Wednesday, January 24, 2007






1 What are yeasts and what is a yeast infection?

A) The biology of yeast

B) Symptoms

* The importance of knowing the symptoms of yeast infections
* Symptoms for vaginal yeast infection (yeast vaginitis) and vulvitis
* Penile yeast infection
* Thrush
* Candidal skin infections
* Yeast infections and people with weakened immune system

C) Other types of infections

* bacterial infection
* urinary tract infections
* trichomoniasis

2 Causes of yeast infections

A) Causes of yeast infections in women

* Antibiotics
* Diabetes mellitus
* Pregnancy
* Oral contraceptives
* Clothing
* Chemicals
* Condoms
* Sexual transmission
* Hormones
* Diet
* Injury
* Weakened immune system

B) Causes of yeast infections in men

* Sexual transmission
* Antibiotics
* Diabetes
* Nonoxynol-9

C) Recurrent yeast infections

* chronic medical conditions
* oral contraceptive
* interrupting the treatment
* Sexual activity

D) Exams and tests for diagnosing yeast infections

* Speculum exam
* KOH ( potassium hydroxide) test
* Specimen collection

3 Natural remedies

a )Advantages

b) Locations to Find Natural Remedies

c) Natural Remedies

* boric acid
* gentian violet
* cranberries
* garlic
* yogurt
* potassium sorbate
* solutions to increase the acidity in the vagina
* douche formula
* Black walnut
* Pau D’arco
* hydrogen peroxide

D) Queastionable Homeopatic Remedies

E) Dietary Treatments

* Caprylic acid
* grapefruit seed extract
* Remedies for children


4 Treatments for yeast infections
A) Medical Treatment


* Clotrimazole(Lotrimin, Mycelex)
* Miconazole(Monistat; Micatin)
* Terconazole Miconazole
* Fluconazole( Diflucan)

B) Medicines usually prescribed for yeast infections in men

C) Prescriptions for women

D) Over-the-counter treatments

E) Recurrent yeast infections

F) When to call the doctor

G) When to go to the hospital

5 Why healing a yeast infection naturally is the best option

A)Botanical Medicine

B)Naturopathic Medicine

C) Regulations of Alternative Medicine

1 What are yeasts and what is a yeast infection?

A) The biology of yeast
Candidiasis, also known as a "yeast infection" or VVC, is a common fungal infection that appears when the fungus called Candida exeeds the limit . Candidiasis is an infection caused by a group of microscopic fungi or yeast. There are more than 20 species of Candida, the most common being Candida albicans. The body usually contains small amounts of Candida . Candida can multiply when an imbalance occurs. Under certain conditions, yeasts can become so numerous they cause infections, particularly in warm and moist areas. Examples of such infections are vaginal yeast infections, thrush, skin and diaper rash, and nailbed infections. The modification of the normal acidity of the vagina or of the hormonal balance can be considered imbalances that can influence Candida growth and when that happens, symptoms of Candidiasis appear.
Yeast are unicellular fungi. The precise classification is a field that uses the characteristics of the cell, ascospore and colony. Physiological characteristics are also used to identify species. Most people know about their ability to ferment sugars for the production of ethanol. The true yeasts are separated into one main order Saccharomycetales. Budding yeasts are true fungi of the phylum Ascomycetes class Hemiascomycetes.
Yeasts have a wide variety of natural habitats, for example plant leaves and flowers, soil and salt water. The skin surfaces and in the intestinal tracts of warm-blooded animals are another type of habitat for yeasts. There, yeasts may live symbiotically or as parasites. The common "yeast infection" is called Candidiasis. It is caused by Candida albicans, a fungus that resembles the yeast fungus. Candida , besides being the agent that leads to vaginal yeast infections, is also the factor that generates diaper rash and thrush of the mouth and throat.
Yeasts multiply as single cells that divide by developing (eg Saccharomyces) or direct division ( eg. Schizosaccharomyces). Another was is by growing as simple irregular filaments (mycelium). Most yeasts form asci in sexual reproduction, which contain up to eight haploid ascospores. These ascospores may fuse with adjacent nuclei and multiply through vegetative division . They can also fuse with other ascospores, like the case of certain yeasts.
yeast genetics have amazing powers and this is partially due to the ability to quickly map a phenotype producing gene to a region of the S. cerevisiae genome. For the past two decades molecular genetic research has had a model system in S. cerevisiae due to the fact that the basic cellular mechanics of replication, recombination, cell division and metabolism are generally conserved between yeast and larger eukaryotes, including mammals.
The most well-known and commercially significant yeasts are the related species and strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These organisms had the role of fermentation of the sugars of rice, wheat, barley, and corn. They were also utilized in the production of alcoholic beverages and in the baking industry to expand, or raise, dough. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is commonly used as baker's yeast and for some types of fermentation. Yeast is usually taken as a vitamin supplement because it is 50 percent protein and is a rich source of B vitamins, niacin, and folic acid.
Dr. Emil Christian Hansen first isolated Saccharomyces carlsbergensis in pure culture (1842-1909) in 1883. It is named after Carlsberg Brewery in Copenhagen. It is used in the production of several types of beers including lagers. S. carlsbergensis is used for bottom fermentation. S. cerevisiae is used for the production of ales and conducts top fermentation, in which the yeast rise to the surface of the brewing vessel. Nowadays, brewing transformed many of the original top fermentation strains as to be bottom fermenters. Currently the S. carlsbergensis designation is not used, but the S. cerevisiae classification is still used.
As for baking, the role of yeast is to ferment sugars present in the flour or added to the dough. This fermentation gives off carbon dioxide and ethanol. Tiny bubbles contain the carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide results in the dough expanding, or rising. A combination of wild yeast (often Candida milleri) and an acid-generating bacteria (Lactobacillus sanfrancisco ) is used to produce sourdough bread. For other types of bread baker's yeast is used. The C. milleri strengthens the gluten and the L. sanfrancisco ferments the maltose..
Yeasts are also present in the vineyards and they contribute to the fermentation of wine. Many wineries still use nature strains, however many use modern methods of strain maintenance and isolation. Carbon dioxide is inside the bubbles and the result of yeast fermenting sugars in the grape juice. One yeast cell can ferment approximately its own weight of glucose per hour. Under optimal conditions S. cerevisiae can produce up to 18 percent, by volume, ethanol with 15 to 16 percent being the norm. The sulfur dioxide present in commercially produced wine is actually added just after the grapes are crushed to kill the naturally present bacteria, molds, and yeasts.
The yeastlike fungus, Candida albicans, is commonly found in the mouth, vagina, and intestinal tract. The presence of Candida in humans is not something unusual . in fact, it is something absolutely normal and it causes no ill effects. However, among infants and individuals with other illness a variety of situations can appear. Candidiasis of the mucous membranes of the mouth is known as thrush. Vaginitis is the name for the Candidiasis of the vagina . Candida also causes severe disease in persons with AIDS and chemotherapy patients.
B) Symptoms
It is important to know if your crotch rot is really a yeast infection and not something else. Most people say that you should go to a doctor to get it diagnosed. Some people say it is advisable to get a doctor’s advice when it appears for the first time. Then, once you have seen what you are searching for, you can tell what is it about and the next time you will be able to respond correspondingly . However, the important thing is that more evidence is accumulating that women often misdiagnose themselves as having a yeast infections when they really have something else. This is a hard problem to deal with because one may not a yeast infection but a more serious problem that isn't getting treated and may worsen because you take yeast treatments. Another drawback of taking an over-the-counter treatment for yeast when you don't really have yeast infection is that you might educate your body as to have immunity to yeast treatments , and next time you have a real yeast infection it could be really hard to get rid of it.
A doctor can tell for sure if you have a yeast infection by taking a swab and looking in a microscope. Most of us can't do this at home. However, sometimes you can tell by the feel, look, and smell that you have a yeast infection. But since you are not a doctor, , you should go see a doctor when you are uncertain or when it is something about your symptoms that troubles you.
Vaginal yeast infection (yeast vaginitis) and vulvitis cause nonspecific symptoms. A nonspecific symptom is when you cannot exactly tell if you have a yeast infection or not because other conditions can cause the identical symptoms.
As for the normal symptoms of a yeast infection in women, here are some of the signs that may tell you that it is a yeast infection you have: a yeast feels like an intense itching, burning sensation, localized in a woman’s vagina and vulva. This itching is not always present, but in some cases, it can worsen so much that women can hardly walk. As for riding the bicycle , it is totally out of the question. Women also feel pain during the sexual intercourse and burning is added when they are urinating. Aside from this pain , women may also feel pain in the vulvar area, although they are not doing anything to induce it . Pain in the vulvar area is referred to as vulvodynia.
There are cases when a woman who has a yeast infection doesn’t have a vaginal discharge. However, when a vaginal discharge occurs it has a white appearance and it is thick. A well-known comparison is that to ricotta cheese. However, the discharge can differ from one subject to another. It can be either thick and not clumpy, faintly yellow or thin and clear. As for the smell, it can e either odorless or it can smell just like the yeast used in brewing and baking , although the brewing and baking yeast is an entirely different species (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).Some women think that if they have yeast this will lead to them missing their period. This is false. Yeast will not make them skip their period.
In up to 5% of women, yeast vulvovaginitis may cause a recurrent problem. A yeast infection that reappears four or more times in one year and is not related to antibiotic use is called a recurrent yeast infection . Recurrent yeast infections may be related to an underlying medical condition and it is not sufficient to resort to a normal medical treatment , but to ask the doctor to recommend you a more aggressive treatment.
Yeast infection symptoms can vary depending on the location of the infection. This is why the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection can be different when it appears in the vaginal area, in the throat or on the skin. The symptoms also differ when we are dealing with women, men or children infected with yeast.
Penile yeast infection
Men can also have yeast in their genital area but it is not so easy to tell when men have yeast infections, because they can have a penile yeast infection without having symptoms. However when they do have symptoms, they feel a very itching irritation and soreness on the head of the penis and sometimes around the anus as well. . Balanitis (pronounced: bal-uh-nie-tis), is an infection of the head of the penis, can be caused by the same candida that causes infections in girls. The symptoms are very similar to those of genital herpes, as little red itchy bumps appear also. There are discharges in the penile yeast infection too and it has the same characteristics of the yeast discharge in women. The discharge has no smell but if there are cases when it smells, it means a visit to the doctor is necessary. Moreover, the head of the penis may turn reddish. Guys who have diabetes are more prone to this infection.
Guys who are not circumcised need to take extra care to clean properly beneath their foreskins. The warm, moist folds of the foreskin are the perfect environment for yeast infection to appear and flourish .By keeping the area clean and dry a man may prevent an infection. However, if symptoms do show up, pay a visit to the doctor as soon as possible if you do not want to regret you hadn’t done it before.
In infants and adults, a Candidal infection can appear in other different ways and areas of the body, not only in the genital area.
If it appears in the mouth area it is called thrush. In adults, oral yeast infections become more common with increased age. We may observe thick, white lacy patches on top of a red base. These patches can form on the tongue, palate, around dentures or elsewhere inside the mouth. These patches sometimes look like milk curds but cannot be removed as easily as milk can. If the white plaques are wiped away with a blade or cotton-tipped applicator, you may cause the bleeding of the underlying tissue. You should not be amazed if you notice that your tongue has changed its color. This infection also may make the tongue look red without the white coating. You may also feel pain while you’re eating and this makes the eating process very difficult. It is very important for a person with thrush to have someone to take care of him or her and see that the infected person does not become dehydrated.
In adults, thrush doesn’t appear only when it is about a yeast infection due to having sex with a person that has yeast. It can occur without having sex at all, for example, after antibiotics, but it is not excluded the possibility of catching thrush during sex.
Candidal skin infections
Superficial Candidal skin infections appear as a red flat rash with sharp scalloped edges. Candidal organisms naturally live on the skin, but breakdown of the outer layers of skin promote the yeast's overgrowth. This typically occurs when the environment is warm and when the skin is not clean and dry. Therefore, it can appear on baby skin in the area where the diaper is. If the diaper is not changed regularly the skin will be wet for a longer time than it should and this can lead to yeast. There are usually smaller patches of similar appearing rash near the area with an yeast infection known as "satellite lesions." These rashes may cause itching or pain. Yeast may also appear underarms , as this is a warm moist body area as well. Usually the skin effectively blocks yeast, but any breakdown or cuts in the skin may allow this organism to penetrate. Adults also can have yeast infections under the breast and lower abdomen, nailbeds, and beneath other skin folds. Most of these Candidal infections are superficial and clear up easily with treatment.
The yeast infection may spread throughout the body but the cases where the yeast had become systemic are very rare. In systemic Candidal disease, up to 75% of people may die. Even common mouth and vaginal yeast infections can cause critical illness and can be more resistant to normal treatment.

Yeast infection often appears in people with weakened immune systems. Candidal infections can affect some of their internal organs and cause pain or dysfunction of the organ. Approximately 85% of people with AIDS contract a yeast infection called esophagitis in their upper gastrointestinal (GI) systems. This infection is similar to thrush but expands its destructiveness down the mouth and esophagus to the stomach. Candida esophagitis can cause painful ulcers throughout the GI system. This makes swallowing even more painful, so painful that for the ones who have this type of infection it is hard to to swallow even liquids. If the infection spreads into the intestines, the infected person’s system won’t be able to absorb food as it should. Therefore, people with this condition are in danger of becoming dehydrated.
If the yeast infection reappears, you should consult a doctor because yeast infections that return may be a sign of more serious diseases such as diabetes, leukemia, or AIDS.
Candida can get also into your bloodstream. When this happens the person infected may become sick with or without fever. If the infection spreads to the brain, he will experience changes in mental function or behavior.

C) Other types of infections
In order to be sure that what you have is yeast infection and not something else, you should know that there are other microscopic things that can sometimes infect your crotch. It's helpful to know the symptoms of all of them so you can be really sure before you go treat yourself for a yeast infection you might not have.
For example, you may have a bacterial infection of the vagina. This seems a lot like a yeast infection because the vulval area may fell itchy or painful also. The difference is that , while a yeast infection discharge is whitish , the discharge of a bacterial infection can be dark yellow, green, or brown. As for he smell, it is different too. Instead of smelling like bread, the smell of a bacterial infection is more like the smell of fish or something rotting, especially after you have sex. If you think you might have a bacterial infection or if you're not sure you must go to the doctor.
Another type of infection is the urinary tract infections, or UTIs. In the case of these infections, bacteria are infecting the urethra and not the vagina. UTIs can be very easily distinguished from vaginal infections by a lot of symptoms. Besides pain or burning when urinating, blood or mucus in urine also appears. People with urinary tract infections fell the need to urinate often and pain or pressure in back or lower abdomen. They also have fever or chills. You should not have second thoughts when you decide to go see a doctor- and you should think of seeing one when these symptoms appear- because the infection can travel up past the bladder, causing kidney damage.
Another parasite causes trichomoniasis. It is the infection of the vagina and the urinary tract and is primarily sexually transmitted. If someone has a trich infection, his crotch can be itchy or painful and it can hurt to urinate. These people infected by trich also feel pain during intercourse. Occasionally, they can experience pain in the lower abdomen. As in the previous cases, the ones who suspect themselves of being infected should get the help of a doctor for the proper antibiotics.

