Inflammation? Intense Itchiness that won’t go away? A thick, white discharge?
It might be vaginitis.
Candida vaginitis also known as a yeast infection is a very common infection amongst women. Over 75% of women get candida vaginitis in their lifetime (Ehrlich, 2014). Symptoms of candida vaginitis include itching in the vagina, vaginal discharge, inflamed vaginal mucus membranes, odor and lesions that can spread to the thighs and anus (Ehrlich, 2014). Vaginitis is caused by an imbalance of the normal bacteria in the vagina. There are a lot of factors that can influence the balance of both pH and bacteria of the vagina including diet, stress, antibiotic use and pregnancy just to name a few. Allopathic treatment involves topical treatments such as imidazole and oral therapies such as nystatin which aim to balance vaginal bacteria. Allopathic treatment of vaginitis usually involves a single dose of an oral antifungal drug or application of an antifungal cream for one to three days. However, there are several CAM protocols that should be considered in the treatment and prevention of candida vaginitis including diet and supplementation.
Diet is very important. Too much sugar intake feeds the yeast in the body and promotes overgrowth and imbalance. In order to combat this, it is important to limit sugar intake especially refined and added sugar. In order to get rid of candida it is important to monitor the diet to ensure that all sugar is eliminated from the diet. Patients who suffer from candida vaginitis should consume vegetables, meats and some fruits that have a very low sugar content. Overloading the body with sugar will feed the infection and it will continue to grow and make symptoms worse.
Supplementation for candida vaginitis is key to beating the infection. According to Ehrlich (2015), L. acidophilus can be used to get rid of vaginal infections. L. acidophilus vaginal suppositories can be used to balance the bacteria of the vagina. Suppositories can be inserted into the vagina in order to get the best results. Another method is to simply add yogurt to the diet. Yogurt contains L. acidophilus cultures and can be eaten regularly to take advantage of its benefits (Ehrlich, L. acidophilus, 2015). Other dietary sources of L. acidophilus include miso and tempeh for the patient who follows a plant based diet. Other probiotics are found in breast milk, onions, tomatoes, garlic and honey.
For further reading . . .
Ehrlich, S. D. (2014, July 6). Vaginitis. Retrieved from University of Maryland Medical Center: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/vaginitis
Ehrlich, S. D. (2015, August 6). L. acidophilus. Retrieved from University of Maryland Medical Center: Http//umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/lactobacillus-acidophilus
Jamison, J. R. (2003). Clinical guide to nutrition and dietary supplements in disease management. Victoria : Churchill Livingstone.
Pizzorno, J. E., & Murray, M. T. (2012). Textbook of natural medicine. Paradise Valley: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.