How Does The Vaginal Ecosystem Get Out Of Whack
Think of the vaginal microbiome as a rainforest: a unique ecosystem teeming with microscopic life including bacteria, viruses and yeast. For many premenopausal women, the dominant microbes are certain species of a bacterial group called Lactobacillus. Other members of this group live in the gut and ferment dairy products like yogurt and cheese.
But the Lactobacillus in the vagina are special. Theyve likely adapted over thousands of years to digest sugars shed by vaginal cells and spew out lactic acid, creating a mildly acidic environment that is inhospitable to bacterial invaders. This helps form a crucial barrier between you and not-you, protecting your reproductive tract from infection and disease.
Lots of things can disrupt vaginal Lactobacilli, including antibiotics, menstruation, douching, certain sexually transmitted infections and semen. When Lactobacilli numbers fall, other bacteria or yeast normally present in the vagina can overgrow, causing various types of imbalance.
One of the most common states of imbalance is bacterial vaginosis an ecosystem shift away from Lactobacillus and toward a diversity of other bugs that thrive in low-oxygen environments. Its telltale signs include itchiness around the vulva, a thin gray-white discharge and a fishy odor. B.V. can also make you more susceptible to S.T.I.s like chlamydia, gonorrhea and H.I.V., and has been associated with preterm birth.
Yogurt With Probiotics For Yeast Infections
Using yogurt with probiotics for yeast infections is very common, although it has been considered by many health experts highly controversial. Next to some cases where it was found as very useful, there were many reported cases where consuming yogurt with probiotics caused side effects such as bloating, gas and other digestive issues. The research data also shows this conflict: one study found that consuming yogurt with probiotics for yeast infections did benefit some people, while other did not not see any benefits. The conclusion of the study was that more studies are needed .
As we mentioned, yogurt and other probiotic foods may not be the best fit when you have yeast infection due potential sensitives to dairy, as well as potential contamination risks that are very common with store-bought probiotic foods. The bottom line: it is much safer and effective to get your probiotics for yeast infection from probiotic supplements.
Do You Need Probiotics To Treat Candida Overgrowth
Although using probiotics for candida overgrowth is a natural, simple method for prevention and treatment, it is not theonlyway.
Candida overgrowth can also be managed via:
- Dietary changes
- Antifungal medications
Its important to note that candida is very good at thriving and can grow quickly.Its best practice to meet with a healthcare professional to decide on the right course of treatment.
At HealthierU, we use Nutrition Response Testing to discover the root cause of your overgrowth. We outline acandida treatment plantailored to the results of your testing.
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What Is A Yeast Infection
A yeast infection, or candidiasis, is a fungal infection that occurs when too much yeast grows in a specific area of your body.
Yeast normally lives in many places within the body. One type of yeast that lives in the digestive tract, mouth, and vagina is candida albicans. When its in balance with the other natural flora in your body, candida does not cause any problems. But when candida overgrows, it can cause an infection.
A vaginal yeast infection, vaginal candidiasis, and vulvovaginal candidiasis are all the same thing: an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina. Vaginal yeast infections are a type of vaginitis, a condition that refers to an inflammation of the vagina. Yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis are among the most common types of vaginitis.
How Do You Know If You Have Candida Overgrowth
All of us have a yeast strain known as candida and it plays an important role in our internal ecosystem. Although its supposed to be there, candida should be kept under control.
Candidiasis is when this yeast overgrows and starts eating nutrients that should go towards supporting the body. At this point, it also starts to poop out toxins that overburden the liver while causing inflammation throughout the body, brain, and skin.
The spread of the candida yeast in the mouth and throat leads to a condition called thrush. Its the most common fungal infection of the mouth and its prevalent among people with weakened immune systems.
When the yeast spreads to the genitals, it is referred to as a genital yeast infection. When the yeast enters the bloodstream and spreads to other parts of the body, such as the kidney, spleen, bones, muscles and joints, or eyes, it is called invasive candidiasis.
