Let’s talk about yeast infection for a moment. My ladies can totally relate when I say it is one of the worse and most annoying thing ever. I started hearing a lot of complaints about it. I then got really curious as to what causes it and everything that concerns it. We all know how when you ask Google a question, it gives you over 1,000 answers that vary so you’re actually confused as to which is accurate or which applies to you. This whole situation led me to ask medical professionals; doctors, pharmacists and nurses alike questions about yeast infection and a host of other questions that are related to it. They each had similar and interesting answers.
- What causes Yeast Infection?
Dr. Ari of NAF Hospital in Yola, Adamawa State said that yeast infection is a fungal infection that causes irritation, discharge and intense itchiness of the vagina and the vulva, i.e the tissue at the vaginal opening. Called vaginal candidiasis, in some cases, vaginal yeast infection affects up to 3-4 women at some point in their lifetime. And many women experience at least 2 episodes.
Abraham, a pharmacist at the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi said it is a fungal infection caused by fungus.
Pharm. Dodo in Ilorin said it is important to note that the vagina has a normal flora of yeast and has bacteria that control its growth in the vagina known as Lactobacillus.
Dr. Okonkwo mentioned that anything that can suppress your immune system can cause it, like dirty environment, antibiotic overuse as they destroy the bacteria that act as normal flora to our skin, diabetes HIV and among others.
Lastly, Pharm. Uzo says that Yeast Infection is caused by an overgrowth of an organism called candida Albicans, and its symptoms vary generally from itching to rashes.
2. Do you think Yeast Infection is environmental?
Ella, a final year student of Medicine in Ukraine says: No, I don’t think it’s environmental, it can occur in any condition although hormones, diet and in some cases can be sexually transmitted.
Pharm. Uzo: No, I don’t think it’s environmental because for the infection to occur, the normal flora in the vagina level will have to drop.
3. Are there clothes or fabrics that enhance the growth of Yeast Infection?
Nurse Bako of Specialist Hospital, Lafia stated: Stone dry clothes.
Pharm Dodo: Wet, tight-fitting clothes can enhance yeast growth.
Dr. Ari: Tight-fitting pantyhose, staying in wet clothes, such as; swimsuits and workout attire for long periods of time.
Ella: Underwear that traps heat or moisture like nylon. Cotton is advisable. It’s not always good to wear thongs and g strings too because they pass dirt from the back to the front. So wear those once in a while.
Pharm. Uzo: I won’t say enhance the growth exactly but instead, there are clothes that exacerbate the symptoms of the infection. EG tight leather pants, with the heat and all it can make the itching worse.
4. Are there lifestyle changes to be made in order to prevent a yeast infection?
Ella: Lifestyle changes should include a change in your diet, avoid sugars, starches, alcohol and wear proper underwear like cotton and reduce antibiotic use.
Dr. Ari: Lifestyle changes will be to avoid abusing antibiotics without prescription and observe personal sanitary hygiene. Avoid douching, it removes some of the normal bacteria in the vagina that protects you from infection, scented feminine products are not advisable.
Pharm Abraham: Lifestyle changes like periodically using antifungal vaginal insert once in a while, especially upon the completion of the monthly flow. It could be done every 3 months as a prevention. Also strict hygiene especially with regarding undies, also avoid using very harsh soaps or antiseptic to wash the vagina.
Dr. Okonkwo: All personal belongings for your body should be clean at all times before wearing.
Pharm. Uzo: Avoid douching and overuse of soaps to wash the vagina. It is self-cleansing on its own. Urinate immediately after sex to prevent organism from lodging there. Generally, good hygiene is advised.
5. Is it true that just by being a girl is already a risk factor?
Dr. Ari: Being a girl is a risk factor of course. It’s mostly a vaginal infection. However, boys can also contact them.
Pharm. Abraham: Yes, just being a lady is actually a risk factor given the sensitive nature of the reproductive organ. Any act of imbalance and the microbial flora of the vagina can encourage infections, yeast included.
Pharm. Uzo: Yes, because of the female anatomy.
6. Is it dangerous long-term? If so, to what extent?
Dr. Ari: Yes, it’s dangerous in the sense that it can cause infertility apart from the shame of the smell and the discharge. The good part is that it is treatable.
Pharm Abraham: It is a very dangerous long term. If left untreated can result in irregularities in the menstrual cycle, consequently leading to infertility, or what’s called ectopic pregnancy when it’s time to conceive.
Pharm. Uzo: No, it has no permanent damage but it is uncomfortable. Reoccurrence might be a sign of other diseases and should be checked out.
