What is Thrush?
“Thrush”, “yeast infection” and “candida” are all terms used to describe an overgrowth of the fungal microbe, Candida albicans in the body. Candida lives throughout the body and in a healthy person, is kept in balance by the body’s “good bacteria” and immune system. In certain conditions, however candida can flourish and may cause any of the following problems for the sufferer.
If you have one of the conditions listed below, you are advised to try an “anti-candida diet” as well as any of the specific remedies suggested.
Chronic Nasal Congestion Caused by Candida.
Do you suffer from nasal congestion that tends to block your sinuses, recurs in all seasons, yet the small quantity of mucous (if any) is clear (not coloured)? You may be suffering from nasal thrush. Another tell-tale sign is a white coating on your tongue where the nasal thrush has spread into your mouth.
Candida of the nasal passages may be relieved by:
• adding a drop of pure essential tea tree oil to a salt water nasal spray and irrigating your nasal passages regularly with this solution (only add a single drop because tea tree oil can burn the sensitive nasal passages if the mixture is too strong) – try adding a pinch of bicarb soda as well, since Candida does not like alkaline conditions.
• using a nasal decongestant spray. These sprays can be bought in pharmacies and chemists as well as many supermarkets. They work well to relieve the congestion temporarily, but they are not designed to be used continually and do not address the cause of your nasal congestion.
• eliminating mould spores from around your home. This may involve a “spring clean”, investing in a dehumidifier, getting sub-floor ventilation installed and / or ensuring exhaust fans remove steam from bathrooms and kitchens.
A white coating on your tongue that cannot be scraped off by your fingernail is the most obvious sign that you have candida of the mouth (oral thrush). You may also notice white “string – like” mucous in your mouth. Sometimes oral thrush may appear yellowish or even cottage-cheese like, and it may form into clumps inside your mouth.
Oral Thrush Treatments
There are many excellent anti-fungal oral thrush treatments available from chemists and pharmacies. They usually contain the anti-fungal drugs nystatin or miconazole. You take a measured quantity into your mouth and hold it for as long as you can prior to swallowing, several times per day.
A few drops of tea tree oil in a few tablespoons of water, makes an effective mouthwash / gargle to help prevent further recurrence of the problem.
Tinea and Jock Itch
Intensely itchy fungal skin infections such as tinea (usually of the feet / toes and sometimes the hands) and “jock itch” (of the perineum or scrotum) are also caused by the candida fungus. Antifungal creams are readily available from the chemist and pharmacy to treat these conditions.
For really stubborn or chronic fungal skin infections, try a zinc-cream-based nappy rash cream. The zinc helps the cream to adhere to the skin – even in moist areas – and smother the infection. Some of these creams contain anti-fungal medications as well as the zinc cream and work particularly well.
Yeast Infections of the Vagina
Chemist shops and pharmacies have many anti-fungal vaginal treatments such as the oral pill containing fluconazole and creams and pessaries containing clotrimazole. The best advice is to change treatments if you use these methods regularly – many strains of Candida are becoming resistant to the common anti-fungal drugs. Overuse of the same medication may mean it ceases to be effective for you.
Relieving the Intense Itching of Vaginal Thrush
A natural product called “LadySoothe” is effective at relieving the itching associated with vaginal yeast infections. LadySoothe contains tea tree oil, a natural anti-itch agent with anti-fungal properties.