A yeast infection is caused by an imbalance in your body's natural micro-ecosystem. Although Candida yeast is present on the surface of your skin all the time, under normal conditions their population stays low, as other microorganisms compete with them for the same space and resources. An infection occurs when some environmental factor moves out of the normal range and allows one microorganism to run unchecked, to the point where it becomes irritating or harmful. The precise nature of the infection depends on the way the factors became imbalanced.
Candida yeast infections, no matter whether they are on the skin, in the mouth (thrush), or in the genital region, are caused by a common set of factors. One of those factors, the one that is relevant to probiotic treatment, is the surrounding microorganism population. When you use antibiotic medications, some of the medication reaches the skin and causes a drop in the amount of bacteria living there. Yeast, since it is a fungus, is unaffected, and if there are few enough competitors, it can have a sudden population bloom and become an infection. Because of the relationship between Candida and the healthy bacteria in the body, probiotics can be a useful part in the treatment of a yeast infection.
Probiotics - What Are They?
Probiotics are strains of microorganisms that are beneficial to your body. Two of the best-known types are Lactobacillus, the lactic acid producing bacteria that converts milk into yogurt, and Bifidobacterium, a type of bacteria found in the gut of infants who nurse. Medical researchers have found that nursing infants receive a portion of their intestinal flora from the mother's milk, and this has many positive effects. Probiotics are available in capsule, liquid, and powder form. Probiotic yogurt with specially designed bacterial populations, like Dannon Activia and Yoplait YoPlus, are also starting to be found in stores.
All these products work by introducing new bacteria to the digestive tract, where they are intended to colonize and become part of the body's internal ecosystem. Most of the discussion of probiotics' benefits is focused on their digestive effects - for instance, using probiotic products can help you recover from antibiotic-induced diarrhea, a condition caused by the sudden drop in intestinal flora, collateral damage when an antibiotic is used to treat an infection elsewhere.
Probiotics & Yeast Infections
To treat a yeast infection with probiotics, you need to create a situation where the probiotic culture comes into contact with the yeast infection. The cultures in the probiotic product are naturally occurring in a human's micro-ecosystem. Due to their competition, they help control the population of the yeast, and in the case of Lactobacillus, they actually control the yeast population because the lactic acid they create makes an unfriendly environment for yeasts. By introducing probiotics you are trying to restore the natural equilibrium of the body, rather than resorting to a scorched-earth strategy as an antifungal agent would do.
Thrush is relatively intuitive to treat with probiotics; simply eat yogurt regularly for a few days. Avoid refined sugars and simple starches such as white breads, since those feed yeasts very efficiently, and keep your mouth clean. This practice should help the treatment given to you by your doctor take hold more quickly and work faster.
It is not quite so easy to guess how you would use probiotics as part of a treatment plan for a yeast infection of the skin. Most people suggest simply using probiotic products internally and allowing them to spread to the skin with time.
Are you suffering from severe, persistent or recurrent yeast infections? Do you want to know more about natural and holistic methods to treat your yeast infection?
If your answer to these questions is yes, I strongly suggest you check out Yeastrol. It's a homeopathic treatment with twelve all-natural ingredients to help eliminate yeast infections without the use of harsh drugs or chemicals.