Symptoms of yeast infection in women are easy to diagnose when they manifest as a thick, cottage cheese-like discharge with vaginal itching.

However, yeast overgrowth can masquerade as a host of other symptoms and diseases that are not easily linked to the yeast.

Generally these difficult to diagnose and treat problems come after a progression of health problems and treatments that usually only make the yeast overgrowth increase.

One of the most common downward vicious spirals begins with numerous treatments with antibiotics for recurrent bladder infections, chronic sinusitis, acne or other ongoing recurring infections.

As these antibiotics pass through the gastrointestinal tract, they kill off the normal friendly bacteria that help keep the yeast in check. Then the yeast overgrow more and become more virulent.

In the correct balance in the intestines, the yeast grow as little round benign spores. But with the aid of antibiotics they send out branching tree limb-like structures that may even invade and grow into the intestinal wall.

The digestive tract is now compromised in two ways:

First of all, food is not digested well, leaving larger particles of food that travel into the blood stream. The body recognizes these larger food particles as foreign invaders and dispatches the immune system to “fight” them.

As the immune system becomes more and more stressed defending against food particles, it may start attacking the body’s own tissues leading to autoimmune disorders.

The first wonderful young nurse that I hired had been diagnosed with Lupus shortly before I hired her. She had positive ANA tests and several of the symptoms of Lupus. Even worse, periodically she developed so much dysfunction in her right leg that she had to drag it when walking.

Amazingly as she instituted the measures to subdue the yeast in her body, all of her Lupus symptoms disappeared and she no longer had elevated ANA in her blood tests. She became yeast-free and freed from the Lupus.

Yeast overgrowth can contribute to or be the main cause of other immune system disorders too.

Secondly, in the gastrointestianal tract as the more virulent yeast mycelia invade the intestinal wall they create a space between the cells. Intestinal contents that were never meant to enter the body now have access into the blood stream. This problem has been labeled “Leaky Gut Syndrome”.

Yeast toxins (by-products of their metabolism) may leak into the blood and eventually find their way to any organ. So can the larger food particles.

If either one of these abnormal substances winds up in the brain, you can feel spacey, fatigued, irritable, grouchy and even confused.

As the body becomes more and more overwhelmed by the yeast toxins (yeast chemicals), some women become sensitive to small amounts of chemicals in the environment. They can’t stand to be around perfume, even a small amount left in the clothing from washing with a scented detergent or fabric softener.

Tobacco smoke, new clothing stores, cleaning product aisles in grocery stores, and many other products make them so sick that they cannot function well enough to perform the chores of daily living. They have become chemically sensitive.

Some have such severe chemical sensitivity that they have to live as recluses in a very controlled environment.

This is just a brief review of symptoms of yeast infection in women. We might call the yeast overgrowth problem the “Great Masquerader”. Suspect it in complex diseases that have been difficult to treat.

With more knowledge and an astute holistic doctor even these very difficult problems that at first glance do not seem to relate to yeast at all, can be overcome.

As you institute the healthy lifestyle steps to reverse the yeast overgrowth and discover the yeast’s co-conspirators you are on your way to restoring abundantly good health.