Yeast Infection Prevention Tips for Disabled
Published: 2013-05-03 - Updated: 2021-11-23
Author: Dr. Eric Bakker, ND | Contact: yeastinfection.org
Peer-Reviewed Publication: N/A
Additional References: Digestive Disorders Publications
Synopsis: Article examines natural approach to avoiding recurring urinary tract infections and digestive problems as well as yeast infections. Antibiotics, which maybe prescribed for UTIs, can and often adversely affect you bowel function as well, by indiscriminately killing the bad as well as the good bacteria, causing a yeast infection. You may be able to obtain some dried cranberries, and I prefer you make your own cranberry tea instead of buying those commercial cranberry juices that often contain various sugars.
This article is for those who are physically challenged and who are looking for a more natural approach to avoiding recurring urinary tract infections (UTI) and digestive problems, and in particular the yeast infections that can recur in those who take antibiotics with physical disabilities and who tend to rely on a wheelchair or a mobility scooter a great deal to get around.
What is Candida?
(Also known as candidiasis, candidosis, moniliasis, oidiomycosis or thrush) is a fungal infection (mycosis) of any of the Candida species (all yeasts), of which Candida albicans is the most common. Candidiasis encompasses infections that range from superficial, such as oral thrush and vaginitis, to systemic and potentially life-threatening diseases. Candida infections of the latter category are also referred to as candidemia and are usually confined to severely immuno-compromised persons, such as cancer, transplant, and AIDS patients, as well as non-trauma emergency surgery patients. Candidiasis is commonly treated with antimycotics; these anti-fungal drugs include topical clotrimazole, topical nystatin, fluconazole, and topical ketoconazole.
After having been in naturopathic practice for twenty-five years, I have seen quite a few patients with physical disabilities. Many of these patients have been wheelchair bound for some time, and some for many years, and one of the main reasons they have come to see me is to get on top of their recurring urinary tract infections or bowel issues, especially constipation. I also began to notice that it was important for me to understand their needs and to come up with some good advice and help create strategies that could prove to be effective, protocols which were drug and side effect free and which actually worked time and again.
Antibiotic Reliance For Urinary Tract Infections
I have seen all too many instances of physically challenged patients who have begun to rely increasingly on antibiotics, and one of the most important things to understand if you are infirm or have a physical disability is that it is particularly important to keep your immune system in top form. Once you start to take an antibiotic for every kind of immune challenge that comes your way you will soon discover over time that your immune system won't work that well any more, and that you will become more prone to developing yeast infections, thrush, and all manner of similar side-effects which occur as a consequence to taken these kinds of drugs. Once you take them regularly, your reliance on antibiotic drugs will only increase, and your susceptibility to all manner of infections will increase along with it. The more antibiotics you take and the longer you take them, the more you will need to take them and the more your immune and digestive health will suffer as a consequence.
The other concern is that you may risk developing increasingly drug-resistant strains of bacteria and yeasts inside your body, making it much more difficult for you to recover from a serious infection you may develop in future. And what happens then when you really need them to work? They probably wont, and you will have to take even stronger drugs creating even stronger side-effects.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Some doctors may make the suggestion for you to take an antibiotic every time you develop a urinary tract infection (UTI). Even though episodes of recurring UTIs are not a pleasant experience causing annoying symptoms like burning urination, increased urgency and more, there are plenty of alternative ways that can be just as effective which do not cause side effects or any long-term drug use resistance.
The next time you develop a UTI try a different approach.
You will most probably know the signs and symptoms of an impending UTI in your particular case; they may be a fever, body aches, malaise, strong smelling urine, etc. The sooner you are onto it the better in terms of prevention. Pay particular attention when you get these signs and symptoms to commence drinking a glass of water at least hourly, get some kidney herbal tea from your health food shop and drink a cup of this warm tea at least three times daily. You may be able to obtain some dried cranberries, and I prefer you make your own cranberry tea instead of buying those commercial cranberry juices that often contain various sugars. Your health food shop or herbalist will be able to guide you further here.