2 Causes of yeast infections

A) Causes of yeast infections in women
Vaginal yeast infections occur when new yeast goes into the vaginal area, or when there is an increase in the quantity of yeast already present in the vagina relative to the quantity of normal bacteria. Yeasts are found in the vagina of most women and can overgrow if the environment in the vagina changes.
There are many reasons for which one should be interested in the causes of yeast infections , but there are two main reasons that should be taken into account. On the first place should be people who have had yeast infections before. Therefore, if one has recurring yeast infections he can discover what's causing them and then take the proper measures to prevent them. This way, they are speared both of the painful yeast infection and the expenses on medical treatments. Rather than just working to kill the yeast every time they can simply prevent yeasts from appearing. The second reason for knowing the causes of your yeast infection is to be able to recognize the symptoms earlier and treat the infection in a softer way with do-it-yourself remedies, rather than harm your immune system by stuffing your body with drugs.
Vaginal yeast infections are caused by Candida albicans. This type of candida and other small things as bacteria are normally present in relatively small numbers in the crotch. When the yeast multiply rapidly and take over, they cause a yeast infection, or Candidiasis or monilia, as referred to in the terminology of the medical establishment.
Changes in the vaginal environment, such as injury, sexual transmission, or HIV, are some of the common environmental disruptions that lead to yeast infections. Among these factors, there are also the increased pH, increased heat and moisture, elevated sugar levels, allergic reactions hormonal fluxes, and reductions in the populations of bacteria that are normally present. Here are some of the causes that lead to these factors and implicitly to yeast infections.
Antibiotics are probably the main cause of vaginal yeast infections in women, especially in those women who use often antibiotics to solve other health problems. This is why many people say drugs are not good for you and, although they may cure one disease, they can harm another part of your system as well. The normal, protective bacteria are eradicated by some antibiotics (taken to treat a urinary tract, respiratory, or other types of infection) or by immunosuppressive drugs and , as a result the yeast can multiply, invade tissues, and cause irritation in the vaginal area (vaginitis).
For example, you take an antibiotic to cure your sinus infection or to sole your amygdalitis problem. The antibiotic eliminates the unwanted bacteria in your sinuses or in your throat, but can also kill the bacteria in your crotch that are in fact supposed to be there and they even keep the Candida under control . Therefore, by wanting to cure one disease you create more problems because you are intervening and troubling the balance of your vaginal ecosystem, allowing the yeast to take over. Antibacterial deodorant soap can have the same effect. However, not all women can get a yeast infection by taking antibiotics, and not all of them take it right before they started using the antibiotic treatment. It depends from woman to another and it also depends on the type of antibiotic. Most women have problems with only a few types of antibiotics, or with prolonged antiobiotic treatment. Others get yeast infections every time they take antibiotics. Taken steroids also can be a cause of yeast overgrowth. However, pregnancy, sperm, diabetes, menstruation, and birth control pills also can contribute to getting a yeast infection.
Cancer treatments, steroids, or diseases such as AIDS, weaken the immune system and Candidal infections can occur throughout the entire body and can be life-threatening. The most frequently affected are the blood, brain, eye, kidney, and heart , but the Candidal fungus also can grows in the lungs, liver, and spleen. Candida is the leading cause of esophagitis (inflammation in the throat) in people with AIDS. Almost 15% of people with weakened immune systems develop a systemic illness caused by Candida. These infections enter into the bloodstream through cuts in the skin, breakdowns or mucous membranes.
Women with suppressed immune systems due to taking cortisone-related medications such as prednisone develop vaginal yeast infections (yeast vaginitis) more frequently than women with normal immunity. Prednisone is a synthetic corticosteroid drug which is usually taken orally but can be delivered IM (intramuscular) and can be used for a large number of different affections. It has a mainly glucocorticoid effect. Prednisone is a prodrug that is converted by the liver into prednisolone, which is the active drug and a steroid. It has also a series if side effects .Short-term side effects include high blood glucose levels, especially in patients who already have diabetes mellitus or are on other medications that increase blood glucose (such as tacrolimus), and mineralocorticoid effects such as fluid retention. Insomnia and rarely mania are other short-term side effects. Long-term side effects include Cushing's syndrome, weight gain, osteoporosis, glaucoma, type II diabetes mellitus, and depression upon withdrawal.
Unfortunately, yeast infection induced by antibiotics cannot be prevented if the subject really needs those antibiotics. However, yeast can be treated, but I think for these people this is not a relief. In other cases, people should think of resorting to natural treatments that do not make so much harm.
Use of devices implanted in the skin such as urinary catheters and IV drugs allow yeast to enter the body. An IV drug is a drug administered intravenously , using a drip or a syringe. The fact that some people reuse the syringes to administer drugs is the main reason for their diseases. This practice is generally forbidden in medicine but IV drug addicts often use dirty needles by needle sharing and inject the yeast directly into their bloodstream or deep tissues.
Conditions that may predispose women to developing vaginal yeast infections include diabetes mellitus, pregnancy, and taking oral contraceptives. Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder, specifically affecting carbohydrate metabolism. It is a disease characterized by persistent hyperglycemia (high glucose blood sugar). There are three types of diabetes mellitus. Type one of diabetes mellitus is known as insulin-dependent diabetes (IDDM), juvenile-onset diabetes or childhood diabetes . the main characteristic is the loss of the insulin-producing beta cells of the islets of Langerhans of the pancreas. The result is a deficiency of insulin. Type two diabetes mellitus is known as adult-onset diabete or non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). The cause is a combination of defective insulin secretion and defective responsiveness to insulin almost certainly involving the insulin receptor in cell membranes.. Often it is the case of termed insulin resistance or reduced insulin sensitivity. Type three, gestational diabetes, also involves a combination of inadequate insulin secretion and responsiveness. It is similar to type two at a certain level. It develops during pregnancy and may improve or disappear after delivery.
Clothing is another thing people who have recurrent yeasts should pay attention to, and not only them. If you wear non-cotton, tight, or dirty clothes do not be surprised if you will develop a yeast infection because yeasts flourish in environments of heat and moisture. Therefore, it is not advisable to wear a skirt with no underwear or tights, especially if it is a leather skirt and definitely pantyhose must be avoided. Wiping from back to front can also cause an infection. Wet bathing suits can trigger an infection too.
If you usually like to have a sexy thigh-high stocking look you should pay attention on how frequently you wear stockings because they are usually made of synthetic fibers that can cause a moistly environment and lead to yeast infections. Be very careful when you choose your underwear. Sexy thongs can be very appealing but they aren’t good for you . you should instead think of unbleached, undyed cotton underwear and , even if you do not choose to wear them all the time, you should start using them more often. If you wear breathable clothes, you eliminate one of the causes of yeast infections off the list. Therefore, tight fitting jeans can trigger a yeast infection. It’s a good idea to change your underpants regularly, like maybe once a day. if at all possible, don't sleep in underwear; if you do, put on a clean one on. Yeast can live in your underwear, so be sure to wash it well, especially after you had finished taking a yeast infection treatment or during the process of annihilating your yeast infection. Some medical types think that when you have a yeast infection, you should wash and dry your underwear and then iron it very good to kill the yeast. This is not such a bad idea actually, but, on the other hand putting your underwear in the microwaves as some people say, can be more than a bad idea because all you will get is a little pile of melted material and a very dirty microwave that is difficult to clean.
Douching is another lifestyle habit that may precipitate a yeast infection. Women douche in order to clean their vagina, especially to clean it after a monthly period, to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, to eliminate the smell and to prevent pregnancy. However, douching does not help very much in these cases. On the contrary, douching may be the reason a yeast infection appears. This happens because it may actually kill off organisms in the vagina that stops the growth of the yeast. There is a vaginal flora of the vagina (some bacteria and other organisms present in all healthy vaginas). These bacteria are kept under control by a normal acidity of the vagina. However, douching makes women more liable to vaginal infections such as yeasts. But there is more than this- douching does not only permits the infection to appear, it is also extending it up into the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. So it is advisable not to douche unless you consult your doctor.

Chemicals, such as inks, dyes, and perfumes, can interfere in the balance in your crotch or trigger allergic reactions that ultimately lead to yeast infections. A well-known example is commercial douches, which have fewer benefits than advantages. They can be very harmful to the vaginal environment and your health because the bacteria that you blame for a slightly smell play an important role. Yes, odor-causing bacteria that products help you get rid of are, in fact, the same bacteria that kill the yeast in your crotch. More than that, soaps are not only disturbing the vaginal environment, but can also ruin your mucus membranes. you should use the soap when you are cleaning your crotch. You should special products with a low pH instead.
However, soap isn’t the only enemy of your health. There are other sources of chemicals that you do not usually consider a danger. for example , some people can find an enemy in colored, perfumed toilet papers that can cause them serious problems if you think that's your problem, try an unscented, undyed toilet paper. Even better, use a recycled, unbleached eco brand of toilet paper, just in case.
Allergenic dyes and perfumes are also contained by some laundry detergents and fabric softeners. Some people should be very careful what they use to wash their underwear with because they can get yeast infections from underwear washed in a certain brand of detergent. There isn’t a certain brand of detergent that causes yeasts in all women who use it. A certain woman may get yeast by using one brand of detergent, while another woman is perfectly fine with using it. However, the latter can get yeasts after wearing underwear washed with another brand of detergent and so on. Again, it is advisable to try an eco brand, or a fragrance free detergent. Additives in bubble baths or bath salts, sanitary pads or scented tampons or , as it is best known, feminine deodorant sprays, can similarly generate yeast infections.
Condoms can trigger yeast infections as well. You may wonder why is that? On the one hand, it is because of the lubricant that contains nonoxynol-9. Nonoxyl-9 is a spermicide(a detergent that kills sperm and germs in a test tube). It protects women from getting pregnant or catching STDs in case the condom breaks or leaks. This spermicide has been used for a long time ,not only for protection against pregnancy, but also as a protector against chlamydia, gonorrhoea, genital herpes and the HIV virus. However, recent studies have discovered that it is possible for this spermicide not to be such an efficient prophylactic against the HIV virus and there are fears that its use may even encourage HIV transmission. Studies have shown that women who use it very often, for example prostitutes, may suffer an adverse reaction to the spermicide which may create small lesions in the vagina through which HIV and other infections can pass. Many condoms are coated with this spermicide. But not only the commercial sex workers have irritations after using this spermicide. There are also other women who experience a rash in their vagina, mouth or ass from using this spermicide. Because it eliminates the layer of protective bacteria that protects the vagina from germs, nonoxyl-9 is an important cause of yeast infections and bladder infections. If you have these symptoms, try using a different spermicide or additional barrier protection. Condoms can also cause yeast infections if you are allergic to latex . There aren’t many cases of women who are allergic to latex. If you discover you are allergic to latex, you should know that there are other materials a condom may be made of, like polyurethane, a kind of plastic. Polyurethane can be very, very thin but still tough; it is resistant to oil-based lubes; it can be textured to resemble human skin. The most important thing, though, is that it causes fewer allergic reactions than latex. There has been invented a female condom as well, a sheath that is inserted vaginally by women. The disadvantage is that it brakes more often than an usual latex condom.
Sexual transmission. Candida is a sexually- transmitted disease because it can be transmitted between people by direct contact. A woman who has unprotected sex with a man can pass her yeast infection to him and , after she treats herself , she can get it from him the next time she has sex with him . This happens because men can get yeast infection too , often without symptoms. This is considered by some scientists a popular belief that is not entirely true.
A new study by University of Michigan Health System researchers finds that the presence of yeast in male sex partners do not make women more prone to recurrent yeast infections. According to the study certain sexual activities, however, were linked to increased risk of recurrent yeast infections in women.

"Many physicians, and many women, believe that women get recurrent yeast infections because their partner passes the yeast back to them during intercourse. This study refutes that belief," says study author Barbara Reed, M.D., M.S.P.H., professor of Family Medicine at the U-M Medical School. "This study suggests the risk for recurrent infections is related to something else – perhaps the woman’s immune response to the yeast ." .
The study was published in the December Journal of Women’s Health. The research was made on 148 women with confirmed Candida vulvovaginitis and 78 of their male sexual partners. Each woman was examined by a doctor, who collected samples from the vagina, cervix, vulva, rectum and tongue. Men brought from home their samples of urine, fecal and semen samples and a tongue swabbing. The samples were analyzed by culture to determine whether Candida species were present at each site.

After the women were treated for their initial infection , they were asked to return after two weeks, four weeks, six months and a year. At each visit, they were asked about symptoms, sexual activity and changes in risk factors. the pelvic exam and specimen collections were repeated.

After this, the women were asked to return for testing any time they noticed vaginal discharge, itching or odor. Doctors performed an exam and collected specimens at these visits as well. After the symptomatic visits, the men were also asked for new specimen collections. Thirty-three of the women developed at least one recurrent yeast infection within the year.

At the two-week and one-month visits, none of the women had symptoms of a yeast infection. After two weeks, 20 percent had developed Candida in the vaginal area and 29 percent of the women tested positive for Candida after one month. The researchers found the chances for these women to develop recurrent infections by the end of the one-year study period were very low.

As for the men, nearly half of them tested positive for Candida species on the tongue and in the feces. The number of the men who showed Candida in their urine or semen was insignificant. Researchers found no link between Candida in the men ’s specimens and Candida at the women’s vulva, rectum or tongue. They also found no connection between recurrent yeast infections and signs of Candida at any site in either the men or women.

however, the results of the other sexual activities were not similar to the former researches. In this case, the researchers found women who participated in cunnilingus (oral sex given to the woman) or who masturbated with saliva in the past month had recurrences . Only 14.5 percent of women reported masturbation with saliva, however, while 69 percent reported cunnilingus. Therefore, it was drawn the conclusion that oral sex is the more common risk.

Oral sex and masturbation with saliva proved to be risk factors whether men showed signs of yeast in their mouth or not. The risk was also not affected by the presence of Candida in the women’s genital area. In conclusion, women may blame their husbands or boyfriends for headaches, tears and stress, but they can’t blame them for the really unpleasant recurrent yeast infections.

If you do suffer from such a disease as yeast infection, it’s wise that during this period and even when you are under treatment to avoid direct contact in touching your own crotch and your partner's. If you know about your yeast infection and you practice unprotected sex or if you think your male lover might have a yeast infection, get him some treatment, and practice safe sex, just in case, at least until both of you are sure that your infections are gone. Lesbian partners can also give each other yeast infections endlessly, so if you or your lover has an active infection you should be extra-careful and keep in mind the following rules of safe sex: wash your hands or change your gloves in between touching your own crotch and your partner's, and keep your toys really really clean.
Hormones can affect yeast, whether they are naturally-occurring hormones or they are artificially introduced. Hormonal fluctuations associated with being on the birth control pill generate regular yeast infections. Some women who take pills may even have yeast infections every single month, sometimes before their period.
Whether or not a woman is on the pill, the pH of menstrual blood is not concordantly with yeast , so mild yeast infections will often disappear during your period. But do not think that you got away with it just because you had a period, though, because the yeast will sometimes reappear as soon as your period is over. Likewise, steroids used in the treatment of disorders like arthritis, asthma, or lupus can contribute to yeast infections.

Diet. Some people advise you to not eat yeast-containing foods or to stop eating as much yeast containing food because this helps lessen the intensity or frequency of vaginal yeast infections. But the reality is that the kind of yeast that's found in foods like bread or beer is not the same yeast found in the vagina. Similarly, many people believe that high levels of sugar in your blood can be a reason for which yeast infections appear. It is said that by elevating sugar levels in your urine you give the yeast more food. This advice is especially for people who have diabetes, precisely because of sugar in the urine, but if you checked the sugar level and it is a little above the normal level, it makes no harm to cut down on your sugar and alcohol intake. . If you have frequent yeast infections and have other symptoms of diabetes, you're always thirsty and you have to urinate often, for example, you should go see a doctor. But there are even more dietary factirs implicated in yeast infections, and caffeine is on the list as well.
Injury to the vulvar or vaginal membranes can lead to a yeast infection. Usually, this is almost always due to too much friction during sex , and especially because the partners forget about lubrication. In conclusion, you have to make sure you are really wet before you or someone else rubbs something in your vagina or against your crotch. However, if you do not manage to get wet enough on your own, don't be shy about using lubrication, but be careful what you use. Lubricants are specialized lubricants with the role of reducing friction with the vagina , anus and other body parts. Some of these lubricants are scented or they may be flavored. For example, some lubricants may have the scent/flavor of apple, or cinnamon. Oil-based products, like Vaseline, break-down latex . Oil-based lubricants such as Vaseline weaken latex and may reduce the effectiveness of latex condoms as a contraceptive and protection against sexually transmitted diseases. Oil makes holes in the rubber, very small holes that you do not see but which allow AIDS virus and other germs to get through. Use of oil-based lubricants for anal or vaginal sex offer a depository for infection because they may coat the lining of the rectum. Moreover, they have the tendency to linger in the anus and therefore, it is not considered safe to have sex for days after you use oil-based lubricants.
Therefore, it is advisable to use water-based lubes with latex condoms. Water-based personal lubricants are water soluble , and they are not such as irritating to body surfaces as other lubricants. The earliest water-based lubricants were cellulose solutions. Subsequent products have added various agents for spreading, water retention, and resistance to contamination. You can adjust the viscosity of these products by changing the water content and concentration of cellulose (or other gel forming macromolecule). They usually dry out during use, but if you pour a little quantity of water it is sufficient to re-activate them. Moreover, it is less difficult to clean them off your body after sexual activity than oil-based lubricants.
Yeast infections can be caused by non-oily hand creams as well, because they contain dyes and perfumes. spit works, but only for a bit, and some people think it can lead to yeast infections. your best bet is to use a product designed as a sex lubricant, like K-Y ,or better yet, Astroglide, Wet, or Probe (more expensive, but slipperier and longer-lasting; check your local pharmacy to see what they have). Besides these brands you can also find the following brands : ID Lubricants, O'My, Sliquid, and Ready lube.
Vaginal infections are common during chemotherapy , particularly in women taking steroids or the powerful antibiotics used to prevent bacterial infections. Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer or 'cytotoxic' drugs to destroy cancer cells. Doctors don’t often use chemotherapy on its own for vaginal cancer. You are more likely to have surgery or laser treatment. Yeasts also appear due to the injury in the vagina that is produced because of surgery.
Weakened immune system. women with a weak immune systems due to HIV or Lyme disease are in danger of suffering from yeast infections. Moreover these people, women and men alike, are susceptible of suffering not only from yeast infections, but they also are particularly susceptible to thrush, a yeast infection of the throat, or esophageal yeast infections. You can find on the internet several examples of on candida infections in people with HIV, like those from Project Inform, the Community Aids Treatment Exchange / Reseau communautaire d'info-traitements sida, and the AIDS Treatment Data Network.
Another important information is that in women east infections are more common after menopause.
B) Yeast infections in men
It's true that men can get yeast infections too, although there are some people that do not believe this. Men are not also prone to thrush, the oral yeast infection that is common in men with HIV, but also can get penile yeast infections. But the homosexuals aren’t the only men who can get yeast infections. Heterosexual couples can pass it from one to another many times. Given these information, it seems like it might be a good idea for men to learn more about male yeast infections and be more careful about how they keep their boy cleaned up, especially when they suspect themselves of having a yeast infection.

