What is Yeast Infection?
Warm moist areas such as the vagina, skin folds, diaper areas, mouth, etc, contain some form of yeast. With more than 20 species of candida or yeast, the most common type is known as Candida albicans which dwells on the surface of our bodies. When certain conditions apply such as warm and moist areas, the candida will overgrow leading to various infections. These infections include a vaginal candida infection, diaper rash, thrush, etc.
Vaginal Yeast Infection Causes
The vagina contains yeast in about 20 to 50% of women that are considered healthy. When the environment in the vagina changes, an overgrowth of yeast can happen leading to a vaginal yeast infection or candidiasis.
It is difficult to pinpoint the exact causes of candidiasis however, there are a few factors that increase the risk of the environment of the vagina changing and possibly leading to a vaginal infection from candida abicans. These are:
- The use of antibiotics
Taking antibiotics and other medications also causes the “good” bacteria to be outnumbered by yeast or Candida. Since the goal of any antibiotic is to kill bacteria, it takes out the bad as well as the good bacteria. Antibiotics and some medication drugs can suppress the production of “good” bacteria.
- Suffering from diabetes
Yeast infection also has something to do with food. Since yeast is also used in preparing bread and other types of food, a person already suffering from an infection should cut down their intake of yeast-containing food. Since yeasts are sugar-loving organisms, a diet that is high in sugar usually contribute to rapid yeast multiplication.
- Hormonal Imbalance
Among women, pregnancy and menstruation increases the risk of developing yeast infection. Since these conditions cause an increase in body glucose levels, hormonal imbalance and sometimes alter the pH level in the vagina, Candida is most likely to grow at a more rapid pace. This condition is eventually what causes yeast infection.
- Sexually Transmitted Infections
Medical conditions such as diabetes, sexually transmitted infections and HIV normally cause yeast to grow more rapidly or to be transferred from a host to an unsuspecting victim. These conditions normally compromise the body’s immune system, causing the body’s defense against infections to weaken, which is primarily what causes yeast infection.
- Addiction to Smoke and Drinking
Excessive smoking and drinking alcohol can increase the yeast growth in the body. The main reason is weakening of the immune system. Over intake of alcohol and nicotine can reduce the efficiency of our disease fighting system i.e. immune system. You need to control your addiction to curb the growth of yeast fungus gradually.
- Vaginal Yeast Infection Symptoms
The first sign of a vaginal infection is excessive vaginal discharge. Most women have some extent of a vaginal discharge which is usually liquid or semi solid, which flows out of the vagina and usually represents a normal cleansing process. When there is a change in the vaginal discharge in terms of the amount, color, odor or other vaginal irritation, it may signal a vaginal infection.
Here are a few vaginal candida infection symptoms;
- A thick and excessive discharge that looks a bit like cottage cheese and may smell starchy (like bread or beer). It can vary in color from white to a slight yellow and can also be thin and clear or thick.
- If you experience itching, burning or soreness of the vagina and surrounding vaginal areas, it could signal the presence of candidiasis. It may even be painful to urinate because of the soreness or burning that may be constant or at various intervals. In order to differentiate burning due to a yeast infection or from a urinary tract infection, burning from candidiasis is felt on the outside of the vagina whereas an infection in the urinary tract leads to a burning sensation inside the urinary tract.
- A slight redness may result from a vaginal candida infection in the vagina and surrounding areas due to soreness and irritation. This may lead to a few women experiencing pain and discomfort during sexual intercourse.
It is important to note that not every woman with this type of vaginal infection will show any symptoms and a conclusive diagnosis of whether you have a yeast infection or not even for those showing some of the above symptoms, is through a doctor’s test performed on the discharge or a testing of the environment of the vagina.
Candidiasis Treatment Options
Traditional medicine remedies for the treatment of vaginal yeast infection include over the counter or prescription medicine. These can be in the form of gels, creams, pills, lotions, vaginal suppositories, etc. Since traditional medicine only treats the symptoms of candidiasis and not the root cause, this type of vaginal infection can recur over and over again. With traditional medicine, you may also suffer from the side effects resulting from the various medications used to treat the vaginal infection.
Thankfully, there are other alternative treatment for vaginal yeast infection that treat the root cause of this infection to ensure that you do not have recurring candida infection symptoms. Holistic or natural approaches to the treatment of yeast infections use various ingredients that are readily available at your local health and drug stores as well as your kitchen. Holistic remedies for the treatment and cure of candidiasis have been shown to be very effective at a fraction of the price of traditional medicine.
A Few Natural Remedies For Vaginal Yeast Infections
An increasing number of women are turning towards natural means of healing to cure yeast infections and prevent recurrence which is a big problem when using conventional treatment methods.
Natural remedies for vaginal yeast infections attempt to use probiotics to facilitate healing. Probiotics are friendly microbial organisms naturally occurring in the vagina and digestive tract and in the case of candidiasis, will suppress the excessive growth of Candida Albicans. These natural remedies seek to work with the body and not against it using various ingredients that are readily available in a home or at a local health store.
Garlic contains strong anti-fungal properties. Because of its nature, it can kill yeast. Remove the skin from the garlic clove. Use a piece of gauze to cover the garlic. Then tie it up the loose ends with a string. For women, you can insert it into your infected vagina. It may take several applications before the fungi is destroyed. If you are allergic to garlic, then don’t use it.
Yoghurt is a popular home remedy for yeast infections. It is rich with a friendly bacteria called lactobacillus acidophilus. What kills the fungus is not the bacteria but the hydrogen peroxide which is secreted by the bacteria. Moreover, the live cultures in yogurt can stop the infection by balancing the candida fungus which is naturally present in our body. When you buy yoghurt always get unsweetened one. Those with sugar will cause the fungus to multiply because sugar feeds yeast. Apply the yoghurt like a topical medication on the affected area.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can kill yeasts naturally. You can drink it every day to get rid of yeast infections. For vaginal infection, mix the apple cider vinegar with water and use it as a dough. You can also bath with apple cider vinegar by putting it into your bath water. This is effective for cleaning the private parts of men and women.