The best way to beat a yeast infection is to prevent it. But to help prevent a yeast infection one should be aware of the causes of the infection. Yeast infection is caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. Candida is normally found on the skin, mucus membranes of mouth, gastrointestinal tract and the genitourinary tract. Their numbers are kept in check by the normal flora of friendly bacteria and by a robust immune system. Weakening of the immune system leads to rapid proliferation of the yeast causing yeast infection or Candidiasis. As the immune system may be compromised due to a variety of factors, there is no way to pinpoint and isolate one single cause of the yeast infection. It may be due to stress, hormonal changes, sexual transference, injury to the mucosal membranes, upset of pH balance of the body, certain medications etc. So, how to beat a yeast infection?
Yeast dwell in warm and humid places of the body, so personal hygiene is of utmost importance. Clean loose-fitting cotton underclothes go a long way in preventing yeast infections. Clothes made from synthetic fiber retain moisture and thus encourage yeast growth.
Yeasts thrive on sugar. Reducing white sugar in diet and including whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of liquids, avoiding red meat and processed foods have found to lower the incidence of yeast infections. Some foods like bread, peanuts, melons and cheese are believed to contain yeast and are best avoided during infection. Fiber like psyllium and supplements such as caprylic acid, olive leaf concentrate with grapefruit seed extract are believed to be yeast fighters. Cutting down alcohol and milk is also very helpful. A well balanced diet keeps the immune system in good working order. Changes in diet are especially important in people with poorly-controlled diabetes mellitus. This may help beat a yeast infection.
Use of herbs like Sage, essential oils, garlic, yoghurt may also help relieve symptoms of yeast infection. Women susceptible to yeast infections should avoid feminine sprays, perfumes, bubble baths, vaginal douches, scented toilet paper, harsh detergents, some types of soaps, and birth control pills. To prevent recurrence of the infection, it is advisable to replace the toothbrush every thirty days. This habit guards against both fungal and bacterial infections of the mouth.
Indiscriminate use of antibiotics is the foremost cause of yeast infections. Taking antacids, steroids, hormones may also cause the Candida to flourish. Eating probiotic yoghurt helps in beating yeast infection following antibiotic treatment.
Now that you know how to beat a yeast infection, you must understand, that while there are many yeast infection remedies available in the market today, most are successful only in relieving the symptoms. The antifungals used in treatment, especially oral tablets, have many side effects. Thus, most alternative practitioners prefer to work at preventing the infections by treating the root cause. This requires a holistic treatment which takes into account the mind, body and spirit of the patient rather than individual symptoms.