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Most any woman who has had a yeast infection can explain every painful, irritating, and overly itchy detail with burning accuracy. What many women do not know is the cause of yeast infections. This means they can only hope to avoid getting another, which they ultimately will if they are not properly protecting themselves.
Vaginal yeast infections are the most commonly known types of yeast infection, although there are others. Thrush is common in babies, the elderly, diabetics and people who take steroids. Others who commonly experience these infections include people who have weak immune systems. The broad cause of yeast infections in all of these people is an overgrowth of candidiasis, a fungus from the Candida family that is naturally present in the body.
To be able to prevent infections you have to understand the causes. When Candida has the opportunity or the right circumstances, a rapid growth will happen. This overgrowth puts the body out of balance and causes the symptoms of yeast infection. Yeast, being a fungus, needs to have warmth, moisture, and darkness to grow.
Wearing tight clothing holds the heat and moisture (usually from sweat) close. In women this will cause the perfect conditions in the vagina for yeast to grow. So wearing tight clothing is one of the often overlooked causes of yeast infections.
Other causes of yeast infections include high blood sugar levels. Diabetics who do not have their blood sugar levels under control run the risk of vaginal yeast infections and thrush. Both are painful. Yeast feeds on glucose (sugar) and when the blood glucose levels are high it creates a perfect opportunity for the fungus to grow. Wearing appropriate clothing doesn’t help your mouth, it is always warm and wet so it is at risk if your blood sugar is not under control.
Wearing damp under clothing, including swim suits or sweaty gym clothing, is also on the list of common causes of yeast infections. The moisture can cause yeast infections on the skin in creases and under ‘fat rolls’ as well as increasing your chances of getting a vaginal yeast infection. Many people do not realize that Candida can flourish on the skin’s surface in areas where skin folds are touching. This can be an ongoing problem for overweight people.
Perhaps the most common cause is antibiotic usage. Taking antibiotics kills bacteria in the body; this can cause a change in the balance and an overgrowth of Candida which of course, causes yeast infections. People who are prone to yeast infections can take an oral antibiotic/anti-fungal that will help, by preventing the imbalance that causes yeast infections.
Another common misconception is that people get yeast infections from not being clean, and they believe that by using douches and washing excessively they can avoid infection. In reality, washing excessively and douching more frequently than suggested can cause a yeast infection. The excessive washing can kill enough bacteria that is supposed to be on the skin causing an overgrowth of Candida. Sudsy bath products can also cause yeast infections. Bubble baths are not healthy for the female genitalia and should not be used unless care is taken to rinse thoroughly and not allow suds to come in contact with the vagina.
Knowing what to look for and what causes yeast infections can help you to prevent future infections, and any woman who has had one will agree; preventing a yeast infection is much better than treating one.
Read more about yeast infections.
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