In this article we will talk about yeast infections. The symptoms are:
- Itching and vaginal irritation
- Odourless white discharge resembling cottage cheese
- Painful urination
- Red and irritated vulva
- Possibility of pain or burning sensation during intercourse
- Symptoms often worsen a week before menstruation.
Often yeast infections are caused by a disturbance in the balance of the vaginal environment. The vaginal mucosa is usually protected by the presence of a germ: bacillus Doederlein. A good balance of that flora is what prevents the multiplication of yeast and prevents infections. The vaginal environment has an acidic pH (3.8 to 4.4), but several factors may unbalance that pH like maxipads, stockings, some alkaline soaps, sugar imbalance, oral contraceptives or IUDs, chlorinated water bath, semen, etc.
Also, antibiotic treatment for bronchitis or any other infection destroys the bacilli Doederlein and can promote fungal vaginal infections. That is why many women experience yeast infections after taking antibiotics.
- Repeated use of antibiotics and / or steroids
- Chronic stress
- A diet rich in sugars
- Use of oral contraceptives
- Weakened immune system
Better safe than sorry: 5 tips to avoid yeast infections
If you must take antibiotics and as soon as you begin taking them, take a probiotic every 3 hours at a rate of 45 to 120 billions for 2 to 7 days. Then, reduce your intake to 15 to 20 billions a day for at least 3 months.
Regularly include prebiotics in your diet. Choose kefir because it contains more bacteria than yogurt and try lacto-fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut. Eat miso and tempeh as a source of soybeans. Regularly eat vegetables such as artichoke and leek rich in prebiotics.
Strengthen your immune system. A strong immune system is more efficient to fight this type of infection. Manage your stress, sleep enough and well, get sufficient exercise and have a good mental and emotional balance to build an invincible immune system. If you often have infections, consult a registered naturopath to strengthen your immune system.
Limit your acidity by consuming at least 3 cups of vegetables per day but limit your fruit consumption to 2 per day. Always prefer vegetables because they contain less sugar than fruit, but as much minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
One tool that naturopaths use during consultation is a pH curve. You can measure your pH with a Hydrion paper found in health food stores. Ideally, your pH should be around 7.5 around 8:00 p.m. and 6.5 or higher around 4:00 p.m. For more details, consult a certified naturopath.
To reduce your sugar cravings in the afternoon or in the evening, make sure you have proteins with every meal, especially for breakfast, which rarely contains any. Take snacks in the afternoon before being hungry. A portion of 12 almonds with a fruit or yogurt is a good option.
A comprehensive and naturopathic approach to recurring yeast infections
The success of a vaginal yeast infection treatment requires a holistic approach based on the reduction of risk factors for yeast overgrowth:
- Improved immune function;
- Improved digestion and elimination;
- Support of the functioning of the liver;
- Inhibition of yeast growth.
General recommendations often recommended three steps. The first is a diet that starves the yeast of its main fuel: sugar.
The second is the use of beneficial bacteria such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria taken as probiotics to compete with the yeast and rebalance the "microflora". Thirdly, anti-fungal natural substances are recommended to kill the yeast.
The food component of this program is very important because the yeast feeds on carbohydrates. Proteins and "good" fats are highly recommended in this diet. This includes eggs, fish, chicken, turkey, seafood, tofu, tempeh, nuts and seeds, vegetables (some root vegetables) and goat or cow yogurts.
To overcome chronic vaginitis, you need a comprehensive approach. Taking probiotics alone may not be enough for some people. Remember that yeast thrives in certain environments. Therefore rebalancing is necessary and it takes effort and time. Do not hesitate to seek advice from a licensed naturopath to assist you in this process.
- Wilson C. Recurrent vulvovaginitis candidiasis; an overview of traditional and alternative therapies. Adv Nurse Pract. 2005 May;13(5):24-9.