Anup Kanodia, who practices functional medicine on Forest Drive in New Albany, last week was featured on a national news show with two patients he has treated for yeast overgrowth.

Anup Kanodia, who practices functional medicine on Forest Drive in New Albany, last week was featured on a national news show with two patients he has treated for yeast overgrowth.

The Columbus resident and his patients -- Nick Hess, 34, of Columbus, and Matthew Hogg, 34, of Middlesbrough , England -- appeared in a segment on ABC's 20/20 on Aug. 13.

Kanodia called yeast overgrowth "a truly hidden epidemic" that often is not properly diagnosed.

Kanodia said he suffers from the condition, which manifests itself in the human body in different ways.

Yeast in the human body is kept in check by other organisms, but when the balance is thrown off by someone taking antibiotics frequently or eating a lot of sugar and carbohydrates, the yeast reproduces more than normal and a person can develop serious medical conditions, according to the 20/20 program.

Severe cases of yeast overgrowth are known as auto-brewery syndrome, Kanodia said.

Auto-brewery syndrome occurs when the yeast causes active fermentation in the body and produces alcohol that can make patients appear to be drunk, even if they have not consumed alcoholic beverages, according to the 20/20 program.

Kanodia said yeast overgrowth also can begin in the sinuses and cause tooth infections; it can occur in the immune system and promote allergies; it can occur in the skin and cause eczema; and it can occur in the intestinal tract and cause irritable bowel syndrome.

Kanodia said in his part-time work with local Urgent Care facilities, he often sees people with three to four of the symptoms of yeast overgrowth. They are taking individual medications for each condition and no one has ever tested them for yeast overgrowth, he said.

"If you have a person with five to six illnesses, who takes five to six different pills for those illnesses, you would think maybe there is a connection," he said.

Kanodia became aware of yeast overgrowth while studying to become a doctor. The Akron native said he studied medicine at the University of Akron and the Mayo Clinic.

"I still felt I was not sure how to make people healthy," he said.

Kanodia said he went to Harvard University and enrolled in the alternative-medicine program. It was there he learned the concept of functional medicine, which teaches doctors questions to ask and testing that often is overlooked, he said.

According to the Institute for Functional Medicine, "Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the health-care needs of the 21st century.

"By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms."

Kanodia believes his father, Puru, also might have had the condition.

He said he encouraged his father to be tested for yeast overgrowth because his toenails were yellow. But his father was not.

Puru Kanodia did not have high blood pressure, was not overweight and had good cholesterol. Kanodia said his father also regularly passed physical stress tests but died of a heart attack in April 2011.

Kanodia said he cannot say yeast overgrowth caused his father's heart attack, but he believes several factors contributed to his father's death and he wishes he could have convinced his father to be tested for the condition and to change his diet to prevent further yeast overgrowth.

Kanodia's research and achievements in treating yeast overgrowth has been published in several medical journals, including the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.