Last updated April 18, 2019 by Lisa Richards, CNC

Is Your Diet Causing Regular Yeast Infections?

Yeast infection

There are many different causes and contributory factors that have been linked to regular yeast infections. Here are just a few examples – stress, birth control pills, hot tubs, wet swimsuits, and even tight underwear. However, one of the major underlying causes of yeast infections is rarely discussed.

The causes that I just listed are easy to recognize, easy to change, and often form a part of the first discussion with your doctor about your yeast infection. But although these lifestyle choices and environmental conditions might be responsible for isolated yeast infections, they often can’t be held responsible for the recurrent yeast infections from which many women suffer. To identify what is causing these, we need to look a little deeper.

When all the regular causes of yeast infections have been eliminated, it’s time to look at your diet. Many women don’t realize this, but eating a consistently high-sugar diet over a long period of time will leave you susceptible to chronic yeast infections. This is because all that sugar allows the Candida yeast in your gut to multiply and overwhelm the good, health-promoting bacteria that live there.

A 2011 study described sugar as “indispensable” for Candida albicans. Candida needs the sugar to grow new cells, multiply, construct protective biofilms, and switch into its fungal form, allowing it to spread around your body. This is known as Candida overgrowth, or Candida Related Complex, and it is responsible for a wide variety of symptoms including fatigue, headaches, and (you guessed it) recurrent yeast infections.

The problem is that even if you successfully treat your yeast infection, those Candida colonies are still living in your gut. From there, they can migrate to places like your mouth (causing oral thrush) or your genitals (causing yeast infections). So until you treat the underlying Candida overgrowth that exists in your intestines, you are destined to suffer from repeated yeast infections.

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Removing Sugar From Your Diet

You might think that your diet is fairly healthy, but just avoiding junk food is not the same as eliminating sugar from your diet. These days, added sugars are everywhere and you need to read labels incredibly carefully to avoid them.

For example, did you know that many processed meats contain large amounts of High Fructose Corn Syrup? Check out the label for your breakfast cereal too. Even the ‘healthy’ options regularly list sugar as their second ingredient. And the sodas that you drink are likely loaded with sugar too (a can of Coke contains 39 grams!).

It’s not all about added sugar either. There are plenty of other foods that will cause a spike in your blood sugar. For example fruit juice (even the unsweetened kind) is loaded with natural sugars that can feed a Candida overgrowth. And foods like white rice and white pasta are so full of refined starches that you may as well be drinking a can of soda.

The good news is that making some simple dietary changes can have a huge impact on your health and prevent those yeast infections from ever coming back. By depriving the Candida colonies of their food source, you can begin restore your gut flora and nurture your digestive system back to a healthy balance.

If you suspect that you have been suffering from a longstanding Candida overgrowth you may find that you need to take some supplements too. In our Candida treatment program, we recommend a combination of a low-sugar diet, antifungals, and some good probiotics, and set out a clear timeline to beat your Candida for good.

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Comments

  1. Kate says:

    Hi, I am 15 years old and had problems with Candida pretty much my whole life. When I was about nine I had oral thrush, and started to get acne. Both things just got worse and worse as I got older. My diet wasn’t helping either. When I was fourteen my acne got so bad that I got on antibiotics and I took them for about 9 months. After I started to take them, I suffered from chronic yeast infections, the oral thrush got worse, and I always had this horrible taste in my mouth. The medicine helped at first, but after a while it wasn’t working well so I stopped taking them. After I stopped taking them, my acne got worse so I did a jucing fast (I juiced fruits and vegetables) for 12 days. My face looked a lot better and my oral thrush was gone. Not knowing about Candidasis, I ate a lot of fruit and all of my symptoms came back. I found your website and I quit eating everything that was on your foods to avoid list (I also quit meat too). My symptoms were clearing up at first, but then it would be on a cycle like every several days my face would break out, my oral thrush got bad, that bad taste would come back, and I would have all symptoms of Candida die-off (plus more). The bad days would last 1-3 days then I would get better then it would do it again (the cycle just continues). I have been on the Candida diet for 2 months now and I have been taking oregano oil and probiotics. Why do I keep having these cycles? Why do I bloat still? Why did I gain weight when I started the vegan Candida diet? How do I know when it is all gone? Btw- this is a great website for people with Candidasis! It was so much help for me! Thank you and I would love to hear from you!
    -Kate

    1. Jane M. says:

      You’re doing an amazing job to take control of your health at such a young age! I wish I had had these resources when I was in high school because I went through something similar with acne and antibiotics for a long time and birth control pills for an even longer time. I’m pretty sure I’ve struggled with candida my whole life, as well. I developed a milk allergy recently and I was always hugely bloated like I was pregnant, and after some research, I decided to go on the GAPS diet. After the intro, I incorporated more smoothies and grains like quinoa and a little white rice to make sure my carbs weren’t too low. But long story short, I’ve been on it for 3.5 months and my dairy allergy is completely gone. I’ve been having die off symptoms the last week though since I started a new probiotic. It can happen. But GAPS will help heal your stomach lining so that the candida diet can work better. I wish you luck on your journey– it’s admirable.

  2. cris says:

    what about bv? i don’t see any mentions of that in your article. is that connected to the candida over growth?

    1. Lisa Richards says:

      Bacterial Vaginosis is caused by bacteria, whereas Candida albicans is a yeast/fungus. Having said that, some of the same habits and behaviors that can lead to a fungal overgrowth can also contribute to a pathogenic bacterial overgrowth too.

    2. Molly Gardner says:

      BV nothing to do with yeast- It’s a bacteria not a fungus

  3. Sheila says:

    Hi I have whole body Candida and I am getting a horrible response from my doctor about it, she told me ‘Drs don’t recognise whole body candida’.
    So I told her my daughter had had this, who lives in Australia, she went off onto one about she could have nothing to do with this. After a few minutes of her rabbiting on about medicines etc, I then told her I was cutting out sugar, that stumped her, she quickly went onto something else.
    It has been quite a few years now with this candida. I have had sores in my ears, fingers/nails, mouth, only just realised what it was. Boy, I am so glad I, well my daughter, figured out what it was.
    I have been slowly adjusting the food in my cupboards and fridge, it’s been difficult I can tell you, sugar is everywhere!!! I do smile to myself, when I say ‘ kill that candida!!!!!’

  4. G says:

    Try and see. Just stop eating sugar, cereal, juice…while using the medicine

  5. L says:

    I started having constant yeast infection symptoms last year. I had most common symptoms like the itching (horrible) but did not have any other common issues. I went to the doctor and they ended up doing a biopsy to check for anything. All that came back was that I had eczema. Weird! They told me to not use soaps ever and prescribed me the one day yeast infection pill which seemed to work for about one week. Then back to the same. Finally one day I went on Weight Watchers which cuts out most of my sugar intake and what do you know….no more issues.

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