Other indicators of candida overgrowth are:
- Mental fatigue
- White tongue and bad breath
- Itching in or around the private areas
- Athletes foot
- Increased acne or even bacne
- Dandruff flakiness around the scalp. Some people get it around the mouth or nose.
- Digestive problems like bloating after meals and abdominal discomfort.
These are signs that your microbiome is in dysbiosis.
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Probiotics For Yeast That Don’t Work
Bifidobacteriumlongum subspecies infantis is foundin the infant gut and has co-evolved with the mother-infant dyad andgut microbiome. Bifidobacteriumlongum subspecies infantis in particular, dominates the gut microbiota of breastfedinfants and benefits the host by accelerating maturation of theimmune response, balancing the immune system to suppressinflammation, improving intestinal barrier function, and increasingacetate production.
Lactobacillusdelbrueckii subsp. Bulgaricus isa bacterial subspecies traditionally isolated from European yogurts.Another species, L. bulgaricus GLB44isolated from theleaves of Galanthusnivalis is the only known strain ofthis subspecies that is a vegan origin probiotic.This species of bacteria belongs to the acidophiluscomplex whichhave been used as probiotic cultures.
Bifidobacteriumbifidum is gram positive, anaerobicprobiotic bacteria belongs to the genus Bifidobacterium,found in the body of mammals. The majority of the bacterialpopulation is found in the colon, small intestine, and in the breastmilk. Oral therapy of B. bifidumis essential for the enteric and hepatic disorders. Furthermore, ithas also significant contribution for the maintenance of vaginalhomeostasis though studies on inhibition of fungal infections arelacking .
How Many Probiotics Do I Need
It is advised to take probiotics that contain at least 1 billion colony forming units . These assist in establishing and further growing the amount of healthy bacterias in your body. Any decent probiotic will have between 1-10 billion CFUs, but the particular dose will depend on the unique probiotic and how it was manufactured.
Natural probiotics are also an excellent source if you would prefer to forego supplements. However, this option will make it significantly more difficult to get enough CFUs, as supplements are specially designed to administer a large, concentrated dose of the best probiotics for your body.
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How Not To Treat A Yeast Infection
Of course, when tending to such a delicate part of your body, its important to proceed with caution. And theres one product that has no business being, well, all up in your business: a douche. Douching is not recommended by physicians, especially in the case of infection, Brighten says. The action of douching can push an infection higher into the genital tract and disrupts the important organisms that protect against yeast overgrowth.
Best Probiotic To Prevent Yeast Infections
Using probiotics to prevent yeast infection was suggested by the medical literature to be very useful. A common best practice done in most studies is using a mixture of the Lactobacillus probiotic strains , which are considered the best probiotic to prevent yeast infections. The Lactobacillus probiotic complex we use in our protocol for yeast infection prevention is FloraTrex and it has shown to be very safe and effective.
In addition to using probiotics to prevent yeast infection, it is important to be aware of common causes and risk factors of yeast infection. The effectiveness of any protocol for preventing yeast infection may be different from one person to another, as there are many different yeast infection causes and risk factors to consider. Taking probiotics for yeast infection or any yeast infection pill will not always prevent the yeast infection. Using probiotics to prevent yeast infection however, can reduce the chances of developing a yeast infection .
To see a list of common yeast infection causes and risk factors, see candida overgrowth causes.
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The Following Are Included In This List:
probiotic for yeasts should be kept as short as possible.
Quality is more important than an inexpensive probiotic for yeast. Key words are frequently made out of ceramic, stainless steel, and carbon steel.
In contrast, ceramic mechanisms lose their taste more easily and are more likely to break.
Due to the consistency and durability of ceramics, they tend to hold their flavors better than carbon steels or stainless steels. Additionally, rust is highly likely to develop.
A person can select a material based on its strengths and weaknesses.