Causes of yeast infections in men
Sexual transmission: Candida can be transmitted between people by direct contact, and so can be considered a sexually-transmitted disease. A man who has unprotected sex with a woman who has yeasts can get yeast infection from her and , if he doesn’t have symptoms of yeast infection he can reinfect her the next time they make love, although meanwhile she took a treatment for yeast infections and she is cured. However, as I mentioned before, this is considered an unfounded popular belief by some specialists like Barbara Reed, M.D., M.S.P.H., professor of Family Medicine at the U-M Medical School., Philip Zazove, M.D., and Daniel W. Gorenflo, Ph.D., from the U-M Department of Family Medicine; Carl L. Pierson, Ph.D., from the U-M Department of Pathology; and Julie Horrocks, Ph.D., from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.
However, just for safety reasons, if a man or a woman has an active infection he/she should be extra-careful to follow the safer sex guidelines until he/she is sure none of them has a yeast infection. During an infection or while being treated, try to interrupt the vaginal intercourse, wash your hands or change your gloves in between touching the crotch, and if you think of getting help from some sex toys , make sure you clean them thoroughly.
Antibiotics are the other main cause of penile yeast infection. Although the most common cause is sexual transmission, by prolonging the period of antibiotic use, yeast infections may appear. The male body has a standard contingent of creatures that inhabit the crotch, and antibiotics can rid the body of the good ones, allowing the normally-occurring yeast to expand.
Diabetes: men with diabetes are more susceptible to yeast infections, presumably because the elevated sugar in the urine is said that is something that yeast likes very much. If you have frequent yeast infections and have other symptoms of diabetes, such as the sensation of being always thirsty and to urinate often, you should definitely go see a doctor.
Nonoxynol-9. Condoms with nonoxynol-9 added to the lubricant may contribute to anal yeast infection. this is not a far-fetched idea , given that it is true that is causes vaginal yeast infections. If this is a problem for you, try using a condom that doesn't have a spermicidal lubricant.
C) Recurrent yeast infections
As studies show, up to 75 percent of women experience a yeast infection once in their lifetime. Among these unlucky women there are some who are even more unlucky. 5 percent of these women have frequent, recurring episodes of yeast infections. The main question is why yeast infections come back and what should these women do.

Recurrence has many possible causes, such as incomplete treatment of a yeast infection, chronic health conditions, and medications such as steroids. But do not think that these causes are the only one. It depends from one case to another and it may even be something else entirely, and that is why you should consult your own doctor if it happens to you.
But what does recurrent yeast infections mean? The commonly accepted definition of recurrent yeast infection is if a woman who has had a diagnosis of an infection by a doctor has four or more episodes in a year.
The next important thing people should know about recurrent yeast infections is the reason for which they appear. For women who have recurrent or frequent yeast infections the main interest are the common causes.
some of the cases of recurrent yeast infections are belonging to people who have chronic medical conditions, to patients who are either taking corticosteroids for their medical condition, or they may be on antibiotics for a long period of time, or they’re diabetics and need glucose control.
As for oral contraceptive use , scientists say it is not off the list of causes. In some cases, it can be oral contraceptive use as well. Sometimes stopping the pill may be enough so that the vaginal flora repopulate itself so that the patient no longer has a yeast infection. Patients with HIV also have recurrent yeast infections. Doctors often say that this is probably one of the hardest cases they have to treat, because patients whose immune system is suppressed, either by HIV or for some other reason, tend to have chronic, recurrent infections, all their life.
But many times it is the case of people who didn’t complete treatment, and, as a consequence, they experience recurrent yeast infections. This case is so often encountered as soon as patients feel better when they’re using the therapy, they stop, rather than using it for the duration that they were supposed to. Therefore, they do not understand that it is not just about the symptoms and that they partially treat the infection. As a result, the symptoms just come back after a period. The same sort of risks are implied in the cases when people take antibiotics only until they feel better. These people have to do the whole course of treatment. This is the only way. Otherwise, they shouldn’t be surprised if their yeast infection comes back.
Sexual activity also plays a role in recurrent yeast infections. Receptive oral sex on the part of the woman may play a role.
One of the big issues with the recurrent infections, is that it is not a documented recurrent infection Often when a woman starts to have symptoms, she automatically thinks, "Well, it’s a recurrent yeast infection.". But they may be wrong about that. It may or may not be a yeast infection. In fact, probably half the time it’s not a recurrent yeast infection and it is a high possibility to be something else. These women need evaluation by the doctor ant they should get one , especially when they have doubts about the symptoms.
D) Exams and tests for diagnosing yeast infections
There is a series of exams and tests that doctors use to tell exactly that what you’re dealing with is a yeast infection or not. For healthy people, most physicians can diagnose a Candidal infection without laboratory tests, especially when they are dealing with a vaginal yeast infection (yeast vaginitis) which is suggested when a cheesy white discharge is noted over the walls of the vagina.
However, in the situations when , the symptoms of vaginal yeast infection are nonspecific and may be a result of other conditions, when the infection doesn’t disappear or involves the entire body , more extensive tests may need to be performed.
The only definitive way to diagnose a vaginal yeast infection is to complete a full gynecologic exam. This exam includes a speculum exam, using a specialized instrument to hold open your vagina. This instrument is called speculum. A speculum is a metal instrument that looks somewhat like a duck's bill. Before starting the speculum exam , the doctor warms the speculum to avoid any discomfort the patient may feel from a cold speculum . The doctor then inserts one finger into the vagina to locate the cervix and to determine the angle of the vagina. This is done in order know the correct angle to insert the speculum . The "bills", as we called them before, are inserted in the vagina and opened in order to open the vagina , to separate the vaginal walls and see the cervix better. After the speculum has been opened, a cervical brush and then a spatula will be used to rub a sample of cells off the cervix. Sometimes patients experience some spotting after the exam ,due to the pressure against the tissues, but they don’t feel pain at all . There will be some clicking noises during the locking and unlocking of the speculum but these noises do not mean anything, they are just are routine, so there is no need to be concerned by them. After the doctor will take a swab of the discharge and may obtain other cultures to rule out other diseases. The swab for yeast will be mixed with a drop of potassium hydroxide and will be put on a slide. If yeast are present, a specific branching pattern will be seen through the microscope.
The doctor then may insert 2 fingers into your vagina and gently press on your uterus, ovaries, and surrounding areas to check for any tenderness or other problems. The doctor also may take blood and urine specimens after this exam. It is important to know that douching and sexual intercourse 1-2 days before the exam are forbidden, and this is because doing so you may put into difficulty the doctor and the diagnosis will not be guaranteed 100%.
As for the yeast infection that appears on the surface of the skin or in the throat , in healthy children and adults, a quick exam in the mouth or of the skin is enough to confirm the diagnosis of Candidiasis. If there is any confusion about the diagnosis, the doctor makes the KOH test. KOH is the symbol for potassium hydroxide ,a chemical compound sometimes known as caustic potash, potassa, potash lye, and potassium hydrate. It is a metallic base and it is very alkaline. The doctor takes small sample of skin from the patient’s mouth by lightly scraping the white patches. The sample is placed on a slide with potassium hydroxide, gently heated and examined for a branching pattern consistent with yeast. This solution slowly dissolves the skin cells but not the yeast cells. The yeast cells can then be seen with a microscope. Color stains may be used so that the yeast cells are easier to see. Generally, a KOH test is not obligatory to diagnose thrush. Doctors can detect thrush on visual examination of the white patches in a person's mouth. However, a KOH test may be done if thrush does not respond to prescribed medications to determine whether drug-resistant strains of thrush are present.
However, the procedure of taking a specimen scraped from the affected area for microscopic analysis or for culture in the laboratory is made to firmly establish the diagnosis and to rule out any other causes of the symptoms. Identification of yeast under a microscope, when possible, is the least expensive and most rapid and accurate way to establish the diagnosis.
In people with weakened immune systems, oral, vaginal, and skin Candidal infections usually can be diagnosed by sight. However, when the person gets sick, the doctor may perform more tests to confirm the diagnosis. In many cases, specimen collection may be necessary to check for Candida in the blood and urinary tracts. Usually, patients with catheters may have their catheters changed and the catheter tips sent for culture. If a CT scan or MRI indicates Candidiasis in the brain area , doctors usually take a biopsy to distinguish between Candida and other diseases. The patient is usually given IV antibiotics for serious systemic infections.
3 Natural remedies

Keeping the doctors away

Everybody knows that we arrange our daily program according to our body clock, so we can control a lot of physiological functions of the body and we can feel when something is wrong whit our body. Thus, if we realize that we get a yeast infection at its beginning, we may cure it at home.

There are a lot of advantages of do- it- yourself treatments. Firstly, we learn to know better our body in order to be able to control it. Secondly, natural remedies are cheaper than many pharmacy products and they rarely have side effects. Furthermore, if we are directly involved in the treatment, we may improve our general knowledge. Besides, since our early childhood, many of us hated taking pills, because we didn’t like their smell, whereas herbal remedies for example smell good and they are balmy for the affected area. However if we don’t succeed using home remedies, or if we can’t hear our biological clock on time, we may appeal to medication.

To start with , we recommend the locations where you may find easy ways of treating yeast infections. For instance you may go to a natural foods shop, where you may buy: tea tree oil, gentian violet or cranberries, if you don’t live in a countryside area, where you may find the last two remedies in their natural environment.

Other folk cures are those based on yogurt or garlic, which may be found at a supermarket , in your fridge or in your store room. Still, you can go to the pharmacy, for purchasing potent fungicides like boric acid or potassium sorbate. However, pharmacies and natural food shops may sell similar products. Here are some practical tips for using each of these treatments.

You may order the products in a pharmacy, if they are not available when you want to buy them. Tea tree oil is used applying a few drops on a lubricant like olive oil or K-Y jelly, a lubricant based on water, with no color or perfume additives, which covers the top of a tampon. The lubricant is used to prevent the absorption of the tea tree oil into the tampon. It can sting if it comes in contact whit the genital area, so it is recommended to be used an applicator tampon. Diluted tea tree oil is also effective in oral candida infections, also called thrush, which cannot be cured with medicine. It also makes better symptoms in AIDS patients, suffering from oral thrush, who did not react positively to medical treatment. There was made a survey, in which people took fifteen milliliters of the oral solution, without being given any dilution of tea tree oil, four times a day. They were instructed to swish the solution in their mouth for thirty to sixty seconds and then force it out of their mouth. You must be careful, not to ingest the solution, and not to overcome a five per cent dilution, for use of tea tree as a mouth wash.

To continue, we will explain how to get rid of yeast using boric acid. It is probably known that cockroaches hate boric acid because it can destroy them. In the same way, boric acid can destroy yeast. You have just to respect the following steps: buy some 00 size capsules from a pharmacy( or natural foods store) with boric acid. Insert two of them, having a weight of 600 mg altogether into your vagina, every night, for a week. You may continue this treatment for the next three weeks, but only twice a week. Your vagina is hot and wet, so the capsules will melt away and the boric acid will be released. As side effects we can underline some superficial burning and a felling of slight pain for the first few days and there is a large amount of substance coming out of the vagina. If the burning is very serious, stop the treatment.

When you use creams, prescription medicine, natural home cures such as garlic clove suppositories, acidophilus douches, tea tree vaginal douches, apple cider vinegar and the infection still persists, so it is chronic, try boric acid treatment. You can insert boric acid suppositories and after three days, the infection disappears without any recurrence.

When yeast infections are chronic the treatment may last longer than three or seven days, but a naturopathic physician or an alternative medicine practitioner should supervise you, as boric acid suppositories used for more than a week can be irritating. However, to prevent irritation you may associate boric acid with a vitamin E gelatin capsule or vitamin E oil. You may use boric acid capsules at night before going to bed or in the morning and evening. A common recommendation in order to prevent yeast infections from recurring is to take a capsule a day, for three days a month. A survey showed that 85 per cent of women who took boric acid vaginal insertions did not experience a new episode of yeast infection. A treatment with boric acid may last maximum four weeks. You should never ingest boric acid. Finally, there is a supplement company in Oregon, which produces a ready-made boric acid suppository called Yeast arrest. Apart from the boric acid, it contains calendula, which reduces swelling, and the herbal antifungal Oregon grape root. Here are some important warnings concerning boric acid. As boric acid is toxic, it should never be applied on open wounds or on cuts and it should never be used during pregnancy. Oregon contains a strong ingredient called berberine, which is able to stop yeast evolution.

Furthermore, gentian violet is known as an old remedy. Gentian violet is an antifungal agent. Typically prepared as a weak (e.g. 1%) solution in water, it is used to treat or prevent fungal infections. It has almost the same properties as iodine, which is also used to prevent infections. It is used for cleaning the vulva and the vagina once or twice a day, for a few days. You need special caution, wearing dark- colored clothes or using thick pads, because the substance is brightly-colored and stains everything. Besides it can cause allergy. The symptoms of an allergic reaction are quite scary: you may feel a deep pain and the genital area gets purple, swollen and itchy. In addition some European countries prohibited it because it is suspected to cause cancer. So if you appeal to gentian violet, take your chance!

A mild home remedy, which is often used in treating urinary infections, is based on cranberries. They contain substances which keep germs away from the walls of the urinary tract and lower the infected parts, preventing yeast spreading. However, if an infection is very resistant, cranberries are not enough, they must be combined with other treatments.

Yeast may also be destroyed by garlic, inserted to your vagina. All you need is a clove of garlic, perfectly peeled, wrapped in some material with very small holes in it. Then tie its ends with dental floss which does not contain any wax and leave out some string so that you can pull it out. It won’t be lost up there because the passage into the uterus is narrow.

If you leave it in overnight, take it out in the morning. This kind of nocturne treatment is efficient for mild infections. But even for them, it must be applied until the symptoms disappear. In the case of the severe infection you must insert a fresh clove every morning and every night.

Possible drawbacks of this treatment may be the pain felt when shoving into the vagina the dry cheesecloth. However, an unwrapped clove will finish by falling out. Besides, while peeling the clove you may cut it with your nails and after being inserted into the vagina it may sting because of its juice. As an alternative solution, you may buy garlic capsules, as a nutritional supplement in natural food stores, but their coating must be soft, so soluble. In addition, in the infections are really serious or you are allergic to garlic, you must try another remedy. Apart from being used internally, you also should add garlic to your diet.

Garlic tincture is an excellent natural antibiotic, a detoxifier and it also protects the body against infection, by improving immune function.

Some women say that it is a good thing to bruise garlic because the oil released may be disinfecting.

Another remedy is yogurt, which contains Lactobacillus acidophilus. That’s funny but you can find this bacterium in yogurt and in healthy vaginas! As it is an old remedy, admitted by physicians , women have used it for a long time, just applying it directly to the genital area. But it is more efficient if it is inserted into the vagina. There are more methods. One of them consists in pouring yogurt into a plastic tampon applicator and freezing it before pushing it in. It’s very cold, but yeast infection raises the internal temperature, so it will be balanced by the yogurt insertion. Other women use instead of tampon applicators the fingers from disposable gloves. Or yogurt can get in there using syringes. Be careful and use only plain yogurt, without any flavors or fruit or sugar and what is more important, it must contain live acidophilus cultures, if you don’t find such yogurt in supermarkets, go to health food stores.

Yogurt must be applied once or twice a day, until your symptoms stop. If you still didn’t find yogurt containing acidophilus cultures, you may look in the refrigerated sections from supermarkets or natural food stores for acidophilus tablets. They must have a soft coating, which will easily melt.

Yogurt may also eaten in large amounts, in order to get some of the same effects. It will enter the digestive system first, then it will follow the intestines track and form your anus, acidophilus will eventually reach the vagina. It is advisable to eat yogurt to prevent yeast infections and it is better to eat yogurt than insert suppositories or use strong medicine, especially if the patient is a child. Any “medicinal” yogurt left should be thrown and it must be kept separated from the other ones that you usually eat.

The disadvantages of this method are related to modern farming methods. In modern farms we are not very sure that yogurt is one hundred percent natural. It’s true that the powder from the capsules bought from natural foods store may contain more acidophili than yogurt, but we don’t know their origin, how natural they are. Besides their coating usually contains gelatin, which is not a vegetarian product, but animal one.

Women who are HIV-positive must take lactobacillus acidophilus vaginal suppositories, because they are antifungal or clotrimazole (e. g. Gyne – lotrimin) or placebo, weekly, for twenty – one months. Physicians made a survey and the results were that women who used Lactobacillus acidophilus suppositories can experience more rarely a new episode of Candida vaginal infection than those who took clotrimazole or placebo. So you take orally one capsule of acidophilus three times a day or a quarter of a teaspoon of powder in order to find relief. When you suffer from a disease which needs antibiotics, you can also take preventively acidophilus, in order to reduce the risk of a yeast infection.

Now we leave behind acidophilus, but we don’t abandon chemistry, as we’ll let you now about potassium sorbate advantages. It has highly fungicide qualities. It can be found at home brewing sections of the stores or at health food store, s it is also used as preservative, or for brewing beer, in order to stop the spreading of the yeast. The recipe is: 3 per cent solution made by a tablespoon potassium sorbate in a cup of water. You may apply night time treatments, dipping a cotton tampon in the solution, then dissolving in the vagina. It must be taken out in the morning. As you already know now, don’t stop the treatment until the symptoms disappear. Such a tampon produces a local discomfort, so an alternative solution would be a plastic applicator, or you may push in there a dry tampon first, and then insert the solution and the tampon will absorb it.

