Sep 20, 2012

Improve Your Digestion

        Many people with hay fever allergies suffer from candidiasis, the overgrowth of the yeast/fungus Candida albicans in the digestive tract. This microorganism occurs naturally in the human body, but its overgrowth is the cause of yeast infections, and it disrupts normal digestion. Candidiasis is often triggered by antibiotics, as these drugs kill the beneficial bacteria that normally keep Candida in check. Candida thrives on sugars and refined carbohydrates, which is why it's so widespread in America. Orthodox therapy includes dietary restrictions (no sugars,carbohydrates, fruits, alcohol or fermented foods) and the use of antifungal drugs. Holistic therapy combines dietary restrictions with such herbal antifungal agents as pau d'arco tea (also called Taheebo) and grapefruit seed or citrus seed extract.

     The most important part of Candida therapy is the reestablishment of normal intestinal flora, the "friendly" bacteria that promote complete digestion and prevent the overgrowth of Candida. One approach is to eat yogurt, which contains acidophilus and similar bacteria; another is to take acidophilus supplements, which are widely sold in health food stores. For those who are unable to digest cow's milk, or who have an adverse reaction to it, soy yogurts are available, or you can make your own at home from soy milk and acidophilus or yogurt starter.
      In addition to supplementing the diet with acidophilus, bifidus and related bacteria, consider taking a small amount of Swedish bitters or any fresh bitter-tasting herb such as dandelion leaves just before eating. Bitter tastes stimulate the production and secretion of important digestive fluids, such as bile. With age, the body's production of digestive enzymes and digestive secretions decreases, creating a variety of health complications. Indigestion is sometimes a symptom of insufficient hydrochloric acid, not an excess, so taking antacid tablets after eating may contribute to the problem rather than prevent it. Dozens of digestive enzyme products, many containing hydrochloric acid, are available in drugstores and health food stores. A nutritionally oriented physician or health care professional can help you determine exactly what type of supplement will be most helpful in improving your digestion.

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