The trick is to get your own antibodies activated to fight your own battles, instead of relying on antibiotic drugs that kill indiscriminately, wiping out the good bacteria along with the bad bacteria in your digestive tract, allowing you to develop a candida yeast infection much more easily. The last thing you want is to develop a yeast infection on top of your UTI, a further problem you will need to contend with. And how will the doctor treat this? That's right - with more antibiotics, and so the cycle of drug dependence continues.
Drink More Water
Do you really drink enough water?
I have found from experience that most patients I see who are physically challenged certainly don't. This may well be the single most preventative measure you will be able to take when it comes to the prevention of a UTI. Listen to your body, is your urine flow telling you that it is too dark? Does it smell rather strongly? Are you drinking too many cups of coffee or tea? These caffeinated drinks only serve to dehydrate your body, and good advice is for every cup of coffee or tea, drink at least one glass of water.
Drinking fruit juice or carbonated beverages is not the best idea, as these drinks often contain large amounts of sugar and can perpetuate or aggravate any underlying bacterial or yeast infection.
Fruits and Vegetables
Are you eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and eating home cooked meals, or have you become more reliant on TV dinners and microwaved foods?
A healthy and balanced diet full of natural fresh foods will ensure your immune system receives the nutrients it requires to keep it powered up, because a diet rich in processed, packaged and refined supermarket foods like "instant" meals is certainly no guarantee that you will be consuming adequate nutrients vital to building good health. It is all too easy to become reliant on convenience foods when you are physically challenged, and there will be ways you can have home cooked meals made from quality fresh ingredients. You may need to ask for some help, and there most probably will be somebody who can offer some assistance and be able to get you started.
Always remember to listen to your body, and if your body is not recovering from a UTI in spite of your best attempts, then you will need to take those antibiotics, but try not to rely on them as a first line treatment. Once you begin to build up your immune system naturally, you will find that you will get to the point that you need antibiotic drugs less over time. And once your body's immune system has developed the ability to get you through a few UTIs without the need for antibiotics, your defense mechanisms will have built up to a high degree and you will be on your way to a more drug-free life. Once you immune system becomes powered up and is in control, your body will be in a much better position to fight its own battles in future, thereby reducing the need for recurring antibiotics. The smart thing to remember about reducing your reliance on antibiotic drugs is that one day when you really do need that antibiotic to work, it probably will, and your health will most probably recover a lot quicker afterwards as well.
Laxatives for Bowel Regulation
Many patients I have seen over time that are having mobility issues also tend to have difficulties with their bowel function. I recently spoke with a friend who is a nurse specializing in the care of those who are wheelchair bound. She said that many people who have limited mobility and who are confined to a wheel chair or bed for extended times can have constipation as a natural consequence, becoming reliant on laxatives.
Antibiotics, which maybe prescribed for UTIs, can and often adversely affect you bowel function as well, by indiscriminately killing the bad as well as the good bacteria, causing a yeast infection. This can cause constipation or diarrhea, and recurring antibiotics can make the problem quite chronic indeed. Be sure to always take a good quality probiotic after you have finished your course of antibiotics, and if possible, avoid taking these drugs unless absolutely necessary. By following the hints and tips in this article, you should be able to lessen your reliance of both antibiotics and laxatives over time. But be patient, it takes time to build good health and adopt new health habits.
It certainly is possibly for you not to become reliant on laxatives, but first things first, make sure you are drinking sufficient water! Drink a glass on rising, before meals and at least twice per day at other times and you will be amazed at the difference water can make in your life. There is little point improving your diet and expecting that by increasing your fiber intake it will make all the difference, if you don't consume sufficient water to help move things through your digestive system.
There are many medications that can cause constipation, and the most common ones are iron pills, antacids, anticonvulsants, antispasmodics, muscle relaxants, blood pressure medications, diuretics, codeine and other kinds of painkilling drugs, as well as several different kinds of antidepressants. Just be aware of this fact, and check in with your doctor next time you visit him or her to see if any of the medications your are taking may be causing your constipation; there may be an alternative drug to what you are taking that may be a better option.
