infections are the second most common type of vaginal
infections and affect 70% of women at least once in
The main culprit is a fungus known as Candida.
Over hundred species of Candida exist in nature but the
most common is Candida albicans.
Candida generally forms a part of the flora of the throat, mouth, skin, mucus membranes, gastrointestinal tract and the genitourinary tract and is termed as an “opportunistic organism”. In a healthy individual the probiotic organisms, which form the normal flora, keep the Candida at bay.
When different factors contribute to weaken the immune system, the otherwise non-threatening Candida is converted into a vicious form of fungus which invades the entire body. Perhaps the most severe form of a recurring yeast infection is that which affects the gastrointestinal tract. This type of yeast infection may not affect the bowel function but provides a reservoir for recurring yeast infections in other parts of the body, especially in the genitourinary tract.
While mild yeast infections may be treated with natural home remedies, there are many over-the-counter treatments for yeast infection like antifungal medications available containing clotrimazole, nystatin, fluconazole, miconazole, and ketoconazole etc. These drugs belong to the same antifungal family and act by breaking down and dissolving the cell wall of the yeast. They are available in the form of tablets, vaginal inserts or suppositories and creams with special applicators. It is important to read the product insert and follow instructions carefully. Some common over-the-counter drugs for yeast infections are Monistat, Vagistat, Femstat, and Gyne-Lotrimin.
Systemic antifungal drugs may cause side effects such as:
· Loss of appetite
· Abdominal pain
· Yellow skin or eyes
· Unusual fatigue
· Dark urine
· Pale stools
Alternative treatment includes inserting boric acid suppositories directly into the vagina, taking vitamins C and E, Evening Primrose, application of Sage cream, and Tea Tree oil. Addition of robotic yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus may also be useful in relieving symptoms of yeast infection.
It must be stated here that though the above products may provide immediate relief, it is not permanent. While symptoms are now abated, an infection may still be raging in your system!
Yeast infections are extremely complex in etiology and are triggered by various internal and external factors such as genetic traits, lifestyle, dietary pattern etc.
A holistic approach treats the body as a whole and resolves all these factors safely and effectively making the cure permanent. These may include lifestyle changes, detoxification, Candida control therapy and in fact, a whole new outlook to life.