Yeast is a group of fungus that normally resides in the body (skin and other moist areas) without causing any significant symptoms. However, when its population increases, it results in infection symptoms. The most common species that infects humans is Candida albicans, hence, yeast infection is also known as candidiasis. Common body areas prone to this kind of infection are the nail-beds, around the dentures, underneath the breasts, lower abdomen, and genital areas. And vaginal yeast infection is a distressing condition that affects several women worldwide.
While studying the risk factors and/or causes of a yeast infection, it is found that individuals who take antibiotics at that particular time or those who have taken it in the recent past are more susceptible to the problem. Considering this, it is understandable that bacteria living inside the body plays a major role in controlling the population growth of yeast. To be more precise, administration of antibiotics for an extant period kills the useful bacteria, resulting in uncontrolled multiplication of yeast, and ultimately, an infection.
Why You Should Eat Yogurt for a Yeast Infection
Health experts strongly opine that bacteria in the body and yeast infections are counterbalanced. Though excess growth of both these microbes is dangerous and leads to infection symptoms, they should be maintained in such a way that one controls the growth of another, and vice versa. This is how using yogurt comes into the picture. The useful bacteria (acidophilus) present in yogurt help check the overgrowth of yeast, thus treating infection symptoms.
So, which is the best type of yogurt? For treatment of yeast infection naturally, plain yogurt without additives should be used. Make sure you purchase unsweetened and unflavored plain yogurt to fight off a yeast infection. For getting pure yogurt, you can even make it at home by using the yogurt starter. On the other hand, sugar being a food source for yeast, sweetened yogurt or yogurt containing sugar will favor yeast growth, rather than control it. Thus, it is very important to avoid sugar and sugar containing foods during the outbreak of this problem.
How to Use Yogurt for a Yeast Infection
As we have seen the effectiveness of yogurt while treating a yeast infection, the question that remains is how exactly does one use it! Plain yogurt can be used for internal as well as external purposes. Either you can include it in the daily diet plan to fight the infection, or you can also apply it on the infected body parts.
- Eating yogurt on a daily basis will help in treating yeast infections, and also in preventing the problem in the long run. The useful bacteria from yogurt also aid in proper digestion of foods.
- For external treatment, dip a cotton ball in yogurt and apply it over the infected area. Repeating this two to three times daily will effectively reduce the itching.
- In order to treat an oral thrush (yeast infection in the mouth), place a teaspoon of yogurt in the mouth and do not ingest it. Keep the yogurt for a few minutes and spit it out. Repeat this for a few times, and you will surely get relief from the annoying symptoms.
- For women with vaginal yeast infections, inserting a tampon dipped in yogurt in the vagina and leaving it for a few hours will aid in relieving the itching and burning symptoms.
After external application of yogurt, ensure that the area is washed off and wiped dry with an absorbent tissue or towel. It is to be borne in mind that availability of moisture and sugar propagate the growth of yeast. Thus, the thumb rule is keeping the infected area dry and starving the yeast by limiting sugar intake.