When the previous methods seem quite unreliable to you, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to try douching for this purpose, you may use a system with a short tube fitted to the end of a hose and a bag containing the solution. You must not exert and a strong pressure, as the solution might be driven into the uterus. The bag must be kept below your pelvis. Besides, you must insert and remove the nozzle carefully, not to damage the vagina and instead of curing yeast infections, you might make it more serious. We recommend acid, herbal, hydrogen peroxide and the tea tree oil douches.

The natural pH of the vagina is usually acidic, but under the influence of a yeast infection the amount of acid may decrease. So you can make a solution out of: - a teaspoon vitamin C per quart of water; - 2 tablespoon of white vinegar, cider vinegar per quart of water; - the juice of half of lemon per quart of water.

Used daily, it may cure mild infections, but for a stubborn infection it should be combined with other ways of treatment.

The following douche formula may be useful:
o tiny drop of tea tree oil
o a tablespoon acidophilus culture or a quarter of a cup of yogurt
· half an once of anti-yeast tea
· two tablespoons apple cider vinegar.

Steep the herbs in tow pints of water for an hour strain. Mix well with the other ingredients. Cool the mixture, pour it into a douche bag and slowly douche with it.

For a herbal douche you need:
comfrey leaf

raspberry leaf
sage leaf
mullein ( if you want to)
goldenseal leaf.

Make a mixture, combining equal parts from the first three or four herbs. Divide the mixture obtained by four to be able to appreciate the fourth part. When you evaluated it, you may add goldenseal, the amount equivalent to this fourth part make a tea. Poor two pints of boiling water on the mixture and steep it for fifteen to twenty minutes. After that take the herbs out and let the mixture cool. It should have at least your body temperature. Next add two tablespoons cider vinegar and one tablespoon acidophilus powder, or a quarter of cup of yogurt. If the infection is serious, you must use it daily, but if the infection is mild it is enough to douche every other day until symptoms disappear completely.

Black walnut is also an efficient remedy against fungal infections.

Pau D’arco is the name of another herbal cure. Its denomination comes from the name of a jungle tree from South America, with its species palo d’arco or Tabebuia, lapacho and taheebo. Its bark contains an antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent. Tincture capsule or tea can be made out of it. In the rain forests of South America, native tribes used it for centuries. Pau D’arco is prohibited for pregnant or lactating women.


* before using Pau D’arco or any other supplements, talk to a doctor if you suffer from other disease too
* the effect of anticoagulant drugs may be amplified by Pau D’arco.

This herb helps killing the bacteria which causes cancer, malaria, flu or yeast infections., HIV, chronic bronchitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, acute bronchitis or muscle pain. It can prevent inflammation and protect the immune system. For the vagina it is used in the form of tea douche. Besides, it can be taken as a tea in dried herb form. Two cups of very hot water must be combined with two or three teaspoons of Pau D’arco. The tea has to be taken during a day. As a douche Pau D’arco tea has to be cooled before using it. If you have got stomachache after using Pau D’arco, take it with food. If you see that Pau D’arco does not help you, replace it with garlic clove.

Another beneficial remedy is chamomile tincture, used every day. If you need it for oral thrush, it has to be cold.

An easier method is to use hydrogen peroxide. If the amount of hydrogen peroxide produced naturally by germs in your vagina decreased , you may replace them with hydrogen peroxide from the pharmacy or the supermarket. You can use it once a day. Obviously, you must continue the treatment a day after your symptoms disappear. We have already presented the advantages of the tea tree oil. But if you want to use it as a douche, it must be highly diluted. So, make a solution by mixing one teaspoon of rubbing alcohol with one teaspoon tea tree oil. The solution should turn as white as milk. Pour it into a dropper bottle. The moment you use it add ten drops of the solution to a pint of water. Use it once a day, for a week.

During the treatment, you may reduce the unpleasant itchy feeling, using the following remedies:

1. – slippery elm powder and a little water. Make o paste and apply it when you need.
2. – aloe vera juice, kept in the fridge. Keep a cotton pad covered with it a period of time and apply it on your genital area.

But be careful! These solutions do not destroy yeast, they only relieve itching. In order to cure the disease you need serious antifungal treatment.

Even if you are very stressed by a yeast infection, try to avoid those so-called remedies recommended by friends, as they may have negative consequences.

So, do not use baking soda to stop itching. It will only raise the pH of your vagina, which will become a friendly environment for the yeast. Moreover, Echinacea or goldseal capsules are not recommended, because they may burn your genital area. Also, you must not put Nivea products on a hot, itchy genital area. It might be very painful and as it absorbs immediately, you can’t wash it off.

Homeopathic remedies?

Homeopathy is a system of medicine in which a disease is treated by giving extremely small amounts of a substance that causes the disease. Homeopathic doctors believe that the symptoms of an illness are signs that the body is trying to cure itself. To cure an illness, therefore, they give the patient something that produces the same symptoms in a healthy person. Before a substance is used as a homeopathic remedy, it is tested by giving small doses of it to healthy persons to see what symptoms develop. For example, candida albicans causes vaginal infections. To cure them therefore, homeopathic doctors use pure candida albicans and water. Critics say that this is not a scientific support for homeopathy, and that in many cases the “illness” would disappear naturally anyway. Homeopathic doctors call this combination of candida and water Aqua Flora and they ensure you that it cures yeast infections in a few weeks. Some women used another homeopathic remedy, called Yeast Guard, but the results were not positive.

It is said that a possible yeast infection treatment might be Kolorex. It is obtained from a herb, which grows in New Zealand. It is called Pseudowintera colorata, or pepper tree or Horopito. There are two companies, Kiwi Health and Forest Herbs, which can offer you more information about this herb. In the USA, there is a company called Sullivan creek, which deals with mountain plants and which also has a deeply Christian orientation. For now, nobody gave a feedback concerning the curing qualities of this herb.

Colloidal silver is another questionable remedy. Some people say that it is a natural antifungal or antibiotic, but in Australia it is considered by the government quite dangerous, as exposure to it can darken your eyes and your skin. On the other hand, some people even bought a generator, to own colloidal silver themselves. In addition, American government considers it relatively safe. Unfortunately, there is not any feedback in this case, either.


This homeopathic remedy may change the symptoms of a yeast infection. The woman will need a lot of affection, she will have a creamy white or yellowish discharge, which might be irritating, the labia may itch or burn and the vagina may feel sore. It is recommended in vaginal infections during pregnancy.


It is indicated when yeast infection cause vaginal discharge, itchy, curd-like and yellow, when a woman needs Sepia she may feel exhausted, quickly annoyed, feeling weak in the pelvic region and having cold extremities. If she walks a lot discharge may be more abundant.

Dietary treatment

In the cure of yeast infection, dietary changes are very important. Such a diet includes:

* whole grains
* olive oil, nuts and other essential fatty acids
* fresh fruit and vegetables
* poultry and fish
* a lot of fresh water
* linseed, also called flax seed
* one tablespoon Psyllium (Psyllium is the common name used for several members of the plant genus Plantago whose seeds are used commercially for the production of mucilage.) seed husk fiber and six to eight tablespoons flax seed meal and a quarter of a cup of Oat bran every day

You may have only one of these three meals recommended

* organically raised foods, if it is possible


Vitaklenz is an antifungal remedy which was tried by a woman and she did give feedback to the producer. Her story was very troublesome. After an abortion she started suffering from a yeast infection. It was not the first time in her life when this problem occurred to her. In the past she used creams and suppositories like Nilstat or Canistan. The result was worse instead of being better. First, she felt a kind of relief, but after a few weeks the pain came back more persistently. She thought of buying a medicine from abroad, she saw many doctors who prescribed her pills and creams which eventually were harmful for her liver, but her problem was not solved and this situation affected all her family. She became depressed and easily annoyed. Besides, she began a diet, recommended for acute Candida: no fruit, no favorite bakery products, no alcohol, no sugar. She took every day a dose of acidophilus. Moreover, her ears started itching too, even if she washed them regularly. When her situation became unbearable she started a research on her own and she found first the product called Paracan and after that Vitaklenz. They were highly efficient for her and she recommends them further on.

When you follow a dietary cure you must avoid:

* sugar
* alcohol
* caffeine
* processed foods
* junk foods
* animal fats
* fast foods
* white flour products
* hydrogenated oils and margarine
* dairy products (except yogurt, which contains acidophilus).

Animal products should be avoid because livestock are bad with grain additives. The result is that they grow and get fat for commercial use. However, if you eat animal products, you may combine them with supplements like acidophilus, caprylic acid, garlic or Pau d’arco tea.

Caprylic acid is used since the early 1940. Sometimes yeast infections can be cured by simply healthy eating. A healthy, anti-yeast diet is made up of cereals: buckwheat, millet, brown rice; soups( vegetable broth, chicken, miso); steamed vegetables( for example the dark green leafy types), lemons, grapefruit, cranberries and cranberry juice.

Avoid: oranges, red meat.

If you are allergic to dairy products, you may take goat yogurt and nondairy acidiphilus or at least one of them. Take with each meal a tonic drink made of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon honey in one fourth cup warm water. Take two “00” capsules three times a day, following the recipe:

- powders: 2 parts goldenseal root

1 part: - black walnut hull

- Echinacea root

- slippery elm

- myrrh gum

- pau d’arco.

The powders are mixed together and capped into “00” capsules. Three cups of the following tea between meals or half an hour before meals are beneficial. This tea is bitter, so mix it with cranberry juice. Eight ounces of unsweetened cranberry juice, drunk every day it is also a useful remedy.

People who experience recurrent infections have to improve their immune system. Echinacea is a remedy which has this property and women who took it experienced a forty-three per cent decrease in the recurring vaginal infections.

Cinnamon also has positive effects upon yeast infections. The cinnamon oil contains cinnamaldehyde and eugenol, whose vapors have highly efficient antifungal qualities. It was shown in test tubes and some people suffering from AIDS said that cinnamon oil is successful against oral Candida infections.

The volatile cinnamon oil also contains different terpenoids, a large and diverse class of naturally occurring organic chemicals and diterpenes, chemicals having anti – allergic properties. Moreover, water extracts are effective in curing ulcers. In addition, it was proved that cinnamon can increase the action of insulin, but in people suffering from diabetes it has to be demonstrated in clinical tests.

As far as the amount of cinnamon is concerned, in Germany there is a short book which discusses this subject in detail. It is called the German Commission E monograph.

It recommends half a teaspoon to three quarters of a teaspoon, which means two to four grams of powder per day. You can prepare a tea from the powdered herb. Boil half of a teaspoon, which means two to three grams of the powder, for ten to fifteen minutes, cool it, then drink it. Moreover, you can use a few drops of volatile oil, for a few days at a time. You may also take three times per day half of a teaspoon of tincture, which means two to three milliliters.

You may wonder if there are any side effects or interactions with cinnamon. The answer is yes, some people experienced skin rash or bronchial constrictions and others are allergic to it. That’s why, when a person has contact with cinnamon for the first time, only small amounts of it should be used. If you are allergic to it, avoid cinnamon. Besides, frequent use of the concentrated oil may lead to swelling in the mouth.

Pregnant women shouldn’t use cinnamon, according to the German Commission E monograph. For now, there were not signaled medicine interactions with cinnamon.

Oregano is also an efficient plant for curing yeast infections. A study made in the laboratory concluded that the oil called carvacrol, contained by oregano is more effective than a well-known antifungal agent, called calcium magnesium caprylate, but its actions were not confirmed by clinical studies on humans.

Vaginal yeast infections may also be cured by the following home remedies:

* grapefruit seed extraction mixed with olive leaf extract and water; it is a tonic solution
* apple cider vinegar with water and garlic, to stop the itchy feeling; water dilutes the vinegar concentration
* two glasses of buttermilk a day (they are efficient, even if you do not suffer fro yeast infection)
* curd is also successful because it reduces the recurrence of unfriendly vaginal bacteria; curd is recommended to be applied on the infected area for at least an hour, twice to three times a day

Killing the yeast is a difficult task. Therefore people try as many remedies as they find available. Thus, it was discovered that coconut oil, more precisely the fatty acids contained by this oil, can destroy the yeast, but in this case your symptoms may get worse first, then they enhance, and this reaction is called Herxheimer. It is caused by the quick absorption of huge amounts of toxins, antigens and cell particles, as well as by the quick destruction of bacteria. A man explained how he experienced a “die – off” effect of coconut oil. He had been struggling with a candida yeast infection for over ten years. He was desperate because he had the mutated stage and he read research reports from Harvard and Tennessee universities that it can be lethal. The evolution of the deadly yeast overgrows in the stomach, until it mutates, changing into an invading pathogen. The next step is its moving out of it, and spreading in mass in any part of the body. If it attacks a vital organ, it can be lethal. That man tried conventional medicine and natural remedies as well, such as caprylic acid (it is successful for those patients who have adverse reactions to antibacterial medicine), but with no effect, until he tried the coconut oil and aerobic oxygen for about a week. Yeast had grown on his arms, face, scalp, buttocks and perhaps inside his body too. One of the consequences was that he could not see any more. He took some coconut oil in his mouth all day long and he also applied it in huge amounts. During the detoxification process, as the man’s infection was chronic, there occurred an adverse reaction, called the “die – off” effect or Herxheimer reaction, because the body tries to get rid of dead germs. After getting better, after the reaction, he tried again the coconut oil and now he is completely recovered.

Apart from caprylic acid, scientists at the University of Iceland discovered two other medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil, effective in the cure of yeast infections. They are called capric acid and lauric acid. Capric acid is a fatty acid, 10 – carbon saturated and lauric acid is a fatty acid 12 – carbon saturated. In the laboratories of that university were tested three groups of Candida albicans. They were quickly destroyed and the cytoplasm was chaotic and it got smaller because of the broken up plasma membrane, in the case of capric acid. Lauric acid needs a longer incubation time in order to be very active at lower concentrations. If you suspect an evolution of a candida infection, you may combine coconut oil with a kind of fermented milk called kefir. It is similar to yogurt and it comes from Turkey and the Caucasus region of Central Asia. If you can fid kefir grains, you can prepare this drink yourself; it may be more effective.

Grapefruit seed extract is a non-toxic treatment for yeast. Its qualities were discovered by a Californian pediatrician. These physicians often feel frustrated because it is quite difficult to cure oral and dermathologic yeast infections to babies. He found out that grapefruit seed extract is beneficial and he recommends it for infants at least three or four times a day.

This remedy should be taken between meals. Sometimes it may be irritating to the digestive tract. In this case you may take capsules filled with powder, or you may take the extract with meals. The dosage must be adapted to your weight. The treatment with grapefruit seed extract lasts twenty-eight days. During the first three days take ten drops 50 / 50 diluted, in vegetable juice or fruit juice (which also has to be diluted), twice a day.

The following seven days take fifteen drops three times a day ( or two capsules two to three times a day).

If you get results using small doses, don’t increase them. On the other hand it may happen to be necessary to take a higher dose than given above. Besides for some people two weeks would be sufficient for a complete cure. When you notice a positive effect, little by little reduce the grapefruit seed extract dosage. However if symptoms are recurrent, try again a higher dosage. There are people who may need even four to six months for beneficial effects.

Grapefruit Seed Extract can be used for douches too. Mix sixteen ounces of room temperature water ( boiled or filtered or distilled) with sixteen drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract. The solution must be well shaken in a close container. Douche once a day for three days, in a steep position, for better retention of the solution. The douche must be repeated every fifth day, until the recovery. This solution may irritate vagina walls. In this case reduce mixture to five drops per pint of water. Stop the treatment if irritation persist. If a woman is pregnant or menstruating, it is not recommended to have a douche.

Vaginal bolus

Ingredients: - 3 parts slippery elm powder

- 1 part: pau d’arco powder

black walnut hull powder

myrrh powder

- ½ part goldenseal powder

- 1 cup coconut oil

- a few drops of tea tree oil

Preparation: run the herbs through a nut grinder and a fine sieve. Take a saucepan and melt the coconut oil over low heat. After that stir in the powder. You have, to obtain a thick paste. Now add the tea tree oil. Roll the mixture into boluses like your small fingers, as fast as you can. Insert quickly one bolus into your vagina every evening. You may use a tampon applicator. You should wear panty liners during the treatment because the bolus may drip because the coconut oil melts.

Remedies for children

1. A bath with one cup and half apple cider vinegar and the same amount of salt added to the water, for fifteen to twenty minutes, once or twice a day, for two or three days.
2. An herbal douche
1. – 40 drops of: - calendula

- echinacea

- goldenseal

- 2 tablespoon of aloe vera

- a pint of water

This mixture has anti- inflammatory, antibacterial and soothing properties

2. – 6 drops of tea oil

-20 drops of Echinacea and goldenseal mixture

-one tablespoon of candela tincture

-one pint of water.

c) - 1 cup of water

- four tablespoon of white or apple cider vinegar.

Candidate: a unique therapeutic formula.
It contains:

1. Pau d’arco bark, more precisely the active constituents lapachol and beta- lapachone, known as naphthaquinones. They have the effect of ketoconazole a well- known antifungal medicine. It is used in tincture form
2. calendula afficinalis is also a liver tonic and a detoxifier, apart from its anti-fungal qualities.
3. cymbopogon citrates ( lemon grass) helps to recover intestinal walls that have been affected by yeast overgrowth.

Candidate works well with a dietary treatment.

