Thursday, December 6, 2007

Home Remedies for Yeast Infections

There are a lot of home remedies for yeast infections floating around the internet. Some seem promising. Others border on the "who thought of this?" category.

Yeast Infection Home remedy number one...

Probably the most well-known and safest yeast infection remedy is the use of Boric Acid. Boric Acid has natural antifungal and antiviral properties. It works by helping to restore the proper acidic pH in the vagina. This makes it unfriendly to the yeasts. You can by Boric Acid at your local pharmacy. Boric acid as a yeast infection home cure can be used in a couple different ways. You can use it in a sitz bath or you can use it as a vaginal suppository. One use you should never try is ingesting it. Boric Acid is toxic and you may do serious harm to your body by drinking it. I can't imagine why anyone would, but I'm sure it happens every now and again.

Here's how to do a Boric Acid Sitz Bath...

(Note: A "sitz" bath is a type of bath where only the hips and buttocks are soaked in water or saline solution.)

  • Fill a sitz bath with warm water,
  • Dissolve two teaspoons of Boric Acid in a cup of boiling water,
  • Dump the mixture in the bath.
  • Add about 1/3 cup of witch hazel.
  • Sit for 10-15 minutes.
  • Repeat this process for about a week (or until the infection is gone).

Here how you can make a "sitz" bath in your regular bathtub...
  • Fill the your bath tub with slightly hot water about 2 inches deep.
  • Dissolve 1/2 cup of Boric Acid in boiling water
  • Pour the Boric Acid mixture into the water.
  • Sit for 10-15 minutes every night until the yeast infection is gone (this could take about a week

Yeast Infection Home Remedy number 2

Boric Acid Vaginal Suppositories

A very effective way of treating vaginal yeast infection is using a Boric Acid Suppository. You can either buy one (Amazon carries them) or you can make your own by filling the powder into a capsule:

  • Buy Boric Acid powder in the pharmacy.
  • Buy size 00 gelatin capsules in a drugstore ( online).
  • Fill some Boric Acid powder into two size 00 gelatin capsules.
  • Insert one or two capsules with your clean fingers as far up as you can into the vagina.
  • Use it straight every night for a full week, then stagger it every other night. After about a week of that, stagger it every two nights.

Whenever you feel that you may have a yeast infection coming on, put a capsule in for 3-4 nights. To prevent a recurrent yeast infection Boric Acid Vaginal Suppository can be used twice a week for 6 months.

IMPORTANT: DO NOT use the vaginal Boric Acid treatment if you are pregnant!

More Natural cures for yeast infections coming tomorrow.

Here's a proven natural cure for yeast infections that you may want to take a look at.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Yeast Infection Causes - Frequently Asked Questions - Part 1

What is a vaginal yeast infection?

The classic case of a vaginal yeast infection is irritation, itching and/or burning in and/or around the vagina, also called the vulva. A yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida. A normal healthy female always has some amount of yeast in the vagina. However, when the levels of the bacteria that controls the over-growth of yeast in the vagina becomes out of balance, too much yeast grows and a yeast infection is the result.

How common are Yeast Infections?

Vaginal yeast infections are very common. About 75 percent of women have a yeast infection during their lives. And almost half of women have two or more yeast infections.

What are the symptoms of a yeast infection?

For the vast majority of women, the most common sign that they have a yeast infection is itchiness in and around the vagina. However, other symptoms do often present including:

  • Some swelling, redness or burning in the area around the vagina.
  • Discomfort of mild pain that occurs during urination
  • Discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse
  • A discharge from the vagina that looks thick and white but does not present with a bad smell.
An individual may only have one or two of these symptoms and the severity of them will vary from individual to individual.

Why do I get yeast infections in the first place?

There are many factors involved in contracting a yeast infection. Most have to do with changing the levels of the acidity in the vagina. This increases an individual's chances of contracting a yeast infection. These factors include:

  • stress
  • having an illness and therefore a weakening of the body's immune system
  • not getting enough sleep
  • pregnancy - the many changes that take place in the body during pregnancy make one more susceptible to a yeast infection
  • the taking of antibiotics
  • the taking of birth control pills
  • not eating properly or the excessive intake of sugary foods
  • taking medicines with steroids in them
  • menstruation
  • diseases such as poorly-controlled diabetes or HIV infection

How are yeast infections treated?

Yeast infections are most commonly treated with antifungal medicines. These come in the form of suppositories, creams, ointments, or tablets that are inserted into the vagina. The specific medicines used are clotrimazole, butoconazole, nystatin, tioconazole, miconazole and terconazole. These treatments can be bought over-the-counter at your local pharmacy. Alternatively, you can get a single dose of oral fluconazole. However, this must be prescribed by your physician.

