Six Things You Didn’t Know About Yeast Infection
Yeast infections aren’t exactly news. Not when three out of four women will have at least one during their lifetimes, and 50% of women will have two or more. But don’t let the fact that these infections are fairly common and treated with relative ease fool you into thinking you know all there is to know about them!
Here’s a brief recap of the facts, just to make sure everyone is on the same page. Yeast infections are vaginal infections affecting the vulva, or the area around the vagina. The infection caused by the Candida fungus, which is always present in the vagina, but sometimes goes a little haywire, resulting in too much of a good thing.
While the majority of women will get at least one yeast infection during their lifetimes, there are a few factors that increase the risk: pregnancy, a recent course of antibiotics and using hormonal birth control high in estrogen, for example.
Fortunately, yeast infections are easy to treat for the most part. Many women manage to deal with the problem using over-the-counter anti-fungal creams, tablets or suppositories. But it has to be said, these treatments don’t work for everyone. Women who experience repeated yeast infections may develop a resistance to OTC treatments.
Those would be the basic facts, and most women know them. Here are a few you might not know:
1- You don’t have to be an adult to get a yeast infection. They can affect women and girls of any age, although they’re rare before puberty and after menopause.
2- Far from protecting you, douches and vaginal hygiene products can actually increase your chances of getting a yeast infection! The best way to protect yourself is a daily vaginal rinse with warm water or very a mild soap.
3- Yeast infections can show up in other places. Your mouth, for example, where it’s called thrush and cottage cheese-like lesions blanket your tongue, cheeks and gums.
4- Men can get yeast infections, too. Unprotected sex with an infected woman can spread the fungus.Over-the-counter creams applied twice daily for about a week usually take care of the problem.
5- Recurring yeast infections can signal other, more serious problems—like diabetes, for instance. High blood-glucose can be a catalyst for increased yeast growth.
6- Your diet may be a factor. Like your carbs? Then you may not want to hear that high carbohydrate intake has been linked to increased Candida levels. Taking probiotics or eating yogurt with live cultures, on the other hand, may decrease your risk.
Always good to end on a high note, right?
Why try home remedies for yeast infections?
Any yeast infection treatment basically involves removing yeast from the body. Conventional medications attempt to do this by prescribing topical creams and oral anti-fungal drugs.
While topical creams provide temporary relief from symptoms, oral drugs are used to kill the fungus that has developed within.
However, Candida albicans (the fungus that causes a Candida infection) is not a totally useless microorganism—rather, it is present in the body to eat undigested food. The catch is that it should not be allowed to grow.
It is when yeast grows into its fungal form that infection and problems begin. It is due to this reason that even conventional medicine insists upon a change in diet, along with medication for a complete Candida cure.
Yeast infections can be very irritating. Sometimes it is simply a matter of taking certain precautions to avoid an incidence. Home remedies for yeast infections can be used effectively to prevent or treat superficial infections. If you can adhere to certain simple lifestyle changes, you can effectively keep Candida infections at bay.
Post menstrual syndrome, a pattern of symptoms that occurs two to fourteen days before menstruation, often causes vaginal yeast infections in women. The best way to avoid it is by adopting natural and clean sanitary practices.
Avoid putting any irritants in the vagina. Spermicides are meant to kill sperms and should be put where they should be – in the bulb of the condom, not inside the vagina. Douche with natural substances like vinegar or yogurt instead of chemical preparations. Wash the genitals with water and gentle soaps. Avoid wearing tight jeans and thongs, which do not allow proper ventilation.
A diabetic or low-sugar diet is advisable for those prone to frequent Candida infections. Check with a dietician and adjust the amount of sugar that you should take in daily, since sugar is what Candida feeds upon and facilitates growth from.
In addition, keep your diet as natural as possible. Keep a check on carbohydrate content in your diet. Take vegetables on a regular basis, as plant probiotics are a natural defense against yeast growth.
Yogurt is considered to be one of the six healthiest foods today. Daily intake of fresh yogurt can treat a yeast infection better than any other substance or food item. Yogurt can also be used as a topical treatment for vaginal infections. Dip a tampon in yogurt and let it remain in the vagina overnight. It works as well as any of the conventional Candida treatments.
The benefits of garlic as an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent are mentioned in the ancient texts of traditional therapies. Garlic is as effective in treating Candida as it is for hypertension, cardiovascular and gastric problems. Goldenseal, licorice roots, clove, ginseng and peppermint are other herbs that can help against yeast infections.
Natural and home remedies for yeast infections provide a convenient and safe route to Candida-free living. Using them ensures that you are limiting the prevalence of Candida, and keeping some that has some purpose to serve in the body and not eliminating it totally.