Dosage: fifteen drops, three times a day, for six weeks, in a quarter of a glass of water. It may be repeated two or three times a year or when your symptoms start again, for three weeks.

Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.

Diet must be associated with yeast elimination.

Candida albicans (sometimes referred to as monilia) is a fungus normally present on the skin and in the mouth, intestinal tract, and vagina. Under certain conditions, it can multiply and infect the surface of the skin or mucous membranes. Such infections are usually minor, but serious and deeper infections can occur, especially in patients whose resistance has been weakened by immunosuppressant drugs and serious illnesses such as AIDS. However, some practitioners claim that even when clinical signs of infection are absent, yeast-related problems can cause or trigger multiple symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal bloating, mood swings, depression, anxiety, dizziness, unexpected weight gain, difficulty in concentrating, muscle and joint pain, cravings for sugar or alcoholic beverages, psoriasis, hives, respiratory and ear problems, menstrual problems, infertility, impotence, bladder infections, prostatitis, and "feeling bad all over." The list of symptoms is similar to that of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).

According to its promoters -- some of whom practice "clinical ecology" -- one out of three Americans suffers from yeast-related illness, which they refer to as chronic candidiasis, candidiasis hypersensitivity, Candida-related complex, the yeast syndrome, yeast allergy, yeast overgrowth, or simply "Candida" or "yeast problem." Many clinical ecologists view this alleged problem as an underlying cause of MCS. It is also touted as an important factor in AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and schizophrenia, as well as "hypoglycemia," "mercury-amalgam toxicity" and at least twenty other conditions. In recent years, proponents have suggested that chronic fatigue syndrome and Candida infections are closely related . This article uses the term "candidiasis hypersensitivity" in quotation marks to indicate that neither infection nor actual allergy is present.

The leading promoters of "candidiasis hypersensitivity" have been C. Orian Truss, M.D., of Birmingham, Alabama and William G. Crook, M.D., of Jackson, Tennessee. Truss put forth his concepts with a series of articles that began in 1978 in the Journal of Orthomolecular Psychiatry, an offbeat publication that caters to physicians who prescribe large amounts of vitamins to emotionally disturbed patients. In 1982, he self-published a book called The Missing Diagnosis.

Crook, who died in October 2002, stated that he had began treating and communicating about yeast problems in 1979 after reading one of Truss's papers. In 1983, he published the first edition of his book The Yeast Connection [3], which he said was inspired by a television appearance that drew 7,300 requests for further information. Two years later, he established the International Health Foundation to help respond to the requests he kept generating. The foundation's goals were to "work to obtain credibility for the relationship of Candida albicans to a diverse group of health disorders" and "helping children with repeated ear infections, hyperactivity, attention deficits and related behavior and learning problems." (He also espoused a variety of unconventional theories about allergies being at the root of these problems.) During the early 1990s, a booklet describing these goals listed Tipper Gore as a member of the foundation's 33-person advisory board [4]. In 1998, Truss and Crook launched an organization called the Candida and Dysbiosis Information Foundation.

The Yeast Connection states: "If a careful check-up doesn't reveal the cause for your symptoms, and your medical history [as described in his book] is typical, it's possible or even probable that your health problems are yeast-connected." The book also states that tests such as cultures don't help much in diagnosis because "Candida germs live in every person's body . . . Therefore the diagnosis is suspected from the patient's history and confirmed by his response to treatment."

Crook claimed that the problem arises because "antibiotics kill 'friendly germs' while they're killing enemies, and when friendly germs are knocked out, yeast germs multiply. Diets rich in carbohydrates and yeasts, birth control pills, cortisone, and other drugs also stimulate yeast growth." He also claimed that the yeasts produce toxins that weaken the immune system, which is also adversely affected by nutritional deficiencies, sugar consumption, and exposure to environmental molds and chemicals. To correct these alleged problems, he prescribes allergenic extracts, antifungal drugs, vitamin and mineral supplements, and diets that avoid refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and (initially) fruits and milk.

Crook's concepts are a mixture of fact and fancy. It is correct that antibiotics, birth control pills, and certain other drugs can stimulate overgrowth of yeasts, most commonly in the vagina. However:

* A yeast problem should not be diagnosed without definite clinical signs of an infection. The signs of a local infection, for example, can include itching, soreness, rash, and a discharge.
* If an infection is present, treatment with an antifungal drug makes sense. However, the rest of Crook's recommendations are senseless whether an infection is present or not.

Severe Criticism

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology has strongly criticized the concept of "candidiasis hypersensitivity syndrome" and the diagnostic and treatment approaches its proponents use. AAAAI's position statement concludes: (1) the concept of candidiasis hypersensitivity is speculative and unproven; (2) its basic elements would apply to almost all sick patients at some time because its supposed symptoms are essentially universal; (3) overuse of oral antifungal agents could lead to the development of resistant germs that could menace others; (4) adverse effects of oral antifungal agents are rare, but some inevitably will occur; and (5) neither patients nor doctors can determine effectiveness (as opposed to coincidence) without controlled trials. Because allergic symptoms can be influenced by many factors, including emotions, experiments must be designed to separate the effects of the procedure being tested from the effects of other factors [5]. Several years ago, Crook told me that he had no intention of conducting a controlled test because he was "a clinician, not a researcher."

The antifungal drug most often prescribed by proponents of "candidiasis hypersensitivity" is nystatin (Mycostatin, Nilstat), which seldom has significant side effects. However, they also prescribe ketoconazole (Nizoral), which has an incidence of liver toxicity (hepatitis) of about 1 in 10,000. The liver injury usually reverses when the drug is discontinued, but ketoconazole has been responsible for several deaths. For this reason it should be prescribed only for serious infections. Both of these drugs are expensive [6]. In a double-blind trial, the antifungal drug nystatin did no better than a placebo in relieving systemic or psychological symptoms of "candidiasis hypersensitivity syndrome." [7] A study of 100 consecutive chronic fatigue patients found no differences in historical, physical, or laboratory findings among those who believed their problem was yeast-related and those who did not [8].

Problems Reported

In 1986, two doctors from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine reported seeing four young women whose nonspecific complaints included chronic fatigue, anxiety, and depression. All four mistakenly believed they had disseminated candidiasis and were taking nystatin or ketoconazole, which had been prescribed by their family physicians. All had read The Yeast Connection and had carried the book into the office during their visits. One patient on ketoconazole had hepatitis, which resolved when the drug was stopped [9].

Worse yet, a case has been reported of a child with a severe case of disseminated candidiasis who had been seen by a "Candida doctor" and given inadequate treatment. The report concluded that "the advice of yeast connection advocates may be inappropriate even for illnesses in which Candida is implicated." [10]

Perhaps the saddest report was a letter in a health-food magazine from a woman appealing for help and encouragement. She said that a clinical ecologist had been treating her for allergies and Candida for four years, that initial tests showed she "was allergic to all foods" as well as to numerous chemicals and inhalants, and that so far nothing had helped.

Dubious Diagnostic Questionnaires

The Yeast Connection contains a 70 or 90-item "candida questionnaire" and score sheet to determine how likely it is that health problems are yeast-connected. Crook has marketed several versions to physicians who accept his theories. The documents state,"if your point score is over 180, candida almost certainly plays a role in causing your health problems." Scores over 120 mean "candida probably plays a role," 60 to 120 means it "possibly plays a role," and scores under 60 mean it is "less apt" to play a significant roll.

Shorter questionnaires have appeared in magazine articles, ads for products sold through health food stores, and flyers used by chiropractors. The most notorious were used as marketing devices by Nature's Way, of Springville Utah, whose product Cantrol, was a conglomeration of capsules containing acidophilus, evening primrose oil, vitamin E, linseed oil, caprylic acid, pau d'arco, and several other substances.

Under federal law, any product intended for the prevention or treatment of disease is a drug, and it is illegal to market new drugs that do not have FDA approval. In 1989, the FDA's Health Fraud Branch issued instructions and a sample regulatory letter indicating that it was illegal to market vitamin products intended for treating yeast infections. In 1990, Nature's Way and its president, Kenneth Murdock, settled an FTC Complaint by signing a consent agreement to stop making unsubstantiated claims that Cantrol is helpful against yeast infections caused by Candida albicans.

Nature's Way promoted Cantrol with several versions of a self-test -- one of which is pictured below -- based on common symptoms the manufacturer claimed were associated with yeast problems. The FTC charged that the test was not valid for this purpose. The company also agreed to pay $30,000 to the National Institutes of Health to support research on yeast infections .

4 Treatments for yeast infections

Vaginal yeast infections are nasty and annoying, but for most women, they aren't life-threatening, so people think it is not such a big deal.
Some people consider that the conventional treatment of vaginal yeast infections reflects the bad way of treating the women’s problems. Most women who have yeast infection run to the drugstore, hand $20 to the corporate masters, and walk around feeling miserable due to the disgusting slime dribbling down between their legs, not even sure if what they have is really a yeast infection.

