It’s something that we don’t normally talk about, but a topic that us women need to get comfortable with a little more… and that’s our vagina and it’s health.
There are so many of us feeling very alone, dealing with a multitude of problems and thinking that the only way to solve the issues are by chomping down on medication or just grinning and bearing it. However, the time has come to change all that, as I uncover two of the most common issues and how we can help ourselves.
Thrust and yeast infections affect almost every woman at some point in their life and they’re frequently advertised in the media with wonderful creams and pills to ‘treat that internal itch”, yet no one seems to explore the root cause of these conditions.
The type of yeast that causes the infection is called candida albicans and develops in favourable, damp conditions like armpits, naval, mouth, in the ears, nails, the gut, and you guessed it… the genital areas. When this grows out of control however, symptoms such as itching, discharge, bleeding, pain and smells can develop. Candida can overgrow in the body due to birth control pills, antibiotic use, a high sugar diet, hormonal imbalances, a weak immune system, allergies, and stress, but luckily, there are natural things that we can do to help:
- Remove sugar and most carbohydrates such as grains, alcohol, and high glycemic fruits, as they feed the yeast
- Take a good quality probiotic to feed the good bacteria that can keep candida under control
- Consider using an alternative to oral contraceptives as these can effect gut flora in the body and yeast
- Take caprylic acid, which pokes holes in the wall of the yeast cell, causing it to die
- Eat loads of garlic as it can penetrate the yeast cells and is one of the best options for fighting the infection
- Heal your gut by eliminating inflammatory foods (especially gluten & dairy) so that the yeast doesn’t enter the blood stream (leaky gut is really common with candida infections so this step and other gut healing protocols are super important)
According to statistics, at least 50% of women will develop a UTI over their lifetime, and due to antibiotic resistance, there’s been increasing concern as to how to treat it. UTIs can be an indication of an imbalanced gut flora and a build up of oxalates, so taking steps to detect what is going on at a deeper level is crucial.
There are plenty of home remedies shown to be highly effective too:
- Drinking 5-8 glasses of water daily to flush the bacteria out
- Eliminating oxalate rich foods
- Wiping from front to back to ensure bacteria doesn’t pass into the urethra
- Wearing cotton undies and loose fitting clothes to allow air to pass freely
- Carrying out a stool test to uncover what’s happening in the gut
- Drinking pure, no sugar added, organic cranberry juice (there is evidence that cranberries are an effective UTI treatment)
- Taking D-Mannose, which can prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract walls
- Eating loads of garlic (as above with yeast infections)
For both infections, using a topical remedy can also be really beneficial, and so I’ve created a recipe that you can just whip up at home:
½ tsp probiotic powder (either open a capsule, or I love Wild Nutrition’s multi strain biotic in loose form)
1 tsp coconut oil (a natural antibiotic)
Just mix together to create a thick paste and put on affected area.
As another note, so many of the big brand, conventional feminine hygiene products like sanitary towels, panty liners and tampons are packed with chemicals and plastics that can actually harm our vaginal health, so I always opt for organic cotton brands, which are just as useful but without all the toxic residues.
It’s time we started to really take care of our lady flower, as it’s so important for our wellbeing and well… to create life and good times…! You don’t have to feel hopeless or feel as though it’s something you have to live with, as there is so much you can do to feel great. If you try the remedies above and still don’t see improvement, I highly recommend speaking to a nutritional therapist, trained in functional medicine, to uncover the underlying cause of the issues!
If you’re interested in a stool test, or have re-occurring infections, please don’t hesitate to get in touch