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  • Yeast infections are a common problem for women ages 16 to 35, although the condition can certainly occur in both younger and older women. When too much candida fungus grows in the vagina, it produces a thick, white discharge and causes intense itching. Other yeast infection symptoms include soreness, rash, and burning during urination.

    Diagnosis

    It's important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis before treating a yeast infection yourself, especially if you've never seen a doctor for yeast infections before. A vaginal smear will rule out other conditions that cause similar problems. Another good reason for seeing a doctor is that frequent yeast infections can indicate more serious problems.

    Healthy Lifestyle

    Taking echinacea to boost immunity is a good way to combat frequent yeast infections, as is eating a balanced diet full of vitamins and minerals. Getting plenty of rest and cutting your sugar intake also fights yeast infection symptoms.

    Clothing

    The clothes you wear can contribute to frequent yeast infections. Hot weather and wearing layers of clothes during cold months can make you sweat and create a perfect breeding environment for candida. Tight clothes can also exacerbate yeast infection symptoms by preventing air from flowing freely around the vaginal area. When treating a yeast infection, it's important to keep the vaginal area dry. Wear cotton underwear and be sure to change out of wet clothes as soon as possible. (See references 1.)

    Over-the-Counter Remedies

    There are many over-the-counter remedies for treating a yeast infection. Most are antifungals that work by breaking down candida cell walls, causing the candida to dissolve. Yeast infection remedies come in creams, tablets, and vaginal suppositories. These medications get rid of yeast infections while also relieving yeast infection symptoms.

    Natural Remedies

    Remember to see a doctor before beginning any treatment on your own, especially if you have frequent yeast infections. For a home remedy that relieves yeast infection symptoms, consider soaking in a sea-salt bath. This speeds up healing and provides temporary relief from itching. Several foods are good for treating yeast infections. Raw, crushed garlic and cinnamon have antifungal properties. Another option is plain and unsweetened yogurt. Make sure the yogurt you choose contains live lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria since it can eliminate the overgrowth of yeast in the vagina. Be aware that lactobacillus acidophilus aggravates bacterial infections--one more reason you should see a doctor for a diagnosis.

    Source:

    FDA: Getting Rid of Yeast Infections

    "The People's Pharmacy;" Joe Graedon, Teresa Graedon; 1998

    "1801 Home Remedies: Trustworthy Treatments for Everyday Health Problems;" Readers Digest; 2004

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