If you think you have a yeast infection it is likely that you haven’t had one before otherwise you would know what the symptoms are. So, if this is the case, the very first thing you must do is make an appointment to see your doctor for a professional diagnosis.
Do not self-diagnose even if you know someone who has had yeast infections and your symptoms are similar to theirs. This is very important because yeast infection symptoms can be the symptoms of other conditions that will require totally different treatment regimens.
So that if you assume that you have a yeast infection and treat yourself using over-the-counter medications for the ‘infection’ you could be ignoring a totally different condition for which those OTC medications are useless.
Therefore you must get a proper diagnosis from a health-care professional, do not self-diagnose.
Yeast Infection Symptoms
Typical vaginal yeast infection symptoms to look out for are…
- thick white discharge
- burning sensation during urination
- uncomfortable or even impossible sex
- blister-like spots over the head of the penis
- red swollen head
- similar problems as above with urinating and sex
- dry flaky skin
- sometimes an unusual discharge
For an oral infection look out for…
- creamy white raised spots over the tongue and mucous membranes
- sometimes the spots are more like a thick white coating over the tongue
- bleeding wounds revealed when the spots / coating is scraped away
- possible burning sensation in mouth and throat
- perhaps bad breath
- in some cases flat red spots on the lips
But remember, even if you have some or all of these symptoms (depending on where the infection is located) and this is your first possible yeast infection, consult with your doctor before you do anything else.
Let’s now assume that you have been to your doctor and been diagnosed with a yeast infection…
Yeast Infection Treatment
Your doctor will normally prescribe the appropriate medication or will sometimes just give you the name of an over-the-counter medication to buy without a prescription.
In general, mainstream treatment employs anti-fungal drugs in different forms depending on where the infection is situated. Typical OTC medications are…
- creams, suppositories and tablets for vaginal yeast infections.
- creams, ointments and sprays for penile infections.
- rinses, sprays and lozenges for oral infections.
Whatever your doctor recommends you must finish the course. And if the symptoms still persist after the course is completed you must inform your doctor for further consideration.
These mainstream medications are usually pretty effective in eliminating the symptoms of a yeast infection. But what they aren’t so effective in doing is addressing the root causes of yeast infection….
Yeast Infection Causes
A yeast infection is ultimately caused by an overgrowth of the Candida albicans yeast-like fungus that we all have in our bodies. Under normal conditions our body’s friendly bacteria help to keep the bad bacteria, like Candid albicans, in check so that they don’t overgrow. So in a healthy body your bacterial environment is ‘in balance.’
When this environment becomes unbalanced then the Candida can overgrow and cause the symptoms of yeast infection. The triggers for this are things like…
- friendly bacteria depletion
- a compromised immune system
- high blood sugar
- hormonal imbalance
- body pH imbalance
- certain drug therapies
Each one of these can help to enable the fungus to proliferate. And if you have more than one, such as a lowered immune system because of stress or illness, too high blood sugar because of a poor diet and / or diabetes, hormonal imbalance due to oral contraception, menstruation or HRT, then you are at an even higher risk of yeast infection.
Other issues are things like antibiotics overuse that kills the good bacteria as well as the bad, the use of feminine hygiene products that upset the pH balance in the vagina, and certain drugs like immunosuppressants that affect the immune system.
So although mainstream drug-based anti-fungal medication can be effective in getting rid of the symptoms you need to ensure that you address the root cause(s) of your Candida infection to help prevent recurring infections which can seriously affect your health.
Broader Approach to Treating Yeast Infections
Key to this approach is making certain dietary changes, for example avoiding…
- sugar, sweets, and sugar-rich foods.
- refined carbohydrates.
- non-organic meat and poultry which are often treated with antibiotics and hormones.
- yeast products.
- cow’s milk dairy products.
- stimulants such as tea, coffee, energy drinks, cigarettes, etc.
Instead you should consume…
- non-refined carbohydrates like potatoes, wholewheat products, yeast-free breads, etc.
- organic meat, poultry and fish which won’t have been treated in the same way as in modern farming methods.
- soya milk dairy products.
- non-stimulant infusions such as chamomile tea, etc.
In addition you should…
- reduce stress through better time management, daily exercise, and stress-relieving techniques.
- stop or at the very least reduce smoking.
- try to avoid antibiotics if at all possible (talk to your doctor about alternatives).
- avoid feminine hygiene products and replace them with natural hygiene methods.
- get your doctor to test you for any hormonal imbalances.
Note: It is important to consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet. And do not stop taking any medication that your doctor has prescribed without their prior approval.