Itching, burning, and uncomfortable. A yeast infection is one of the most common conditions that no one wants to talk about. So many of us are suffering, and we’re suffering in silence. Let’s change that!3 out 4 woman will experience a yeast infection in their lifetime and ½ of all woman will experience more than one. Men, you get them too! 15 – 20% of men carry yeast, although most don’t have any symptoms…but you could be unknowingly passing this yeast along to your partner.
There are two main conditions that fall under the “yeast infection” label. Candidiasis (yeast/fungal overgrowth) and Bacterial Vaginosis (bacteria overgrowth).In North America, Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is much more common than a yeast overgrowth. And it doesn’t usually respond to traditional anti-fungals since it’s a bacteria overgrowth not yeast. BV is usually a lot less stubborn than a yeast overgrowth, but the symptoms are pretty much the same. How do you know which one you have? The easiest way is by getting a proper diagnosis from your doctor. The good news is, most natural treatments for either infection (I like to just call it an imbalance of the vaginal flora) are usually the same.
How to rebalance this imbalance:1) Raw Garlic – a potent antibacterial and antifungal. Use 1 clove intervaginally at night until symptoms clear up. There is a (surprising) connection between your vaginal canal and your mouth—you’ll actually taste the garlic! That’s why it’s best to be used at night. 2) Probiotics – both orally and intervaginally. These help to rebalance the bacteria/yeast in your gut and your vagina (they’re linked). Use intervaginally for 10 – 14 days, longer if it’s candidiasis or if you have chronic infections. My #1 fave is Udo’s Choice Super 8 Probiotic (US/CA). It’s balanced perfectly for vaginal flora imbalances. 3) Diet – your diet plays a huge role in both gut and vaginal flora imbalances. Refined sugar, flour, and alcohol can feed the bad bacteria and yeast, encouraging them to overgrow. Remove these from your diet for 2 – 4 weeks, longer if you have chronic infections. 4) Cotton underwear – synthetic underwear can cause a hot and humid environment, perfect for yeast and bacteria to overgrow. Thong underwear can pose an even bigger problem, so it’s best to stick with your favorite cotton bikini undies until you’re feeling better. If you’re dealing with a dreaded yeast infection, remember you’re not alone! And, it’s just an imbalance (although a really frustrating one) that’s looking for some rebalancing. Treat your body well and you’ll feel back to your normal self in no time.
About the author
Lisa Kilgour is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN), Founder of LisaKilgour.com, and a faculty member at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.