Yeast infections affect both men and women but are more prevalent in women, affecting nearly 3 out of 4 women at least once in their lifetime. However, what’s shocking is that most people know very little about yeast infection and its treatment. This article is a comprehensive guide to using natural remedies for yeast infection.
What is a Yeast Infection (Candidiasis)?
Also called candidal vaginitis, oral thrush, or vulvovaginal candidiasis are fungal infections triggered by an overgrowth of the yeast in our bodies. The most common type of candidiasis, affecting nearly 75% of women of childbearing age, is vaginal candidiasis.
Candidiasis thrives when there’s an overgrowth of candida albicans, a type of fungi present in your mouth, skin, throat, vagina, and gut. Candida is harmless under average concentrations, but a hormonal imbalance may cause it to grow to harmful levels, resulting in vaginal yeast infections.
Common signs and symptoms of vaginal candidiasis include an itching and swollen vulva or vagina, often accompanied by a painful discharge of a whitish fluid from the vagina.
In men, candidiasis is characterized by a burning sensation when urinating, similar to a symptom of a urinary tract infection.
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What is the difference Between Candidiasis and Bacterial Vaginosis?
Candidiasis and bacterial vaginitis can be misdiagnosed as they share similar clinical signs. While both cause vaginitis, 50% of cases are associated with BV, while yeast overgrowth infections comprise only 25%.
The main differences between a yeast overgrowth infection and BV include:
The discharge from a yeast overgrowth infection has no foul odor, while the one for bacterial vaginosis (BV) has a bad smell with a fishy odor.
BV is caused by an overgrowth of a bacteria in the vagina called Lactobacillus. Vaginal yeast infections are fungal infections caused by the overgrowth of candida Albicans- a form of yeast.
BV produces a thin gray, greenish, off-white vaginal release, especially after sex. A yeast overgrowth infection will have a thick, whitish vaginal release with regular white coatings around the vagina.
BV may cause a burning sensation when urinating, while a yeast overgrowth infection may cause a burning sensation during sex and urination.
A yeast overgrowth infection may lead to a reddish and inflamed vulva, while BV may not lead to a red and inflamed vulva.
Other than that, here are the similarities between candidiasis and BV that could confuse you.
- Pain or discomfort
- Vaginal itching
- Unusual vaginal discharge
You should always seek the opinion of a qualified health professional when dealing with vaginitis. They’ll help you avoid misdiagnosis when administering natural remedies for yeast infection.
Natural Remedies for Yeast Infection
Candidiasis can be painful, but natural treatment options can help relieve infection symptoms. Here are some successful natural candidiasis treatments that could work for you:
Yogurt and Probiotics: Introduce good bacteria to yogurt and probiotics to regulate yeast levels.
Coconut Oil: Apply coconut oil topically for calming comfort.
Essential Oil of Oregano: Use caution when using oregano essential oil, which may have antifungal characteristics.
Lidocaine Spray: This Provides short-term relief from itch and irritation.
Self-care: Eat a healthy diet and practice proper hygiene.
Prevention: Avoid irritants and engage in responsible sexual behavior.
Yogurt, Probiotics, and ‘Good’ Bacteria for Candidiasis
Yogurt and probiotics are recognized for introducing healthy microorganisms that fight yeast overgrowth infections. Below are ways to use them effectively:
Yogurt: Yogurt might soothe the afflicted area for some people. Eat live-cultured, unsweetened Greek yogurt daily. Yogurt probiotics balance microorganisms and battle yeast overgrowth. Cranberry juice also has antifungal properties.
Probiotic supplements: Lactobacillus acidophilus probiotics are beneficial against yeast overgrowth. Eat more probiotic-rich foods like kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi to balance gut bacteria.
If your symptoms worsen, see a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan that may include antifungals and natural therapies.
Yeast Infection Signs and Symptoms
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of yeast overgrowth is crucial for prompt treatment. Some of the common symptoms you might experience include:
- Abnormal Discharge (thick, white, and cottage cheese-like)
- Burning Sensation during sex or urination
- Redness and swelling
- Vaginal or penile pain
Natural remedies for yeast infection: Prevention
Below are practical tips to prevent yeast infections:
- Avoid harsh soaps and douching, and keep your genitals clean and dry.
- Wear breathable cotton underwear.
- Avoid fragrant goods and soaps.
- Use condoms to prevent infections.
- Eat less sugar and balance your diet.
- Eat probiotic-rich foods for gut health.
- Stay Dry: Remove wet garments quickly.
- Drink lots of water and stay hydrated.
- Regular checkups: See a doctor regularly.
