What is Candidiasis (Vaginal Thrush)?
Candidiasis is also often referred to as thrush, and is a yeast infection belonging to a group of fungi containing more than 20 species. The most common type of yeast is Candida albicans, which often affects women in the form of vaginal thrush.
It can normally be found in our bodies, living harmlessly in our digestive system and in the vaginal area of women without causing any symptoms.
What are the Symptoms of Candidiasis (Vaginal Thrush)?
Symptoms can include:
- Vaginal skin flakes
- Vaginal itching
- Vaginal burning
- Vaginal irritation
- Painful urination
- Painful intercourse
- Vaginal discharge, including lumpy white or cottage cheese-like discharge
- Local vaginal tears
- Red or tender vaginal entrance skin
- Swollen labia or vaginal lips
Pictures of Candidiasis (Vaginal Thrush)
What Causes Candidiasis (Vaginal Thrush)?
A candida infection or overgrowth usually occurs when the skin is damaged in warm, moist body areas. It can also happen when a person has a weakened immune system, or sometimes as a result of an unhealthy diet. When there is an overgrowth of yeast, other parts of the body become infected.
Candida overgrowth tends to occur as a result of antibiotic use, hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause, illness, or stress. Areas of the body that are often affected include the mouth, vagina, groin, nail beds, or skin folds. However, candidiasis may become systemic if left untreated and will then affect a wide range of body functions.
Diagnosing Candidiasis (Vaginal Thrush)
Symptoms of these fungal infections can be recognized by skin rashes or pimples, a thick, whitish vaginal discharge accompanied by itching and burning, or a painful rash and redness on the underside of the penis. Sores or cuts may even surface on the lips, cheeks or tongue. Individuals may be more prone to problems like Athletes’ Foot or Jock Itch. For a more complete list of possible physical symptoms, see tab above.
When the condition is severe, symptoms such as fatigue, depression, anxiety, headaches, digestive problems, and frequent infections may also occur, therefore conventional or natural treatment of vaginal thrush or candida is necessary.
Treatments for Candidiasis (Vaginal Thrush)
Most episodes of localized candidiasis are treatable with medicated ointments, suppositories, or mouthwash. More severe infections may be treated with oral anti-fungal medications, especially where the person may have a more serious condition such as HIV or diabetes. There are also many natural treatments for vaginal thrush, candidiasis, and other fungal infections, which include the use of herbal and homeopathic remedies.
Natural treatment for vaginal thrush has proven to be effective as well for relieving the pain and discomfort of candidiasis and for controlling candida overgrowth. There are many herbs with anti-fungal properties which may be used topically or internally to deal with the problem.
These include herbs such as Cymbopogon citratus (Lemon grass), Calendula officinalis, and Tabebuia impetiginosa (Pau d'arco bark), especially chosen for their healing and anti-fungal properties. Apart from treating the fungal overgrowth itself, herbal remedies can also help to improve immune system strength, thereby helping to protect the body against future attacks. Herbal and homeopathic treatments are not only safe and effective to use, but also non-addictive without any side effects.
Tips for How to Deal with Candidiasis (Vaginal Thrush)
Effective Ways to Prevent Candidiasis and Common Fungal Infections
- Eat yogurt with live bacteria
- Practice good oral health by brushing and flossing teeth daily
- Wash and dry the vaginal or groin areas before dressing
- Maintain good hygiene practices when using the bathroom
- Increase your intake of garlic because of its anti-fungal properties
- Avoid excessive antibiotic use
- Avoid eating sweetened and refined foods