Milk products can be constipating, so if you are drinking milk or eating cheese you may want to take this into account and cut back to see if that makes a difference.
Not having enough fiber in your diet is a key reason why many people who are physically challenged have difficulties in passing an easy bowel motion. A healthy individual should consume at the minimum 25 - 30 grams of fiber each day, and it is very important that you ensure sufficient fiber in your digestive system to prevent being constipated. The large intestine (colon), which moves the fecal matter to the rectum, does so with "peristaltic" motions, and it is necessary that there is enough fiber bulk for your colon to do its job properly. Are you following a diet that is too refined (lots of processed foods, take-out, foods in bottles, boxes or cans, etc.), or is you diet high in fatty foods like deep-fried or foods shallow fried in oils? Maybe you are consuming too many foods, which are high in sugar, and if you do, these are all reasons why you may be having sluggish peristaltic movements, which can lead to constipation.
Why rely on the daily use of laxatives if your bowel is not working properly, and then eat a diet that lacks sufficient fiber, or consume too little water, or eat foods too high in sugar? Here are some of the best dietary choices and tips when it comes to overcoming constipation, and if you follow these tips you should be able to well and truly be able to avoid laxatives in most cases:
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals and avoid overeating at one sitting. Take time to eat, breathe slowly and chew food thoroughly. Are you still eating your dinner on your lap in front of the evening news? Try eating away from screens.
- Reduce and stop your caffeine intake, caffeine is implicated in constipation and diarrhea.
- Eat foods that lubricate the intestines. Eat foods like beet, okra (gumbo), kiwi fruit, seaweed, spinach, sesame seed, sesame oil, walnut, pine nut, almond, alfalfa sprouts, carrot and cauliflower.
- Eat foods that promote bowel motions. Eat foods that help move stool through the intestines-cabbage, papaya, peas, sesame seeds, coconut, asparagus, and kiwi fruit.
- Best herbs and foods that soothe the intestines. Eat foods like- marshmallow root, flax seeds, fenugreek seeds, psyllium seeds, licorice root, and slippery elm.
- Eat beneficial bacteria enhancing foods. Eat foods like miso, sauerkraut, yogurt, Kim chi, kefir and quark.
- Decrease intake of saturated (animal) fats. Eat foods with an increased level of essential fatty acids (cold-water fish, nuts, and seeds). Take the Omega 3 fatty acid supplement twice daily.
- Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Did you know that a 2010 survey found that 17% of British people never eat fresh fruits or vegetables? Make sure you eat plenty of greens, they help the bowel function and you will discover that your bowels will improve significantly within weeks.
- Drink more water. Do you really drink water frequently throughout the day? Warm lemon water taken before meals stimulates digestion. Try the juice of 1/2 a lemon in water in the morning before breakfast. REMEMBER to drink plenty of liquids. You need more fluid particularly when you have more fiber for fiber to work effectively.
- Flax meal. Have 1 heaping tsp. in 8 oz. of apple juice, provides fiber and soothes the digestive tract. Follow with an additional 8 oz. of water. Linseed/Sunflower/Almond mix is excellent too. Slippery elm bark powder is good.
- Colonic hydrotherapy. I have solved very tricky cases of constipation with recommending a course of colonics plus other complementary and alternative methods of healing. Consider visiting a professional colon therapist if you have a history of bowel problems.
By reducing your dependence on antibiotics and laxatives over time, your bowel and bladder health can improve significantly. This in turn will give you a greater deal of independence and more control over your health. It will also mean that you will feel better emotionally, and you may well find over time that an improvement in your overall health can be the result, less anxiety and depression, less insomnia and an improvement in the quality of your life. Being physically challenged doesn't mean that your quality of life has to become increasingly challenged as well, and if you make the necessary changes today you will find that you may well be able to enjoy the quality of your life a lot more tomorrow.
Dr. Eric Bakker, ND is a naturopathic physician from New Zealand. He has spent the past 25 years focused on the study of Candida and offers regular articles and advice at yeastinfection.org
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