A) Medical Treatment
There are a lot of treatment options available for treating Candidiasis to choose from. Options include creams, lotions, pills, troches (lozenges), and vaginal suppositories. Azole medications are a family of antifungal drugs. You can recognize them because they end in the suffix "-azole." They block the manufacture of ergosterol, a crucial material of the yeast cell wall. the yeast cell wall becomes leaky and the yeast die without ergosterol,. Fortunately, ergosterol is not a component of human membranes, and azoles do not harm human cells.
Polyene antifungals include nystatin and amphotericin B. Nystatin is used for thrush and superficial Candidal infections. Doctors reserve amphotericin B for more serious systemic fungal infections. The antifungals work by attaching to the yeast cell wall building material, ergosterol. These medications then form artificial holes in the yeast-wall that causes the yeast to leak and die.
Talk to your doctor to find the option that is right for you.
Vaginal yeast infection (yeast vaginitis) and vulvitis may be treated with antifungal medications that are applied externally in and around the vagina or with antifungal medications taken by mouth. An antifungal drug is medication used to treat fungal infections such as athlete's foot, ringworm and Candidiasis , as well as serious systemic infections like cryptococcal meningitis. Such drugs can be either prescription drugs or over-the –counter drugs. Antifungal drugs are the drugs of choice for vaginal yeast infections. Although these drugs usually work to cure the infection (80%-90% success rate), infections that do not respond to the treatment with antifungal medications are becoming more common, especially in HIV-infected women with a long-term antifungal therapy. If the use of this treatment is prolonged or if you use it frequently , they can lessen their effectiveness.
Sometimes, mixed infections with more than one microbe can require more than one treatmen. In fact combinations of treatments are given. Some of the creams that are applied topically include butoconazole (Femstat 3), clotrimazole (Lotrimin), miconazole (Monistat), and terconazole (Terazol 3). Women who know yeast is the cause of the infection choose to use over-the-counter topical treatments . However, they have to be very careful because other infections , except yeast, can cause similar symptoms. These include bacterial vaginosis, Chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the name of a condition in women where the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina is disrupted and replaced by an overgrowth of certain bacteria. It is sometimes accompanied by discharge, odor, pain, itching, or burning, so , as it can clearly be seen, this infection has almost the same symptoms as yeast infection. Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, which can damage a woman's reproductive organs. People infected usually do not have symptoms but when they do, women and men alike, might have an abnormal vaginal or penile discharge, as in the case of yeast infections, or a burning sensation when urinating. Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a bacterium that can grow and multiply easily in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract, including the cervix , uterus (womb), and fallopian tubes in women. It al so develops in the urethra (urine canal) in both women and men. This bacterium can also be present and can develop in the mouth, eyes, throat and anus. Among the symptoms and signs of gonorrhea in men ,there are a burning sensation when urinating, or a white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis. The white discharge can be mistaken for a yeast discharge.
If symptoms are not eliminated by over-the-counter products, patients should pay a visit to their doctor for evaluation. Other antifungal medications that are also available as vaginal tablets are : Clotrimazole (Lotrimin, Mycelex), miconazole (Monistat; Micatin), terconazole (Terazol), and nystatin (Mycostatin). There are other oral medications for yeast vaginitis and vulvitis , such as fluconazole (Diflucan). Most doctors prefer to treat vaginal yeast infections with vaginal tablets or suppositories rather than oral medications. Oral antifungal medication can cause side effects. Some of the common side-effects are: headache, nausea, and abdominal pain . However, there are few chances for vaginal treatment to cause these side effects. Oral antifungal medications are also not recommended for use during pregnancy.
Just to have clear in mind some of the side-effects, here are some explanations.
Nausea is that sensation that you feel the unstoppable need to vomit. Nausea can be acute and short-lived, or it can be prolonged. When prolonged, it is a debilitating symptom. Nausea (and vomiting) can have a psychological or physical origin. It can originate from problems in the brain or organs of the upper gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach, small intestine, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder). It also may be caused by pain, motion, medications and diseases of many non-gastrointestinal organs of the body. Therefore, the diagnosis of the cause of prolonged nausea may not be easy. All stimuli that cause nausea have the central stimulus in the vomiting center in the brain, which gives rise to the sensation of nausea and coordinates the physical act of vomiting.
Abdominal pain is the pain that you feel in the abdomen. Just to have a clear image of where the abdomen is situated, here are some indications of where you can find it: the abdomen is an anatomical area that is bounded by the lower margin of the ribs above, the pelvic bone (pubic ramus) below, and the flanks on each side. Although abdominal pain can arise from the tissues of the abdominal wall that surround the abdominal cavity ( skin and abdominal wall muscles), the term abdominal pain generally is used to describe pain originating from organs within the abdominal cavity, beneath the skin and muscles, to be more specific. The organs situated inside the abdominal cavity include the stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. However, people misinterpret the origin of the pain, because pain may be felt in the abdomen even though it is arising from organs that are close to but not within the abdominal cavity, for example, the lower lungs, the kidneys, and the uterus or ovaries. This latter type of pain is called "referred" pain because the pain, is felt in the abdominal area, although it comes from outside the abdomen.
Clotrimazole(Lotrimin, Mycelex) is an anti-fungal medication related to fluconazole (Diflucan), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), and miconazole (Micatin, Monistat). Clotrimazole is used for the treatment of local infections with Candida albicans (e.g. vaginal yeast infections or oral thrush), tinea versicolor, tinea pedis ("athlete's foot"), tinea cruris ("jock itch") or tinea corporis.
Clotrimazole comes as a cream, lotion, and solution to apply to the skin; lozenges (called troches) to dissolve in the mouth, mainly of 10 mg; and vaginal tablets(mainly of 100 mg or 500 mg ) and vaginal cream to be inserted into the vagina. It is used on the surface if the skin, inserted vaginally or allowed to dissolve in the mouth for local fungal infections. It is generally available but or some brands and/or preparations you need a prescription.
As for the storage conditions, clotrimazole should be kept in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. The cream and solution should be kept between 2 ° and 30°C (36-86°F), away from excess heat and moisture , and under no circumstance think of keeping it in the bathroom. .As for the lotion, it should be stored between 2 ° and 25°C (36-77°F). You must not forget to shake the lotion every time before you use it. Do not freeze it. Plus, you should not forget to check the package and throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.
Clotrimazole cream, lotion, or solution should be applied gently to the affected area and the skin areas near the affected area. Clotrimazole is usually used five times a day for 14 days if you have oral thrush. If you have skin infections you should use it twice a day (in the morning and evening) for 2 to 8 weeks , and if you have vaginal infections it must be used once a day at bedtime for 3 or 7 days. You should follow the directions on the package or your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. You should use clotrimazole exactly as directed and do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
If you are using the topical cream, lotion, or solution, the first step is to thoroughly clean the infected area, allow it to dry, and then gently rub the medication in until most of it disappears. Do not use more medication than the quantity needed to cover the affected area. Do not forget to wash your hands after applying the medication.
If you are taking the lozenges, put them in the mouth and dissolve them slowly over about 15 to 30 minutes. Do not make the mistake of chewing or swallowing the lozenges whole.
Before using clotrimazole vaginal cream or vaginal tablets, read the instructions provided with the medication. The first thing you should do it to fill the special applicator that comes with the cream to the level indicated, or unwrap a tablet, wet it with lukewarm water, and place it on the applicator . You can see that in the instructions that come with the product it is presented the way in which you should put it on the applicator. The next thing you have to do is to lie on your back with your knees drawn upward and spread apart. Then, insert the applicator high into your vagina ( if you are pregnant it is not recommended to insert it too high and you should insert it gently ), and then push the plunger to release the medication. The drug works best if you do not get up again after applying it , unless you have to get up to wash your hands. You may wish to wear a sanitary napkin while using the vaginal cream or tablets to protect your clothing against stains. If it is hard to insert, stop trying to insert it further and call your doctor. In this case, you should take the applicator out, dispose of the applicator if it is a disposable one. If the applicator is reusable, pull it apart and clean it with soap and warm water after each use. After this entire process is completed, wash your hands promptly to avoid spreading the infection. you should not make the mistake of using a tampon because it will absorb the drug, and do not douche unless your doctor tells you to do so.
Do not stop using clotrimazole if you feel better or if the symptoms have passed entirely. Continue to use it and do not stop using clotrimazole without talking to your doctor. You should keep using it during your menstrual period.
Do not take clotrimazole before talking with a physician I f you obtained clotrimazole vaginal cream or tablets without a prescription and this is the first time you have had vaginal itching and discomfort. However, if a doctor previously told you that you had a yeast infection and if you have the same symptoms again, use the vaginal cream or tablets as directed on the package 3 or 7 consecutive days, preferably at night. If your symptoms do not improve within 3 or 7 days, call your doctor. If after a period shorter than 2 months, the symptoms reappear, you should also call your doctor.
Before using clotrimazole, it is important to tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to clotrimazole or any other drugs, if you are taking other prescription and nonprescription drugs and, if you do, what prescription and nonprescription drugs you are taking, especially antibiotic medications and vitamins. Also mention , when you are paying a visit to your doctor, if you have or have ever had liver disease, problems with your immune system, human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), diabetes, or if you were a heavy drinker in a certain period of your life or if you usually drink alcohol. You should tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding, although it is not known if clotrimazole is secreted in breast milk. If you become pregnant while using clotrimazole, you should call your doctor.
clotrimazole may cause side effects. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
The most commonly noted side effects associated with clotrimazole are local redness, stinging, blistering, peeling, swelling, itching, hives(eruption of the skin), or burning at the area of application , foul-smelling discharge if using the vaginal product, upset stomach or vomiting with the lozenges (troches). You can also have fever. All of these are quite unusual, however.
Miconazole(Monistat; Micatin) is an anti-fungal medication related to fluconazole (Diflucan), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), and clotrimazole (Lotrimin, Mycelex). Miconazole is used to treat vaginal infections due to Candida albicans and several fungal infections of the skin, including tinea versicolor, tinea pedis ("athlete's foot"), tinea cruris ("jock itch") and tinea corporis.
It is used either on the skin or in the vagina for fungal infections. Miconazole was approved by the FDA in 1974. it is available at most drug-stores and you do not need a prescription to get it. Miconazole comes in cream, lotion, powder, spray liquid, and spray powder to be applied to the skin. You can also find cream and suppositories of miconazole that you insert into the vagina. The vaginal suppositories come in the form of 200 mg suppositories ,this being the case of Monistat-3, 100 mg suppositories, this being the case of Monistat-7. The vaginal cream is Monistat-7 and Femizol-M and the topical cream is Monistat-Derm. There are also two products which combine two different formulations: Vaginal suppositories 200 mg with topical cream 2% (Monistat Dual-Pak) and vaginal suppositories 100 mg with topical cream 2% (Monistat 7 Combination Pack).
You should store it at room temperature -15-30°C (59-86°F)-and away from excess heat and moisture.
Miconazole is usually used once or twice a day for 1 month for athlete's foot or 2 weeks for other skin infections. For vaginal infections, it is used once a day at bedtime for 3 days, in case you are using Monistat-3, and for or 7 days , in case you are using Monistat-7. As for the other medications, you should follow the directions on the package or on your prescription label carefully use Miconazole exactly as it says there. in the case of Miconazole , it usually takes several days till you can see a change for the better in skin infections. If you missed a dose apply the missed dose as soon as you remember it. If you remember about it too late and it is the time for the next dose, forget about the missed dose completely and use only the regularly scheduled dose. Under no circumstance think of using a double dose to make up for a missed one.
If you bought a topical form of Miconazole , spread it in thin layer on the infected area after you have previously washed the area and then let the skin to dry. The cream and lotion should be rubbed gently into the skin. You should wash your hands very good before and after you use it. It is recommended to use it twice a day.
If you are using Miconazole vaginal cream or suppositories , you should not use them for another area than the vagina. You should not take them by mouth. The vaginal suppositories should be inserted , one per dose, in an applicator. It is indicated that you screw the tube containing the vaginal cream onto the end of a special applicator tube, and then squeeze the tube to fill the applicator. You then lye on your back with bent knees, insert the applicator containing either the suppository or cream so that the tip of the applicator is high in the vagina, and then you push the plunger to get the suppository or cream into the vagina. You should wash the applicator with soap and warm water each time you use it.
You should feel relief because doctors say there are no known drug interactions with vaginal or topical miconazole.
However, up to now, there isn’t enough information on the use of miconazole during pregnancy. It is not known if miconazole affects the fetus or not. The physician must weigh the potential benefits against possible but unknown risks to the fetus.
Miconazole may cause side effects. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: increased burning, itching, or irritation of the skin or vagina, stomach pain, fever, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, but the former wanes were reported by most people.
Terconazole Miconazole is an antifungal vaginal cream and suppository used to treat "yeast" (candida) infections of the vagina.
Using the applicator provided, insert the cream or suppository high into the vagina. It is usually used daily at bedtime for either 3 or 7 days. Continue using this medication for the complete period as prescribed, even during the menstrual period. If you stopping taking it too soon, your infection may appear again.
This medication may cause irritation, itching, burning, or stinging when first used. However, these unpleasant reactions should disappear as your body adjusts to the medication. If these effects persist or worsen, inform your doctor. Headache and body ache have also been reported. If you experience other effects, other than these oves, you should contact your doctor or pharmacist.
There are also some precautions you should know before using this medication. The suppositories may interact with the latex of a diaphragm, cervical cap, or condom. The diaphragm and cap are devices made of thin, soft rubber that are inserted into the upper part of the vagina to cover the neck of the womb. They act as a barrier to sperm. If you use either of these methods of birth control, it is best to use the cream form of this medication or change your contraceptive method. This medication should be used cautiously during pregnancy and only when it is clearly needed. You should discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. As in the medications described before, in this case also it is not known if this medication appears in breast milk or not. You should consult with your doctor before breast-feeding.
You should tell your doctor if you are taking other drugs (prescription and nonprescription) especially if you are taking warfarin. Finally, do not start or abandon any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Fluconazole( Diflucan) is used to treat fungal infections, including yeast infections of the vagina, mouth, throat, esophagus (tube leading from the mouth to the stomach), abdomen (area between the chest and waist), lungs, blood, and other organs. Fluconazole is also used to prevent yeast infections in patients who susceptible of becoming infected because they are being treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy before a bone marrow transplant (replacement of unhealthy spongy tissue inside the bones with healthy tissue). Fluconazole is in a class of antifungals called triazoles. This medicine is slowing the growth of fungi that cause infection. This medicine isn’t impossible to find but you need a prescription for it.
Fluconazole comes as a tablet and a suspension (liquid) in a bottle of 350 mg(when diluted 10mg per ml) and 1400mg (when diluted 40mg per ml) to take by mouth. Tablets are available in 50mg, 100mg, and 200mg . Intravenous solutions are available. It is usually taken once a day. You may need to take only one dose of fluconazole, or you may need to take fluconazole for several weeks or longer. The length of your treatment depends on your condition and on how well you respond to fluconazole.
You should store the tablets in a dry place at 20-25 degrees C (68-77 F) and oral suspensions after dilution at 5-30 degrees C (41-86 F). Throw away any unused liquid medication after 14 days.
Before taking fluconazole, you should tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to fluconazole, if you take other antifungal medications such as itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or voriconazole (Vfend) or any other medications. You should, under no circumstance take cisapride (Propulsid) at the same time you are taking a treatment with fluconazole. You should tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking, especially amiodarone (Cordarone); , astemizole (Hismanal) ; moxifloxacin (Avelox); benzodiazepines such as midazolam (Versed);cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); , disopyramide (Norpace); diuretics ('water pills') such as hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL, Microzide); anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin); dofetilide (Tikosyn); erythromycin (E.E.S, E-Mycin, Erythrocin); isoniazid (INH, Nydrazid); valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote); oral contraceptives (birth control pills); phenytoin (Dilantin); pimozide (Orap); procainamide (Procanbid, Pronestyl); quinidine (Quinidex); rifabutin (Mycobutin); oral medicine for diabetes such as glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (Diabeta, Micronase, Glycron, others), and tolbutamide (Orinase); rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane); sotalolol (Betapace); sparfloxacin (Zagam); tacrolimus (Prograf); terfenadine (Seldane)(not available in the United States); theophylline (TheoDur); thioridazine (Mellaril); and zidovudine (Retrovir).
Another important thing your doctor must know is if you are pregnant,, if you plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. Taking this drug while you are feeding your baby is not recommended. If you become pregnant while taking fluconazole, you should definitely call your doctor. It is also important for your doctor to know if you drink or have ever drunk alcohol in very large amounts. if you have or have ever had cancer; acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), an irregular heartbeat, or heart, kidney or liver disease , your doctor must also know about these things too.
You can take Fluconazole orally or by intravenous injection. The doctor has to modify the dose if the patient has impaired renal function or if he takes certain other medications at the same time. you should definitely consult your pharmacist or physician if you take other medications with fluconazole. This drug can be used in children and has been effective down to the age of 6 months of age. Fluconazole can cause liver damage in rare cases and the liver should be monitored if taken for several days.
The incidence of side effects from this medication is relatively high (up to 25%.). Many people taking it have headaches(13%). Some patients develop nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea or dizziness. Severe skin rash may occur but this reaction, though, is not common.
B) Medicines usually prescribed for yeast infections in men
There are two drugs commonly used to treat penile yeast infections:
Diflucan (fluconazole) and Nizoral (ketaconazole) .
Nizoral (ketaconazole) is an antifungal drug. The antifungal properties of ketoconazole may be related to its ability to impair the synthesis of ergosterol, a component of fungal and yeast cell membranes. Ketaconazole comes in tablet form and may be given to treat several fungal infections within the body, including oral thrush and Candidiasis.
It may be also administered to treat severe, hard-to-treat fungal skin infections that have not disappeared after treatment with creams or ointments, or the oral drug griseofulvin (Fulvicin, Grisactin).
You can also find nizoral(ketaconazole) on the market. Nizoral cream is used for the treatment of the following fungal infections: Athletes Foot, Tinea, Ringworm and thrush infections of the skin and in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis which is caused by a yeast Malassezia Ovalis.

It must be used once a day for 2-4 weeks for most skin conditions until a few days after the disappearance of all symptoms.
The diagnosis and/or treatment should be changed if the treatment has no positive results within 4 weeks of therapy. You should pay mare attention as to the hygiene measures you take in order to control sources of infection and re-infection.
Short-term studies indicate that ketoconazole cream doesn’t produce adverse reactions while applied on the skin . During clinical trials, 43 (5.0%) of 867 patients treated with the cream and 3 (1.8%) of 167 patients treated with placebo reported side effects consisting mainly of severe irritation, pruritus and stinging. One of the patients treated with ketoconazole cream 2% developed a painful allergic reaction (swelling of the foot).
Some people tried using an over-the-counter vaginal cream (Monistat) to treat their penile yeast infection and said that it didn't work at all until they added a few drops of white vinegar to it to a small blob of cream, and then it worked overnight. However, you should not apply vinegar directly on your penis because it eats right through the skin. For other people this vaginal cream works just fine, without adding vinegar. In conclusion, if you try it and it doesn’t work just add a few drops of vinegar.

C) Prescriptions for women
The most common medicines prescribed for women are Diflucan (fluconazole) and Gynazole , a cream which contains a strong dose of butoconazole. Gynazole cream is an antifungal agent that works by weakening the cell wall of sensitive fungi, causing the cell contents to leak. This kills the fungi. Some medical conditions such as pregnancy, other medicines or allergies may interact with Gynazole cream. You should tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are pregnant ,planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding, if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances or if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement,
You can use Gynazole creamduring your period. It is advisable to use a sanitary pad rather than a tampon to prevent staining of clothing. You should know that Gynazole cream contains mineral oil, which may weaken latex or rubber products such as condoms and diaphragms. Do not use condoms or diaphragms within 72 hours of using Gynazole cream.
Gynazole cream doesn’t usually cause side effects but if you feel burning, itching, soreness, or swelling in or around the vagina , signs that you didn’t have before using this cream , go to your doctor. You should go see a doctor especially if you happen to have severe allergic reactions such as rash, hives, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue, pain or cramping in the stomach or pelvic area.
Terazol (terconazole) is another medicine prescribed for women
Nizoral (ketoconazole) can be taken also with antibiotics as a prophylactic against those antibiotic-induced yeast infections.

D) Over-the-counter treatments are drugs for which a prescription is not needed.
Before you go out the door and run to the drug store to buy an buy one of these, you should be aware that all of the over-the-counter drugs are specifically designed to treat yeast infections.
Therefore, by using one drug but you don't really have a yeast infection, you can generate a strain of drug-resistant yeast in your crotch, and next time you have a yeast infection these drugs won’t be efficient at all. Using these medicines when they are not needed and causing future resistant infection is not a wise idea because resistant infections are very difficult to treat with the currently available medications for yeast infections.
This problem doesn't occur with home remedies, which are gentler and broader. It is advisable to o try those first if you aren't sure you have a yeast infection. Although many of the home remedies will take care of most yeast infections, there are cases when you have no choice but taking more powerful treatments, and that usually means a trip to the pharmacy. if you do not want to pay the price large corporate pharmacies are asking for, , go to a small locally-owned pharmacy.
Most women can treat yeast infections at home with over-the-counter medications like
Miconazole (Monistat-Derm, Monistat Vaginal) Monistat has a purportedly 1-day treatment called Monistat-1. The active ingredient is tioconazole, a powerful antifungal drug.
Tioconazole (Vagistat Vaginal)
Butoconazole (Femstat) . In december 1995 the US FDA de-regulated a powerful fungicide, butoconazole, originally sold as Femstat and after that as Mycelex. After some studies have been made , some scientists say that butoconazole if one of the top ten drugs to cause adverse reactions
Clotrimazole (Femizole-7, Gyne-Lotrimin)

E) Recurrent yeast infections

The problem with women who have recurrent yeast infections is that when they have symptoms similarly with the ones of yeast infections, they rush to the pharmacy and get medication for yeast infections when they may be not having yeast. However, women can get over the counter treatment however, self treatment is good because you do not have to wait for treatment from the doctor. But it is important to get the first diagnosis from the doctor. Only after a woman knows the exact symptoms does she know if it is an yeast infection she is dealing with or not. In case she is right, she will also be able to get the right treatment.
For people who have documented recurrent yeast infections, there are several treatment plans. One of them is maintenance therapy, where a person is given a prescription, and for three or six months she can take the medication. There are other treatment plans where you can do it maybe not continually every day, but you do it maybe once or twice a week for three or six months. It depends what is good and efficient for each person. Each person with recurrent disease is a little bit different, so you want to tailor the therapy to that patient.
There is no benefit to topical versus pill medication in recurrent yeast infection patients. It depends on the patient and what her preference is and what she will be adherent to. Therefore , if a woman will only use a vaginal and will be adherent with the vaginal, she should stick with it if she wants to. In fact, there are actually two types of women. One type of woman chooses the pill and uses nothing in the vaginal area because she feels it's an untouchable area. The other type says , "I only want to treat the area that is infected and I don't want something systemic."

Again, if she has a medical condition, some of them may be out of her control. Antibiotic use, steroid use, obviously she can’t control. If she’s diabetic, trying to get the best blood sugar control is to her advantage. Hygiene, not wearing tight fitting jeans, not staying in wet bathing suits for long periods of time, after bowel movements making sure wiping from front to back. All of these will have an impact on reducing the yeast vaginitis incidence.

F) When to call the doctor
If yeast infections reappear, see your doctor for a more thorough work-up. Candidiasis that comes back may be a symptom of a hidden disease such as diabetes, leukemia, or AIDS.
You need a prescription medication and a quick visit to the doctor for oral thrush . If children take no fluids for longer than 12 hours, contact your doctor for possible intra-venous fluid replacement. Any fever or prolonged problems with feeding also call for a visit to a doctor.
Candidal infections on the skin can be treated with over-the-counter nystatin powders (Mycostatin, Nilstat, Nystat-Rx, Nystex, O-V Staticin) or antifungal creams and lotions. However, if the rash worsens at any time, or if you do not get rid of the lesions in 1-2 weeks, call your doctor.
If you already are being treated for a Candidal infection and the symptoms worsen or do not improve, you should notify your doctor.
Fevers, chills, vomiting, general illness, or worsening rash are signs that require a prompt investigation.
For healthy children and adults, if you try a medication and it fails or symptoms worsen, then consult your doctor. All people with weakened immune systems should contact their doctors with any new symptoms or infections.
G) When to go to the hospital
Most cases of Candidiasis do not have to be treated in the hospital. People with weakened immune systems may have more serious infections, however, and may need to be hospitalized.
If thrush interferes with drinking liquids or eating for long periods of time, people may need to be hospitalized for more aggressive medications and reestablishing body fluids.
Hospital treatment is not necessary for Candidal skin infections because the cases that couldn’t be solved by a prescribed medicine are very few.
People with weak immune systems risk to have Candidal organisms growing in their blood or internal organs, which can cause life-threatening illness. To combat this systemic illness IV medication is often required . The doctor should promptly investigate symptoms of illness or general malaise.
When fever, chills, nausea and vomiting, or abdominal pain come with the vaginal discharge, women should go to the hospital. These symptoms can indicate a more serious problem such as kidney infections, appendicitis, or pelvic inflammatory disease. These potential conditions need to be investigated promptly.

5 Why healling a yeast infection naturally is the best option

Herbal remedies have been used for thousands of years. Today an estimated one-third of adult Americans—some 60 million people—use herbal medicines each year, spending more than $3.2 billion on them. In the rest of the world, approximately 64 percent of the population relies on herbal medicines. Despite their overwhelming popularity and long history, we know relatively little about the safety and effectiveness of herbal remedies. Scientific study should make these remedies far safer and more effective in the future. Global recognition of nature’s green pharmacy should inspire individuals and nations to protect this extraordinary resource.

