The itching, the burning...aghhhh! It's enough to test the limits of sanity for any woman.
Yeast infections are also known as Candida, Candidiasis is an infection caused by a group of microscopic fungi or yeast and there are more than 20 species of Candida.
You can develop yeast infections around dentures, under the breast, vagina and lower abdomen, nailbeds, and beneath skin folds. Yeast infections tend to become more common with increased age, but can occur at any age and are known to cause vagina odors.
And while yeast infections are thought to be mainly a problem among women, did you know that men can also get them? This is especially true for a man whose wife is suffering from one, since having sex will pass the infection back and forth.
For a woman, however, the problem is a little trickier, since yeast thrives in a dark, moist environment. Simply put, the vagina is yeast's dream home!
Many women (and men) suffering from yeast infections resort to the remedies found in a drug store: creams, suppositories, and other "medical" remedies. The problem with these is that they tend to help for only a short period of time and then the yeast comes back with a vengeance.
In my experience, there are other, more effective ways to combat this evil menace.
In this article, I will highlight some remedies that have worked for me, as a woman. Most, if not all, of these can be adapted for a man, as well.
Here are some yeast infection home remedies that have worked for me:
The good bacteria in plain yogurt helps fight yeast and yogurt can be used both internally and externally. BUT, be sure you buy plain, unsweetened yogurt. Since sugar feeds yeast, this is a crucial point. You can also make your own, using a yogurt starter. I have done this myself and it is simple and the results are quite good. The advantage is that you can use other types of milk, such as soy or almond. While I made mine directly on the stovetop, you can also purchase a yogurt maker, if you want to take the thinking out of the process. Whether purchased or homemade, yogurt is a great thing to eat before meals because it provides "good bacteria" for your stomach to aid in digestion.
For a topical treatment, you can also dip a tampon in plain yogurt and insert it into your vagina or simply rub some on the outside. I have found, however, that leaving it on for a prolonged period tends to have the opposite effect. It seems that once it has done its job, it is best to wipe it off or you will feel itchier due to the moisture.
Garlic is a big enemy of yeast! This is one of the most effective home remedies I have found for instant relief. Inserting one garlic tab (such as Shaklee's Garlic Tabs) or a garlic clove into the vagina every few hours or as needed provides soothing relief. If you use garlic tabs, be sure the ingredients are natural and pure. I highly recommend the Shaklee garlic tabs. They are what I have always used with great results.
Of course, garlic can be taken internally, as well. Again, the Shaklee garlic tabs work great. I have also used Kyolic garlic tabs and liquid in the past with good results. Or, if you don't mind the smell, you can press a whole garlic clove and drink it down quickly with water. I have found this to be very effective. Do it as often as necessary.
Garlic is one of nature's amazing "drugs" that has a number of other health benefits, including lowering blood pressure and reducing bad cholesterol. It is a natural antibiotic. In fact, my Greek father-in-law eats raw garlic everyday and, in his mid-sixties, is very rarely sick. See our full article on Garlic Facts Remedies and Health Benefits
Apple-cider vinegar (with the mother)
Apple-cider vinegar has many health benefits (including aiding in weight loss) and can be used both internally and externally, as well. However, it is very strong, so it is not recommended that you apply it directly on the skin. It will kill the yeast, but it will burn like nothing you've ever felt! The best external application is to add about a cup of it into your bathwater and take a nice hot bath. This will feel very relaxing and soothing and will help temporarily. I don't find it as effective long-term, however, as the garlic suppositories. They provide full-day relief.
The type of vinegar I recommend is Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar, with the Mother. It is important that it have the mother, as this is more natural and less processed. Never use plain, white vinegar! This actually feeds the yeast instead of killing it.
Apple cider vinegar can be used as a home remedy for many ailments.
In my opinion, this is one of the world's most powerful, secret remedies for any illness! I strongly believe that if we all drank the amount of water our bodies need, we would see a great reduction in all types of sicknesses.
Most doctors say that we should drink at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water daily, but many people need even more than that. I have found that simply drinking enough water greatly reduces my likelihood for getting a yeast infection. Because I am drinking more water, and subsequently urinating more frequently, my body is able to flush out the sugars that feed the yeast.
Be sure to drink water that is pure and free from toxins. It is best to purchase some type of water filtration system, such as one made by Shaklee. Other brands that are good are the Brita and PUR brands. Be sure that regardless of what system you purchase, you do your research first to be sure that it will be effective in its performance.
If you do only one thing, drink more water. It's easy, accessable, natural, and has no side effects!
See our article on detoxing your body with a water detox.
This is an amazing herb! It is very potent against yeast. Take it internally daily, according to directions. Be sure, also, that the type of oil you choose has a high carvacrol content, as this is the active ingredient. I recommend Oreganol Super Strength P73.
Beneficial bacteria supplement
A healthy body contains trillions of microoragnisms, most of which reside in the colon. Their main function is to provide balance for less-desirable organisms (such as yeast). I use Shaklee Optiflora to help maintain these probiotics and prebiotics in my intestines. I have used other products in the past, but have not found that their level of quality matched this product's. Other products can only gaurantee a certain amount of organisms at manufacture. However, Shaklee gaurantees that the bacteria will be alive when you ingest it and be delivered to the intestines. So, at this point, I can only suggest their product.
