Yeast infections are awful, and way too common. Almost as common as yeast infections is wacky dietary advice as to how to treat them. Let's venture into this advice and try to make some sense of it.
How many times have you heard that people (usually women) with yeast infections should stay away from foods containing yeast and sugar? Honestly, if you had a nickel for each time, just how wealthy might you be? Unfortunately, this is the simple solution. (If you've been reading this blog for very long you know that simple solutions are simply ridiculous.)
Here's the scoop: Unless you're a diabetic, the sugar you eat will not build up in your bloodstream to unhealthy levels that beckon yeast to flourish. If you are a diabetic and your blood sugar isn't within healthy levels, this is likely to be a problem. But as for non-diabetics, functioning insulin doesn't allow our blood sugar to stay high long enough for bacteria and yeast infections. Yes, there would be a higher concentration of glucose in the urine, but that would give us urinary infections, if anything. That said, cutting back on sugar is never a bad idea for any of us.
Then of course, there's the "stay away from beer and foods containing yeast" camp. This would make perfect sense, since putting yeast in one end of the body could possibly allow more yeast at the other end, except that the yeast used in breads and beer are completely different varieties of yeast, and therefore have nothing to do with one another. So there's that.
And I know you've heard about eating yogurt, what with it's beneficial bacteria and all. But then again, if you're familiar with my blog, you know dairy has far too many risks to take lightly. So how's this: replenish the intestinal flora with the same cultures found in soy yogurt.
But here are some interesting causes of yeast infections - and this is by no means an exhaustive list, for more please refer to this fun link. Let's start with antibiotics, but please don't limit that to the antibiotics you take when you have an infection: antibiotics also include antibiotic soaps and cleansers. Antibiotics are also found in our FOOD SUPPLY, and especially in meats, eggs, and dairy, although also in commercially grown produce. So you might say eating an organic, plant-based diet is a great way to cut down antibiotics in your body.
Steriods, such as oral contraceptives, are also known contributors to yeast infections. Yet again, please don't limit steroids to oral contraceptives. Steriods are also found throughout the American food supply, in the same foods we find antibiotics. One article I read mentioned that steriods and antibiotics are believed to be the main reason yeast infections have doubled in the past few decades. That would make sense, considering how much our food supply has morphed in the same few decades.
And lastly, perfumed toilet paper, laundry detergent, douches, and color-dyed underwear can all play a role in yeast infections. So just one more reason to be eco-friendly.
There are also some great home remedies to treat yeast infections online, which I can't say I've tried (I've never had this problem, thank God), but seem simple, logical and healthy. Feel free to comment if you've found a remedy that's worked for you... and share the wealth.