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Candidiasis is an infection caused by a yeastlike fungus called candida. It can infect the mouth, vagina, skin, stomach, and urinary tract. Approximately 75 percent of women will get candidiasis of the vagina during their lifetime, and 90 percent of all people with HIV/AIDS develop candida infections.
Signs and Symptoms
What Causes It?
Normal amounts of candida existing in the mouth, stomach, and vagina do not cause infections. Candidiasis occurs when there is a buildup of candida. This may be caused by taking certain drugs (especially antibiotics), pregnancy, being overweight, bacterial infection, or by several health conditions (for example, immune disorders, diabetes, and psoriasis).
What to Expect at Your Provider's Office
Your health care provider may take samples for testing (for example, a vaginal wet smear) and do extensive tests (such as a CT scan or test of your stool) if it appears that the infection has spread. Your provider will probably prescribe an antifungal medication. He or she may also recommend changes in your diet. These treatments usually cure candidiasis. If you have recurrent bouts of candidiasis, your provider will explore the possibility of an immune deficiency or some other disease.
A number of antifungal medications are available to treat candidiasis. Your health care provider will prescribe a drug depending on the location and severity of your disease. Most treatments last from 2 to 3 days to 2 weeks. Be sure to take all medicine exactly as prescribed. If you do not, the same infection could come back. Reinfection with a new strain of candida also can occur. For more severe candidiasis, you will be given fluids and electrolytes intravenously.
Over the Counter
Some topical vaginal creams and suppositories are available over the counter and may be used for one to seven days; see provider if condition persists
Complementary and Alternative Therapies
The "candida diet" allows no alcohol, no simple sugars, and very limited amounts of refined foods. Alternative therapies aim to "starve" the yeast and use natural antifungals.
Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Teas should be made with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers; 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Drink 2 to 4 cups per day.
Some of the most common remedies used for candidiasis are listed below. Usually, the dose is 12X to 30C every one to four hours until your symptoms get better.
May be helpful to stimulate immune system, digestion, and relieve stress.
You can prevent another yeast infection by taking lactobacillus acidophilus when you take antibiotics, avoiding antibiotics that act against a wide variety of bacteria when possible, wearing cotton or silk underwear, maintaining good hygiene, and staying at the proper weight. Women should avoid douches (except when medically necessary), vaginal deodorants, and bubble baths.
Tell your health care provider if you are pregnant.
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The publisher does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the information or the consequences arising from the application, use, or misuse of any of the information contained herein, including any injury and/or damage to any person or property as a matter of product liability, negligence, or otherwise. No warranty, expressed or implied, is made in regard to the contents of this material. No claims or endorsements are made for any drugs or compounds currently marketed or in investigative use. This material is not intended as a guide to self-medication. The reader is advised to discuss the information provided here with a doctor, pharmacist, nurse, or other authorized healthcare practitioner and to check product information (including package inserts) regarding dosage, precautions, warnings, interactions, and contraindications before administering any drug, herb, or supplement discussed herein