As with any medical decision, it’s important to be well informed before you use herbal medicines. Here are some things to consider before choosing an herbal remedy:

In herbal medicine, the word herb applies to any plant or plant part used for its medicinal, flavoring, or fragrant properties. Leaves, flowers, stems, roots, seeds, fruit, and bark can all be constituents of herbal medicines. Europeans sometimes use the term phytomedicine, from phyto (Greek for “plant”), to describe herbal or botanical medicine.

Early in human history, people practiced herbal medicine as a magical or religious healing art. From these origins, systems of herbology developed.

Botanical medicine in the Americas evolved through the blending of two separate traditions. Passengers on the Mayflower carried with them a book on European herbology. In America, the colonists encountered not only new plants but also Native Americans familiar with the properties of these plants. During the 1800s many of the most effective American healers combined European and Native American herbalism. By the 1850s Chinese immigrants had added their own herbal tradition to the mix, especially on the West Coast. Herbology began to lose influence in the United States after the Civil War, partly because conventional medicine improved during the war.

By the beginning of the 20th century chemists had become more adept at isolating the active ingredients in plants, and the use of raw, whole-plant materials began to seem crude and unscientific. In 1910 the Carnegie Foundation, at the request of the American Medical Association, issued a study of American medicine called the Flexner Report. This report elevated pharmaceutical medicine and was critical of schools that taught herbal medicine and other nonconventional approaches. This influential report contributed greatly to the decline of alternative medicine, including herbology.

Modern pharmaceuticals cannot treat every condition effectively, and some drugs have unwanted side effects. In the late 20th century herbal medicine made a comeback as people began to seek alternatives to these drugs. Today more than 1,500 herbal preparations are marketed in the United States, not only in health food stores but also in pharmacies, supermarkets, department stores, and even truck stops.

Another indication of the importance of herbals: About one-quarter of all U.S. prescription drugs are derived from herbs. The pharmaceutical industry uses around 120 different compounds derived from plants in the drugs it manufactures, and it discovered nearly three-quarters of these compounds by studying folk remedies. Examples of drugs from plants include quinine, from the bark of the South American cinchona tree, used to treat some strains of malaria; digitalis, a widely prescribed heart medication, derived from the foxglove plant; salicylic acid, the source of aspirin, from willow bark; and taxol, for treating ovarian cancer, from the yew tree.

To ensure that your are using botanical medicines safely and effectively, observe the following precautions:

- Don’t use herbal preparations to self-treat serious medical conditions or persistent symptoms.

- Don’t give children herbal remedies without medical supervision.

- Don’t take herbal medicines if you are pregnant or a nursing mother.

- Tell your doctor about any herbal remedies you are taking, because herbs can interact with conventional drugs.

- Never take more than the recommended dosage of an herbal preparation. Stop taking the herbal immediately if you notice an adverse reaction

- Purchase herbal preparations from reliable, trustworthy sources.

- When taking laboratory or drug tests, advise the person administering the test of any herbal preparations you are taking. These herbs can trigger false findings in tests for drug abuse and can invalidate routine lab tests.

Herbal medicine is a part of the alternative medicine, which is known by mankind for centuries. Alternative Medicine, also called unconventional medicine, therapeutic practices, techniques, and beliefs that are outside the realm of mainstream Western health care. Alternative medicine emphasizes therapies that improve quality of life, prevent disease, and address conditions that conventional medicine has limited success in curing, such as chronic back pain and certain cancers. Proponents of alternative medicine believe that these approaches to healing are safer and more natural and have been shown through experience to work. In certain countries, alternative medical practices are the most widely used methods of health care. However, many practitioners of modern conventional medicine believe these practices are unorthodox and unproven.

A special report prepared for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Alternative Medicine: Expanding Medical Horizons, categorizes alternative medicine practices into six fields. The first field, mind-body intervention, explores the mind’s capacity to affect, and perhaps heal, the body. Studies have shown that the mental state has a profound effect on the immune system, and these studies have provoked interest in the mind’s role in the cause and course of disease. Specific mind-body interventions include meditation, hypnosis, art therapy, biofeedback, and mental healing.

The third field is alternative systems of medical practice. Each of these systems is characterized by a specific theory of health and disease, an educational program to teach its concepts to new practitioners, and often a legal mandate to regulate its practice. Examples include acupuncture, Ayurvedic medicine, homeopathy, and naturopathy.

The pharmacological and biological treatments that make up the fifth field of alternative medicine consist of an assortment of drugs and vaccines not yet accepted in mainstream medicine. Compounds such as antineoplastins (from human blood and urine) for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), various products of the honey bee for arthritis, and iscador (a liquid extract from mistletoe) for tumors have not been scientifically evaluated because of the expense of conducting safety and effectiveness studies.

Throughout the ages people have turned for healing to herbal medicine, the sixth field of alternative medicine. All cultures have folk medicine traditions that include the use of plants and plant products. Many licensed drugs used today originated in the herbal traditions of various cultures, such as the medication commonly used for heart failure, digitalis, which is derived from foxglove. In the United States, herbal products may be marketed only as food supplements. Since they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is no guarantee of their purity or safety. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 4 billion people, or 80 percent of the world’s population, use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care.

Naturopathy was founded in the beginning of the 20th century by a group of therapists who were followers of Sebastian Kneipp, a 19th-century proponent of the healing powers of nature. At the height of its popularity, there were more than 20 naturopathic medical schools (today there are only three) in the United States and naturopathic physicians were licensed in most states. The practice of naturopathic medicine declined as the use of pharmaceutical drugs increased. However, in the past several decades there has been a resurgence of interest in naturopathy.

Naturopathic medicine integrates alternative medical practices—such as botanical medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, and Oriental medicine—with modern scientific diagnostic methods and standards of care. Naturopathic physicians are trained in conventional medical disciplines as well as in alternative approaches. They integrate this knowledge according to principles that recognize the body’s inherent ability to heal itself, the importance of prevention, and the possibility of therapeutic use of nutrition to promote health and fight disease.

Most of the research on naturopathy has been based on observation of treatments rather than on controlled clinical trials that compare naturopathic therapy with no treatment (a placebo) or with an alternative treatment. There remains considerable skepticism among practitioners of conventional medicine and among biomedical researchers regarding the efficacy of alternative medicine. Many of the claims made by practitioners of alternative medicine have not been supported by rigorously controlled scientific study. However, in recent years many scientists have begun to conduct such studies to evaluate alternative therapies. A division of the NIH, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM, originally the Office of Alternative Medicine), was established by the Congress of the United States in 1992 to facilitate the fair scientific evaluation of alternative therapies. The NCCAM seeks to reduce barriers that may keep promising alternative therapies from gaining widespread use. Physicians are also gaining more confidence in alternative therapies. By the late 1990s, some 75 U.S. medical schools had incorporated courses in alternative medicine into their curricula. It is possible that what was considered alternative in the past will become mainstream in years to come. Alternative medicine is rapidly gaining popularity in the United States. Members of the mainstream medical establishment, however, have long cautioned that many alternative cures have not undergone vigorous testing. Here is an example of serious disease cured by a natural remedy. Michael Alferez was a robust, 28-year-old probation officer in Los Angeles, California, when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease of the central nervous system that attacks and destroys tissues in the brain and spinal cord. An unflappable, good-natured young man, Alferez (not his real name) found a respected neurologist who specialized in the incurable disease and followed the doctor's orders faithfully. Even so, Alferez's health continued to fail. By age 34 he had difficulty using stairs and began collecting disability benefits. That was when he heard about “the bees.”

Although really nothing more than a folk remedy, bee venom therapy (also known as apitherapy) has become increasingly popular among people with MS and arthritis. Users believe that the venom bolsters the immune system's ability to fight these diseases. Alferez approached his doctor, neurologist Richard Shubin of Pasadena, California, about using bee stings to improve his health.

“He said, 'It's up to you,'” Alferez recalled, and in 1998 Alferez began receiving a total of about 90 bee stings in three treatment sessions per week. “With MS, you reach a point where there is no hope. You're willing to try anything.”

Shubin, meanwhile, was more cautious. “I tell patients that bee stings can be dangerous. But there may be some component in the bee venom that might have some effect on the immune system.” Still, he sighs, “In the field of alternative medicine, it's very difficult to know what's on the up-and-up.”

Doctors such as Shubin probably would once have been aghast if a patient expressed interest in bee venom therapy, and would have been unlikely to give the patient the go-ahead. But that was before popular interest in alternative medicine exploded in the 1980s. By the late 1990s alternative medicine had established a seemingly permanent presence in American health care.

Nevertheless, some conventional practitioners still vehemently oppose alternative medicine. Critics argue that the benefits touted by alternative medicine have not been scientifically proven and could cause serious harm in some cases. They also note that, in sharp contrast to the years of training required to become a mainstream health-care provider, there are few or no qualifications needed to practice some types of alternative medicine. These concerns and others have spawned a heated debate over whether alternative medicine, also known as complementary medicine, should be subject to stricter laws and regulations.

The United States has one of the world's fastest growing alternative health-care markets. But that is perhaps only because it has so much ground to gain when compared to other nations. What Americans call alternative medicine is considered traditional or conventional medicine in an estimated 65 to 80 percent of the world, according to Wayne Jonas, a former director of the Office of Alternative Medicine, now the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). “Even in countries where modern Western biomedicine dominates, the public makes extensive use of complementary and alternative practices,” Jonas notes.

The existence of the NCCAM is a reflection of the growing national interest in alternative medicine. The center was founded to facilitate and conduct research into alternative medicine. Originally created in 1992 by the Congress of the United States as the Office of Alternative Medicine, it was replaced in 1998 by the NCCAM, a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The organization's annual budget grew from $2 million in 1993 to $50 million in 1999. The NCCAM sponsors research into many areas of alternative medicine, including comparisons between how alternative medicine is viewed in the United States and elsewhere in the world.

Conventional medicine remains the first choice for treating serious illness throughout Canada, South America, Australia, and much of Europe, Jonas says. But 40 percent of physicians in the Netherlands use homeopathy, and 70 percent of German pain clinics—which specialize in treating people with chronic pain—rely on acupuncture. Homeopathy is based on the principle that “like cures like” and emphasizes diet, exercise, and natural medications. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that treats disorders by inserting needles under the skin.

Americans are catching up. According to the nation's leading surveyor of the alternative movement, David M. Eisenberg of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, 4 in 10 Americans used alternative therapies in 1997, a 50 percent jump from 1990. Included in the list of alternative therapies were relaxation techniques, chiropractic treatments, massage, commercial weight-loss programs, lifestyle diets, herbal medicine, self-help groups, hypnosis, homeopathy, and folk remedies. Writing in the November 1998 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Eisenberg also reported that more Americans visited alternative providers than primary care doctors in 1997, boosting alternative medicine to an estimated $21.2 billion industry.

Eisenberg is not the only researcher to find evidence of increasing public interest in alternative medical treatments. According to Jonas, fully half of U.S. cancer patients use unconventional therapies during the course of their illnesses, and about half of all doctors either employ alternative medical treatments themselves or recommend complementary therapies to their patients. “In the past, users of alternative medicine were one of two types: true believers or people about to die. Now, they are the man next door,” says John Weeks, executive editor of Alternative Medicine Integration and Coverage, a trade publication on alternative medicine based in Seattle, Washington.

The alternative medicine movement has found some of its strongest support among members of the baby boom generation (people born in the years 1946 to 1960). One of the baby boomers' major contributions to the emergence of alternative medicine has been the concept that health is influenced by spirituality, emotions, personal empowerment, and behavior. Many people have found that the philosophies behind alternative medicine fit well with these beliefs.

As popular interest has grown, even mainstream medical organizations have expressed interest in alternative medicine. In November 1998 the American Medical Association (AMA) devoted an entire issue of Journal of the American Medical Association JAMA to studies on alternative therapies. More than half of the alternative treatments under study were found effective.

Meanwhile, more and more conventional physicians are seeking training in alternative medicine. As of 1999, 67 of the 127 medical schools in the United States taught alternative medicine as part of a required course. Among these are prominent schools such as Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts; Cornell University in Ithaca, New York; and the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York City.

The onset of the human immunodeficiency virus epidemic (HIV, the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS) in the mid-1980s was one of the reasons people began turning to alternative medicine. Conventional medicine was unable to provide an effective treatment, leading people to seek other therapies. Public interest in alternative medicine also grew as people realized that victory in the fight against cancer was a long way off.

Other perceived shortcomings of conventional medicine centered around chronic ailments. For example, a 1998 study published in the JAMA by John Astin, a researcher at Stanford University in California, found that the health problems for which Americans most frequently use alternative therapies include chronic pain, muscle strains or sprains, headaches, arthritis, and addictions.

But not everyone who uses alternative medical procedures does so because they are dissatisfied with the results from mainstream treatments. “Alternative health care is becoming more widespread and popular for reasons that have nothing to do with alternative medicine,” says Michael Goldstein, a professor of public health at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and the author of Alternative Health Care: Medicine, Miracle, or Mirage? (1999). “There is a negative feeling toward conventional medicine and the way it deals with particular problems such as chronic illness. And there is an increasing dissatisfaction with the way care is provided.”

For example, many people have expressed discontent with the health care provided by managed health-care plans. Managed health-care companies, such as health maintenance organizations (HMOs), often limit patients' choice of treatment options and providers to hold down costs. Critics of this cost-cutting approach believe it depersonalizes medical care and reduces doctors' interest in developing a relationship with their patients.

One measure of the increasing popularity of alternative medicine is that some managed care companies have begun to cover alternative treatments. Most major health insurance companies now cover at least one form of alternative therapy, often because the alternative therapy is less expensive than the conventional treatment. A 1997 study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion by Kenneth R. Pelletier, a researcher at Stanford University, found that 30 major U.S. insurers cover at least one form of alternative therapy. The benefits are typically tightly controlled, however.

Another factor behind the rising popularity of alternative health care is that many Americans (16.3 percent of the population, or about 44.3 million people in 1998) do not have health insurance or suffer from ailments that their insurance plan does not or will not cover. This situation has opened the door to practitioners who tout inexpensive, seemingly natural, ways to heal in lieu of mainstream, and more expensive, solutions.

The Hippocratic oath, which is traditionally sworn by all physicians who enter medical practice, calls for them to exercise their art “solely for the cure of your patients.” In adherence to this axiom, and in the interest of public health, mainstream medical treatments are tested rigorously before being used to treat patients. As more and more people turn to alternative medicine, they want similar assurances that these remedies are safe and effective. The need for such assurances has prompted a lively debate over the pros and cons of alternative medicine as well as calls for additional research and regulation.

Most alternative therapies that have attracted a large following in the West are either well regulated, as in the case of acupuncture, or carry no obvious health risks, as in the case of massage therapy. In 1997 the NIH released a report attesting to the benefits of acupuncture for post-operative pain and for nausea from cancer chemotherapy and pregnancy. And acupuncture is considered very safe when sterile, disposable needles are used by a trained practitioner. Massage therapy is also widely practiced and accepted in the United States. So long as care is taken to ensure that massage will not make a particular condition worse, it is widely considered safe.

But the vast majority of alternative practices remain largely unproven, and their popularity is based to a great extent on the anecdotal experiences of patients. Several treatments fall into this category: homeopathy; naturopathy, which combines alternative therapies with modern diagnostic methods; aromatherapy, which uses the medicinal properties believed to be contained in the extracts of certain plants; and therapeutic touch, which involves manipulating the patient's “energy flow” to promote healing.

Relative to aromatherapy and therapeutic touch, homeopathy and naturopathy are more widely accepted. For example, the September 1997 issue of the British medical journal Lancet published an analysis of 89 studies on homeopathy. The analysis concluded that some homeopathic treatments were probably effective.

Therapeutic touch and aromatherapy are scientifically unsupported treatments. Delores Krieger, a New York nurse, and Dora Kunz, an alternative medicine practitioner, developed therapeutic touch in the early 1970s. Despite little scientific support for this practice, many doctors agree that the practice is pleasant for the patient, who may feel better afterward, perhaps due to the encounter with the caregiver. Aromatherapy, meanwhile, is considered harmless, but experts encourage users to be careful with some of the substances, such as clove and cinnamon, because of the potential for allergic reactions.

The unifying similarity between these and most other alternative medical practices is the general lack of scientific data about their effectiveness. Thus, conventional doctors find it particularly unfortunate when a patient opts for an unproved therapy in place of mainstream treatments. The need for additional research was summed up in a September 1998 editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine: “There cannot be two kinds of medicine—conventional and alternative. There is only medicine that has been adequately tested and medicine that has not, medicine that works and medicine that may or may not work.” But the editorial also noted that some proponents of alternative medicine have resisted calls for further research, believing that “the scientific method is simply not applicable to their remedies.”

One challenge facing those who seek to test the effectiveness of alternative therapies is the placebo effect. The placebo effect is a temporary improvement in a patient's condition that is often attributed to the patient's belief that the treatment is working. Many mainstream medical practitioners argue that the benefits of some alternative therapies can often be attributed to the placebo effect.

The placebo effect can also skew research into conventional treatments. To account for this, conventional researchers use blind or double-blind tests when testing new therapies. In a blind test the test subject does not know whether they are receiving the treatment being studied or a placebo (a substitute, such as a sugar pill). In a double-blind test neither the test subjects nor those conducting the test know which subjects are receiving the treatment under study and which are not. These methods eliminate the possibility of bias and help researchers determine the true effectiveness of the treatment.

