Thrush is a growth of the Candida albicans fungus in and around the mouth, according to the MayoClinic.com. Candida occurs naturally in the human body, but illness, stress and certain medications can cause an imbalance in the Candida fungus, creating thrush or a yeast infection of the digestive tract or vagina. Food allergies and intolerances, including wheat intolerance and yeast allergy, are associated with incidences of thrush and other Candida imbalances.
Oral thrush is an excessive growth of the Candida albicans fungus, characterized by painful white lesions on the tongue and inside of the mouth, according to the MayoClinic.com. Thrush is common in babies and denture wearers, and it is usually a minor health issue remedied by anti-fungal medications or by increased consumption of probiotic foods like yogurt with live cultures. A severe thrush infection may involve lesions extending down the throat, making it difficult to swallow.
Food allergies can contribute to an array of symptoms and conditions including candidiasis, or Candida infections, according to Lawrence Wilson, M.D., a nutritional consultant. Wheat, along with milk, eggs and soy, is among the most common food allergens. Additionally, symptoms of food allergies and food intolerances can be quite similar to the symptoms of a systemic Candida imbalance, according to Dr. Sally Rockwell, Ph.D., a clinical nutritionist. Wheat allergy symptoms can include swelling and irritation of the mouth and throat. These symptoms are quite similar to those caused by thrush.
Yeast, rather than wheat, may be implicated in causing thrush. Sugar and yeast-containing foods may encourage the growth of Candida leading to thrush, according to the MayoClinic.com. A relationship between yeast allergy and Candida infections was identified by medical researchers who were exploring the causes of endometriosis, a serious health condition in women characterized by endometrium cells located outside the uterus causing inflammation and bleeding. Researchers found that women with endometriosis had high rates of both food and yeast allergies and Candida yeast infections, according to Kristi NewMyer, M.D., an endometriosis specialist. Avoiding all yeast foods is a key step in the treatment of patients with allergies, yeast infections and endometriosis.
Prevention and Warnings
Avoiding refined flour products, such as white bread and cookies, can help keep intestinal yeast populations in balance and deter Candida infections, according to the Columbia University Health Services. For individuals with weakened immune systems, and especially those with HIV, thrush and other Candida infections can represent a serious health risk. People with diabetes are also at heightened risk for developing thrush due to the higher sugar content of their saliva, according to the MayoClinic.com. Consult a physician immediately at signs of thrush in an infant or in a person with a compromised immune system, or if the symptoms do not quickly subside with dietary changes in health adults.
- DrLWilson.com: Food Sensitivities or Intolerance; Lawrence Wilson, M.D.; December 2010
- DrSallyRockwell.com: Frequently Asked Questions About Candida and Food Allergies; Sally Rockwell, Ph.D.
- Columbia University Health Services: A Fungus Among Us -- Candida Yeast; January 1995
- Creighton University Medical Center: Endometriosis and Alternative Therapies -- Candida Connection; Kristi NewMyer, M.D.