People who have frequent yeast infections, or candidiasis, sometimes try the anti-candida diet in an effort to reduce their likelihood of becoming infected again. Following this diet is thought to starve the yeast that cause the infection and correct the imbalance that brings on the symptoms. However, it can also have some unintended consequences, such as constipation, due to the restrictions following the diet entails. It also isn't clear if this diet is effective, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Check with your doctor before following this diet so you can limit your risk for constipation.
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Candida Diet Basics
On this diet, people avoid eating any foods containing yeast, all sugars, fresh and dried fruits, peanuts, vinegar, mushrooms, aged cheeses, chocolate, alcohol, fermented foods and foods containing gluten, including barley, rye and wheat. Some versions of this diet also limit milk and dairy products. These restrictions greatly limit the amount of processed foods allowed.
Anti-Candida Diet and Constipation
Diets low in fiber can lead to constipation, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Because of the restrictions on foods containing yeast, fruits and grains, some people may not get enough fiber on an anti-candida diet. Certain medications and not getting enough exercise can make constipation even more likely.
Limiting Constipation Risk on the Anti-Candida Diet
Drink at least eight glasses of water per day, exercise and eat lots of fiber to help minimize your risk for constipation. Fill up on non-starchy vegetables and include gluten-free grains, such as rice, oats and millet, in your daily meals while on this diet. Both of these types of food are allowed on the anti-candida diet and provide the fiber you need to keep your stools soft and your bowel movements regular. Taking a psyllium fiber supplement may also help with constipation by making your stool softer so it's easier to pass, although psyllium may cause irritation in people with irritable bowel syndrome.
Other Potential Causes
You could be constipated for reasons other than following the anti-candida diet. Certain health problems, such as underactive thyroid, irritable bowel syndrome, cystic fibrosis, pregnancy and colon cancer can cause constipation. Medications, including certain anticonvulsants, pain medications, antidepressants, antacids and antihistamines, can also increase your risk for constipation. Stress or even just holding in your bowel movements before visiting the restroom can lead to constipation sometimes.