Candida or yeast infection is a very common problem. In fact, about 75% of women have had or will have at least one episode of Candida in their lifetime and approximately 40-50% of women will have a recurring yeast infection. About 5% of the entire adult female population has four or more episodes of yeast infection per year.
The 90% of the cases of yeast infection are caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. Although Candida albicans is normally present in low concentrations in the vagina along with other bacteria, it can switch from a latent and asymptomatic state to a clinical state, under certain conditions. These conditions include the presence of sugar in the body, the lack of air, having a weak immune system and the use of certain drugs, such as steroids or antibiotics that directly alter the vaginal bacterial flora. Another predisposing factor is pregnancy. Most women have their first episode of yeast infection during their pregnancy, due to the fact that the pH of the vagina changes. What is more, women who take oral contraceptives, obese women and those who wear tight trousers seem to have an increased risk of suffering from this condition.
The symptoms: The most common symptoms of yeast infection are whitish vaginal secretions accompanied by a burning sensation and / or itching in the vulva and the vagina that can be particularly intense at times. Other common symptoms of candida are fatigue, irritability, depression, bloating, and intestinal and digestive disorders.
How to treat candida:
- Do not use synthetic clothing.
- Do not wear tight pants.
- Limit sweets, dried fruits, simple sugars (sugar, honey), milk and dairy, cheese and alcoholic beverages and bread. On the contrary try to consume more vegetables and fish, cold-pressed olive oil, whole grains and fruits. It would also be a good idea to include ginger, cinnamon, garlic and other herbs in your diet.
- Use antifungal washes during the menstrual period and after sexual intercourse (semen changes the vaginal pH). However the use of antifungal washes can only last for limited periods and always under medical supervision.
- Boost your immune system: It is essential to pay attention to anything that weakens the immune system like antibiotics, corticosteroids, immunosuppressive drugs, dental amalgams, vaccines and birth control pills. Needless to say that stress also weakens the immune system. Therefore, any effective anti-candida therapy often includes a proper change in the lifestyle of the individual, like physical activity and adequate rest. Massage, breathing exercises and relaxation techniques can stimulate the secretion of endorphins and thus improve the response of the body against the numerous threats encountered in daily life.
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