Thrush Infection Causes Depression Stress

Stress and the immune system interact in a complex pattern. Chronic stress and depression are known to suppress the immune system, increasing the risk of infection.

Candida, the parasitic fungus responsible for oral thrush and yeast infections, often overpopulates in people suffering from stress or depression. The exact relationship between stress, candida and depression is a matter of some debate, but there is no doubt that attempts to relieve stress can strengthen the immune system and help prevent opportunistic infections.

Candida and Stress

Conventional medicine holds the view that Candida and stress are only tenuously connected. Stress does not, in and of itself, cause Candida infections.

While orthodox medical theory does not support a direct Candida/stress connection, stress does result in conditions that favor Candida infections.

The negative interaction between chronic stress and the immune system is well documented. High stress levels depress the immune system, increasing the risk of infection.

Candida is an opportunistic parasite. Present in small amounts in the digestive tract, the vagina and the mouth, Candidia albicans (the fungus responsible for thrush and yeast infections) reproduces rapidly when conditions are right.

HIV patients and other people with suppressed immune systems have a high risk ofCandida infections. While interactions between stress and the immune system hardly cause the immunosupression associated with HIV/AIDS, people with chronic stress are more at risk of infection than people who know how to relieve stress.

Stress often causes xerostomia, a complex-sounding medical term that simply means “dry mouth.” A dry mouth increases the risk of Candida infections. So while a direct Candida/stress connection is not accepted by orthodox medicine, indirect connections do exist.

Candida and Depression

Conventional medicine accepts an indirect relationship between Candida and depression, much like the Candida/stress connection.

Depression, like stress and anxiety, suppresses the immune system, increasing the risk of infection. In addition, dry mouth is a common side effect of many antidepressants, putting depression sufferers who take these medications even more at risk.

Candidiasis Depression

Conventional medical thought supports an indirect link between Candida and depression. Many alternative medical practitioners believe there is a very direct link between Candida and depression.

Candidiasis is a term used to describe a widespread infection of Candida. Alternative medicine believes candidiasis produces a wide range of physical and mental health conditions, including candidiasis depression.

According to alternative medicine, candidiasis depression occurs when toxic Candida byproducts enter the bloodstream and affect the brain. Proponents of candidiasis depression claim yeast toxin hypersensitivity has a number of adverse neurological effects, including depression, anxiety, impaired cognitive reasoning and memory problems.

Candidiasis depression will not, according to alternative practitioners, respond to conventional antidepressant treatments because the underlying cause is an overabundance ofCandida in the body. Instead, they advocate a regime of detoxification and a diet designed to minimize candidiasis.

While candidiasis depression is widely accepted in the alternative medical community, conventional medicine does not see any causal relationship between Candida and depression.

Relieve Stress and Strengthen the Immune System

Whether you subscribe to the conventional medical view that Candida, stress and depression have an indirect relationship or believe in alternative medicine’s theory of candidiasis depression, it’s clear that the ability to relieve stress can strengthen the immune system.

Meditation, progressive relaxation and breathing techniques can all relieve stress and strengthen the immune system in the long term. In the short term, people who suffer from frequent Candida infections can take the following preventative measures:

  • clean dentures regularly
  • eat unsweetened yogurt containing active acidophilus bacteria
  • practice proper dental hygiene
  • practice regular hand washing
  • quit smoking (smoking causes dry mouth)
  • take supplemental acidophilus capsules.

Resources

Fungal Research Trust (n.d.). Genital candidiasis. Retrieved July 13, 2007, from the Fungal Research Trust Web site: www.fungalresearchtrust.org/candid.html.

Lockie, A. (n.d.). Thrush (candidiasis, candida). Retrieved July 13, 2007, from the Dr. Lockie Web site: www.drlockie.com/disease/thrush.htm.Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2005). Oral thrush: Causes. Retrieved July 13, 2007, from the Mayo Clinic Web site: www.mayoclinic.com/health/oral-thrush/DS00408/DSECTION=3.

MedicineNet.com. (2005). Thrush. Retrieved July 13, 2007, from the MedicineNet Web site: www.medicinenet.com/thrush/article.htm.