Thrush is caused by a yeast infection known as Candida Albicans that can occur in the mouth and vaginas of women. It can also occur in men and children as well. Babies are especially prone to thrush and can get this infection if breast fed. This yeast infection can be spread back and forth from the babies mouth and mother’ breast. Knowing the causes, symptoms and treatments can be helpful in preventing and/or reducing thrush infections.
Causes of Yeast Infection.
The yeast bacteria that causes thrush , is present in the body, along with other bacteria that keep the yeast bacteria from growing. Antibiotics used to treat infections, often kill the bacteria that help prevent yeast infections from growing. People who take antibiotics frequently, or whose immune systems are compromised are more likely to get frequent yeast infections.
Symptoms of Thrush and Yeast Infection.
Symptoms of an oral thrush may start with the roof of your mouth and cheeks looking redder than normal. As the infection grows these red spots will appear as clusters of raised red patches. Your tongue could and often does form a white film that when scraped off can bleed.
Symptoms of vaginal thrush may begin with vaginal itching following by burning when you urinate and finally there will be a discolored discharge. Most douches and other methods used to clean the vagina will aggravate the symptoms of vaginal thrush .
There are a variety of treatments for thrush . Some work better than others for different individuals. Doctors most always recommend anti fungal topical creams for the treatment of thrush , and while these can reduce symptoms, they often have side effects, and many times are quite expensive. There are many home remedies that work to fight thrush and are generally less expensive and have little or no side effects.
The first thing you will notice with oral thrush is that eating can be painful. In order to recover from this infection, you need all the vitamins and minerals you can get to fortify your immune system. For that reason, you need to make sure that you drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, and to eat regularly, even if you have to choose soft foods or beverages such as Ensure, that can give you some of the vitamins and minerals you need. Chicken and seafood soup are especially helpful when eating is difficult.
One of the best natural remedies for thrush is yogurt. Yogurt contains bacteria that antibiotics have robbed from your body, and that your body needs to fight yeast infections. Taking yogurt both internally by eating it and by using it topically can help eliminate your yeast infection. To use it as a topical treatment for oral thrush simply rub it on the roof of your mouth, both the top and under your tongue and your cheeks. For vaginal thrush coat a tampon with yogurt and insert it as you normally would.
Along with eating yogurt and using it topically, drinking two glasses of buttermilk a day will add additional necessary bacteria to your immune system, helping you to fight the thrush inside and out. Other home treatments include: combining half a cup of apple cider vinegar with half a cup of water and rinsing your mouth every three hours, for oral thrush and dousing with either a mild vinegar or baking soda douche for vaginal thrush .
An alternative mouth wash can be made using one teaspoon of Rosemary and 1 teaspoon of sage in a cup of boiling water let cool and rinse your mouth every 30 minutes. Some individuals may benefit from a combination of home remedies and over the counter topical solutions. If symptoms of thrush persist or seem to get worse contact your doctor immediately.
Prevention, the best medicine.
The best treatment for thrush is to prevent it in the first place. You can do this by eating immune strengthening foods, getting plenty of exercise and rest and avoiding stress whenever possible. A diet of immune strengthening foods includes a diet rich in green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, and orange and red vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots. Spices such as garlic, ginger and turmeric should be used liberally as should citrus fruits, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.
There are times however, when even the best prevention does not work. At these times it is best to begin treatment for your yeast infection at the first sign of thrush symptoms, this may stop the infection in it’s tracks before it becomes a full blown and painful infection.