The issue of testing is not the only problem facing the alternative medicine movement. As managed care companies have added coverage for treatments such as acupuncture and botanical medicine, they have been challenged to find enough credible practitioners. For example, naturopaths are licensed only in Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington. Although 36 states license acupuncturists and about half license massage therapists, many alternative practitioners can practice their craft without a license, degree, or any type of credential. Anyone, for example, can call himself or herself a nutritionist—from a registered dietitian (RD) with a college degree to a high-school dropout peddling hair analyses to check for vitamin deficiencies.

Another long-standing problem is the vast array of inflated claims attached to advertising for alternative medical products. In 1997 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) examined alternative medicines and treatments advertised on the Internet. The survey found hundreds of misleading claims for alternative health products, most carrying “outrageous claims about the curative powers of the products,” according to one FTC attorney.

Although some states have licensing requirements and the FTC occasionally polices alternative remedies, consumers can do little to distinguish between legitimate and worthless therapies and therapists. Many proponents of alternative medicine believe this is perhaps the single biggest barrier to their movement. Medical doctors might lose their licenses for offering unproved therapies in place of standard care. However, no penalties are assessed against unlicensed practitioners who offer chelation (a treatment that removes heavy metals from the bloodstream), oxygen therapy, or any number of untested and controversial therapies.

Some types of alternative medicine have become so popular that efforts to regulate them have met with fierce resistance. In the early 1990s, for example, an advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended new rules to ensure the safety of vitamin supplements taken in doses beyond the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). The panel also suggested that amino acids (an organic compound that serves as the building blocks for proteins) be regulated in the same way as drugs.

The resulting debate brought Americans' desire to seek alternative means of healing and preventing disease into sharp focus. It was also a case study in the challenges facing efforts to regulate alternative therapies.

The panel's recommendation aimed to close one of the most glaring loopholes in the regulation of medicinal substances in the United States: the sale of vitamin, mineral, herbal, and amino acid supplements. Consumption of vitamins and minerals is a well-accepted part of traditional medicine, and studies have shown the potential benefits of using these and other substances. For example, several plant substances have shown promise, such as saw palmetto (a type of palm), for treating prostate enlargement, feverfew (a type of herb) for easing migraine headache pain, and horse chestnut extract for shrinking varicose veins. But the use of vitamins and minerals above the RDA, along with herbs and amino acids, remains on the fringe of conventional health care.

Health risks from the use of supplements are well documented. In 1989, for example, authorities began removing the amino acid L-tryptophan from the market after more than 1,500 people became seriously ill with eosinophilia mylagia syndrome (EMS), a rare blood disorder caused by impurities in the supplement. And several heart attacks and deaths have been reported from the use of the herb ma huang (also known as ephedra). This herb can be especially dangerous when combined with caffeine because ma huang and caffeine are both stimulants. When taken together, they could possibly trigger a heart attack.

Despite these well-established risks, the panel's proposal unleashed a fury of opposition. Consumer response was so massive—nurtured by the public relations arm of the supplement industry—that lawmakers received more letters of protest than at any time since the Vietnam War (1959-1975). “They're trying to take our vitamins away!” said one outraged consumer, a 55-year-old man who had survived cancer but had lost his 5-year-old daughter to another form of the disease.

This outpouring of opposition sparked a bipartisan congressional effort to counter the proposal. The effort was spearheaded by Senator Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican whose constituents included the Utah herb industry, and Senator Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat who had close friendships with leaders in the field of alternative health care.

In October 1994 Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). Instead of imposing stricter oversight, DSHEA gave supplement manufacturers wide latitude to sell their products without the same government oversight that applies to drugs. DSHEA defines dietary supplements as foods, although manufacturers are limited in the health claims they can make in marketing their products. But manufacturers are not required to prove that their products work or even contain the amount of active ingredients listed on the labels. DSHEA also established the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) to “explore the role of dietary supplements in the improvement of health care.”

“DSHEA was a way of giving consumers control over their health. It was saying 'The doctor doesn't know everything,'” says Michael H. Cohen, an associate professor of law at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California, and the author of Complementary & Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998).

Other experts decried DSHEA. A September 1998 editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine said that DSHEA allowed untested products to flood the market, “subject only to the scruples of their manufacturers.… It is time for the scientific community to stop giving alternative medicine a free ride.”

Despite calls for stricter regulation, consumers have embraced dietary supplements, creating a multimillion-dollar industry. According to a 1997 report by market research firm Information Resources, Inc., herb sales in food, drug, and discount stores rose 56 percent from 1996 to 1997, to $339 million. But the dearth of regulations to guarantee quality products and the lack of scientific scrutiny of their effectiveness continue to dog the industry. Because of this, the NCCAM recommends that consumers discuss the use of supplements with their physician, purchase products from established pharmaceutical companies, and not exceed the recommended dosages.

Despite the unevenness within the field of alternative medicine—from therapies that scientific studies show hold great promise to unproved and possibly harmful remedies—the future looks bright for the continued growth of alternative medicine. The factors shaping its evolution, including the costs of high-tech, modern medicine and changing consumer philosophies, suggest that it is not a passing trend.

For example, a 1998 study showed that alternative medicine is most popular among people aged 25 to 49, a group that makes up about 38 percent of the total U.S. population. And a 1999 survey, conducted by The Hartman Group, an industry marketing and research firm in Bellevue, Washington, found that 70 percent of all Americans take at least one dietary supplement. “It's the consumer who is changing,” says Karen Raterman, editor of Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine. “Individuals are reclaiming the right to take care of their own health.”

To be sure, however, there will be continued calls for more study of alternative remedies and scrutiny of practitioners to separate the legitimate from the worthless. Already some evidence indicates that alternative health businesses are doing more self-policing to protect consumer confidence. For example, Maryland-based Nutramax Laboratories has pledged to use only pharmaceutical-grade manufacturing practices and to sponsor controlled clinical research to show the safety and effectiveness of its products. And mainstream pharmaceutical companies that have entered the herb business will not be willing to risk their reputations by providing inferior or harmful products. The recent addition of alternative health course work in medical schools will elevate physicians' knowledge, enabling them to be better counselors to their patients.

Meanwhile, the battle over the regulation of alternative remedies promises to continue. Already, a debate is underway in Congress about the need to close loopholes and tighten some freedoms now conferred by the DSHEA. In December 1998, for example, the AMA voted to try to work with Congress to modify the DSHEA so that products would undergo evaluation by the FDA for safety and effectiveness. But no one now dares to “take away our vitamins” or deny consumers the power t to choose from a broadening array of healing practices

When a previously healthy 53-year-old woman died of heart failure in August 1997, doctors were baffled. Eventually, the medical examiner’s autopsy report would link her death to complications associated with the use of fenfluramine and phentermine, a diet drug combination popularly known as fen-phen. At the time of the woman’s death, doctors were writing about 20 million prescriptions for this drug therapy annually. In September 1997, two months after the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued this warning, the FDA asked manufacturers to voluntarily withdraw fen-phen from the market.

In early July 1997 the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) informed physicians that a commonly prescribed combination of appetite-suppressing drugs known as fen-phen may be linked to heart valve problems. The cause for concern was a July 8, 1997, report from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, that 24 healthy women taking fen-phen developed heart valve abnormalities.

The FDA did not recommend any changes to the labeling of the drugs, but alerted physicians that the Mayo Clinic report and a few other cases raised “serious concerns” about the combined use of the drugs. The agency recommended that patients taking the drugs in combination or for any purpose for which the drugs were not specifically approved be monitored carefully for heart and lung problems.

The Mayo Clinic physicians noted that without a scientific study comparing patients taking fen-phen with patients not receiving the drug combination, the link between these weight-loss drugs and heart problems could not be proven. However, the physicians noted that the type of heart valve abnormalities seen in the 24 women was rare in people less than 50 years old, and therefore the association between heart valve problems and fen-phen “is not likely to be due to chance.”

Fen-phen, a combination regimen of the prescription drugs fenfluramine (marketed as Pondimin) and phentermine (marketed under brand names such as Ionamin and Fastin), has become a popular treatment for obesity. Physicians in the United States wrote about 18 million prescriptions for the drug regimen in 1996.

The FDA approved fenfluramine and phentermine separately more than 20 years ago as appetite suppressants for the short-term treatment of obesity. The combination treatment, not specifically approved by the FDA but often prescribed for long-term use, received attention in recent months because of concerns that people of normal weight were obtaining the drugs through diet centers to shed a few pounds and were taking the drugs with little or no medical supervision.

Obesity is generally defined to be more than 25 percent body fat for men and more than 30 percent body fat for women. Physicians often use a figure known as body mass index (BMI), which compares weight to height, to measure obesity. Obesity can lead to or worsen many medical problems, including hypertension, diabetes, and arthritis. Because of these health risks, people who are obese are encouraged to lose weight through diet, exercise, and, in some cases, drug therapy. About one-third of adults in the United States are obese.

The FDA reported that as of July 8 it had received 33 reports of heart valve abnormalities in women who had taken fen-phen. Heart valve problems can show up as a heart murmur, an abnormal sound in the heartbeat, or as physical symptoms such as shortness of breath. Of the 33 women with heart valve problems, 6 required open-heart surgery. In about one-half of the 33 cases, the women also had pulmonary hypertension (restricted blood flow in the vessels that service the lungs), a serious condition. About 2 in 5 people with pulmonary hypertension die within four years of diagnosis.

Several prescription weight-loss drugs have previously been linked to a slightly increased risk of pulmonary hypertension. For example, the risk of primary pulmonary hypertension for the prescription drug dexfenfluramine (Redux), approved in April 1996, is believed to be about 18 cases per 1 million dexfenfluramine users per year. The occurrence of the lung disorder in the general population is 1 to 2 cases per 1 million people. The FDA approved the drug for use by patients who are quite obese (with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or greater) or who are moderately obese (a BMI of 27 kg/m2 or greater) but have other conditions such as hypertension or diabetes. For example, a person who is 167 cm (5 ft 6 in) tall and weighs 84 kg (185 lb) would have a BMI of 30 kg/m2.

The use of antibiotics is limited because bacteria have evolved defenses against certain antibiotics. One of the main mechanisms of defense is inactivation of the antibiotic. This is the usual defense against penicillins and chloramphenicol, among others. Another form of defense involves a mutation that changes the bacterial enzyme affected by the drug in such a way that the antibiotic can no longer inhibit it. This is the main mechanism of resistance to the compounds that inhibit protein synthesis, such as the tetracyclines.

All these forms of resistance are transmitted genetically by the bacterium to its progeny. Genes that carry resistance can also be transmitted from one bacterium to another by means of plasmids, chromosomal fragments that contain only a few genes, including the resistance gene. Some bacteria conjugate with others of the same species, forming temporary links during which the plasmids are passed from one to another. If two plasmids carrying resistance genes to different antibiotics are transferred to the same bacterium, their resistance genes can be assembled onto a single plasmid. The combined resistances can then be transmitted to another bacterium, where they may be combined with yet another type of resistance. In this way, plasmids are generated that carry resistance to several different classes of antibiotic. In addition, plasmids have evolved that can be transmitted from one species of bacteria to another, and these can transfer multiple antibiotic resistance between very dissimilar species of bacteria.

The problem of resistance has been exacerbated by the use of antibiotics as prophylactics, intended to prevent infection before it occurs. Indiscriminate and inappropriate use of antibiotics for the treatment of the common cold and other common viral infections, against which they have no effect, removes antibiotic-sensitive bacteria and allows the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Similarly, the use of antibiotics in poultry and livestock feed has promoted the spread of drug resistance and has led to the widespread contamination of meat and poultry by drug-resistant bacteria such as Salmonella.

In the 1970s, tuberculosis seemed to have been nearly eradicated in the developed countries, although it was still prevalent in developing countries. Now its incidence is increasing, partly due to resistance of the tubercle bacillus to antibiotics. Some bacteria, particularly strains of staphylococci, are resistant to so many classes of antibiotics that the infections they cause are almost untreatable. When such a strain invades a surgical ward in a hospital, it is sometimes necessary to close the ward altogether for a time. Similarly, plasmodia, the causative organisms of malaria, have developed resistance to antibiotics, while, at the same time, the mosquitoes that carry plasmodia have become resistant to the insecticides that were once used to control them. Consequently, although malaria had been almost entirely eliminated, it is now again rampant in Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and parts of Latin America. Furthermore, the discovery of new antibiotics is now much less common than in the past.

Most of us are taught that we need to go to medical doctors when we get sick. What we aren’t taught is that the real doctor is already within us as the innate wisdom of the body. This is the difference between conventional allopathic systems and natural holistic medicine systems. The philosophy of natural medicine is that, given the right conditions, the body will heal itself. Whereas the allopathic model tries to control defective body systems through drug intervention, or kill foreign invaders with antibiotics, natural medicine rarely includes toxic agents. Instead, herbs, homeopathic remedies and other non-invasive therapies are used. These techniques harmoniously help facilitate the repair and strengthening of bodily systems (especially the immune system, which can then properly fight foreign invaders), or help to destroy offending pathogens without toxic side effects. The goal of natural medicine is to figure out why systems have weakened and then repair them, which results in healing.

In natural medicine, prevention is always considered the first priority. Therefore, much attention is placed on educating the patient about proper diet and other lifestyle choices that affect health, such as discussed in this book. An ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure, and more. Speaking of cures, only the body cures. Not drugs, not diet, not herbs, or anything else. It is the innate wisdom of the body and the unblocked flow of life force energy that moves through the body that produces healing (cure). However, that doesn’t mean we can’t help the body heal, which is the focus of this book.

To conclude, we will let you know a flow chart which depicts the connection between health, disease and treatment. Let’s suppose that a person is healthy, but he or she broke some natural or divine laws. These laws can be physical, mental, affective or spiritual.

The concepts of Yin and Yang originate in ancient Chinese philosophy and metaphysics, which describes two primal opposing but complementary forces found in all things in the universe.

Yin (Chinese: 陰/阴; pinyin: yīn; literally "shady place, north slope (hill), south bank (river); cloudy, overcast") is the darker element; it is sad, passive, dark, feminine, downward-seeking, and corresponds to the night.

Yang (陽/阳; yáng; "sunny place, south slope (hill), north bank (river); sunshine") is the brighter element; it is happy, active, light, masculine, upward-seeking and corresponds to the day. Yin is often symbolized by water or earth, while Yang is symbolized by fire, or wind.

Yin (receptive, feminine, dark, passive force) and Yang (creative, masculine, bright, active force) are descriptions of complementary opposites rather than absolutes. Any Yin/Yang dichotomy can be seen as its opposite when viewed from another perspective. The categorization is seen as one of convenience. Most forces in nature can be seen as having Yin and Yang states, and the two are usually in movement rather than held in absolute stasis.

Everything can be described as both Yin and Yang.

1. Yin and Yang do not exclude each other.

Everything has its opposite—although this is never absolute, only relative. No one thing is completely Yin or completely Yang. Each contains the seed of its opposite. For example, winter can turn into summer; "what goes up must come down".

2. Yin and Yang are interdependent.

One cannot exist without the other. For example, day cannot exist without night. Light cannot exist without darkness.

3. Yin and Yang can be further subdivided into Yin and Yang.

Any Yin or Yang aspect can be further subdivided into Yin and Yang. For example, temperature can be seen as either hot or cold. However, hot can be further divided into warm or burning; cold into cool or icy. Within each spectrum, there is a smaller spectrum; every beginning is a moment in time, and has a beginning and end, just as every hour has a beginning and end.

4. Yin and Yang consume and support each other.

Yin and Yang are usually held in balance—as one increases, the other decreases. However, imbalances can occur. There are four possible imbalances: Excess Yin, excess Yang, Yin deficiency, and Yang deficiency. They can again be seen as a pair: by excess of Yin there is a Yang deficiency and vice versa. The imbalance is also a relative factor: the excess of Yang "forces" Yin to be more "concentrated".

5. Yin and Yang can transform into one another.

At a particular stage, Yin can transform into Yang and vice versa. For example, night changes into day; warmth cools; life changes to death. However this transformation is relative too. Night and day coexist on Earth at the same time when shown from space.

6. Part of Yin is in Yang and part of Yang is in Yin.

The dots in each serve:

1. as a reminder that there are always traces of one in the other. For example, there is always light within the dark (e.g., the stars at night); these qualities are never completely one or the other.
2. as a reminder that absolute extreme side transforms instantly into the opposite, or that the labels Yin and Yang are conditioned by an observer's point of view. For example, the hardest stone is easiest to break. This can show that absolute discrimination between the two is artificial.

The energetic lack of balance leads to blood intoxication, then to the intoxication of the physical body. At this time appear the first disease symptoms. On the one hand, they may be solved by the body and the patient gets well, on the other hand, it is possible that they overcome the capacities of the organism, and there may occur physical or psychical yin yang illnesses. Allopate medicine can relieve the symptoms, apparently it can cure, but for a short time and there are side effects. Besides diseases may become chronic or incurable and eventually lethal. Nevertheless, natural remedies let the body get rid of toxins, offer an energetic harmony to the body, relieves the causes of the disease. In addition the treatment may be real and permanent and the organism becomes stronger. You may be healthier and you may live longer.

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