The Beginner's Guide to Natural Living
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Dr. Angela Agrios, ND
My very talented Naturopathic Doctor
She treats a wide variety of conditions
Office & phone appointments available
Los Angeles, CA (Pacific Palisades)

Yeast Infections
Naturopathic Medicine Treatment
Interview with Dr. Maggie Ney, ND

Yeast Infection Symptoms
A vaginal yeast infection is due to an overgrowth of candida in the vagina. This leads to symptoms of itchiness, irritation, soreness and discharge. The conventional treatment for yeast infections are antifungal drugs, either an oral medication or topical creams. The concern with this approach is that the oral medication can be very toxic to the liver, and neither approach really gets to the root cause of the yeast infection. The cause of yeast infections is due to an overgrowth of candida in the vagina. Some candida is normally present in the vagina, but only becomes a problem when there is a disruption in the normal flora, specifically the amount of the lactobacillus acidophilus in the vagina. This can result from recent antibiotic use, the use of lubricants and spermicides, hormonal changes, birth control pills, a poor diet or weakened immune system.

Naturopathic Medicine Yeast Infection Diagnosis
So I diagnose a yeast infection by getting a really good history on my patient, doing a physical exam and doing some basic laboratory work. So in the physical exam I’m actually looking at the vagina and the discharge. What’s typical of a yeast infection are the vaginal lips are really red and irritated, and then there’s discharge even on the outside or in the vaginal canal, which typically is white and curdy but can also be very thin to very thick in consistency.

So I take a swap of the discharge and I do a PH because there are a lot of other vaginal infections besides yeast and most of them as associated with a higher PH in the vagina, so I’m looking for a normal PH which tends to be around four or four and a half in the vagina. And then I take a look at that discharge underneath the microscope and I’m actually looking for yeast, and if I spot it then it’s clearly a yeast infection and I’ll go ahead and treat it. If my patient is getting more than four yeast infections in a year, I’m going to do blood work because I want to look at blood sugar levels and their immune system.

Naturopathic Medicine Yeast Infection Treatment
I have a two prong approach to treating yeast infections. The first is to get rid of symptoms and decrease the amount of yeast in the vagina, and the second is to make sure the yeast infection does not come back. I do this by first addressing diet, and a diet should be whole foods and be very limited in the amount of sugar, processed foods and alcohol. The sugar, processed foods, alcohol, they all go into feeding yeast, and what we want to do is get rid of the yeast not feed them and have them populate. I always recommend that during yeast infections, women avoid wearing pantyhose, non-cotton underwear and really tight clothing. I also recommend overall immune support, so supplements such as garlic, vitamin C and zinc can be very helpful. I always recommend a probiotic such as lactobacillus acidophilus, both orally and vaginally. And I might also recommend vaginal suppositories to get really local antifungal, anti-inflammatory treatments. They suppositories might include thuja, Oregon grape, tea tree oil or boric acid.

Naturopathic Medicine Yeast Infection Treatment Success
When patients follow my protocol, my success rate for treating yeast infections is pretty high. Not only are symptoms gone within usually three days, but the yeast infections just don’t come back.

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Naturopathic Medicine Yeast Infection Diet
If someone wants to reverse their yeast infection, I recommend adopting a natural living lifestyle. This includes a diet that eliminates sugar, processed foods and alcohol and includes a lot of whole foods, organic nutrient rich foods. I also recommend taking a probiotic supplement to help repopulate the vaginal flora and prevent against the recurrence of candida. And I also strongly encourage visiting a naturopathic doctor.

Interview with Dr. Maggie Ney, ND

Also See: Dr. Angela Agrios, ND Naturopathic Doctor Health Series