Having said that, yeast infections that do not respond to these medicines are becoming more and more common. The reason is that using anti fungal medicines when one does not really have a yeast infection increases the odds of getting a hard-to-treat infection in the future due to the fungus becoming resistance to the antibiotics.

What should I do if I get recurring yeast infections?

First, you should always contact your medical professional if you suspect that you may have a yeast infection. Approximately five percent of women develop 4 or more vaginal yeast infections in any 12 month period. This is generally referred to as recurrent vulvo-vaginal candidiasis (RVVC). RVVC is most common in women with diabetes or weakened immune systems. Doctors normally treat this problem with anti fungal medicine for up to six months.

More information of treating recurring yeast infections using an all natural method can be found here.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Yeast Infection Causes - Part 2

Yeast Infection Causes - Part 2

Any discussion of the causes of yeast infections is bound to spark debate, and not just in the medical community. People who suffer from this relatively common malady also have their own opinions. Though not necessarily based on solid medical research, these opinions are based on something that in many cases is equally convincing, and that is their own personal experience. Here are a few of the known main causes of yeast infections.

Yeast infections are one of the most common culprits when it comes to vaginal burning, itching, and discharge. Yeasts are commonly found in the vagina. It's natural and some level of yeast growth is perfectly normal. The problem arises when yeast overgrowth occurs because of changes in the environment in the female body, particularly changes in the natural chemical balance in the vagina. Antibiotics and use of steroids are two common reason for abnormal growth of yeast. However, pregnancy, menstruation, sperm, diabetes, and birth control pills also are contributors when it comes to getting a yeast infection. It is known that yeast infections are more common after menopause.

In people who have a weakened immune system because of cancer treatments, steroids use or diseases such as AIDS, it is possible for yeast infections to occur not just in the vagina, but throughout the entire body. In these cases the yeast infection can be a life-threatening concern. The most frequently affected parts of the body include the blood, the brain, the eyes, the kidney, and the heart. But the candidal fungus has also been known to grow in the lungs, liver, and spleen. So you can see that for people with lower levels of the body's natural immune factors, a yeast infection can potentially be far more serious than just temporary discomfort. It's important to note that candida is the leading cause of esophagitis ( an inflammation found in the throat) in people with AIDS.

Approximately 15% of people with weakened immune system (caused by the above mentioned factors) end up developing a systemic illness caused by Candida. The infections generally enter the bloodstream directly through cuts in the skin and/or mucous membranes. Candidal organisms also may increase in volume in a particular area because of frequent use of antibiotics, which kill "good" bacteria in the body that normally keep the organisms under control.

Another cause of yeast infections, although less common than those mentioned above are the use of medical devices implanted into and under the skin. These include such things as urinary catheters and intravenous tubes that provide easy access for the yeast to enter the body. An example of a non-medical primary cause of a major yeast infection could be an intravenous drug user who shares dirty needles and injects the yeast directly into their own bloodstream and/or deep tissues.

So that covers some of the less common, but potentially more serious yeast infection causes. Of course, any discomfort in the vaginal regional should be brought to the attention of one's doctor, even if you are a chronic yeast infection sufferer. An infection of any sort can easily become a far more serious issue than simple itching or burning discomfort. The old saying "better safe than sorry" certainly applies to ones own treatment of yeast infections.

If you are a chronic sufferer of milder yeast infections that don't require medical intervention, yet affect your lifestyle, you may want to check out this all natural method of controlling yeast infections and living a better overall lifestyle. Till next time...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Home Remedies for Yeast Infection

Before we look at any remedy for yeast infections, it's important that you understand more about yeast infection causes. Like most things, much fear and discomfort can be alleviated by simply taking the time to know your situation better.

Yeast infection is primarily a women's issue. Men can get it but that is almost always the result of sexual activity with an infected woman. According to medical statistics, between 70% - 80% of yeast infections are caused by "candida albicans", which is a type of yeast. This strain of yeast, as well as others naturally crop up in a woman's vagina, in very small amounts. Normally, candida albicans is kept in check by a bacterium called lactobacillus acidophilus, which naturally arises in the woman's vagina. A yeast infection occurs when there is an imbalance in the natural proportion of these organisms in the body.

This natural imbalance can be caused by a variety of factors including:

  • The use of a broad-spectrum of antibiotics, steroids and certain birth control pills that tend to destroy the lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy and prior to menstruation
  • Frequently exposure to semen which affects the acidic balance in the vagina
  • Products used to keep the vagina clean may have ingredients that are harsh enough to adversely affect that body's natural balance
  • Wearing tight clothing that does not give that area enough room to breathe can contribute to the infection
There are other causes in addition to the above but those are the most common ones. The important thing is to be aware of the most common causes so that preventative measures can be taken to prevent the infection and also reoccurrences.

