pills spilled out on a table with a text bubble saying probiotics for chronic yeast infections

Yeast Infections = Vulvovaginal Candidiasis (VVC)

The medical term for yeast infections is vulvovaginal candidiasis. VVC is a condition that affects about 75% of women at least once during their lifetime [1].

It’s usually well managed and responds well to conventional treatments.

It usually arises from Candida albicans, a yeast-like fungal organism which is actually normally in the healthy vaginal environment and gastrointestinal tract.

Yeast infections occur when there is an overgrowth of Candida species. Why may chronic or recurrent yeast infections occur? Please click here to find out.

Specific Probiotics Can Help

Look for these specifically: Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14

First, let's learn about Lactobacillus

Lactobacilli are a family of bacteria. This is the predominant bacteria of a healthy vagina. They tend to prevent overgrowth of pathogens. They work by producing certain acids, bacteriocins, biosurfactants, hydrogen peroxide and coaggregation molecules [2]. Lactobacillus helps maintain a normal vaginal pH of 3.8 to 4.5 [3], which is quite acidic. As a woman ages, pH rises to about 5.3.

Probiotic Supplements

Probiotics are live organisms which, in adequate amounts, can have some beneficial health benefit. These are a good option for anyone with a yeast infection, both first time infections as well as chronic or recurrent infections.

When supplementing a probiotic, we need choose a specific probiotic formula based on our goals and medical history. We cannot take random probiotics and expect a specific response to occur.

Probiotics for Yeast Infections

A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was performed taking the aforementioned probiotics, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14.

The results were very encouraging.

Women taking these two specific probiotics had the following benefits, after taking the supplements for 4 weeks:

  1. Less vaginal discharge
  2. Less itching
  3. Less burning
  4. Less painful urination
  5. Less painful vaginal insertion

Not only was there symptomatic relief, but the same study showed it fought off Candida species, even better than those taking anti-fungal meds!

Summary

If you’re dealing with a yeast infection, probiotics have an important role to play. There are many contributing factors, especially in chronic or recurrent yeast infections. Probiotics have been shown to help neutralize the overgrowth of invading pathogens, as well as provide symptomatic relief. You do need to find specific probiotics so make sure you work with a naturopath locally, who can assist you in finding the appropriate supplements.

References

About the Author - Dr. Johann de Chickera

Dr. Johann de Chickera is a naturopath at Absolute Health and Wellness in Paris Ontario

Dr. Johann is a licensed naturopathic doctor and co-owner of Absolute Health and Wellness. He completed his 4-year degree at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). His clinical focus lies in chronic disease, such as those related to the Gastrointestinal, Endocrine, and Immune Systems.

His approach to medicine relies on working with the patient to come up with a feasible, multi-factorial approach that addresses all complaints at once. He employs a strong background in diagnostic medicine and human physiology and pathology to diagnose and treat. His treatment involve a combination of nutritional counselling, botanical medicine, eastern medicine (acupuncture), nutraceutical supplementation and hands on physical medicine.

To book in please call us at (519) 442-2206 or click here.

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