These precautions can significantly minimize yeast overgrowth and improve vaginal well-being.
Probiotic Combination Therapies for Candidiasis
Customizing a probiotic therapy improves candidiasis treatment and prevention. Here’s how:
Diverse Strains: Select probiotics with varied strains, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, rhamnoses, and bifidum. Different strains can treat yeast overgrowth differently.
CFUs (Colony Forming Units): Look for probiotic pills with billions of CFUs for a potent dose.
Oral and vaginal use: Try oral and vaginal probiotics. Oral probiotics support digestive health, while vaginal administration tackles the problem.
Seek Medical Advice: Ask a doctor or naturopath for the best probiotic mix.
Consistency: Take probiotics as directed on the label.
Monitor Results: Monitor your symptoms and health. Adjust your probiotics as needed.
Adding different strains and quantities of probiotics to candidiasis treatment can be helpful. Always seek personalized medical advice.
Boric Acid (Hydrogen Borate) for Candidiasis
Hydrogen borate is sometimes used for yeast overgrowth. It can be beneficial, but use it cautiously and under medical supervision. This medication contains antifungal effects that can control yeast overgrowth, relieving irritation and discharge in recurrent or resistant candidiasis. It is usually given as vaginal suppositories and lasts one to two weeks.
Other Home Remedies and DIY Approaches
Did you know that you can use DIY remedies to treat candidiasis? Some of these include the following:
Garlic: You can use garlic to treat yeast infections, but you should be careful when inserting a peeled garlic clove.
Tea Tree Oil: Diluted amounts of tea tree oil can help, but never use directly.
Baking Soda Baths: Itching can be relieved by adding baking soda to a warm bath. Having a hydrogen peroxide bath can also relieve symptoms.
Apple Cider Vinegar: When used sparingly, diluted amounts of apple cider vinegar may restore vaginal pH.
Hygiene and Diet: To support vaginal health, practice genital cleanliness, wear breathable clothing, and make nutritional changes.
Can I Take Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medicine for Candidiasis?
Yes, yeast overgrowth can be treated using OTC. Creams, ointments, suppositories, and pills are standard antifungal therapies. OTC yeast overgrowth infection medications contain clotrimazole, miconazole, and tioconazole.
However, follow the product’s directions and visit a doctor if:
- It’s your first yeast infection, or you have an uncertain diagnosis.
- You are nursing or pregnant.
- You have more than three yeast infections every year.
- Severe or uncommon symptoms.
- You’re under 12.
- You have health issues or drugs that interact with OTC remedies.
- If OTC therapies don’t work or your symptoms worsen, consult a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment alternatives.
Conventional medical therapies for yeast overgrowth are available and effective. These therapies mostly use antifungals, depending on illness severity.
Over-the-counter or prescription lotions with active components like clotrimazole, miconazole, or terconazole can be used on the affected areas. They relieve symptoms and fight infection.
In severe or recurring infections, doctors may give oral antifungals like fluconazole. These drugs eradicate infections systemically.
Candidiasis can be cured with vaginal suppositories containing antifungals. Treatment varies on the infection’s severity, medical history, and first-time or recurrent status.
OTC therapies work for many, but you should consult a healthcare expert for severe or prolonged symptoms. Conventional treatment can quickly and efficiently treat yeast overgrowth.
Naturopathic Treatment Approach
Naturopathic therapy emphasizes natural and holistic solutions for balance and health. Some significant components of this approach include:
Dietary Changes: This involves having less sugar and refined carbs and adding probiotics
Herbal Remedies may include garlic, grapefruit seed extract, and oil of oregano.
Stress Reduction: Meditation, yoga, and deep breathing reduce stress.
Hygiene Practices: This emphasizes genital hygiene and wearing breathable underwear.
Individualized Care: These are customized therapies. If you need a personalized care program, please consult a naturopath.
Consider Oregano essential oils: Essential oregano oil may help treat candidiasis due to its antifungal qualities. Use it in your treatment for natural advantages.
Give coconut oil a try: Popular treatment of coconut oil may treat candidiasis. Use it safely for alleviation.
Turn to Lidocaine Spray: Lidocaine spray can temporarily relieve candidiasis, itching, and discomfort.
Tips for Yeast Infection Self-Care
Looking out for some simple and effective self-tips to manage yeast overgrowth? Consider these practical self-care tips:
Genital cleanliness is essential. Clean with mild, unscented soap and warm water. Avoid irritating fragrances and harsh products like fragrant soaps, bubble baths, and douches, which can upset vaginal pH.
Breathable cotton underwear reduces dampness and discomfort. Avoid synthetic or tight clothes.
