When suffering from a yeast infection, you may be dealing with numerous irritating symptoms such as pain, itching, and burning. These symptoms might cause you to search for ways to treat the infection right away without waiting to get to a doctor. The problem is, there are so many remedies advertised to cure a yeast infection, how do you know which one to use?
A yeast infection is caused by the growth of the Candida albicans fungus. This fungus is present in numerous areas of the body, mainly the mucous membranes, the skin, and the intestines. If there is any kind if imbalance in the bacteria levels in the body, it will give this fungus something to feed on and grow. When the fungus begins growing, it presents a variety of symptoms including pain, itching, burning, fatigue, and gastrointestinal problems.
The key to curing a yeast infection is to find out what the trigger is that caused the imbalance in the body, feeding the Candida albicans. This could be from a variety of things including the use of antibiotics, diabetes, a poor diet, a weakened immune system, pregnancy, and poor hygiene. Many treatments may get rid of the annoying symptoms that come along with a yeast infection, however if it doesn’t cure the underlying problem, the yeast infection will continue to develop again and again.
A variety of yeast infection treatments are available without a prescription. Many household natural ingredients can be used to treat an infection along with numerous over the counter anti-fungal creams and ointments that you can buy at your local drug store. But, do they really work? If so, how do they work?
Apple cider vinegar is a common household ingredient that can be used to treat a yeast infection. It is a source of numerous minerals including beta carotene, vitamins A, B, and C, and others. When raw apple cider vinegar is used as a treatment, the acidic nature of the vinegar works to re-balance the pH levels in the body, basically starving off the yeast infection. It also works to strengthen the immune system which is always an added plus. Apple cider vinegar can be used as a basic topical wash, in a sitz bath, or internally by taking a tampon and dipping it in the apple cider vinegar and then inserting the tampon into the vagina to kill off the infection. If you use apple cider vinegar, it has to be the raw apple cider vinegar and not the clear distilled apple cider vinegar you see on most grocery store shelves; the distilled vinegar will not work as the distillation process kills off the crime fighters.
You can also use other natural treatments such as drinking one glass of buttermilk each day to kill off the bad bacteria in the body, eating plain yogurt with live cultures, applying apple honey on the affected area, or using boric acid tablets/suppositories. All of these have been shown to effectively treat yeast infections.
The problem with these natural and homemade yeast infection treatments is that they have not been studied and researched by doctors. These types of remedies are never a sure thing that they will work and what may work for one person may not work the same way for another. When using natural remedies, you are taking that chance and may have to try each one out to see which one works the best for your body.
Over the Counter Treatments
If you go to your local drug store, you will find a plethora of over the counter medications available that are specifically meant to treat yeast infections. These are typically called anti-fungal medications and may come in the form of a cream, tablet, or suppository. Most of the over the counter anti-fungal medications are effective at getting rid of a yeast infection however many people misdiagnose themselves as having a yeast infection when they really have a different type of infection. When this happens, their effort of treating a yeast infection becomes futile and these over the counter medications will not work. If you are not sure whether or not you have a yeast infection, you should talk to your doctor and he can give you a definitive diagnosis.
A few common over the counter yeast infection medications include monistat, vagistat, and gyne-lotrimin. Be sure to read the labels carefully as many of these medications only promise to treat the symptoms of a yeast infection and not the yeast infection itself. If the actual yeast infection is not taken care of, the symptoms will always come back eventually. If the yeast infection is not treated effectively, it will continue to grow and spread to other areas of the body.
If you are not completely sure that you have a yeast infection, you should seek the advice of a physician. He will make sure that you get proper treatment for the right kind of infection that you have, whether it be yeast or not. He can prescribe you a stronger medication to be taken orally or a cream that can be taken internally for a vaginal yeast infection. The most popular type of prescription medication for a yeast infection is flucanozole or Diflucan. This medication claims to have the ability to treat a yeast infection in just one dose.
If the first treatment does not work, the doctor may need to move on to something stronger. If the yeast infection is recurrent, you will need to figure out what the trigger is that is causing this fungal growth and treat that problem properly. For instance, if pH balance due to menstruation causes recurrent yeast infections, a doctor may prescribe that medication be taken right before menstruation starts.
You obviously have numerous treatment options to choose from. Always ensure that you indeed have a yeast infection and that you are not wasting your time and money using these types of treatments. If the symptoms do not go away within a few days of treatment, you should contact your doctor.