Traditional Relief and Prevention of Yeast Infections: Clinical Nutrition and Nutraceutical SupplementationUncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing, yeast infections are a common condition that few women care to discuss. Candida albicans is a permanent fungus that enables the vagina to maintain homeostasis (balanced health). However, various causes such as antibiotics, birth control and tight undergarments can create the perfect storm for this fungus to multiply, overgrow and takeover eventually diagnosed as a yeast infection. Symptoms can begin as a slight itch to irritation which may also be accompanied by cottage cheese-like discharge. A yeast infection is capable of being transmitted to a man causing itching and burning on the tip of the penis and/or a rash throughout.

Conventional medicine often targets these symptoms using various OTC (over the counter) or prescription anti-fungal creams, tablets or in complex cases, suppositories. These treatments adhere to the ‘quick fix’ approach with rapid results but no remedy.

Traditional medicine looks from within attempting not only to reduce symptoms but to prevent further episodes. By applying a combination of the traditional remedies clinical nutrition and nutraceutical supplementation with possible additions of homeopathy, acupuncture and botanical medicine, chronic or acute yeast infections could be relieved and sometimes even cured. It all depends on the talent of the naturopathic doctor and the commitment of the patient.

Control Your Acidic Levels: Clinical Nutrition = Medicinal Eating
Another term for clinical nutrition might be medicinal eating. Using a thorough intake of your medical history as well as your everyday practices, a naturopathic doctor will be able to determine  what foods will be advantageous to your body for preventing a yeast infection. For instance, sugar and dairy in many forms is like fuel for bacterial growth. According to the 1984 study ‘Sugar chromatography studies in recurrent Candida vulvovaginitis’ published in The Journal of Reproductive Medicine,

“…a study of 100 women was undertaken to attempt to gain insight into the role of dietary sugar ingestion in the pathogenesis of this disease. Urinary sugar patterns of glucose, arabinose and ribose were elevated. These excretion patterns correlated well with the excessive oral ingestion of dairy products, artificial sweeteners and sucrose. Eliminating excessive use of these foods brought about a dramatic reduction in the incidence and severity of Candida vulvovaginitis.”

Using your food choices to battle yeast infections can be done on two fronts:

1)  Eat foods that will not contribute to excessive yeast growth as well as inhibit it.
2)  Eat foods to strengthen your immune system.

Changing your diet should be discussed with your naturopathic doctor to determine the best and most efficient protocol. Attempting it on your own can result in subpar effectiveness as well as possible allergic or other contraindicated outcomes.

Foods to avoid:

  • Sugars – Processed sugar (including artificial sweetners) is the worst. If you are sensitive to chronic yeast infections also stay away from honey, fruit juices, dried fruit and maple syrup.
  • Cheese – Eating mold can create mold (yeast).
  • Alcohol – Turns to sugar, suppresses immune system.
  • Mushrooms – High in purine which can cause acidic levels to rise.
  • Non-free-range dairy, red meat, pork and poultry – Can be loaded with antibiotics

Foods to eat:
Sticking to high fiber, high protein foods can create a hostile, uninhabitable environment for Candida albicans. Adding a small amount of fruits and complex carbs is allowable. Foods to look for include:

  • Raw garlic and onions – These act as anti-fungals.
  • Gently steamed (should still have a crunch) – Broccoli, asparagus, celery, radishes, ginger root, turnips, kale, garlic and onions.
  • High protein, free-range, antibiotic-free eggs, chicken, fish and duck as well as nuts and seeds.
  • Complex carbs – Quinoa, whole wheat, buckwheat, spelt, brown rice, rice pasta, beans and oats.
  • Fruits – All berries, pineapple, papaya and grapefruit.

Nutraceutical Supplementation:

Vitamins, minerals, amino acids and more for a yeast-free body
Simply taking a generic multivitamin with breakfast every morning is equivalent to wearing the same clothes everyday. A naturopathic doctor is capable of determining the best course of nutraceutical supplements that will increase or decrease what your body needs to maintain a yeast-free environment. Many people blindly take a supplement thinking they are doing their body good when in reality they could be wasting their money as their body simply flushes out most of what they take or is taxed by the constant influx of uneeded supplements. Using a detailed health history and sometimes a blood test, nutraceutical supplementation can be used as a somewhat ‘surgical strike’ rather than hodgepodge guess-your-best formula. All supplements should be taken under the strict guidance of a naturopathic doctor to avoid any possible contraindications.

Probiotics – This supplement is by far one of the most important. It is made up of ‘good bacteria’ such as Lactobacillus acidophilus or bifidobacterium which are capable of restoring and rebalancing overgrown ‘bad bacteria’ in the gut which can result in yeast infections. These are best utilized when taken on an empty stomach.

Vitamin C, B-Complex and Omega-3 Fatty Acids – A trio that helps reduce inflammation as well as boost the immune system to help fight off an acute yeast infection as well as prevent chronic outbreaks.

Caprylic Acid – An additional fatty acid associated with anti-fungal properties.

Propolis – This is thick, syrupy liquid bees collect from tree buds, flowing sap and various other botanicals used to fill small gaps in the hive. It is considered to contain antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, antiinflammatory, anesthetic and cytostatic (inhibition of cell growth) compounds. A Brazilian phytotherapy research study of propolis for oral thrush (rash-like inflammation also a symptom of yeast infections) found that, “…all the patients treated with the commercial ethanol propolis extract showed a lesion regression similar to that observed in those patients treated with nystatin [a prescription pharmaceutical].

Clinical nutrition and nutraceutical supplementation can be a viable alternative therapy for acute or chronic yeast infections. It is a recommended practice (under the guidance of a naturopathic doctor) to treat or prevent the overgrowth of the candida albicans fungus as well as resulting symptoms. It allows your body to experience its full spectrum, whole body healing capability rather than wrestle with well intentioned yet toxic conventional choices.

At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you.  In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health.  To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or CLICK HERE to schedule an online appointment.

*Please CLICK HERE to see a current list of In-Network Insurance Companies for Acupuncture that we participate with as well as insurance companies that commonly have Out-of-Network benefits. Please call 914.337.2980 or securely email to verify your specific benefits. If you are emailing, please include your full name, date of birth and insurance identification card number.

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