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Thrush and Yeast Infection Advice

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Question: I tend to suffer from thrush. Are there any natural treatments you would recommend?

17 September, 2008 – 19:04

Answer: Believe it or not, vaginal thrush is one of the most common reasons why women consult their doctors.

It is a yeast infection caused by a fungus called Candida albicans, which can be found inside the mouth, bowel or vagina.

Most of the time it does no harm at all, however when it multiplies and causes an infection, it can become a problem. Hormonal changes such as pregnancy and menstruation and an unbalanced diet are common triggers.

Symptoms can include internal and external itching of the vagina, white discharge, inflammation and subsequent redness and in some cases pinpoint bleeding.

Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to help prevent thrush from taking hold.

Try to avoid tight jeans or trousers, tights and nylon underwear, as yeast thrives in warm, moist areas.

Any clothing that limits the circulation of air around the body will make infection more likely and will aggravate the condition once it has been established. Wear skirts, stockings or socks and cotton underwear whenever possible.

Wash carefully every day but avoid perfumed soaps, vaginal deodorants, disinfectants, and bubble baths. Anything that may irritate or inflame the skin makes thrush more likely, especially if the skin is scratched.

As far as diet is concerned, try to cut down on fats, sugars and refined foods as these could aggravate any infection. Do eat plenty of vegetables, pulses and whole grains as these will help to restore the normal bacteria in the digestive tract.

You could also take an acidophilus supplement. Acidophilus is a species of friendly bacteria that helps to prevent the overgrowth of unfriendly bacteria and candida. It can be taken orally in the form of acidophilus yoghurt or in capsules or powder.

Finally, some herbal remedies can also be effective.Tea tree oil can be diluted and used as a lotion or as part of a coconut oil-based suppository. The oil kills fungus and bacteria, including those resistant to some antibiotics and has soothing antiseptic properties.

Garlic has also been shown to prevent thrush. It inhibits the growth of excess fungus and helps to restore the balance of normal bacteria in the digestive tract.

If symptoms do persist, please consult your GP or pharmacist.

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