Home Treatment For Yeast Infection

Yeast infection is a common condition that can inflict men, women, and children. There are three different types of candidiasis, fungal infection, which attacks the mucous membranes and the skin (moist areas are more favorable for yeast).
thrush
  • Thrush (Oral Esophageal Candidiasis)
  • Vaginitis (Candida Albicans)
  • Invasive Candidiasis (Systemic Form)
Candida normally lives on the skin, without causing problems. With an overabundance of candida in immunosuppressed individuals, it can eventually lead to infections. If the mucosal barriers become compromised by candida, one may begin to experience symptoms of yeast infections, as well.

Vaginitis

Many women are plagued with vaginitis quite often. Women with diabetes are at a higher risk of getting yeast infection than women, who have not been diagnosed with diabetes. Vaginal lactobacillus acidophilus (bacteria) outnumbers vaginal yeast cells, which helps keep yeast infections, at bay. When these organisms become unbalanced, a yeast infection is inevitable.
  • Etiology- Antibiotic and hormone therapies, pregnancy, diabetes, leukemia, and HIV infections.
  • Symptoms- itching, odor-free, vaginal discharge (cottage cheese appearance), vaginal irritation (burning & pain, during sex and urination).
  • Men- Candida albicans can also be develop on the male genitelia.

Thrush

Yeast is normally found in the digestive tract and the oral cavity, just like vaginal yeast, when the organisms become unbalanced infection is inevitable. Thrush is very common in babies under the age of two months. Hormonal changes are due to the birth, which causes the yeast to multiply.
  • Symptoms- White patches in the oral cavity (cottage cheese appearance), the mouth will be sore and the baby may not want to take a bottle.
  • Diaper Rash- Due to the yeast passing through the body and found in feces.
  • Esophagus- If the yeast spreads to the esophagus, the baby may begin to experience dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). If it spreads past the esophagus a fever may develop.

Systemic Yeast Infection

This occurs, when candida albicans enters the bloodstream, which can lead to sepsis and possibly death. Systemic yeast infections are very rare, but may be seen in individuals with chronic illness and those with immunosuppressive diseases.

Diagnosis

Most yeast infections are diagnosed by signs and symptoms and during a physical exam. The gynecologist may collect secretions for a vaginal bacterial culture, during a pelvic exam.
  • Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis – presence of bacteria and yeast infection.
  • Throat cultures may be ordered for someone with symptoms of thrush.
  • Endoscopic exam or gastric tissue biopsy with culture.

Treatment

Fluconazole is often prescribed for yeast infections. This is normally a one time oral dose, but can be prescribed as a maintenance dose, which will prevent the reoccurrence of the yeast infection.
Clotrimazole (vaginal suppository, oral suspension, and topical creams) may be ordered weekly to combat the infection.
Bacterial vaginosis may be treated with Flagyl (oral) for seven days. Clindamycin vaginal cream may also be prescribed to help alleviate the pain and tenderness associated with the infection.

Home Treatments

There are several over the counter drugs that are effective in the treatment of vaginitis.
  • Vagistat and Monistat is available in the form of a vaginal suppository and a cream.
  • Foods (yogurt) have been used to combat yeast infections, because they contain probiotics. This can also be used as a maintenance treatment to prevent the yeast from reoccurring.
If there is no improvement in the signs and symptoms after seven days of treatment, it is recommended that you follow up with your gynecologist or primary care physician for further treatment options.