Con­sti­pa­tion + bloat

First For Women - - Contents -

Q:

I read that gar­lic pills could pre­vent yeast in­fec­tions, and since I’ve had more than my fair share, I started tak­ing the pills as a pre­cau­tion. But af­ter two months I still got an in­fec­tion. What gives?

A:

While gar­lic does con­tain an­ti­fun­gal com­pounds, sup­ple­ments may not de­liver enough of those ac­tive in­gre­di­ents to vagi­nal tis­sues to stave off in­fec­tion. In fact, women in an Aus­tralian study who took gar­lic tablets daily for two weeks ex­pe­ri­enced no greater re­duc­tion in vagi­nal can­dida yeast than those who took a placebo. So that said, I don’t rec­om­mend gar­lic pills for this par­tic­u­lar prob­lem.

The good news is that there are nat­u­ral strate­gies proven to ward off yeast in­fec­tions. First, I ad­vise scal­ing back on sugar and re­fined car­bo­hy­drates, both of which fuel can­dida growth. I also rec­om­mend tak­ing a daily pro­bi­otic con­tain­ing yeast-fight­ing lac­to­bacil­lus strains such as L. aci­dophilus and L. rham­no­sus. A six-month study pub­lished in the jour­nal Pro­bi­otics and An­timi­cro­bial Pro­teins found this strat­egy pre­vented in­fec­tion re­cur­rence in 93% of women.

Fi­nally, since re­search con­ducted at Swe­den’s Karolin­ska Re­search In­sti­tute in­di­cates that chronic stress can im­pair im­mu­nity to make re­peated in­fec­tions more likely, I sug­gest prac­tic­ing di­aphrag­matic breath­ing, which calms the parasym­pa­thetic ner­vous sys­tem to lower stress and in­crease im­mune­cell ac­tiv­ity. To do: Place your hand on your belly just be­low your rib cage and in­hale deeply through your nose for five sec­onds so your belly ex­pands. Then ex­hale through your mouth for an­other five sec­onds and re­peat the se­quence for 15 min­utes twice daily.

If you con­tinue to de­velop yeast in­fec­tions de­spite tak­ing these steps, see your doc­tor to dis­cuss other ways to keep yeast in check.

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