Thrush, otherwise known as candidiasis, is a yeast infection caused by a fungus called Candida. It’s nothing to worry about despite the reference to fungi and it can be easily treated, even if it means making slight adjustments to your daily life.
Candida is in fact present as a healthy component of many people’s bodies, specifically in the intestines and reproductive tracts. At low levels it goes unnoticeable, however when it starts to multiply it can become uncomfortable leading to thrush.
How Do You Get Thrush?
Thrush can easily be passed on through sexual activity from one partner to the other. Seeing as it affects the genitals and reproductive tracts, this is the most common way for it to be passed.
Breastfeeding mothers can also get thrush, where it affects the breasts. If not treated, it can be passed onto the baby, who will noticeably show symptoms of white thrush around the mouth and tongue area.
Even elderly people who wear dentures are prone to getting thrush.
With this type of thrush, women usually notice a change in the type of discharge in their underwear. Thrush makes discharge appear more thicker, white-yellow with a distinct smell.
Itching, burning and general irritation around the vagina can be present, especially when you go to the toilet for a wee or have sexual intercourse.
Studies show that women of reproductive age are more likely to get thrush, due to the high presence of oestrogen, the reproductive hormone. Oestrogen, surprisingly increases the growth of Candida and its chances of attaching itself to the vagina’s inner lining.
Statistically, 75% of women will get thrush once in their lifetime and 40-45% will get it more than once.
The best advice is to see your GP and get it diagnosed so you can obtain prescriptive medication (Diflucan) to treat it. Capsules, creams and pessaries (inserted into the vagina) are the most common forms of treatment. Diflucan is a form of capsule avaiable as one, two or three capsules. Available to order 24 hours a day, online at MyMedsUK.
The list does not end there either. If you think you have thrush and cannot relate to any of the above-described scenarios, then you may be reassured there are a multitude of other causes:
Thrush can take over when there’s an imbalance of bacteria in the body. When this happens, the immune system is compromised and Candida overgrows.
What are the causes for an imbalance of bacteria you ask? Well, say if you’re taking antibiotics, which are designed to kill bad bacteria, you could end up killing the good bacteria too. This usually happens if your antibiotic course is longer than normal. Taking probiotics can help your body to maintain good bacteria in the gut. Consider taking Kefir or natural yogurts in your diet to ensure this.
Kefir can contain between 30 to 50 different strains of healthy bacteria! That is healthy eating!
Yet, More Causes …
A poor diet that consists of fatty foods and no fruit and vegetables can also cause nutrient deficiencies which in turn results in a poor immune system and hence thrush.
Smoking, alcohol, food tolerances (that you probably are not aware of) and also an impaired liver can lead to low bacterial counts too.
As always, stress is inevitably also on the list.
How To Prevent Thrush
Changing your diet, so you cut our sugars and refined carbohydrates can help you avoid yeast based foods, namely cheese, dried fruit, alcohol, peanuts and stock cubes). If you can’t live without any of these, then resume them once the infection has subsided.
The introduction of bacteria supplements, such as Kefir mentioned above, should be highly considered.
Anti-fungal foods include garlic and coconut oil.
Lastly, it’s important to not use soap on the vaginal area during bath or shower time. This strips the vagina of all that good bacteria. Using water is perfectly fine on its own.
Remember to dry the area properly and wearing cotton pants can also happen as an alternative to any other type of underwear.
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