What is Yeast Infection?
Yeast is a fungus that affects the skin and digestive systems, and for women, it affects the vaginal parts. When yeast grows in large numbers either in the skin or other parts of the body, it turns out to be called a yeast infection.
Depending on the body location the yeast infection occurs and the type of candida that is present, there are numerous distinct types of infections that can be brought on by the fungus known as fungus candida. While some of their symptoms do coincide, they might also be dissimilar.
Common Types of Yeast Infections
a) Cutaneous candidiasis
This is a skin infection that affects the body’s surface. The skin between the fingers or toes, nails, armpits, beneath the breasts, or around the groin are the most common sites where candida can form. A red, itchy rash is the primary symptom.
b) Diaper rash
Sometimes a Candida overgrowth, which occurs when there is a moist environment from wet diapers encouraging candida to thrive, can lead to diaper rash in babies. An infected area is indicated by a red rash in the skin’s folds.
c) Oral thrush
It occurs when candidiasis affects the lining of the mouth or throat. White lesions on the tongue or the inside of the cheeks are signs of oral thrush. Additionally, symptoms including foul breath, swallowing pain, strange tastes, and mouth dryness may be present.
d) Vaginal yeast infections
Candida overgrowth in the vagina causes vaginal yeast infections, commonly known as vulvovaginal candidiasis. A typical fungus strain associated with vaginal yeast infections is Candida albicans.
Vaginal yeast infection Symptoms
- Thick, white vaginal discharge
In the U.S., it’s the second most infection after bacterial infection/ vaginosis. More than 1 million women yearly seek medical advice on vaginal yeast infection. Also, three out of four women will get a yeast infection at some point in their lifetime.
Vaginal Yeast Infection Treatment
Taking antifungal medication for 3 days – 7 days tends to help clear the vaginal yeast infection. In some cases, it is possible to get rid of the infection within 24 hours.
e) Penile Yeast Infection
This is commonly a male yeast infection of the penis. It is often characterized by uncomfortable symptoms like itchiness, soreness, redness, and swelling of the penis. It is often caused by overgrown candida. Candida is a fungus that is found in the human body but in small amounts. it is often caused by having unprotected sex with a lady that has a vaginal yeast infection.
Getting rid of penile yeast infection within 24 hours may necessitate one to seek over-the-counter medications. If symptoms persist seek a doctor who will diagnose and give your medications in a single appointment.
What Causes Yeast Infection?
Foods That Could Cause Yeast Infection
i) Diets with simple sugars
This could be a simple sweetener made from agave, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, malt, honey, or any processed sugar, including brown and white sugar from the cane sugar plant.
Additionally, refined sugar from the corn plant is particularly risky for yeast overgrowth thus one must avoid high fructose corn syrup. Reading labels makes one astonished to learn about all the hidden sources of sugar they might be consuming. Potential sources include bottled soups, coffee creamers, and seasonings.
ii) Yeast products
They will add more yeast to the already existing candida, which is itself yeast. These foods are;
- Alcohol that has undergone yeast fermentation. People sensitive to yeast tend to react more to wine and beer because they contain more yeast than distilled spirits like vodka, gin, and tequila.
- All varieties of salad dressing, soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, tamari, and the majority of other condiments that contain vinegar.
- Bread, where yeast is a common ingredient. It helps the bread rise and become fluffy and airy. Opinions on whether sourdough bread is appropriate for a Candida diet are divided. Since a starter is used to make sourdough, no active yeast is added to the recipe. However, it is better to stay away from sourdough when performing a Candida cleanse. This is because the starter is made from naturally occurring yeast spores that are airborne. Since tortillas don’t include yeast, they can replace bread.
iii) Simple carbohydrate
These include white rice, white flour, and other processed carbs that lack fiber and break down into simple sugars in the digestive tract. This group of foods consists of crackers, chips, pasta, and noodles.
iv) Foods high in mould
Foods with a lot of molds can increase the amount of intestinal fungal spores that help candida flourish. They are;
- Hotdogs, smoked salmon, and bacon that has been pickled, smoked, or dried.
- Cheese, particularly “mouldy cheese”, like brie and camembert.
- Pistachios and Peanuts
- Dried fruit as well as fruit that has been preserved in a bottle, can, or jar. These fall under both the mould and sugar categories since they frequently have mold spores on the skin in addition to excessive sugar.
Since mushrooms are fungi, they can also help with yeast overgrowth. Some varieties of mushrooms can strengthen the immune system and have applications in medicine. To reduce yeast growth in the intestines, avoiding meals that include a fungal component when treating candida is essential.
Other foods include too many dairy products such as whole milk, wheat products containing gluten, caffeinated coffee and tea, and sweetened beverages.
