Yeast Infection Causes and Cures
There are many reasons/causes for a bacteria known as candida albican
(which naturally occur in relatively small amounts in our bodies) to increase to a point where we experience what is commonly referred to as a “Yeast Infection”. The most common yeast infection occurs in women and is known as a vaginal yeast infection.
One can also experience a yeast infection in other parts of the body as well. A yeast infection of the throat (thrush) and a yeast infection of the esophagus (esophageal yeast infection) can be contracted but are less common .
Antibiotics: are up there as one of the top, if not the top, cause for getting a vaginal yeast infection. An antibiotic will be prescribed to cure one type of infection (ex. bronchitis) but unfortunately as well as killing the bad bacteria causing the infection it also kills some of the good bacteria in the body. The balance of bacteria in the vagina is disrupted and voila – vaginal yeast infection.
Sometimes you just need to take the good with the bad. If you have to take an
antibiotic try adding acidophilus, yogurt, or something else to restore the
“friendly/good” bacteria and stop the overgrowth of yeast in the body.
Chemicals: An allergic reaction to dyes and perfumes can cause a yeast
infection. Don’t use toilet tissue that contains any perfumes or dyes. Some
people find they are more prone to yeast infections when using certain laundry
products. If this is the case I would suggest using products that say
“allergen free”. Anti bacterial soaps may also cause some people to experience
yeast infection problems as well as skin problems.
Clothing: The rule here is – clean, not too tight and cotton (at least in the crotch). Wear clothes that breath and change your underwear at least once a day. Yeast has a field day in non-cotton, non-clean, too tight clothing where heat and moisture can build up. During or after a yeast infection wash all your undies in hot, hot water and machine dry (if possible).
Diet: A yeast free diet can play a significant part in getting your body back on track and in actually helping some people who may be more prone to yeast infections than others. See yeast free diet explained for more info on this.
Hormones: Yeast in the vagina is hormone dependent and feeds on imbalances of hormones or the sugar that is produced by an excess of estrogen. There are different ideas about which hormones increase candida growth. Scientific studies have found that in mice progesterone had no effect on vaginal candida but excess estrogen promoted its growth. These studies also concluded that excess estrogen would reduce the skin cells ability to prevent a build up of candida on the vaginal walls. You can always make sure to include Diindolylmethane (DIM) in your diet. This is a phytonutrient found in broccoli,
cauliflower, cabbage and brussel sprouts. Studies have shown that Dim changes
the way estrogen is metabolized, from the ‘bad’ pathway to the ‘good’ pathway.
Sexually: Most poeple are aware that a yeast infection can be transmitted through
intercourse. Even safe sex using a condom can be problematic in one of two ways.
Some condoms come with a lubricant that contains nonoxynol-9 ( a spermicide that is
believed to kill the HIV virus). You can buy them without this and then if needed use
another lubricant. If you are allergic to latex and use a condom made of latex you may
get a yeast infection. There are latex free condoms on the market.
Compromised or Weakened Immune System:
Women whose immune systems have been compromised due to HIV or Lyme disease are very prone to
getting yeast infections and are particularly susceptible to a yeast infection of the throat (thrush), or to a
yeast infection of the esophogus. For a good source of info on candida infections in people with HIV you
can go to the Aids Treatment Data Network.
Wheelchair bound: Having to sit in a wheelchair all day will add to the probability of
getting a vaginal yeast infection. Besides having a rigorous cleansing routine it is
recommended to sit on a cusion made of sheepskin. To find out more about the
benefits of sheepskin processed specifically for purposes such as this click here.