This is a botanical, non-toxic multi-purpose solution that can be sprayed directly onto the skin. It is extremely soothing on a yeast infection and is effective at killing yeast. I use it straight from the bottle, without diluting it. I find it works best that way, but please be aware that this is not how the company recommends using it. It can be purchased at solutions-4-you.com
Here are some things that you should try to avoid when fighting a yeast infection:
Taking antibiotics - Antibiotics also weaken the immune system.
Douching - Douching can upset the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina.
Feminine deodorants - These can be very irritating to anyone, especially those with yeast infections.
Non-cotton underwear - Any underwear made of man-made fibers is not breathable, as cotton is. They trap moisture and heat, creating a perfect environment for yeast.
Clothing that is tight in the crotch - Tight clothing also creates a warm environment for yeast to grow.
Sitting in a wet bathing suit for a prolonged period - This creates not only a warm environment, but a moist one, as well. Perfect for yeast growth!
Pantyhose - Tight, man-made fiber that also allows yeast to flourish.
Foods that feed yeast - Avoid sugar, yeast, refined foods (such as white flour). See our list of food to eat and avoid when you have candida.
Mouth Yeast Infection
A mouth yeast infection can be a scary thing. Technically, the term is thrush and happens mostly in infants and babies.
Adults can get a mouth yeast infection though, so it's important to know how to cure it as fast as possible.
There are many triggers that can cause a mouth yeast infection. Often people who suffer from asthma and use inhalers will get a mouth yeast infection. The steroids in the inhaler medication can bring about a mouth yeast infection very easily. That's why it's so important to rinse after using an inhaler.
Symptoms of a mouth yeast infection include white patchy sores on the mouth that may bleed if they are scraped or tongued. They are usually very uncomfortable and can look pretty gross.
A mouth yeast infection in adults can by a symptom of a weak immune system so watch out for that. For example, people who have HIV have a much higher probability of developing a mouth yeast infection or thrush.
Having a dry mouth can lead to thrush as well. The condition opens your mouth tissue up to bacteria and makes it more vulnerable.
Diabetes causes a mouth yeast infection as well. Candida or Yeast thrives off of sugars and a diabetic will have higher sugar levels in their blood so it only follows that they are more vulnerable to the condition.
Antibiotics may cause a mouth yeast infection by killing off too much bacteria at once in your mouth. A result is candida overgrowth or a yeast infection. When a yeast infection occurs, it can occur anywhere - even the mouth.
Pregnancy can bring on a mouth yeast infection because of changes in hormonal levels. Think you may be pregnant? See the signs and symptoms of pregnancy.
Mouth Yeast Infection Treatments:
Drink cool liquids to cool and soothe the mouth yeast infection.
Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater
Avoid sugars and complex carbohydrates to "starve" the infection
Gentian violet is a dye that kills bacteria and fungi. This can help. This solution should only be used on adults. Talk with your doctor on how to apply this remedy.
Recurring Yeast Infections
For the average, relatively healthy woman, non-recurring yeast infection is a non-imposing, slightly irritating situation that is generally cleared within a week using over-the-counter or homeopathic remedies.
Recurring yeast infections or chronic yeast infection is not only annoying but it can also put you at risk of other illnesses like diabetes and chronic urinary tract infection.
Recurring yeast infections are a common problem in diabetics and in those who consume a high sugar diet.
When you have more than four infections in a year, you have a condition known as recurring yeast infection. This article will discuss some of the common causes of recurring yeast infection.
Birth control is one of the most common causes of recurring yeast infection. Some women have reported that their recurring yeast infection has gotten better after discontinuation of the pill.
Another cause of recurring yeast infection is food, especially sugars and sweet treats. If the level of these sugars are not controlled well and allowed to get high, you will likely experience recurring yeast infection.
Moisture trapped around the vagina can also be the cause of recurring yeast infection. One of the last causes of recurring yeast infection is a change in the immune system. Women who have HIV are also at risk for recurring yeast infection.
It is also important for recurring yeast infection sufferers to become familiar with the possible causes of their infections. For those with recurring yeast infections, the simple touch, tingle, or pain in the genital or pubic region can be the earliest alarm that the infection has returned.
While many patients with recurring yeast infections are eventually placed on prescription medications, medical professionals are reluctant to use this course of treatment because of the possibility of becoming immune to the drug.
It is often suggested that recurring yeast infections be treated by alternating over-the-counter medication for one course, and a prescription for the next.
One of the most common prescriptions for stubborn or recurring yeast infections is Diflucan, in varying strengths as needed. When might a recurring yeast infection happen. For example, an individual taking doxycycline or tetracycline for the prevention of acne is at a higher risk for developing recurring yeast infections. The problem with conventional medicine is that it generally does not restore a healthy body ecology, allowing a recurring yeast infection.
Skin infections involving Candida species can become a recurring yeast infection whenever the conditions leading to the infection do not change.
If those with recurring yeast infections of the skin do not keep the affected areas clean and dry, even after the infection is treated, recurrences are likely.
Perhaps the most severe form of a recurring yeast infection is that which affects the bowels. Candida overgrowth in the colon may not affect the bowel function but, instead, provide a reservoir for recurring yeast infections in other body areas, especially in the urogenital tract.
Cure A proper diagnosis is very important to ensure you receive the most appropriate and effective treatment to cure your yeast infection.
Some products merely relieve the symptoms, and others cure the infection. When choosing the treatment for your yeast infection, select a cure so you have the best chance to eliminate your yeast infection. If you're treating a yeast infection, you should abstain from sex during the course of the treatment and cure (about seven days).
Prescribed medicines may cure yeast infection but if you experience recurring yeast infections don't ignore it as it may lead to chronic yeast infection.