7. If someone has yeast infection multiple times, is it an indication of something more serious?
Dr. Ari: Multiple infections will require a long duration of treatment. Antifungal medications are used for treatment.
Pharm. Abraham: Having yeast multiple time doesn’t necessarily indicate something more serious, it simply means that the causative factors have not been dealt with permanently.
Pharm Uzo: Yes, it could be a sign that the immune system is down; then diabetes, HIV or leukaemia could be suspected.
8. Is It true that yeast thrives in most carbohydrates?
Pharm Abraham: Yes, even in the lab, it is usually incubated on a carbohydrate medium.
Dr. Okonkwo: If the infection occurs multiple time, you should see a doctor. It is most likely a sign that your immune system is not working properly.
Pharm. Uzo: Just candida thrives on sugar, sugar aids adhesion and multiplication of the organism.
Dr. Okonkwo: Yes, yeast uses glucose for its energy.
9. Asides drugs, are there some natural remedies for yeast infection?
Dr. Ari: Other remedies exist such as tamponade but it has to be under a good sanitary condition.
Pharm Dodo: Natural remedies include Yoghurt made naturally. It is either taken or applied externally on the vulva. Ginger also helps too.
Pharm. Uzo: Garlic is a very good antifungal and it can be eaten or swallowed. Apple cider vinegar, boric acid, and good hygiene.
10. Do you have any advice for our readers?
Pharm Dodo: Prevent the abuse of antibiotics because they lower the Lactobacillus bacteria that are responsible for the maintenance of the normal level of yeast in the bacteria. Thus, causing uncontrolled growth of yeast.
Pharm Abraham: The vagina is self-cleansing, avoid using harsh antiseptics, using undies for too long is bad. Finally, both spouses should treat themselves to avoid reinfection.
Pharm. Uzo: Do not assume every itching in the vagina is a yeast infection, consult a health professional first instead of taking drugs indiscriminately. It may just worsen the problem. Do however take care of your vagina.
5 Foods To Avoid When Treating Candida
One of the best ways to prevent yeast infections is to prevent your blood sugar from going too high. This means avoiding sugary, carb-rich foods that will elevate or spike your blood glucose.
You may think that you don’t eat a lot of sugars – but many of them aren’t always obvious. It’s important to know which foods to avoid.
1. Simple Carbohydrates
White flour, white bread and white rice are some of the most common sources of simple carbs. These foods are broken down very quickly in the digestive system, which causes a sudden rise in blood sugar.
Higher blood sugar is a good source of fuel for Candida, which can allow it to continue spreading throughout your digestive system.
2. Alcoholic Drinks
Alcohol is on this list because of the way in which it weakens your immune system and destabilizes your blood sugar.
Some types of alcohol can cause your blood sugar to rise in the short term, this is usually followed by a precipitous drop. Diabetics need to be very careful with alcohol due to the way it reduces blood sugar so quickly.
Low blood sugar might sound like a good thing for avoiding yeast infections, but this drop is often followed by a blood sugar surge as we over-compensate by gorging on carbohydrates. Hunger cravings, due to hypoglycemia, usually lead to poor food choices.
3. Fruit Juices and Dried Fruits
While we often think of fruit as healthy, this is mostly the case in its fresh or frozen form. Processed fruit juices and dried fruits are highly concentrated, which means you’re getting large amounts of sugar in a single serving. Yes, even fruit can have too much sugar!
Fruit juices may also contain added sugars which only increase your chances of Candida overgrowth.
To prevent yeast infections, eat fresh or frozen fruits and avoid fruit juices and dried fruits.
4. Sugary Condiments
Condiments are sometimes difficult to avoid because we don’t think of them as food. However, ketchup and mayonnaise can add large amounts of sugar to an otherwise healthy meal with just a couple of teaspoons!
Swap your condiments for sea salt or herbs and spices. There are also condiments available that are sweetened with low carbohydrate sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit extract.
5. Sweeteners (Such as Sugar and Maple Syrup)
Adding sugar to your coffee may be a habit, but it’s one you should try to break. That extra teaspoon or two of sugar is a food source for Candida albicans and may feed a yeast infection. to those Candida cells!
Alternatives such as agave and honey are a little better, as they are mostly fructose and don’t have the same effect on your blood sugar.
From this lengthy interview, I have learned basically all I have to know about yeast infection. The problem is that most of the foods we eat are carbohydrates. I hope that with this article, you can see that carbohydrate is not only to be reduced for weight loss, but also for health reasons as well.
I really hope you found this useful. If you have other pointers that were omitted above, do feel free to contribute in the comment section.