Annoying and uncomfortable at the least, thrush is something we’ve all experienced over our lifetimes. Hence why it shouldn’t be taboo! While over the counter anti-fungal creams are useful in providing short-term relief, it is just a band-aid, and there may be something underlying that needs to be addressed. At last there are some natural alternatives us women can be doing to keep it at bay.
Candida albicans is a normal fungus of the body, which becomes pathologically overgrown when the immune system is compromised, and growth is exacerbated as a result of pH changes, or through use of antibiotics which throw off the natural bacteria¹. Candida is found naturally in the mouth, gastrointestinal tract and the vagina. For women, vaginal thrush can present as redness, offensive discharge, itchiness and even pain¹.
Treating Thrush Naturally
Eliminate your triggers
During an acute attack of thrush, some things should be eliminated from your life.
- Alcohol: An absolute no-go for thrush. Avoid this at all cost to avoid the effects of alcohol in potentiating thrush. Not only does it feed the yeast but it can weaken the immune system and its ability to fight the infection as well as compromising the liver's attempt to eliminate the byproducts of candida.
- Sugar: Sugar is fuel to the fire when it comes to the thrush. It feeds the albican yeasts and diminishes the immune system to fight off the infection.
Antibiotics: While antibiotic use is absolutely necessary for some diseases and conditions, it is unfortunate that these days antibiotics use in widely overprescribed. Get a second opinion from your Naturopath and seek other options before taking them. Antibiotics kill off all of the good bacteria and allow for the opportunistic candida albicans to grow here.
Priming your gut health
Improve your gut health by include foods in the diet that assists in providing an optimal environment for good bacteria to flourish. Make sure you include a diet that is rich in vegetables, good quality protein (eggs, organic meats) and plenty of good fats. Karah has had many years experience in helping her client find proficient digestive health. If thrush is a recurrent experience for you, it might be time for a gut reset. She has designed a 2-week Naturopathic ‘fix your digestion’ EBOOK to get your gut in an optimal state and reduce the likelihood of reinfection.
Additionally, drinking plenty of water, chewing your food thoroughly, reducing fermented foods (mushrooms, vinegar, bread) will help prime your digestion and remove the overgrowth.
Use of probiotics
The use of over the counter probiotics from most health food shops can be hugely beneficial for acute attacks. The strains Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus rhamnosus are particularly helpful for vagina health. If recurrent, taking for at least 6 months should help to eradicate the overgrowth.
Chronic Candida, when left untreated, can lead to further complications to one's health. It can be a sign that something else is going on in another organs or systems. When treated Naturopathically, we can work to identify your deeper issues and eliminate the overgrowth. There are many investigations and test that can be conducted to identify the underlying issue going on for you. Book in with a Sana Co. Naturopath today to get your personalized treatment, and rid candida for good.
1. Craft, J. (2015). Understanding pathophysiology. Chatswood, N.S.W.: Mosby/Elsevier.
Jade is a final year naturopathy Student at Southern School of Natural Therapies. She is currently seeing patients from the student clinic at their Fitzroy campus.