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Symptoms of thrush

Plus causes and treatments

31 january 2012 | yours.ie

Candidiasis is a common infection that is caused by candida albicans. It is most frequent in warm, moist parts of the body and when an infection in the vagina occurs it is called vulvovaginal candidiasis.

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Candida Albicans is a yeast that occurs naturally in the body. It normally lives in harmony with a variety of other microorganisms and performs some important functions. The problems begin when something upsets the balance of bacteria in the body and this allows the yeast organism to reproduce and take over all the healthy microorganisms.

thrush (also known as yeast infections) can occur in all females and they are not sexually related. Many women will find that yeast infections can show up right before their period. This is due to hormonal changes in the body.

Symptoms of thrush

There are a number of common signs and symptoms associated with thrush and these include:

  • Itching and irritation in the vagina
  • Redness, swelling, or itching of the vulva (the outside part of the vagina)
  • A white discharge that is thick and often described as having the appearance of cottage cheese.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Burning during and after urination

Causes

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Candida can overgrow and cause infections for a number of reasons. These include stress, pregnancy and illnesses that affect the immune system. Certain medication such as steroids and birth control pills can also increase yeast growth in your body. If you are taking antibiotics, the antibiotics can kill the good bacteria that live in your body which usually keep the growth of Candida in check. Diet can also be significant. A diet high in sugar is a haven for yeast.

Treating Thrush

Most candida infections can be treated at home using over the counter products or prescriptions medicines. The symptoms will usually disappear within a week.

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It is important to visit your doctor for the right diagnosis, as other infections can cause similar symptoms.

Preventing the infections

If you have a tendency to suffer from yeast infections there are a number of things that you can do. Watch what you wear. Yeast grows best in warm, moist environments. You should avoid wearing tight jeans and stretchy exercise clothing. Nylon underwear and other synthetic materials that trap moisture will also increase your risk of yeast infections.

Avoid perfumed products and use mild and fragrance free soaps, bath gels and sanitary products. Always dry off after you shower and if you can, wear cotton underwear. Never sit around in a wet swim suit.

cubes of sugarEliminate sugars and refined foods to reduce the overgrowth of yeast in your body. Meat, eggs and low carbohydrate vegetables are great with a small amount of nuts, seeds and low sugar fruit.

Yeast infections can be extremely annoying and uncomfortable. If they seem to be a regular occurrence you should follow your doctor’s advice - it is more than likely that you will need a substantial change in diet or even lifestyle in order to prevent recurring episodes.

What part of your body are you unhappy with?