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Probiotics Help Prevent Diarrhea
One of the best-known features of probiotics is their ability to reduce gas, bloating and diarrhea. This is especially important when traveling or taking antibiotics, both of which can cause major digestive upset.
Several studies suggest probiotics reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, with one study showing that taking probiotics reduced the incidence of diarrhea by up to 42%.
Taking probiotics can also prevent or treat infectious diarrhea caused by illness or bacteria. One major review of 35 different studies showed that probiotics helped to reduce the duration of infectious diarrhea by around 25 hours.
Probiotic supplements are often recommended for those traveling in unsanitary areas or working in environments where pathogens are present, such as schools or hospitals.
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Probiotics For Immune System
Considering that a weak immune system is one of the main causes of yeast infections and candida issues , having a healthy immune system can be very helpful in order to prevent candida and yeast infections. The Lactobacillus probiotics immune system connection is well known and has been extensively studied. Various Lactobacillus strains such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus paracasei and Lactobacillus casei were shown in different studies to enhance gut and systemic immune function . Another study suggested that Lactobacillus plantarum can enhance the antitumor immune response and delay tumour formation .
Fermented And Probiotic Foods For Candida And Yeast Infection
Fermented and probiotic foods consumption while on the candida diet and yeast infection treatment has been controversial. It is possible to get probiotics from natural fermented foods and drinks such as live cultured yogurt, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Kombucha tea and others. Consuming fermented foods when you have a yeast infection however, can also backfire. With Yogurt and other dairy based fermented foods the concern is usually sensitivity to dairy. In addition, stability, quality issues, and contamination risks make fermented foods risky when you already have a compromised gut flora issue such as in cases of yeast infections.
For this reason, fermented foods are usually not recommended for people with candida and yeast infection issues, or with increased food sensitivities. So unless you make your own homemade fermented foods and know for a fact they have worked for you personally in the past, counting on these foods as a good and safe source of probiotics for yeast infection may not provide the best results and can even cause digestive issues such as gas and bloating.
If you do however want to enjoy the health promoting benefits of fermented foods , you may want to slowly introduce them to your diet once your yeast infection has healed.
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Preventing Vaginal Yeast Infections With Lifestyle And Diet Changes
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About 75% of women will experience a vaginal yeast infection sometime in their life, and up to 45% of those women will have repeat yeast infections. Thats a daunting prospect if youve had one before its not something you want to do again. Thankfully, you can make lifestyle and diet changes to prevent a yeast infection.
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How Do Probiotics Help With Candida
Probiotics can help with Candida in various ways, depending on the individual properties of that specific probiotic strain. Some strains can help to inhibit the growth of Candida, others can help to prevent Candida from colonising the gastrointestinal tract, whilst others can produce anti-fungal substances effective against Candida. These strains are discussed in more detail below.
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Small Intestinal Fungal Overgrowth
The gastrointestinal tract can also be a source of candida infection, although less research has been dedicated to this area.
Common symptoms of SIFO include indigestion, belching, bloating, gas, and other typical irritable bowel symptoms like diarrhea or constipation.
Medications like stomach acid-blocking medications and antibiotics put people at risk for gut candida overgrowth. Additionally, people with leaky gut are at increased risk for fungal infections like candidiasis.
Candida itself may cause a leaky gut too.
When people eat a lot of carbohydrates, they are also more likely to get yeast overgrowth in the intestines according to Healthline.
What Is Candida Overgrowth
Almost all of us carry Candida yeast on our skin, in our gastrointestinal tract, and in our mucous membranes, including in the vagina, mouth, and nasal passages. Even when were healthy, Candida is the major fungus in our mouths. 1 Lucky for us, normal immune system function and the other microorganisms making up our microbiomes help to keep Candida in check. The trouble starts when something upsets this balance and/or suppresses immune system function. Almost 50% of females of reproductive age experience vulvovaginal candidiasis , typically caused by C. albicans, and Candida can also affect the penis, resulting in inflammation, itching, and urinary and sexual discomfort.2 There is even strong evidence linking Candida to prostate inflammation.
