Many things can cause a yeast infection to occur in the body, however there are a plethora of preventative steps and measures that you can take to stop a yeast infection before it occurs. These preventative measures should be taken especially if you have a weakened immune system or if you are susceptible to developing frequent yeast infections (more than 4 a year).
Our bodies all have the Candida albicans fungus in various places including the mouth, the vagina, the skin, and the intestines. This fungus typically does not cause any sort of problem unless there becomes some kind of imbalance of the yeast and bacteria within the body, causing the yeast to grow. When the fungus begins to grow out of control, it develops into a yeast infection. Many irritating symptoms may occur from a yeast infection and more severe problems may arise if a yeast infection is not taken care of quickly or if a yeast infection continues to re-occur. Although there are numerous over the counter medications and anti-fungal creams that you can purchase in your local drug store, the best step is to prevent a yeast infection from developing in the first place.
A vaginal yeast infection can occur for a variety of reasons such as being pregnant, taking an antibiotic, being diabetic, poor body hygiene, bad eating habits, or having a weakened immune system. A yeast infection of the vagina or penis of the male can have numerous symptoms including a thick white discharge, a burning sensation, an irritating itch, pain during sexual intercourse, increased fatigue, redness, and pain. These symptoms can be mild to severe, and although more than 75% of women develop a yeast infection at least once in their lives, many of them don’t realize that a plethora of things are available that they can do to stop a yeast infection from occurring.
A few things that you can do to avoid a vaginal yeast infection is to steer clear from anything scented such as scented sanitary napkins, tampons, bubble bath, or soap as the fragrance can cause the perfect environment for yeast to grow. Panties with a cotton crotch should be worn instead of a nylon crotch so that air is able to get to the vagina instead of keeping moisture trapped. You should not wear tight clothing or nylon stockings for this same reason. Do not stay in damp clothing, especially a wet bathing suit as this also gives yeast a great place to grow and thrive. Another thing that a woman should always stay away from is douching. Many women use douche as a way to cleanse the vagina, but the fact is a douche can cause more harm than good because it can push bad bacteria into the body instead of washing it out.
Types of Yeast Infection
Babies can develop a yeast infection in their genital areas and this is sometimes known as a diaper rash. To prevent your baby from developing this infection, be sure to cleanse and dry the genitals every time a diaper is changed and not leave a wet diaper on your baby for too long. Use diaper rash cream or baby powder every time a diaper is changed to protect the skin from any moisture that could allow yeast to grow.
Oral thrush is when a yeast infection occurs in the mouth causing painful white patches inside of the mouth that can develop into a more serious problem if it continues to grow into the throat. Anyone with a weakened immune system is susceptible to develop oral thrush, including infants, along with those who are on birth control, an antibiotic, or has diabetes.
To prevent oral thrush from occurring, you can start by ensuring that you brush your teeth at least twice a day, while also rinsing with mouth wash. This will work to kill any bacteria that is in your mouth or on your tongue. If you use an inhaler, you should also brush and rinse after each use. If you are a denture wearer, be sure to clean the dentures properly at night time, leaving them out for at least 6 hours at a time. Practicing proper oral hygiene can play a big role in preventing a yeast infection of the mouth.
Dry mouth can be another cause of oral thrush and many medications can cause dry mouth. If you experience dry mouth, you should consult with your physician about using an anti-bacterial mouth wash instead of regular mouth wash to stop any bacteria from growing.
If you are diabetic, keep your sugar levels in check, this will not only work to keep yeast growth at bay, but will also keep you healthier.
The Foods you Eat
A proper diet can also play a big part in the prevention of yeast infections. Yeast thrives on foods such as carbohydrates and foods that contain simple sugars. Other foods that can trigger yeast growth include mushrooms, corn, and peanuts. If a person eats too many of these foods and not enough healthy foods, this can promote yeast growth. A proper healthy diet should consist of a healthy balance of vitamins, and minerals, healthy proteins, grains, and probiotics. Probiotics do come in a supplement form (Saccharomyces boulardii) and should be taken to restore bacterial balance, especially after taking an antibiotic. Oregano oil works as an anti-fungal and can be used by placing two to three drops underneath of the tongue twice a day. A healthy diet will not only work to prevent a yeast infection from developing anywhere in your body, but will also help to keep your weight at a healthy level, along with your sugar levels.
Apart from a probiotic supplement, other supplements can also help in the prevention of an infection. Garlic contains a compound called Ajoene that fights against overgrowth of yeast in the body. If you purchase a garlic supplement, be sure to read the label and look for ajoene instead of allicin. Allicin is another compound found within garlic, but will not have the same effect on yeast as ajoene will.