Yeast or thrush infection officially known as “candidiasis” both in men and women presents such a common problem in my everyday practise that I decided to write this simple to follow guide to explain key aspects about yeast problem and outline main treatment approaches in 7 easy steps.
Generally speaking, yeast infection is caused by overgrowth of parasitic fungal microorganism known as Candida which is present in humans from birth and normally causes no problem unless overgrowth of Candida fungus occurs. There are eight types of candida known to cause infection in humans and candida albicans is by far the most common. Candida overgrowth causes yeast infection/thrush in its basic form which can affect various mucus membranes in the body from mouth to genitals.
Main symptoms of candidiasis include:
– bloating, belching, gas
– abdominal discomfort, feeling sick
– nausea, constipation, diarrhoea.
– genital itching, soreness, redness
– genital discharge ( characteristic cottage cheese-like discharge )
– mouth soreness, creamy white patches on the tongue, roof of the mouth, back of the throat and inside the cheeks
7 steps to help get rid of yeast infection:
1. Make sure you go see your Dr if you get recurrent (few times a year) yeast infections particularly in the mouth/genitals. It could possibly indicate other health issues and medical conditions such as diabetes which should be excluded.
2. Anti fungal medication – speak to your pharmacist regarding which is best to use. Depending on symptoms or part of the body affected different preparation can be recommended. Make sure that medication is used appropriately and for a period of time specified by the manufacture in order to kill the fungus.
3. Regular exercise is very important in supporting healthy immune function. It is important to exercise at least 30 minutes per day. Exercise does not have to be stenious. Walking is the best form of exercise available and easily can be implemented in even the busiest lifestyle.
4. Diet. There is plenty of information regarding diet in managing yeast infection. But I would like to stress on avoiding deep fried, fatty foods and including more of vegetables and cereals. Fruit consumption also has to be limited to 2 servings a day while undergoing treatment for yeast infection due to high content of sugar.
5. I would like to highlight GARLIC as a separate treatment option due to its enormous ability to kill all kinds of fungal infections. For best results I always recommend to swallow 2-3 small cloves of garlic in the morning on an empty stomach with a glass of water and not to eat or drink anything for at least 1/2 an hour after that. Cloves have to be swallowed whole without chewing them up to avoid odor:))
6. Supplements. Zinc supplementation has been found to improve the body’s resistance to yeast infection. For oral yeast infection I normally recommend dissolving a zinc lozenge in the mouth may be more beneficial than swallowing a tablet or capsule.
– Probiotic supplements containing acidophilus and bifidus cultures help to restore the normal, healthy flora in the bowel that form a barrier to harmful bacteria. A probiotic supplement may help to prevent infection or reduce the severity of candidiasis.
– In cases of low immune function, an oversupply of harmful molecules (free radicals) may be present. Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, E, zinc, grape seed extract, coenzyme Q10 and selenium help to reduce the number of free radicals in the body.
– Echinacea and Golden seal are herbs which help to boost the immune system and prevent infection. An effective gargle and mouthwash against Oral Thrush may be made from a combination of these herbs and propolis liquid. Propolis, a natural bee product, has antimicrobial properties which may help to eliminate the candida organism.
– Astragalus is a herb with a long history of traditional use in Chinese herbal medicine. Clinical trials have shown Astragalus to have immune enhancing properties. This herb may be especially beneficial in cases of chronic, recurring Oral Thrush.
7. Regular relaxation/stress management. Is very important to allow your body to rest in order to maintain a good immune function. Good night sleep, relaxation exercise (yoga or tai chi ) will allow your natural defenses to keep yeast infection at bay.