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How to Prevent yeast infections

Yeast infections are relatively easy to diagnose and treat in most cases. however they can cause itching, a vaginal discharge and just be uncomfortable. Yeast, particularly Candida albicans, naturally exists in small amounts in various parts of the body, including the vagina. When there’s an overgrowth of Candida, it can lead to infections. Here are some health behaviors that make you susceptible to getting yeast infections and in some cases turn them into chronic conditions. 

1. Decrease Sugar consumption, yes, moderation is reasonable for a holidays! research suggests that foods with a high glycemic index, which cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, may be particularly problematic for individuals prone to yeast infections. Excessive sugar consumption can disrupt this balance by promoting the overgrowth of yeast while suppressing beneficial bacteria.These foods include sugary snacks, sweets, sugary beverages, and refined carbohydrates like white bread and pastries. But also look for hidden sugars that you aren’t counting (like that goblet of red wine in your hand!).

2. Diabetes and un-diagnosed glucose intolerance. This is the consequence of your body having sugar it cannot metabolize, the excess sugar can lead to increased vaginal yeast colonies. A odd side effect of dieting with metabolism controlling medicines like Ozempic has been shown to improve sugar control and decrease yeast infections.

3. Antibiotic overuse should always be avoided, and in the United States it has been a chronic point of discussion among the medical profession. . The FDA even had to weigh in on dog antibiotic overuse! Hidden antibiotics in non-organic food can also contribute to antibiotic overuse. Disruption of Microbial Balance by antibiotics: Antibiotics are medications used to treat bacterial infections by killing or inhibiting the growth of bacteria. However, antibiotics do not discriminate between harmful bacteria causing an infection and beneficial bacteria that normally reside in various parts of the body, including the vagina. When antibiotics are taken, they can disrupt the delicate balance of microorganisms, leading to a decrease in beneficial bacteria and creating an environment that is more favorable for the overgrowth of yeast, particularly Candida.You need your Lactobacilli: Beneficial bacteria, such as Lactobacillus species, play a crucial role in maintaining the acidic pH and microbial balance in the vagina. Antibiotic use can reduce the population of these beneficial bacteria, allowing opportunistic pathogens like Candida to thrive and cause an infection.

    4. Untreated gut yeast colonization, this is the ultimate reservoir that causes many infections. Your gut health is one of the most important ways we control all infections. Your physician can help you evaluate your gut heath.

    5. Untreated vaginal dryness or atrophy, possibly the best reason to have vaginal rejuvenation procedures that can keep the lining tissue healthy without introducing hormones to your body that you may not need. Vaginal rejuvenation procedures we use at Women’s Health Practice can help restore the normal flora and help you avoid yeast infections.

    6. Wearing chronically tight clothing and not changing out of wet workout gear

    7. Weak immune system: from too much stress, to too many cigarettes, to too many late nights, any health behaviors that weaken your immunity will lead to less resistance to infection, even yeast infections.

    8. New partners: not completely confirmed as a source of yeast infections, men have yeast (more typically in a foreskin rather than someone circumcised) they could pass on, but we actually have our own colonies that we harbor that are more likely the cause. So condoms, and condoms with spermicide might be protective against yeast infections.

    9. Wearing tampons too long: not confirmed either, but anything that changes pH of the vaginal environment can have the effect of triggering another infection.

    10. Hormonal imbalances. Oral contraception can balance some women’s hormones, and yet for some women the balance is tipped in the direction of getting infections. Pregnancy hormone levels are far greater, and being pregnant can predispose a woman to yeast infections. This is a matter to work out with your gyno.

    11. Forgetting to eat probiotic yogurts. Women with poor immune function also have less fungal colonization when they don’t consume probiotic yogurts.


    Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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