Other sources include scented pads, tampons, and soaps, applying perfumes around the vagina, using printed or dyed toilet paper, and using some antibiotics that can kill good bacteria in the body. Good hygiene practices are also vital.
For those with diabetes, ensure your blood sugar levels are under control, as sugar is a prime source of yeast.
Home Remedies For Yeast Infection
a) Probiotics such as (yoghurt containing live cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus, a friendly bacteria)
Though there lacks solid scientific evidence supporting the use of probiotics for candidiasis (yeast infection), usually, specific bacteria are found throughout the body, including the skin and the digestive tract, where they support digestion and other physiological processes. To control candida yeast and prevent the development of an illness, probiotics can aid in restoring the body’s average bacterial balance. Yoghurt used for yeast infection should be plain and unsweetened.
Probiotic dietary supplements are available from a reliable supplier at your local pharmacy or online. It could take these oral vitamins up to 10 days to start working. Some ladies have used vaginal suppository probiotics to shorten the time it takes to see results.
How to use yoghurt
- Apply plain yoghurt externally to the afflicted skin area and leave it on for at least 20 to 30 minutes, preferably overnight. The irritation will be lessened as a result.
- Dip a tampon in yoghurt and place it in the vagina for two hours to treat a vaginal yeast infection. Repeat this twice daily.
- Include yoghurt as part of your diet as well.
b) Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains powerful antifungal qualities that can effectively eradicate the fungi that cause yeast infections.
- Apply coconut oil externally to the infected regions three times per day.
- One can also combine equal parts of cinnamon oil and coconut oil. To stop the spread of the infection, apply it to the area of the infected skin.
- For five to ten minutes, guggle the oil in your mouth if you have oral thrush. You can also use a few drops of cinnamon or tea tree oil after adding them. Avoid swallowing. At least three times every day, perform this.
c) White Vinegar / Apple Vinegar
They have unique ingredients that can treat yeast infections and eliminate the fungi that are their source.
- Drink a cup of warm water with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar twice daily for a few days. Organic apple cider vinegar should be a dark brown color.
- Add some vinegar to a hot bath once it is ready. Spend roughly an hour soaking your body in this tub. The itching and skin irritation will stop soon.
- As an alternative, you can use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar topically to the afflicted skin region after diluting it with simple water. After 30 minutes, leave it on and then wash it off with water.
It is a widely popular herb that can treat several illnesses. Garlic’s antifungal, antibacterial, and natural antibiotic properties can successfully treat any yeast infection.
- Crush several garlic cloves to create a paste. Directly apply the garlic paste to the area of the skin that is affected. If you don’t have fresh garlic, apply the paste to the infected area after combining it with vitamin E oil and a few drops of coconut oil.
- You can also consume a few fresh garlic cloves each day or take a few garlic supplements. Fresh cloves can give you terrible breath, but they work wonders to heal yeast infections.
Use cranberries to combat the fungi that cause yeast infections since they have antibacterial and antifungal effects. It can treat infections of the urinary tract or any other form of the bladder.
- Several times daily, sip cranberry juice without sugar. In a short amount of time, this will hasten the healing process and yield excellent outcomes.
- You can take cranberry pills twice daily if unsweetened cranberry juice is not readily available. At a natural health store, cranberry tablets are easily accessible.
f) Olive Leaf Extract
Olive leaf extract’s antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory qualities make it a highly effective treatment for yeast infections. It can also help restore your body’s beneficial microorganisms.
- Finely chop fresh olive leaves and put them in a covered glass jar to create olive leaf extract at home. The leaves should be completely submerged in vodka. For around four weeks, seal the jar and keep it in a dark spot.
- After that, filter the fluid into a different glass container.
- Apply the remedy to the region of the skin that is affected.
- For optimal results, repeat this three times daily.
g) Tea Tree Oil
Its potent and effective natural antifungal capabilities can treat yeast infections. Expectant mothers should not use these medicines as some of the qualities of tea tree oil may be hazardous to the unborn.
- Using a spoonful of olive, water, or sweet almond oil dilute organic tea tree oil. Massage the afflicted skin region several times a day with diluted oil.
- For two to three hours, place a tampon with several drops of tea tree oil if you have a vaginal yeast infection. Perform the procedure twice each day.
Taking plenty of green vegetables, nuts, proteins (chicken, eggs, beans, grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish), and herbal tea could help prevent yeast infection.
In as much as natural remedies can work for some in mild cases, visit the doctor if;
- You have recurring yeast infections (more than four times a year)
- Are pregnant
- You are unsure of the symptoms
- Have a sexually transmitted disease
- Patients with uncontrolled diabetes or immune systems that have been compromised by specific drugs or illnesses like HIV
- Home remedies or over-the-counter drugs fail to work