Why Am I Having Vaginal Yeast Infections & How Do I Treat It Naturally?
Are you a woman struggling with recurrent yeast infections? Does your yeast infections seem to never really go way? Are you ready to finally receive the support you need? If you answered "yes" to all three questions then you've come to the right place!
In this article I'll explain what a yeast infection is, help you understand why your yeast infections keep showing up, and share an effective holistic way to tackel your pesky yeast infections.
What is a vaginal yeast infection?
Vaginal yeast infections, also known as candida, are one of the most common manifested infections amongst women. Yeast infections happen when healthy yeast that lives in your vagina (and gut) grows out of control, leading to overgrowth and a change in pH.
It’s important to know that a healthy vagina does contain yeast cells, the problem arises when the balance of yeast alters in a way that create an imbalance in your body. Normally your vagina maintains a pH range between 3.8 to 4.5 that prevents the overgrowth of yeast, but when something comes along and disrupts the pH of your vagina it leaves you susceptible to a yeast infection.
Keep reading to find out what those disruptors are.
What are symtoms of a vaginal yeast infection?
Here are some uncomfortable and often embarrassing symptoms:
- Vaginal itching and odor
- Vaginal swelling and soreness
- Cottage-cheese discharge
- Pain during sex
- Burning sensation during urination
Why am I having yeast infections?
There are many reasons women experience yeast infections. A few to list are:
- Hormone imbalances
- High sugar consumption
- Elevated blood sugar
- Poor gut health
- Birth control
- Underlying health issues
- Regular use of antibiotics
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Toxic tampons and feminine products
- Unhealthy sex partners
- Environmental stressors
Standard treatments for your vaginal yeast infections
Doctors frequently prescribe women drugs like Monistat and Diflucan as a standard treatment for yeast infections. These along with boric acid suppositories have easily become popular treatments. Ideally you want to avoid over-the-counter drugs and remedies, because these just relieve the symptoms of the infection whilst your body tries to fight it naturally, they don't target the root cause of the infection and so it remains behind and gives you an increased risk of getting an infection in your bloodstream.
These types of treatments can also affect your gut health, stress your immune system, kill off good bacteria, disrupt your hormone balance and even trigger more yeast infections!
Many women fall for the mistake of trying to treat their symptoms without addressing the root cause or making any lifestyle changes. Going about it in this way only provides a "temporary band-aid fix" that's not effective long term!
I can guarantee you that your yeast infections and pesky symptomatic outbreaks will return if you keep doing this. When treating your yeast infection you MUST attack it at the root.
Here is my proven eight step plan that helps to treating your yeast infection naturally!
1. Support your body's cleansing process.
Women who experience vaginal yeast infections are led to believe (from tv commercials and healthcare providers) that the problem is only in the vaginal birth canal. Although your yeast infection may present itself here, truth is these are mere "symptoms" of an infection that is actually living in your bloodstream.
Yes, yeast can circulate through the bloodstream. The real solution is to rid your body of yeast by cleansing your blood. Enhanced liver function is imperative at this time. Detoxing your body to help cleanse, replenish, reset and renew your system is always the first step.
2. Starve the yeast.
You starve the yeast through diet, sugar feeds fungal and bacterial activity. Reducing your sugar intake by cutting down sodas, breads and processed foods, and adding more natural plant fiber like veggies and fruit to your diet helps tremendously. Fruit is limited to low-glycemic choices. Cut off milk for awhile, which has the sugar lactose that tends to promote yeast overgrowth. I recommend no yeast-containing foods such as alcohol while trying to rid your body of yeast. Also remove food that you're sensitive to, to cut down inflammation and gut issues.
3. Heal your gut.
Your body houses close to one hundred trillion bacteria and microbes that reside mainly in your gut and make up what is known as the human microbiome. Most of these bacteria are ‘commensal’ meaning they are good for us and co-exist in harmony with our bodies, supporting our digestion, our metabolism and our immune system and protecting us from infections and pathogens (harmful invasive bacteria).
Any change to the normal balance of microbiota in your gut due to medication, excessive alcohol consumption, environmnetal chemical and toxins, and high levels of stress and sugar will leave you susceptible to a yeast infection. Also a condition called leaky gut syndrome (intestitinal permeability) that affects the lining of your intestines can leave you suscepible to chronic yeast infections.
All of these things can and will likely cause inflation of your gut lining, leading to your gut lining becoming permeable or ‘leaky’. So supporting your gut health is critical!
4. Decrease your stress.
Stress weakens your body's ability to fight off any infection and can cause more outbreaks. A low immune system makes it almost impossible to get rid of a yeast infection. Work on reducing your environmental, physical and emotional stressors.
Things like toxic skin, beauty and household cleaning products, stressful work and home environments, and worrying about things that are out of your control are some thing to consider. Incorporate more mindfulness and adopt more zen activities. Learn to take it easy.
5. Use organic feminine products.
Organic feminine care products are ideal for our lady area. This helps to minimize exposure to chemicals like parabens and xenoestrogens that don't align with your body, and contribute to more vaginal irritation and imbalance. These chemical also contribute to hormone imbalances, and increase your risk of developing cancer.
6. Choose a healthy sex partner.
This goes without saying, choosing a healthy sex partner does support your vaginal health! Duh. Make sure your sex partner practices good hygiene and make healthy lifestyle choices. Get tested routinely if you or your partner have multiple sex partners, or aren't in a commited relationship.
Male semen can shift the pH of your vagina. If you already have other factors that put you at risk for yeast overgrowth then the lubes you use and the introduction of semen could alter your pH and make the odds of developing a yeast infection higher.
Herbs are great at helping to naturally relieve infections. Azadirachta indica is a powerful anti-viral and anti-fungal. This herb has been used successfully for years to treat yeast and overgrowth and is known to be more effective than over-the-counter vaginal creams. My herbal Yeast & BV Tincture contains Azadirachta indica, along with other helpful herbs that help combat your infection for natural relief.
Over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs like Monistat and Fluconazole are endocrine disruptors (chemical that leads to hormone imbalance) and contain parabens. Headaches, gastrointestinal issues, dizziness, rashes and in some cases, liver toxicity are possible side effects of these medication.
The popular boric acid suppositories are also endocrine disruptors and should be approached with caution.
8. Coconut Oil & Tea Tree Oil
Coconut oil is antimicrobial and has been shown to be an effective topical treatment to yeast overgrowth. Tea tree oil is an antifungal that's useful for treating vaginal skin irritation, swelling and outbreaks from yeast infections. Be sure to dilute tea tree essential oil in carrier oil like coconut to prevent hurting your delicate tissues. You can also purchase my organic herbal Feminine Balm coconut oil, tea tree and more botanical properties.
Follow these holistic steps and you're sure to see a change in your yeast outbreaks! Also check out YEAST & BV HEALTH KIT - it's a complete 3-in-1 herbal therapy system that includes a Gentle Cleanse, Yeast & BV Extract and Gut Health Capsules.