Many women suffer from recurrent yeast infections. Candida albicans is a naturally-occurring microorganism (technically, a fungus) that lives in the digestive tract and vagina. What is referred to as a “yeast infection” is the overgrowth of this (or other) microorganisms; this occurs when the necessary “good” bacteria don’t exist in enough abundance to keep candida in check. Here are some reasons why that happens and what you can do about it to cure and prevent a yeast infection.
Alcohol has a high sugar content, which can add to yeast overgrowth. It also weakens the immune system that’s having to combat the infection. In addition, the grains and yeast in beer can make matters worse.
2. Antibiotics and Other Medications
Antibiotics don’t discriminate: they kill all bacteria, not just the ones causing infection. Birth control pills, corticosterolds, and ulcer drugs also affect the amount of bacteria available to regulate candida. Check with your healthcare provider and get off any medications that you can.
3. Beans and Other Legumes
These are difficult to digest and are complex carbohydrates. Avoid them until candida symptoms disappear. Soy is a no-no unless it’s in the form of tempeh, which is fermented and is therefore probiotic.
Groan. Don’t tell me I have to give up coffee?! Sorry, but caffeine can increase blood sugar levels, challenge the immune system, and weaken the adrenal glands. Coffee sometimes has mold and you don’t need any additional questionable microorganisms to deal with.
5. Dairy Products
The sugar found in milk (lactose) promotes candida. Fermented dairy products like yogurt and kefir are beneficial for countering candida growth with their cultured lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria–they feed on candida. Other milk products should be avoided.
Gluten is difficult to digest and can upset the balance of bacteria in the intestines, fostering candida overgrowth.
We forget, but mushrooms are a type of fungus. Don’t add fuel to the fire and avoid them until the yeast infection is gone.
Oh, nuts. Not all, however. Cashews, peanuts, and pistachios often contain a great deal of mold, making candida worse.
9. Pork and Processed Meat
Pork can contain retroviruses that are not destroyed during the cooking process. In a healthy digestive system, these are expeditiously dealt with, however, if there is a yeast infection, it has been weakened and may not be able to manage them properly. Processed meats usually contain chemicals that can exacerbate candida like sulfates, nitrates, and sugar. They’re best to avoid all the time, not just when you’re battling candida.
Many types of fish and crustaceans contain mercury and other heavy metals that resist good bacteria, allowing candida proliferation. Avoid farmed fish.
11. Vegetable Oils
Canola, corn, peanut, and soy oils are not only genetically modified, but they usually contain mold. Opt for coconut oil instead–candida don’t like it. A study published in 2007 concluded:
“It is noteworthy that coconut oil was active against species of Candida at 100% concentration compared to fluconazole. Coconut oil should be used in the treatment of fungal infections in view of emerging drug-resistant Candida species.”
White distilled vinegar is made from genetically modified corn (unless organic) in a yeast culture. Yes, you got it: yeast + yeast = yeast. The exception is raw, unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar: this is actually a great remedy for fighting candida.
If you do all of these and use home remedies for getting rid of a yeast infection to no avail, see your healthcare provider–it’s best not to leave it untreated.