While some women rely on quick-fix medications, the fact is that "home remedies" can often have a longer lasting effect, with the added bonus of not having as many side effects.

Here is a list of some of the home remedies that have been proven successful for prevention of yeast infections.
  • Occasional (once a day) application of apple cider vinegar in the areas prone to this infection. Garlic can be added to alleviate the itchy feeling and water can be used to dilute the vinegar concentration
  • Application of curds or yogurt is a home remedy that has proven successful in many cases. A tampon can be soaked in curds and place in the infected region for at least an hour. What happens is that the healthy bacteria from the curds will replace the unhealthy yeast bacteria. This procedure can be used 2 or 3 times a day for best results.
  • Buttermilk - drinking 2 or 3 glasses of buttermilk a day, whether infected or not can be helpful. This also introduces curds to the body and helps fight off the possibility of yeast infection.
  • Finally, a mixture of olive leaf extract and grapefruit seed extract added to a glass of water can help prevent yeast infection in many women.
It is important to keep in mind that none of these remedies are guaranteed to work. They are simply natural ways to restore the body to the balance needed to fight off the infection on its own. You should always consult your doctor before trying to treat a yeast infection on your own as there are simply too many variables involved to properly diagnose and treat this problem. And the symptoms of yeast infection can also point to more serious conditions that cannot be properly treated with home remedies. Always get proper medical advice!

Here is a guide to natural home remedies for yeast infection that gives you more details on treating this affliction yourself.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Yeast Infection Causes - Part 1

What are the major yeast infection causes? Well, yeast grows naturally in the vagina, rectum, and mouth. In a healthy body, the presence of some yeast is usually not be a problem. When the body is out of balance, yeast-like organisms can grow profusely and cause a viscous white discharge. A yeast infection is not necessarily an STI, however, treating a woman and her sexual partner can help prevent recurring yeast infections, which is a major problem for some women.

Yeast infections are the second most common type of vaginal infection (bacterial vaginosis is the most common). Over 70% of women will develop at least one yeast infection during their life and over 40% of women will have recurring episodes.

What causes yeast infections?
As mentioned, yeast infections are caused by an imbalance of the natural amount of yeast present in the human body. Some common causes of this imbalance include:

  • Antibiotic treatments
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Hot weather or non-ventilating clothing, which increase moisture and warmth, fostering fungal growth
  • Repeated intercourse over a short period of time
  • Stress
  • Suppressed immune system (including HIV)
  • High carbohydrate intake, especially refined sugars and alcohol
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes

Other common causes include irritants such as soaps, powders, detergents and other products that come in contact with the skin

How do you tell if you have a yeast infection? Symptoms of a typical yeast infection may include:

  • Vaginal itching
  • Vaginal irritation
  • Thick, white, possibly curd-like vaginal discharge
  • Redness, swelling, and/or cracking of the vulvar skin
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Itching of the rectal opening
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

And ladies, you'll be interested to know that men can also contract yeast infections. Most commonly they get yeast infections from having unprotected sexual activity with a partner who has a yeast infection. If both partners are not treated, they will keep re-infecting each other. Male sexual partners develop genital irritation and itching, especially if they are uncircumcised, but usually there is no discharge.

Of course, regardless of yeast infection causes and symptoms, the infections should be diagnosed and treated by a medical professional. There are over-the-counter medications available for women who have previously had professional guidance about yeast infections. But if you are unsure if what you have is a yeast infection, you should always seek professional advice. What you think is a yeast infection may actually be a more serious condition such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. Recent studies have found that many women misdiagnose their own yeast infections and treat it using use one of the over-the-counter treatments when in fact no yeast infection is actually present.

If you suspect that what you have is a yeast infection, whether based on symptoms or your past experiences with these infections, and there has been no change in your sexual history (no new partner, no unprotected genital contact), you may elect to try one of the over-the-counter yeast treatments first. If your symptoms do not go away, you should then see your medical provider for an exam.

Is there a way to prevent yeast infections?
There are some common sense ways to minimize your chances of getting a yeast infection. These include:

  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Get enough sleep
  • If you go swimming, get out of your swimsuit as soon as possible
  • Don't wear pads or panty-liners beyond the length of your period
  • Don't use deodorant tampons
  • Avoid feminine deodorant sprays and douches. They irritate the vulva and vaginal areas
  • Wipe from front to back after urination and bowel movement
  • Antibiotics can also cause a yeast infection, since they kill or decrease normal flora. If you need to take antibiotics, you can ask for an anti-yeast prescription, or you can buy over-the-counter creams or suppositories
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothing and wear cotton, rather than synthetic, underwear

Here is just one of the many proven remedies for yeast infections that has helped thousands of women.