Wet swimsuits, sweaty workout clothes, and damp undergarments should be changed immediately.
Yeast thrives on sugar, so limit sugar and refined carbs.
To boost vaginal bacteria, eat probiotic-rich foods like yogurt.
Yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can minimize stress, which weakens the immune system.
Drink lots of water to stay healthy and flush away pollutants.
Safe Sex- Use condoms to prevent partner infections.
Take Antibiotics cautiously- Only take antibiotics as a doctor prescribes and finish the course.
Regular Checkups- Visit a doctor for regular gynecological checkups.
These self-care activities can support your treatment and prevent yeast overgrowth. Consult a doctor if your symptoms worsen.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Candidiasis?
Antifungals, whether OTC or prescription, usually eliminate yeast overgrowth infections quickly. Creams, ointments, suppositories, and oral pills with clotrimazole, miconazole, or fluconazole are good examples.
Here’s a general outline of the process:
Consult a Healthcare Provider: See a healthcare expert for accurate diagnosis and treatment of candidiasis. Your doctor may recommend an antifungal infections treatment based on your infection’s severity. OTC treatments are available, but prescription medications may work faster.
Antifungal Treatment: Following directions is crucial while using OTC or prescription medications. For 1–7 days, apply or take the medicine as indicated.
Symptom Relief: Treatment may relieve itching and discomfort within days. You must finish the treatment to eliminate the illness, even if symptoms improve.
Monitor symptoms: Take note of them and contact your doctor if they worsen during or after therapy.
Antifungal drugs treat yeast overgrowth quickly, but a doctor should confirm the diagnosis and provide counseling. Practicing good genital hygiene and preventing yeast infections can also assist.
Can Yeast Infections Go Away on Their Own?
Mild yeast overgrowth infections may heal without treatment. This can happen when the immune system fights yeast overgrowth. However, various things must be considered, such as:
Severity: Mild candidiasis may resolve without therapy, but severe or recurring infections may not.
Immune System: Strong immune systems can naturally regulate yeast overgrowth. Stress, illness, and immune-suppressing medicines can slow this process.
Duration: Seek medical assistance if symptoms last or worsen. Delaying therapy can cause issues.
Comfort: Even if a yeast overgrowth infection resolves independently, itching and discomfort may continue, making therapy desirable.
Recurrence: Recurrent candidiasis may suggest a medical condition that needs treatment.
While mild candidiasis may disappear without therapy, a doctor should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor will select the best action based on the situation and help you recover faster and more comfortably.
What Happens if a Yeast Infection is Left Untreated?
Untreated candidiasis may worsen over time, making them harder to manage. In some cases, it could also increase the risk of other complications like sepsis.
For people with compromised immune systems, untreated yeast infections could cause severe problems like invasive candidiasis, a dangerous systemic infection.
If you suspect a yeast overgrowth infection or have persistent symptoms, visit a doctor. Medical professionals can diagnose, treat, and prevent problems. Treating early relieves pain and minimizes the likelihood of complications and recurrent infections.
When to See a Doctor
Yeast overgrowth infection can be quite a distressing condition. Home remedies can work out for you, but sometimes you need to see a doctor. It’s advisable to see a doctor if:
- It is your first yeast infection, and you doubt the diagnosis.
- You are pregnant.
- You have had repeated yeast infections: More than three per year.
- In case of severe symptoms, unexpected discharge, or extreme discomfort.
- Immunocompromised: Weak immune system, especially if you have diabetes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Over-the-counter antifungal creams or suppositories with clotrimazole, miconazole, or similar active ingredients are the best candidiasis home cure.
Yogurt, probiotics, garlic, tea tree oil, and suppositories can treat candidiasis. See a doctor first to ensure a natural therapy is safe and effective for you.
Vaseline and A&D ointments are not suggested for yeast overgrowth treatment. Consult a doctor for antifungal treatment.
Home treatments for vaginal yeast and bacterial infections differ. Bacterial infections require drugs from a doctor, whereas yeast overgrowth infections can be treated with over-the-counter antifungals or natural therapies.
Probiotics, yogurt, garlic, tea tree oil, and boric acid suppositories treat yeast overgrowth naturally. Consult a doctor before trying any natural cure.
Hydrating is not a yeast infection treatment but can help preserve health. Antifungals and a healthy diet are essential.
Over-the-counter antifungal creams or suppositories treat candidiasis quickly. Follow product label instructions and see a doctor if necessary.
Eating less sugar and refined carbs, taking probiotics, exercising, proper hygiene, and trying natural therapies are practical options for treating yeast infections. Always visit a doctor for advice and to rule out more severe conditions.