One of the cruelest things about MRSA is it leaves your body more vulnerable to other types of infections later. These so-called secondary infections can be bacterial like C. difficile (or “C. diff”). But yeast, candida and fungal infections are also common after struggling with Staph or MRSA.
Yeast and fungal infections can be mild to severe and may appear as: toe nail fungus, thrush in the mouth, some skin infections, vaginitis and systemic or internal infections.
Just when you think your infection has cleared, a secondary infection can strike without warning. And yeast and candida can be especially long lasting, chronic infections that are hard to get rid of. Chronic fungal infections have also been implicated in setting the stage for cancer and other diseases later in life. They are also the most common type of secondary infection I hear about from people who’ve struggled with a Staph or MRSA infection.
What Causes Secondary Infections?
Recovery from Staph or MRSA puts a big drain on your energy reserves and your immune system. And antibiotic drugs can put even more stress on your body by disrupting the bacterial balance in your body and intestines. Antibiotic side effects can also stress your body (like nausea) and lengthen your recovery as some antibiotics can cause liver toxicity and allergic reactions are a common issue for many. All these things can make you weaker and more prone to all kinds of infection though a lowered immunity.
Staph and MRSA can also remain hidden inside your body as L-forms and biofilms long after your initial infection has cleared. Working from a hidden “home base” inside your body, these “stealth” forms of bacteria can sense and communicate with each other, laying in wait for the perfect opportunity to strike again. Yeast and candida can also form biofilms, making these secondary infections very challenging to treat.
Another major and largely overlooked cause of secondary infections is your body’s “internal terrain”. The the same conditions inside your body that can help “set the stage” for Staph or MRSA infections are probably still present after your infection clears. Stress, poor diet, poor sleep, emotional unrest and chronic illnesses can all set the stage for secondary infections and recurring infections. In particular, diet and stress can have a big effect on candida and yeast infections.
What You Can Do
If you’ve had a history of recurring yeast, candida or fungal infections, there are some things you can do:
- Watch your diet. Yeasts and fungi thrive on sugar and simple carbohydrates (bread, pasta, white flour, etc.) and these foods can be addictive and difficult to give up. Other foods boost your immune system and help maintain a more healthy balance of bacteria in your gut. The more whole, raw foods such as greens, vegetables and legumes, the better.
- Manage your stress. For many people, nothing affects their body’s pH and their vulnerability to infections more than stress. Take a break, get some rest and get some help with managing your stress if needed.
- Target fungal infections. Many of the same natural essential oils, supplements and herbal products that are helpful for Staph and MRSA can also help with fungal infections too.
- Target biofilms. I believe that one reason yeast and candida infections are so tenacious is biofilms. Using products that are also shown to be effective against biofilms can be of benefit.
- Manage symptoms of detox. It’s common to feel uncomfortable symptoms when you begin to clear a yeast infection. As the yeast dies off, it can release toxins into your body that must be removed. This elimination process should be controlled at a comfortable pace. Detox may also be helped with specific supplements as well as lymphatic drainage techniques.
- Adopt a long-term approach. Chronic yeast and fungal infections often take time to get rid of, especially if you’ve struggled with them for years. And you will likely need to make some lifestyle changes to have lasting success.
To your health,
Microbiologist and Natural Health Advocate