It may surprise you, but yeast is a naturally occurring, normal bacteria in the human digestive tract which normally causes no problems. A “yeast infection” occurs when either an environmental factor or a compromised immune system causes the normal yeast in our bodies to grow at an accelerated rate leading to an overgrowth or “infection”
This overgrowth of yeast can be caused by a wide variety of factors, including but not limited to:
- sudden diet changes
- birth control pills
- hormonal changes (such as with pregnancy or menstruation)
- cortisone drugs
- poor nutrition
- an overly acidic PH in the body
- consuming too much sugar, caffeine, yeast or refined carbohydrates
- frequent douching
- health conditions such as diabetes
- transmitted through intercourse from an infected partner
- higher levels of progesterone
- overuse of antibiotics
- anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen
- and much more…
In men, the main causes of penile yeast infections typically are are:
- sexually transmitted by unprotected intercourse
- extended use of antibiotics which can kill the “good” bacteria along with the bad and allow yeast to grow unchecked
- The elevated sugar in the urine helps yeast to thrive
- Nonoxynol-9 which is the spermicide found in many contraceptive products
When yeast overgrows in your body, it acts almost similar to a parasite and causes chronic health consequences. It grows and thrives where it is moist, warm and dark which makes places like the mouth, digestive tract and vagina perfect breeding grounds for it. When yeast attaches to your intestinal wall its “feeding tube” causes the intestinal walls to become porous and leak toxins and undigested proteins and carbohydrates through the wall and into your blood stream and body. This is known as leaky gut syndrome. Yeast overgrowth is a system-wide infection that requires dramatic changes in diet, supplementation and long term avoidance of the things that cause yeast to grow.
If you have a vaginal or penile yeast infection it is likely that your entire body is overgrown and infected with yeast. While an over the counter treatment may provide temporary relief, you are just setting yourself up to develop chronic, recurring yeast infections. Plus, leaving yeast to grow unchecked in your body can lead to serious health consequences.
If you aren’t sure you have a yeast infection, take a look at the symptoms page for some of the more common symptoms for both men and women, and be sure check out some of the standard yeast infection treatments and the positives/negatives about each on the treatment page.