Candida albicans is, by far, the most common cause of yeast infections in humans, although C. glabrata is increasingly responsible for yeast infections. 3 Together, these two pathogens cause around 65-75% of all systemic Candidiasis infections.4 As the rate of C. glabrata infections rises, it is important to find ways to inhibit the growth of both kinds of Candida.
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Use Of Probiotics As Biotherapeutics
As stated by Hippocrates, let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. Today, the idea of food and/or diet is not just extended towards mere survival or hunger satisfaction. The health-conscious population deeply cares about additional aspects including health improvement and prevention of diseases. In this context, functional food plays a significant role where, the concept of food has not only intended to provide humans with necessary nutrients, but also to prevent diseases and increase physical and mental well-being. Probiotic, considered as a functional food, is mostly consumed in the form of traditional fermented food products such as milk products, fermented vegetables, and meats .
Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms which, when consumed in adequate amounts, confer health benefits on the host . The archived scientific documents have explained the diverse positive effects of probiotics on a wide range of diseases and disorders including lactose indigestion, diarrhea, immune modulation, inflammatory bowel syndrome, constipation, infection, allergy, serum cholesterol, blood pressure, and reduction of urinary tract infections . In addition, the Human Microbiome Project by National Institute of Health , USA, changed the views on beneficial microbial research it exposed the influence of gut microbiome and human health during various infections and disease conditions including, mental health.
Gut Dysbiosis Is When This Balance Is Lost
A robust gut microbiome is in perfect harmony. When this stability is upset by stress, antibiotics, alcohol, or by your diet, then gut dysbiosis can occur.
Overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans is one form of gut dysbiosis. It can cause a huge range of symptoms including digestive problems, fatigue, food cravings, recurring yeast infections, skin problems, and more.
For this reason, it is imperative to keep the gut biome as balanced as you can. Probiotics are one way that you can help your intestines to overcome dysbiosis.
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How To Take Probiotics
Most probiotics on the market for vaginal or womens health are oral, which is a problem because theres very little data suggesting that taking a probiotic by mouth will impact the vaginal bacterial community, says Caroline Mitchell, MD, MPH, the director of the Vulvovaginal Disorders Program at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Taking probiotics through a vaginal suppository is likely to be more effective, though research on products is still in the early stages, Mitchell says.
Lactin V, a product currently moving toward FDA approval, uses 2 x 109 colony forming units in each dose, which is similar to the doses used in current published studies. The manufacturers suggest taking using it daily for five days, starting two days after finishing antibiotic or antifungal courses, and then twice weekly for 3 months to renew your normal levels of good bacteria.
How To Try Probiotics
Probiotics come in several forms that you can use in different ways. You can find them in the form of capsules or suppositories, which you insert into your vagina. When choosing a capsule or suppository, look for one that includes a list of the bacteria it contains. Most products will list them based on how many are in each dose. Try to find one that lists Lactobacillus near the top, such as these capsules or this suppository, both available on Amazon.
For a more cost-effective option, you can also use yogurt. Just make sure you choose one with a label that mentions live cultures and Lactobacillus. Avoid yogurts with added sugar or flavoring. Yeast feeds on sugars, so plain yogurt is best for a yeast infection.
To use the yogurt, remove a cotton tampon from its applicator and refill the applicator with yogurt. Lay down while inserting the applicator and releasing all of the yogurt into your vagina. Wait a few minutes before standing up to give it time to settle in.
As with other creams for yeast infections, the yogurt will eventually start leaking out of your vagina. You may want to consider apply it right before bed or when you wont be standing for long periods of time. If you need to apply it during the day or before being active, you may want to use a pantyliner or a pad to protect your clothing and provide extra comfort.
You can also apply yogurt to your vulva, which is the outer part of your vagina, to relieve itching and burning.