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What Are the Causes of Yeast Overgrowth?

By Rick Suttle ; Updated July 27, 2017

Yeast overgrowth occurs when candida, a yeast-like fungus, starts proliferating in the large intestine. Many people get symptoms such as headaches, gastritis, yeast infections and even autoimmune diseases (i.e. fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue). The yeast can keep multiplying for years before symptoms occur. Yeast can also grow on the skin, genital area and in the mouth. There are a number of things that can cause yeast overgrowth, including diet, chlorinated water and medicines.

Poor Diet & Food Allergies

Candida overgrowth is often caused by a poor diet. Eating a lot of junk food such as fast food, candy, pastries and pizza can contribute to candida. Over time, the immune system weakens if the body doesn't receive a balanced diet of meat, starches, vegetables and fruits. Also, vegetables and fruits have digestive enzymes which help to break down various food components. For example, cellulase is an enzyme that breaks down starches, while protease breaks down protein in foods. If these food components are not digested properly, they can end up in the colon where they will eventually putrefy if they are not excreted. Fecal impactions can clog up the colon. Toxins may result and further weaken one's immunity, producing even more yeast.

Food allergies also cause an overgrowth of yeast. This is evident in that many people with food allergies get gastritis as a result of eating foods to which they are allergic. Gastritis is often caused by systemic yeast and inflammation. Once the food allergen is eliminated from the diet, the immune system can be strengthened.


The overuse of antibiotics can spur the overproduction of yeast in the colon and throughout the body. These medicines are foreign and are thought as such by the body's natural bacteria. Consequently, the body's natural bacteria erodes itself as it tries to eliminate the antibiotic, causing systemic yeast to grow even faster. Toxins start forming and the environment of the colon becomes highly suitable for parasites. The infestation can ultimately effect overall health and immunity.

Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills promote high estrogen levels in women. According to Carolyn Dean's article, "Just Say 'No' to Birth Control Pills," she explains that, "Because birth control pills give a woman's hormonal system a continual stream of estrogen, an imbalance is created, Science has shown us that there is a close link between estrogen dominance and yeast overgrowth." Birth control pills can also wear down the body's natural bacteria which, in turn, can cause the candida to multiply.


Asthmatic inhalers and prednisone, which is often used to treat asthma, produce yeast in the body. These inhalers can be used for years before any symptoms of yeast appear. Thus, the yeast overgrowth may be quite severe.

Chlorinated Water

Most city water and pools contain chlorine, which is used to sanitize water and make it suitable for drinking or bathing. Drinking chlorine can kill off the body's natural bacteria. This will continue to feed candida and worsen the yeast condition in the large intestines. It is best to drink spring, distilled or purified water to eliminate the amount of chlorine in the body.

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