Yeast infections are caused by the Candida albicans species of yeast (which is a type of fungus) and are very common indeed. In fact it has been estimated that 75% of adults will encounter a yeast infection at some point in their lives. Candida occurs naturally in the body and is normally kept in check by healthy bacteria and internal body flora. An infection only starts if this natural balance is upset and the Candida yeast multiples rapidly into a symptom-causing outbreak.
Yeast infection symptoms are very varied and depend on what part of the body is infected. In most cases the disease is associated with itching, soreness and redness of the affected area, and a white discharge in the case of oral and genital thrush. For infections that affect the gut, the symptoms can be more generalized and include insomnia, fatigue, lack of energy, bloating and weight gain.
Many sufferers treat the disease using a topical antifungal cream applied to the infected area, or in instances of intestinal infections, an oral antifungal. While these treatment types may relive the symptoms, they do not get at the root cause of the infection, which many times can re-appear.
The good news is that there are a number of natural treatments and anti-candida diet plans available that get at the root cause of the yeast infection. These work to restore the natural pH and chemical balance within the body and create the right conditions for healthy bacteria to thrive.
Anti-candida diets involve reducing intake of sugars and carbohydrates – foods which encourage the growth of fungus – and increasing the intake of foods that have antifungal qualities. Examples of natural antifungal supplements include
- Caprylic acid – a fatty acid found in coconut oil.
- Olive leaf and grape seed extract – both products with known antimicrobial properties.
- Apple cider vinegar – which has antiseptic qualities.
- Garlic – has antifungal qualities but also boosts the natural immune system and supports overall health.
- Undecylinic acid – a clinically proven antifungal agent, commonly used as the active ingredient in nail fungus treatments such as Funginix.
- Neem – a potent blood purifier with anitbacterial and antifungal proprieties. Although it works against certain bacteria it doesn’t upset the natural balance in the body.
A good precaution is to take a course of probiotics and eat good amounts of live natural yogurt. Following general heath principles such as drinking plenty of water and having a high fiber diet will assist in flushing the body of mycotoxins – the toxins produced by the yeast.