"Thrush is the result of a yeast overgrowth in the oral cavity, which can lead to some uncomfortable symptoms, including pain when swallowing. With advanced nutritional testing and dietary planning, that may include whole food supplements, I can address the cause of your thrush and construct a guideline to restore your oral health."*
-Juliana Mazzeo, MS, CDN, Director
Nutrition Wellness Center of Nassau County
What is Thrush?
Thrush is an infection of the mouth that is caused by an influx of yeast fungi. The body naturally harbors yeast in the mouth and digestive tract; however, it is generally kept at a healthy level by other microorganisms and bacteria in the body. An upset in the balance of microorganisms in the mouth can create the perfect environment for yeast overgrowth, thus, creating a yeast infection in the mouth, or thrush. Thrush can affect anyone; however, it is most commonly observed in toddlers, babies, older adults, and individuals with weakened immune systems.
Common Symptoms of Thrush
Thrush can induce a number of symptoms, the most obvious being white, cottage cheese-like dots on the tongue, inner cheeks, and gums. They can sometimes appear on the roof of the mouth and the back of the throat, as well. These creamy white lesions can be painful and may cause bleeding when brushing or scraping your teeth. Other common symptoms of thrush include:
Infants can pass the infection onto the mother while feeding. In which case, the infection can be passed back and forth between the mother and the child, until they seek treatment. Women whose breasts are infected with yeast may experience various symptoms including:
Common Causes of Thrush
Various elements can upset the delicate balance in the mouth and increase the risk of developing thrush, including an improper diet. Certain foods, such as foods high in fat, processed foods, white flour products, and alcohol, can disrupt the balance in the mouth and digestive tract, which can leave you susceptible to yeast overgrowth. Also, yeast feeds off sugar, so a diet high in sugar can also increase your risk of yeast infections. Medications, such as contraceptives and antibiotics, can also increase the risk of developing thrush.
Certain illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, and HIV, can also predispose you to thrush because they weaken the immune system. Denture wearers and people who smoke, also incur a greater risk of developing thrush.
For infants, the natural birth process can increase the risk of developing thrush. When a baby moves down the birth canal, they are exposed to yeast. The hormonal changes that occur just after birth can trigger an overgrowth of yeast in the baby's mouth, resulting in thrush. Also, mothers who are suffering from a vaginal yeast infection at the time of birth can pass the infection onto the child. Nursing mothers who take antibiotics, also increase infant's risk of developing thrush because antibiotics destroy good bacteria that keep yeast in check.
Conventional thrush treatments include anti-fungal medications, which are available in lozenges, tablets, or liquids. However, these drugs may prove ineffective for those with a weakened immune system because their symptoms tend to be severe or difficult to manage. Because the symptoms of yeast often hint to an underlying medical problem, your dentist may also suggest you seek additional medical attention so that the underlying health issue can be treated.
The goal of Nutrition Response Testing is to identify the cause of an illness to suppress it at the root. This advanced, holistic technique has proven effective where traditional treatments fall short and is especially beneficial for those seeking natural treatment or those with a weakened immune system, whose symptoms may require a more in-depth treatment.
When the underlying cause has been identified, the practitioner will go to work developing a customized nutrition program, which includes gradual diet planning and potentially, whole food supplements, to spur the body's own natural healing process, which can eliminate the need for medication altogether.
Left untreated, thrush can spread to other parts of the body, including the esophagus, genitals, or the skin. Likewise, infants can develop diaper rash because the yeast was in their stool. Undernourishment can also occur in children who have trouble feeding because of thrush.
Following good nutrition habits can help decrease your risk of developing thrush and other yeast related conditions. I can assist with your goals. With proper nutritional support, which includes a customized dietary plan created just for you, you'll be well on your way to peak health. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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