Yeast Beast – Dr. Dave Hepburn

I don’t drink. I know it is a major character flaw and I need to fix it but I am weak, though the body is swilling. Damned self-denial. I’ve thought about giving it up, considered joining AA (Abstainers Anonymous) but it’s hard to get away with stuff like that when my mother is always checking on me in my wee corner room deep in the basement abyss where I am kept. But I know some guys who do drink, says it makes the operating room a little livelier. Having a liquid lunch prior to surgery makes removing an aorta or a frontal lobe or inadvertently both, infinitely more amusing.

But one hot summer day, I found myself in a place, which is, oddly enough, home to both the Kokanee beer (Sasquatch’s favourite ale) brewing plant and Canadian polygamy. Truly a town that has either enjoys too much to drink or not enough.

Creston BC, the land of big love, most of it directed towards big foot. So I wanted to know how this beer was made as I am just naturally a curious guy when it comes to things I don’t personally participate in. Incidentally I’m also interested in learning about how to actually pay taxes and Cantonese lip synching.

Anyway, apparently after the malted barley is strained the barley is sent to local cattle. “Hey Bessssssssie babe, after a few of these here bbbarleys you are uddderly a friggin’ fox you old cow.”

Get the mixture all hopped up and then add yeast.

We walked into the yeast room to the pleasant smell of yeast happily churning up the watery ale, immersed in a vat of beer in a sort of Michael Phelps/Homer Simpson way.

Now I am not a yeastologist/naturopath so I don’t know a lot about yeast other than it tends to get a rise out of a lot of the crystal-waving, tulips-in-my-toes gang. Seems the yeast beast gets blamed for a lot of medical conditions ranging from Friday fatigue to pregnancy. “You might think it’s a fetus but really it’s just yeast rising. If you do have a baby it will likely be riddled in yeast unless you buy our yeast-zapping ocean potion.”

Vaginal Thrush -Dr. Dave Hepburn
Vaginal Thrush -Dr. Dave Hepburn

Yeast brews in the vaginal vault in 30% of healthy women usually without causing too much grief. It just sits there dreaming of beer and Birkenstocks. But it is an opportunistic littlebugger and given half a chance it will multiply and start percolating. Antibiotics, taken for any infection, can also kill off the normal bacterial flora of the vagina. When this happens yeast, having been lurking in the shadows, comes forth and claims the vault in the name of yeastkind everywhere.

Other causes of triumphant yeast includes diabetes, pregnancy, high dose estrogen in birth control pills, douches and sprays like Massengill or Raid and just plain good old fashioned bad luck. Yeast infections generally causes itching, burning on urination or intercourse and often a discharge that is described as cottage cheese in nature, much to the chagrin of the folks at Land O’ Lakes.

Men too can get yeast infections on their pride and joys, an itchy condition known as “balanitis” given the close approximation of the infection to the bals.

Balanitis - Dr. Dave Hepburn
Balanitis – Dr. Dave Hepburn

In order to render yeast deceased, treatment can be with creams, suppository ovules and now a simple pill, diflucan, taken once (orally). For those unfortunate gals plagued by recurrent yeast infections take two diflucan pills, 72 hours apart, when beset by an infection. Alternatively to prevent this chronic yeast feast consider taking it once a month when estrogen and progesterone levels swing wildly at mid-cycle (see: male cowering). And even good ol’ Boric acid, 600mg, as a vaginal ovule used during the second half of the cycle might help prevent recurrent yeast.

All this writing of yeast beasts and estrogen and bals and vaginal acid and ultimately death has me exhausted… I need a beer.

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