Yeast infection (vaginal thrush) and its signs and symptoms 

Vaginal yeast infection or candidiasis represents a gynaecological threat to up to three quarters of all women; it is most commonly caused by Candida yeast. Few people know that only a small amount of Candida can get into the oral cavity. Based on a strong immune system and good health yeast cells should cause no troubles in the mouth. Vaginal thrush may easily recur throughout a woman’s life and if not treated properly or having a very weak immune system, it can lead to a more serious disease. Yeast cells tend to infect even men during sex resulting in gastric inflammation at worst. However, men manage infection more easily and faster than women.

Risk factors of yeast infection

Yeasts are unicellar fungi thriving in acidic environment. Internal vaginal environment in healthy women provides sanctuary to lactic acid bacteria (lactobacillus). When the common microbial flora is disturbed, yeasts with other bacteria multiply easily. These changes in a female body are caused by several potential factors. Some of the leading triggers are uncontrolled diabetes, overuse of antibiotics and the use of inappropriate contraceptives. Pregnancy or stress may also result in the yeast growth and the subsequent onset of vaginal thrush. Yeast cells thrive in a moist environment, thus wearing wet underwear, a swimsuit or a wet towel are also risk factors of yeast infection.

Signs and symptoms of yeast infection

Vaginal thrush is widely recognised to cause burning and a dense white vaginal discharge. These main manifestations are accompanied by swollen and red vagina and burning during urination or sexual intercourse. The vaginal discharge is usually white and either odourless or having a yeast-like aroma. Bloating, abdominal pain and anal itching may also indicate candidiasis. A less visible symptom is a tendency to eat sweet food. Candidiasis may impact on the nervous system leading to signs of depression, fatigue or impaired concentration.

Preventing yeast infection

Preventing the onset of vaginal thrush in women involves several principles. One of them is diet rich in protein, vitamins and minerals with emphasis on a low sugar content. This particularly includes dairy products. With the first signs of vaginal discharge dairy is effective, and this is also true for targeted boost of the immune system. We should avoid overusing antibiotics, or if necessary, the antibiotic treatment should be complemented by natural food supplements.

Treatment of yeast infection

A treatment of yeast infection is a long-term process which focuses on the affected area as well as the entire body. A standard gynaecological treatment is based on administration of antimycotics. Throughout the treatment appropriate diet should be followed which involves a complete elimination of sugar and white flour. Vaginal thrush indicates reduced immunity and compromised intestinal microflora, so it is necessary to strengthen the immune system using appropriate natural products and live culture yogurts. Regarding drinks, coffee and black tea should be omitted altogether or substituted with mate tea having similar stimulating effect. A wide range of antifungal food exists that may help for candidiasis. For example garlic, horseradish, onion and others have anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. They should be a consistent part of our diet during treatment, as prevention or as a timely action when the first signs appear.

Impact of the immune system on yeast infection

Boosting the immune system is an effective part of preventing vaginal thrush as well as treating it, because yeasts easily multiply when the immune system is weak, and without an adequate body defence mechanism they are difficult to treat. Immunity plays a major role in yeast infection; therefore poor diet with a high amount of modified sugar is discouraged as it weakens the body causing bacteria to multiply.

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