Book Review: The Yeast Connection and the Woman
The Yeast Connection and the Woman by William G. Crook, M.D.,
Professional Books, Inc., 1995.748 pages.
Reviewed by Abigail Wolfson, January intern.
William Crook's latest book, The Yeast Connection and the Woman, is a newly updated version of his international best-seller The Yeast Connection. This new book is packed with information intended not only for women, but also for men and children. Crook explains his theory that yeast may be the mysterious culprit for many of our nagging ailments. He offers a simple quiz to his readers to help them determine if they may indeed have yeast related health problems and then offers some simple suggestions to help alleviate these problems.
Crook believes that an excess of the common yeast Candida Albicans in the body can cause health problems and that this excess is often the result of the long-term or frequent use of broad spectrum antibiotics or the use of birth control pills and/or other steroids. Ordinarily, the "good" bacteria in the intestinal tract keep the yeast population under control. However, Crook believes the use of medications such as broad spectrum antibiotics wipes out the "good" bacteria along with the intended "bad" bacteria, allowing yeast to multiply freely. Repeated use of these antibiotics may allow bacterial controls on yeast growth to be weakened permanently. An overabundance of yeast in the vagina causes vaginal yeast infections, but Crook emphasizes that yeast can cause more than just a vaginal infection. A study at Michigan State University supports his conclusion; the study found that every woman with a yeast infection had an accompanying overgrowth of yeast in her digestive tract. Some of these women experienced digestive symptoms, such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and abdominal cramps, (but many of the women did not experience any of these symptoms). Crook believes that yeasts produce high and low molecular weight toxins, and an overabundance of yeasts can produce enough of these toxins to impair the immune system and leave an individual with an additional illness, or just feeling "sick all over." Each subsequent infection treated with antibiotics only reinforces the cycle. Crook places emphasis on the fact that yeast infections cannot be diagnosed like other ailments with blood tests and X-rays. Rather, it is a retrospective diagnosis which can only be based on the patient’s reaction to a sugar-free diet and anti-yeast/fungal medication.
The author has outlined clear recommendations for his readers who suspect they may have yeast-related health problems. He advises removing simple carbohydrates, such as sugar and white flour, from the diet, and replacing them with complex carbohydrates such as vegetables and grain alternatives. (The Network believes that all women need to know that recurrent vaginal yeast infections can be the first sign of HIV infection.) He also recommends the exclusion of hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils and yeasty foods and beverages from the diet of people with yeast problems. He adds, however, that some of these foods may be reintegrated into the diet, slowly, once significant health improvements have been made. He then goes on to suggest ensuring adequate sleep and exercise, getting enough emotional support from loved ones, and avoiding chemical fumes. Next, he advises that people with yeast related health problems add certain nutritional supplements to their diets, such as essential fatty acids and special yeast-free multivitamins. Then Crook recommends the addition of nonprescription substances that control Candida growth to the diet, such as lactobacillus, citrus seed extracts, and garlic. An essential step is making a visit to a caring health practitioner who will support an anti-yeast regimen, and who will prescribe anti-yeast medications . should they be necessary. The final step which the author recommends is investigating possible food allergies so that these foods may be eliminated from the diet, as a surprising number of people suffering from yeast-related illnesses also have food allergies.
The Yeast Connection and the Woman is a valuable resource to health care practitioners and consumers alike. Crook claims success with PMS, endometriosis, cystitis and interstitial cystitis, sexual dysfunction, vaginitis, vulvodynia, ADHD, psoriasis, headaches, depression, autism, asthma, fatigue, muscle pain, and ear problems. While the book covers a wide selection of disorders, he addresses more disorders which exclusively or primarily affect women because Crook believes that women are eight to ten times more likely to be afflicted with a yeast-related health problem than men. This book is clear and easy to read as all "technical terms" are defined for the reader. It includes a special foreword to physicians to make it easier for concerned patients to bring the book to their practitioner. William Crook's latest book is recommended for anyone who suffers from persistent, inexplicable or untreatable infections.
SPECIAL NOTE FROM THE NETWORK: It should be kept in mind that yeast syndrome is not a medically accepted diagnosis and although the non-prescription treatments used for "yeast syndrome" are safe, some of the prescription drugs used, such as Diflucan (fluconazole) can have serious side effects.