Acidophilus is a probiotic and the good bacteria normally found in the human body. It helps fight infections in the moist and damp areas of the body. Acidophilus has proved to be the most effective natural cure for yeast infection. Below is a know-how on the same.
Yeast infection is a type of fungal infection that occurs mostly in women. It is caused by the fungi Candida albicans. It is also known as ‘candidiasis’ and mainly affects the moist and damp areas of the body, like the mouth and vagina. A small amount of Candida albicans is present on our skin and mucous membrane, but this does not cause any health problem if their population is kept under check by a healthy immune system and beneficial bacteria. However, chronic illnesses such as AIDS, cancer or diabetes, and medication like antibiotics, immunosuppressive and anticancer drugs can trigger an overgrowth of yeast in the human body. Other factors like, douching, excessive washing of the vagina, using scented tampons and other products, stress, hormonal changes, and a weak immune system can cause an imbalance in the population of bacteria in the vagina. This imbalance destroys the beneficial bacteria in our body, which may lead to ‘candidiasis’.
Conventional treatment options include topical antifungal creams, oral antifungal medication, and vaginal suppositories. Some commonly used oral medication are fluconazole or diflucan, amphotericin B, caspofungin, or voriconazole. On the other hand, topical creams or medication include clotrimazole, nystatin, fluconazole, terazol, and ketoconazole. In addition to medication, avoiding or cutting down the amount of sugar-rich food from one’s diet is very important for the treatment and prevention of candidiasis. This is because a sugar-rich diet is known to promote the growth of yeast. Along with the conventional medical treatment, a number of natural remedies have also shown their efficacy in treating yeast infection.
One of the most effective natural treatments for yeast infection is acidophilus or Lactobacillus acidophilus, which is a type of bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract. Acidophilus produces a substance called lactic acid that creates an acidic environment which helps keep the vagina healthy. It is a beneficial bacteria which balances the pH level and maintains a healthy balance of beneficial microorganisms in the vagina. This prevents excessive growth of Candida albicans. However if this balance is disturbed, the proportion of acidophilus may go down, and candida outgrows, resulting in an infection. A natural remedy for this type of infection is the use of food or supplements that contain this friendly bacteria. It is known for providing quick and complete relief from yeast infections.
How Does it Help
Acidophilus bacteria create conditions in the body that are not favorable for infection-producing bacteria to grow. As discussed earlier, they produce acidic conditions in the vagina due to which infection-causing bacteria cannot thrive and grow. Medical experts believe that acidophilus produces hydrogen peroxide with the help of lactic acid, that helps in controlling and restoring a healthy bacterial environment.
Acidophilus bacteria can be introduced into the body in several ways. In case of yeast infection, acidophilus supplements; oral or vaginal can help. Out of these, the most simplest way is to consume foods that contain a high level of these bacteria. Another way is to take acidophilus supplements or probiotic. This treatment can also be effective in preventing further infections. Generally, this type of treatment can take a few hours to about a month to cure the infection, depending on the severity of the condition.
❒ Home Remedies
One of the most common food sources of acidophilus is yogurt. Yogurt is highly effective for curing yeast infection, and is recommended by medical experts too. Choose unpasteurized, plain, and sugar-free variety of yogurt, made with active cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus. Including this in the diet will help. Applying this topically or simply injecting it in the vagina, with the help of a tampon or any other means once or twice a day can also substantially reduce the infection. Continue this for 1 or 2 days even after the symptoms have disappeared. Another milk product that can be consumed is kefir, which is made from fermented milk. Similarly, pickles and sauerkraut are also good sources of probiotics that can help destroy harmful yeast and other microorganisms.
❒ Acidophilus Tablets and Supplements
Acidophilus tablets and capsules are also readily available in any natural foods market. Whether consumed or used as a vaginal suppository, these can provide significant relief from yeast infection. Acidophilus is available in the form of dried granules, dried powder, capsules, and liquid form as well. While taking oral supplements and tablets, opt for acidophilus meant for oral consumption only, and as for vaginal suppository, check for options formulated specially for vaginal insertion.
Dosage of probiotics or acidophilus supplements would depend on the number of bacteria they contain. Mild gastrointestinal disturbances are associated with the intake of too much acidophilus. Yeast infection, on the other hand, can take a lot of time to cure with low dosage of acidophilus. Consult your physician to know the appropriate dosage of these supplements. There are many options to include acidophilus as a supplement and topical treatment. You may have to try different methods to check which one really works for you.
❒ When to Call Your Doctor
One should consult a physician, especially if the infection is recurrent and severe in nature. If you are taking any other antibiotics that may be causing the infection, talk to your health care provider before taking acidophilus tablets and supplements. Medical advice is strictly recommended in case of pregnant women and those with any underlying medical condition.
It is also important to avoid any food that contains yeast. Eliminate or reduce sugar and sugar-rich food from your diet, and keep the affected area clean and dry throughout the day. Avoid the causes that trigger this infection and consume food rich in acidophilus. Take care!
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.