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.
We suggest that systemic yeast overgrowth is another often-overlooked cause of depression.
In his latest book, The Yeast Connection and Woman's Health, Dr. William Crook says he and his colleagues found a very strong link between Candida albicans yeast overgrowth and depression in patients who had a history of any of the following:
- Use of antibiotics, especially long courses of antibiotics
- Use of birth control pills
- Persistent digestive distress
- Recurring vaginal yeast infections
Dr. Crook made the exciting discovery that 85% 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 brain chemistry.
It 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.
Antibiotics (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.
The 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.
As 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 feed the unnaturally large amount of yeast in your intestine.
The 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.
Toxins and food allergens normally cannot penetrate your intestinal lining. However, under yeast overload conditions, these toxins and food allergens can 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 Dr. Crook's book, The Yeast Connection and Women's Health for more detailed descriptions of this cycle known as "leaky gut syndrome" and its effect on chronic health conditions. You'll find more details at: www.yeastconnection.com.
Without treatment, a whole cascade of problems creates a downward spiral that literally drags you down:
- You feel sicker, so...
- The dysbiosis becomes more severe, and…
- Your diet spins more out of balance with sugar and carb cravings, so…
- More nutritional deficiencies develop and...
- More endocrine disturbances occur,
- Further weakening your immune system,
- Promoting a release of brain chemicals, disturbing the normal balance of mood regulating chemicals in your brain and...
- Causing depression and/or anxiety.