Guest post from Dr. Eric Bakker, ND
Yeast infections are a tricky subject. Most of the mainstream medical community embraces yeast infections in their most acute forms – vaginal, jock itch, athlete’s foot, oral thrush, ringworm, etc. What they don’t necessarily acknowledge is the existence of Candidiasis, a condition that develops when the body is chronically exposed to Candida. While there are mainstream treatments for fungal infections within the body, there are natural alternatives as well. Today we’ll talk about the differences in approach and next week we’ll cover some of the ways you can test for Candida, both at home and through your physician or naturopath.
Modern Medicine and the Pharmaceutical Approach
Once upon a time, most medical practitioners embraced natural methods for the treatment of a wide variety of medical conditions. As time passed, and as the pharmaceutical industry began to grow, many of those traditional methods were put on the back burner in favor of more modern approaches, most of which include drugs. While the majority of individuals have embraced the fast-acting litany of drugs on the market today, it is important to recognize that these medications often work quickly merely because they are suppressing symptoms. While this approach does have it’s place in medicine, the drugs aren’t necessarily curing the underlying cause of any condition.
I have found, in recent years, that a large group of people are leaning more towards the natural approach to medicine and health again. They’re more interested in finding out why they’re sick as opposed to simply treating their irritating symptoms. The natural approach to medicine not only focuses on the root cause, but also embraces the concept of strengthening the body’s ability to heal itself naturally.
A great number of my yeast infection patients turn to me because they have become ultimately frustrated with mainstream medicine. Some have achieved temporary results but find their symptoms are always returning. Others are concerned about the side effects of chemical and synthetically produced drugs. Their main goal is always the same, to finally get to the root cause of the problem.
Embracing the Natural Approach with Professional Health
Your first challenge, of course, is to find a medical practitioner who can actually help you with your Candida yeast concerns. You’ll likely need to find naturopath or some other health-care professional who has studied natural medicine. You may find a mainstream medical doctor who embraces and understands natural medicine theories, but they are few and far between. It is not uncommon for traditional medical doctors to go on to further their studies by learning about and then ultimately embracing herbal medicine, homeopathy, and nutrition. The problem is this, and one I have seen time and again because I’ve worked in medical clinics for over 15 years, is as soon as the integrative doctor sees a patient with an infection, (even though he or she may have studied natural medicine), they reach for the antibiotics. I’ve only ever known a small handful of traditional medical doctors who then trained in natural methods to adopt natural medicine as a first line treatment with infections such as vaginal thrush, coughs or colds or various skin infections.
Let’s take a moment to clarify an important point. Both worlds have a lot to offer when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of disease. The mainstream medical community has plenty of testing, laboratories, and diagnostic equipment at their disposal that can be used to identify health issues. Some medications are critical to survival, especially in emergency situations. But natural medicine will help to strengthen the body overall, and a combination of approaches can prove to be the most beneficial to your body.
So where should you start? Look for professional organizations that list the credentials of alternative medicine doctors. I’m from New Zealand, but most countries have their own integrative medicine organizations. Focus on looking for natural health-care professional practitioners who have spent some time not only studying the natural approach, but who have also given a fair amount of time to working with and understanding mainstream medicine, if they weren’t mainstream practitioners first. Another option for you is to go and visit a clinic in which naturopaths and medical doctors work in conjunction. I practiced in such centers for many years and can tell you that you will have a much greater chance of getting true holistic medicine there. The naturopathic and allopathic doctors are more likely working together in a team sense in such a clinical setting. Either way, the choice is yours, but be sure to work with a practitioner who believes in embracing the best of both Western medicine and natural medicine.
About the Author: Dr. Eric Bakker, ND, is a naturopathic physician from New Zealand and author of Candida Crusher. He has spent the past 20 years dedicated to the study, diagnosis, and treatment of Candida. Visit him at yeastinfection.org to learn more about how yeast infections can impact your health.
Join us here at Whole Intentions next week as Dr. Bakker follows up with some ways you can test for Candida, both in the privacy of your home and through your physician or naturopath. Sign up for our newsletter if you’d like to be notified via email.
photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net