that live in your digestive tract and help digest your
food. This upsets the natural balance of bacteria and yeast
that usually live in harmony in your digestive tract, since
yeast is not affected by antibiotics.
more often you take antibiotics or cortisone-containing drugs,
the more disturbed your natural balance of intestinal flora.
The medical term for this is dysbiosis.
the flora in your intestine becomes increasingly out of balance,
two things happen: the lining of your intestines weakens and
you develop a craving for sugars and carbohydrates to try
to feed the unnaturally large amount of yeast in your intestine.
more sugar and carbs you eat, the more the yeast grows out
of balance and the larger your appetite becomes for even more
sugars and carbs. In response, the lining of your intestine
weakens due to the unnatural balance of microorganisms and
the increasingly weakened immune system.
and food allergens normally cannot penetrate your intestinal
lining. However, under yeast overload conditions yeast change
from a budding form to a mycelia form that penetrates the
intestinal lining allowing toxins and food allergens to leak
into the bloodstream. The more they enter the bloodstream,
the weaker your immune system becomes and the more "sick
all over" you feel. See, The Yeast Connection and Women's
Health for more detailed descriptions of this cycle known
as "leaky gut syndrome" and its effect on chronic
toxins, basically products of their metabolism or toxins released
when they die, number in the dozens. In fact, by 1977, seventy-nine
different toxins had been identified. Two in particular, are
alcohol and acetaldehyde. In some cases of severe intestinal
Candida, people have measurable levels of alcohol and acetaldehyde
in their blood. And they feel intoxicated just as if they
were drinking alcohol. We know about acetaldehyde because
it has been shown to be breakdown product of alcohol that
is responsible for hangover symptoms.
acetaldehyde reacts with the neurotransmitter, dopamine, it
can cause mental and emotional disturbances such as anxiety,
depression, poor concentration, and feeling spaced-out. If
you look up the toxicology of acetaldehyde you find that it
adversely affects many tissues and organs in the body. Is
it any surprise, then, that depression and fatigue are two
of the most common complaints of people suffering from dysbiosis?
Is it any wonder that yeast overgrowth plays a role in the
symptoms of such a wide variety of chronic health conditions?
for more information about overcoming these conditions and
finding relief and health.
proper treatment for Candida, a whole cascade of problems
creates a downward spiral that triggers a cascade of symptoms
and the following scenario.
You feel more sick, so
dysbiosis becomes more severe
toxins directly affect your brain making you feel depressed
overgrowth causes sugar and carb cravings and your diet
spins more out of control
nutritional deficiencies develop
endocrine disturbances occur
weakening your immune system
a release of brain chemicals, disturbing the normal balance
of mood-regulating chemicals in your brain and
even more depression and/or anxiety.
there has not been any significant research on yeast-related
causes of depression since Dr. Crook introduced the topic
in an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association
20 years ago in 1984.
sadly, there is no magic bullet drug treatment.
Dr. Crook did formulate a successful treatment for dysbiosis
and the many symptoms that accompany Candidiasis. The treatment
involves a five-step approach:
1. Diet and exercise
diet rich in meats, fish, chicken, eggs, seeds and nuts,
vegetables, and oils (free range and orgnic) while avoiding
sugars, carbohydrate-rich foods, and fermented products
like vinegars and preserved meats begins to restrict the
amount of fuel the yeast in your intestine has available
to it. With time, in combination with the appropriate anti-candida
supplements (see below), your digestive tract returns to
its natural, healthy balance of organisms and your immune
system becomes stronger. In turn, your brain chemistry returns
to normal and your low moods stop. A grocery list of foods
to get you started is available on www.yeastconnection.com.
Stevia is recommended as a sugar supplement.
you've started on the diet, exercise, even if for only five
minutes a day, will also begin to rebalance the levels of
neurotransmitters in the brain. You'll find help for deciding
where to start with exercise on www.yeastconnection.com.
These supplements contain friendly bacteria that help you
keep a natural, healthy balance of microorganisms in your
digestive tract. There are many different forms and brands
of probiotics available in foods and pills and capsules.
However, to be effective, they need to be able to bypass
the harsh stomach acid and deliver at least 1 billion live
organisms to the intestines.
Enzymes. These supplements provide a combination of digestive
enzymes to help maintain a natural, healthy digestion. Most
good products contain several enzymes to promote optimal
digestion. It's also helpful to include phyto-nutrients
to help maintain and calm an upset stomach. Among their
many benefits, digestive enzymes help you comfortably digest
problem foods like broccoli, cauliflower, beans, fruit,
and nutrients to inhibit the growth of Candida albicans.
In addition to prescription antifungal medications, a variety
of herbs and nutrients can help support a healthy balance
of intestinal bacteria, reining in yeast growth. Among the
nutrients that work together to stop candida overgrowth:
caprylic acid, pauD'Arco, oregano oil, black walnut, grapefruit
seed extract, garlic, beta carotene, and biotin.
and minerals. Taking a good quality daily multivitamin and
mineral supplement helps supply your body with the nutrients
it needs to help you regain your health. A good calcium,
magnesium and vitamin D supplement are also essential to
optimal health, especially for women.
3. Avoid exposure to chemicals
household cleaners, perfumes and scents may cause allergic
reactions. Chemical sensitivities are very common in people
with yeast overgrowth.
Address emotional and psychological issues
step also profoundly impacts your appetite for certain foods
and helps balance the chemistry of your body and brain.
Work with a kind and caring health professional
is a tremendously complex, multi-faceted condition that
is often difficult to understand. Use the Physician's Packet
and the referral service available on www.yeastconnection.com
to find a health care professional in your area to help
you find the relief you're looking for and to take charge
of your health.
K., and Yamamota, Y. Glycoprotein Toxins Produced by Candida
Albicans. Proceedings of the Fourth international Conference
on the Mycoses, June, 1977, PAHO Scientific Publication
#356. and Iwata, K., Recent Advances in Medical and Veterinary
Mycology, University of Tokyo Press, 1977.
D. et al., Steroid Hormone Systems Found in Yeast. Science
Aug 31, 1984;225:913-915.
WG, Depression associated with Candida albicans infections.
1984 Jun 8;251(22):2928-9.
C. 0. Metabolic abnormalities in patients with chronic candidiasis:
the acetaldehyde hypothesis. J. Orthomol Psychiatry. 1982;3:66-93.
A., Davis, H.J., Gut Fermentation (or the "AutoBrewery")
Syndrome: A New Clinical Test with Initial Observations
and Discussion of Clinical and Biochemical Implications.
Nutr Med 1990;1:33-38.
a physician, I have found that reducing sugar intake is
one of the most important ways to control hypoglycemia,
diabetes, and intestinal yeast. Reduce your sugar intake
by supplementing your tea, water, and other beverages with
Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND
Dr. Dean is the author and coauthor of 15 books including
eBooks. Proficient in both conventional and alternative medicine,
Dr. Dean is the medical director of VidaCosta Spa el Puente
in Costa Rica (2010), President of VidaCosta Academy, U.S.,
and offers customized telephone consultations for health through
her website: www.drcarolyndean.com.