Reoccurring yeast infections- Are there any permanent treatments out there?
Reoccurring Yeast Infections-A topic that needs more coverage
According to studies, at least 75% of women have had a yeast infection in their lives. 50% have had at least 2-3 and a small marginal 5% continue to be plagued by them at least 4 times a year(or more). It's not a topic you hear about often, nobody really wants to talk about it and if you are an unfortunate woman who continues to get them, it's not easy to get straight answers about why or how to get rid of them.
I must preface with the fact that you should always check with your doctor for the best treatment for you and to be sure you are treating an actual yeast infection and not a different underlying condition. With that noted, let's start with the women who only get them sporadically and they go away with over-the-counter treatment. They are fortunate that it's not really an issue and it goes away with the first dose of treatment. In this category, most women say that the 1-day cream treatment tends to be less effective and that they have to use the 7-day OTC cream treatment to really get rid of it. This group of women may have gotten the infection from taking certain medication: birth control pills, antibiotics, steroids. They are also common in pregnant women, as a change in hormones has been linked to yeast infections.
The unfortunate 5% group are the women that really need the help. I am a long-term sufferer of reoccurring yeast infections. It has been about 8 1/2 years. And for me, reoccurring has meant anywhere from 6 a year to one almost every month. I sought help from my own gynecologist first, then I checked out other ones for different opinions because the treatments weren't working, but their advice and solutions did not work either. They would put me on a prescription oral medication to eradicate yeast infections, or different types of vaginal inserts. Once I tried an insert of boric acid that was supposed to kill all of the "bad" bacteria, but that just got rid of that infection, it still came back. I also tried a candida cleanse drink that was very expensive, but that didn't work either. The most frustrating part was that none of the doctors could really explain why I kept getting the yeast infections. They would just keep prescribing me medications to get rid of my current infection, but it would come back every time.
So, I took it upon myself to seek help from a specialist. I didn't even know there were specialists beyond being an OB/GYN. He had excellent credentials, was written up in major magazines and recommended by my current gynecologist. He turned out to be completely arrogant, but was completely confident that if I followed his recommendation, I would be cured forever. His solution was to put me on a 6 month regimen of the Diflucan pill and after the 6 months was up, I would never get another infection again. The 6 months came and went and the week after I stopped the medication, I got a yeast infection. It's as if it was a temporary fix, suppressing the bad bacteria, not getting rid of it.
Needless to say, I never went back to him again and lost hope. Until one day at my family physicians' office, I was with the doctor and my yeast infection issue came up in conversation. He suggested to me that I go see a nutritionist. Even though every doctor and specialist I saw insisted that food has absolutely nothing to do with reoccurring yeast infections, I figured I had nothing to lose. The nutritionist gave me a diet to abide by and some vitamins to take and told me I should expect to see results within a few weeks and I did. She told me that food absolutely had something to do with my issue and that certain foods can increase the growth of yeast in our system. My body was out of balance. I had to cut out sugar, white flour, mushrooms, vinegar, wine, milk, and potatoes. That meant no foods with high amounts of sugar in them either like sugary cereals, granola bars, etc. That was hard to do, my diet became very limited, but I felt very good and wasn't bloated anymore either. I can still eat brown rice and whole wheat pasta, so I didn't have to cut out carbs altogether. The vitamins she told me take were fish oil, a very high dose of probiotics (12 billion viable cells), and a low allergen daily vitamin.
I am not a doctor and cannot say that what I did to be yeast infection free will work for you, but if you have tried everything else, maybe it would be worth a try. I couldn't believe that after all of years that had passed and all of the doctors I saw, not one of them told me to see a nutritionist. And all of them insisted that food had nothing to do with it. I felt it completely necessary to share my story in hopes to help at least one individual out there who is suffering like I was suffering and felt helpless. The diet I maintain is not easy, but I am used to it now and if it means that I will not get a yeast infection, then it is so worth it to me. I feel so much better than I ever did and healthier too.