What Are The Natural Ways To Prevent Yeast Infection?
A yeast infection is also known as candidiasis or moniliasis. It is more commonly seen in people with weakened immune systems and diabetes. Left untreated, it can worsen and lead to other complications like the fungus spreading to various body parts through the bloodstream. While we all know about its symptoms and consequences, not many people know the risk factors and preventive measures for avoiding this condition again. So here's everything about yeast infection – its causes, risk factors, and natural ways to prevent it:
What causes a yeast infection?
A yeast infection is caused due to an overgrowth of the fungus called Candida Albicans in the body. Candida lives harmlessly in our bodies in the gastrointestinal tract and the genitals. When the levels of the fungus increase in the body, it starts spreading in the body and causes infection. As we age, the body's immune system decreases, making it easier for the fungus to thrive.
Similarly, pregnant or breastfeeding women have a higher risk of infection as estrogen levels in the body are high, which increases the risk of yeast infection. A yeast infection is also seen in people undergoing some medical treatments, like chemotherapy, using oral contraceptives, having diabetes, having a weak immune system, or suffering from a poor diet.
Risk factors for yeast infection
A yeast infection can affect anyone at any age. While it mainly occurs in women, it can also happen in men. Women are more susceptible to yeast infections during their menstrual cycles. This happens because, during this time, the estrogen level in the body increases, which is the primary cause of yeast infections. Women exposed to frequent birth control pills are also at a higher risk of yeast infections.
Men are also prone to yeast infections, especially those with weakened immune systems, diabetes, or who are receiving chemotherapy treatments. People with gastrointestinal issues, like celiac disease, Crohn's disease, colitis, or diverticulitis, are also prone to yeast infections. It is mainly because the increased intestinal permeability allows toxins to leak into the bloodstream and disrupts the immune system.
How to prevent a yeast infection?
Here are a few tips to prevent a yeast infection:
- Keep your diet healthy - Unhealthy or a poor diet is one of the leading causes of yeast infections. So, make sure to include a lot of fiber in your diet. It helps improve your bowel movements and keep your system clean and hydrated. Probiotics are also an excellent way to maintain a healthy gut and protect yourself from yeast infections.
- Avoid tight clothing - Make it a point to wear loose-fitting clothes. Avoid wearing synthetic underwear and pantyhose. Tight dress traps moisture, which makes it a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria. This can lead to a yeast infection.
- Practice good hygiene - While it is important to be hygienic, it is equally important to avoid being too clean. Over-scrubbing the genitals and the anus can disrupt the bodily pH levels and may increase your risk of contracting yeast infections. So, ensure you maintain proper hygiene of your private parts.
Treatment available for Yeast Infection
Anti-fungal medications: Anti-fungal medications can be taken orally to treat yeast infections. These medications may include fluconazole or clotrimazole.
Oral anti-fungal treatment - An oral anti-fungal treatment can be used to treat yeast infections during pregnancy. It may consist of fluconazole or an amphotericin B.
Topical anti-fungal treatment - Topical anti-fungal treatments help to treat yeast infections by applying medication around the infected area. This can help to treat yeast infections of the skin, nails, and scalp.
Note: If you are sure you have symptoms of Vaginal Yeast Infection, you must consult your doctor before starting any of the medicines.
Natural remedies to treat yeast infection
As yeast infections can affect anyone at any age, we all need to be aware of the preventive measures and how we can treat them at home. Here are a few natural remedies that can help you treat yeast infections:
Garlic is a potent anti-fungal agent. It can help to destroy the yeast and prevent further growth.
Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil treats many bacterial and fungal infections. It can be applied to the affected areas to help treat yeast infections.
Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar's anti-fungal properties can help to treat yeast infections.
Yogurt: Yeast like Candida (C. Albicans) can be combated using probiotics. Because of beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus, yogurt has been labeled a probiotic. These microorganisms play a crucial role in maintaining vaginal balance. Overgrowth due to imbalance can be treated with their aid.
Anhydrous boric acid: Some say that persistent yeast infections can be cured with boric acid because it is a potent antiseptic.
Vaginal suppositories containing boric acid may be used with antibiotics to treat vaginal infections.
Large quantities of boric acid are poisonous. An overdose can cause kidney failure, acute circulatory failure, and death. Boric acid should not be applied to open wounds or ingested orally.
Boric acid in any form should be avoided during pregnancy.
This might not be a good choice if your skin is particularly delicate. If you experience any pain, stop using it immediately.
Oregano oil: Origanum marjoram, more commonly known as common oregano, can be found in the spice aisle of most supermarkets. On the other hand, the oil of oregano used to treat yeast infections is a different variety entirely. Try to find oil extracted from wild oregano, also known as Origanum vulgare. Essential oils are not safe for consumption. Inhaling essential oils is a crucial aspect of the aromatherapy process. The best advice is to dilute oregano oil with an unscented carrier oil like olive or sweet almond oil; however, researchers are looking into additional applications.
Combine 3–5 drops of essential oil with 1 ounce of carrier oil. When finished, rub it into the skin. As an additional method of administration, diffusers can be used to inhale the oil. Do not put this oil anywhere near your genitalia.
Coconut oil: Coconut oil, or cocos Nucifera oil, is an oil extracted from coconut flesh. Many people use the oil because of its anti-fungal effects.
Studies have shown that coconut oil can be an effective home treatment for combating C. Albicans.
Hydrogen peroxide: It can be used to effectively eliminate yeast and bacteria. In the vagina, Lactobacillus bacteria create hydrogen peroxide as part of their biological activity against yeast. Some people claim that topical hydrogen peroxide treatment for yeast infections is effective, albeit this may not be the case for all types of yeast.
Hydrogen peroxide has not been shown to effectively cure vaginal infections in clinical studies. Bathing or diluting it with water may help prevent yeast from forming in the genitalia.
Applying it directly to your genitalia without first diluting it (with a ratio of one part water to two parts hydrogen peroxide) is not advised.
Antioxidant Vitamin E
Vitamin E is recommended by some medical professionals for vaginitis. Vitamin E has been shown to help reduce inflammation in lab-grown C. Albicans.
Atrophic vaginitis (vaginal atrophy), the thinning of the vaginal walls due to a lack of estrogen, can be treated with vitamin E suppositories. Atrophic vaginitis alters the vagina's acidic environment, making it more susceptible to bacterial and yeast infections. Vaginal vitamin E suppositories or vaginal vitamin E oil can be used once or twice daily for 3-14 days to calm the irritation in the vaginal and vulvar mucous membranes.
Yeast infections are a common disorder caused due to an overgrowth of the fungus called Candida albicans. Women are more susceptible to yeast infections during their menstrual cycles as the level of estrogen in their bodies is high. Preventing a yeast infection can be done by maintaining a healthy diet and good hygiene. If you or your loved ones are suffering from yeast infections, including these tips from Cured.com may help them to a great extent in preventing their re-occurrence. However, if you still have a persistent infection, you must seek immediate medical attention.From the Web