Have you ever wondered what the purpose is of the yeast in your body? Yeast and candida, a fungal form of yeast, are commonly thought of as intruders by women, but what many people don't know is that everybody actually requires a little bit of it in order to function properly. For instance, did you know that yeast aids in digestion and the absorption of key nutrients? However, too much yeast in your system can lead to an abundance of problems, so make sure you are familiar with the most popular signs and symptoms. Regulating your health can be very straightforward if you know what to watch out for! Take a look at the most common causes of yeast issues below for more information.
Eating a diet high in refined carbs and sugars: We all know that overindulging our sweet tooth is detrimental to our waistlines, but consuming too much refined carbohydrates and sugar can also lead to an overabundance of candida in the body! These foods actually fuel the yeast and encourage it to grow, so it might be time to check out these skinny swaps instead!
Using certain contraceptives: Some contraceptives, including spermicidal creams, oral contraceptives, and vaginal sponges and intrauterine devices (IUDs) may actually promote the growth of yeast and make you more prone to infection. Creams can actually alter the vaginal flora and make you more susceptible to candida, and the estrogen in oral contraceptives produce more glycogen (sugar), which feeds yeast. Check with your doctor if you are concerned about your methods of birth control!
Consuming a lot of alcohol: Believe it or not, alcohol is actually the #2 dietary cause of ongoing yeast infections! Alcohol contains a good amount of fermented yeast and sugars, both of which provide sustenance to feed the candida and allow it to grow out of control. Your best bet is to ditch the alcohol and stick to water until your issues clear up completely!
>> Read more: Is Alcohol Screwing Up Your Fitness?
Taking too much antibiotics: You may think of antibiotics as your ally against bacteria, but taking antibiotics can actually cause problems in other areas of your body. They can destroy the "good bacteria" commonly found in your vagina, which is necessary in order to keep your natural yeast population regulated. Without that good bacteria, the yeast can grow out of control and cause an infection.
Living a high-stress lifestyle: Stress can be a great motivator, especially if you have a lot on your plate, but too much stress can compromise your immune system. Many women report that they develop yeast infections during high-stress periods of their life. In order to keep your risk of infections to a minimum, try out some of these stress-relieving activities, or consider joining your local yoga studio!
Luckily, issues with yeast and candida are easy to avoid. If you believe you are at risk, here are some helpful tips to keep you healthy and infection-free!
Wash and dry... thoroughly: Good personal hygiene is absolutely essential to avoiding any problems with yeast infections! Since yeast thrives in moist environments, make sure you are scrubbing well and drying completely down there! To read more about vaginal issues, click here.
Wear the right kind of clothing: Not only should you make sure you aren't re-wearing your favorite t-shirt too much, but ditch those sweaty gym clothes as soon as you can! Heat and moisture are a bad combination if you are prone to yeast infections! You should also try to clear your closets of clothing that is made from synthetic or nylon fabrics. Materials like cotton and silk allow your skin to breathe and absorb excess moisture, so opt for those instead!
Avoid scented soaps and sprays: Perfumes and dyes can be especially irritating to the inside of your vagina, so try to use more natural products. This goes for scented sanitary pads and tampons too, ladies! Check out our favorite skincare products for healthy skin!
Get plenty of sleep: If you are prone to skimping on sleep, you are doing yourself a disservice! A solid night's sleep helps your immune system remain strong and active against infections and illnesses of any kind! Avoid caffeine, exercise, or sugary bedtime snacks three hours prior to sleep in order to allow your body to relax and calm down.
>> Read more: 7 Ways Lack of Sleep Affects Your Health
Eat right: Limiting your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates will go a long way in helping you to relieve any yeast issues. Also, many specialists recommend adding a daily dose of yogurt to your meals in order to stock up on active cultures that will help combat an overgrowth of yeast!
Yeast issues can be miserable, embarrassing, and hard to shake. Knowing what causes them and how to avoid them will help you to manage any infections in a more timely manner! Remember to check with your doctor if you have any concerns. If you want more information, take a look at our sources: Mind Body Green, Empowered Sustenance, Everyday Health.