Natural Remedies for Yeast Infections

| 8/4/2011 9:50:55 AM

Our bodies play host to a number of fungi. Under normal circumstances, our immune systems and good bacteria living in our bodies known as probiotics keep these fungi under control. Change the pH balance of the body, however, these fungi can grow unchecked. Yeast infections are a manifestation of this problem. Candida albicans, a common fungus found in the body, normally doesn’t cause any harm, but when allowed to grow uncontrollably, it can lead to Candidiasis—more commonly known as a yeast infection.

While vaginal yeast infections are the most common form of Candidiasis, they are not the only kind. Diaper rash and thrush are also types of yeast infections. Vaginal yeast infections are characterized by itching, burning, pain and a thick discharge. Diaper rash creates bright red, puffy and tender-looking skin along a baby’s bottom, sometimes with red bumps along the edge of the rash. Thrush, also common in babies, produces soft white sores in the mouth.

A number of factors can lead to a yeast infection. Antibiotics, which kill off all bacteria in the body, can wipe out the healthy bacteria that keep fungi such as Candida albicans at bay. Some antibiotics have even been shown to promote the growth of yeast infections. Hormonal changes such as those caused by pregnancy can also alter the pH of the vagina and lead to development of a yeast infection. A suppressed immune system can also upset the balance of microorganisms in the body. High-sugar diets provide yeast infections with the fuel they need to grow.

hand on hip 
While vaginal yeast infections are more common, they're not the only kind—and women aren't the only ones susceptible! Yeast infections can occur in children, babies and even men. Photo By Christopher Nuzzaco/Courtesy Fotolia. 

Treating yeast infections is fairly simple. For a quick road to recovery, try these natural remedies and tips.

Keep it lose, keep it dry. Yeast grows best in warm, moist conditions with little oxygen, so for vaginal yeast infections, be sure to dry the vaginal area after bathing or showering, and wear breathable underwear that doesn’t fit too tightly. Avoid wearing nylon panty hose, and change out of a wet bathing suit as soon as possible after swimming.

6/9/2013 5:22:00 PM

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