Having spoken to a leading candida specialist last week ideally you should pop to your GP to get yourself swabbed to make sure it is thrush first as some vaginal bacterial infections can mimic thrush. Once confirmed then treat accordingly. If it doesn't clear up go back to GP and ask to be swabbed again to confirm the strain of thrush and what it's susceptible and resistant to. Thrush spores are at their highest the week leading up to your period so the best time to be tested is in that week and if possible don’t take any anti-fungal treatments before the test.
- VSL3 is very effective at preventing thrush and one of the best probiotics for people taking long term antibiotics.
- Fem-Dophilus by Jarrow this helps prevent thrush, BV and some UTI’s. A very good probiotic but expensive. Try and buy this delivered on ice if you can.
- Ther-biotic Factor 1 by Klaire labs. This is suitable for very sensitive bladders. If your bladder is very painful and sensitive, it may be best to start with this until the antibiotics take effect and the bladder becomes less inflamed.
- Ultimate Flora Women’s Probiotic have been formulated to repopulate and maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in the vaginal and urinary tract, as well as replenish those in the gastrointestinal tract. As such it should help to prevent and treat candidiasis, but also help the bladder.
- Optibac Probiotics for those on antibiotics (e.g. amoxicillin, penicillin, tetracycline, doxycycline), or who have recently finished an antibiotic course, the strains of natural bacteria in this supplement are especially selected for their suitability and safety. Optibac Probiotics for Women or women’ contains two highly researched strains, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1® and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14®, which have been clinically trialled by over 2,500 women around the world.
- Syntol AMD is a powerful, but gentle yeast cleanse that supports intestinal balance. Syntol's popular formula assists in supporting a healthy balance of intestinal flora where a yeast or fungal overgrowth is present.
- Symprove is a water-based multi-strain supplement that contains 4 unique strains of live activated bacteria. These include: L. rhamnosus, E. faecium, L. acidophilus, and L. plantarum. Normally a healthy gut would already contain all four of these, however when it doesn’t, it can soon become unbalanced.Its recommended to take the original flavour version as opposed to the Mango version due to the sugar content in Mango.
Please remember probiotics need to be taken at least 2 hours before or after antibiotics and other natural anti-bacterials. They ideally need to be refrigerated.
Within the Multi- Gyn product range there is Multi-Gyn active gel (formerly known as Bio-fem active gel) that is specifically aimed at BV and there is also a gel specifically aimed at thrush called Multi-Gyn Floraplus. Both of these gels can be purchased over the counter from pharmacies or amazon.
Intravaginal Pessaries such as clotrimazole or canesten pessaries, econazole and miconazole. These work in a similar way to the cream, but can cause burning and further irritation to some, again use with caution if you are very sensitive.
Salcura Topida thrush spray. This can be used for thrush, BV and for general discomfort caused by the bacteria from the urine coming into contact with the vulva. It is a product that uses natural ingredients – including lavender oil, tea tree, garlic oil and Manuka oil. It doesn’t have any of the harsh additives or preservatives of some of the standard over the counter products and may be suitable if you are sensitive. Some women have reported it gives instant relief. The following link also has a list of ingredients and customer reviews.
The probiotic VSL3 can also be mixed with a small amount of water, just enough to make a paste and inserted in the vagina which can help to relieve and treat thrush.
Boric Acid Pessaries. Boric acid is a white, crystalline chemical substance that has antifungal and antiviral properties. It is used in various prescription pharmaceutical products and is also available without a prescription. Some experts now recommend vaginal boric acid capsules as a treatment option for vaginal yeast infections, particularly infections that can't be cured by antifungal yeast infection medicines. If you are pregnant, do not use vaginal boric acid treatment. You can make your own boric acid suppositories by filling size 0 gelatin capsules with boric acid (about 600 mg). Standard yeast infection treatment is one capsule inserted in the vagina at bedtime for 7 days. For treatment of recurring yeast infections, standard yeast infection treatment is done for two weeks, and then boric acid can be used twice a week for 6 months to 1 year.
When used in capsules as a vaginal suppository, boric acid is only known to sometimes cause skin irritation. But when used by mouth (internally), on open wounds, or by children, boric acid is toxic. Keep boric acid out of the reach of children.
In the UK any chemist sell it because it's used in some kinds of dressings and for cleaning wounds. Ask for Boric Acid B.P., which is purer than the cooking/cleaning quality.
Over the counter Oral Medication
Fluconazole or Canesten oral. These are the same, but Canesten is the branded name and as such is more expensive, they can both be purchased over the counter in any pharmacy. They are taken in a one off oral dose.
Prescription Oral medication
Fluconazole can be prescribed by a doctor for a longer period of time. Some patients have been prescribed Fluconazole for a couple of months taking a daily dose of 150mg. For recurrent candidiasis, a group member who is a pharmacist, has suggested fluconazole 150 mg every other day for 3 doses, followed by weekly fluconazole 150-200 mg for 6 months. And provided the following link. This would need to be discussed with your doctor.
With high dosage oral thrush and fungal medications, it is recommended that your liver function is checked regularly via a GP blood test.
Natural Oral/topical treatments for thrush include:
Grapefruit seed extract
In tablet form, 100-200mg 1-3 times a day should be sufficient. Always read the label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not take if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Garlic capsules/powder – Allicin Max
Start with at least 540-1080mg of allicin powder every day, taken all in one go or throughout the day. This will need to be continued for approximately 1 month, depending on how deep-seated the yeast infection is. If you have a discharge then try adding some allicin powder to plain yoghurt and apply this internally once or twice a day, again for about 1 month. This will have a cooling and soothing activity and should help to remove the itchiness that is so frustrating for many sufferers. Once progress has been made it is important to keep to a healthy diet, free from excessive sugar, and keep taking a daily dose of just 180mg or 360mg allicin powder. This will help to prevent the infection from returning.
Use unscented sanitary towels as the bleach, scent and plastic in most high street and brand name sanitary towels will make any vaginal and bladder irritation much worse. Natracare produce an organic cotton sanitary towel that is unscented, chlorine and plastic free. It is free of most irritants and is one of the best choices when buying sanitary protection.
The cotton helps the vaginal area to breath, keeping the area cooler and making it more difficult for thrush spores to flourish. Their products can be purchased at independent pharmacies and whole food stores, Waitrose, Ocado and Amazon.
Alternatively Boots and Sainsbury’s sell their own branded sanitary protection that is unscented. These products are much cheaper than Natracare, but they are still bleached and contain plastics. However the major irritant “the scent” has been removed. Most people will notice an improvement by just changing to an unscented pad.
These are inserted just inside the vaginal opening and can detect changes in the vaginal flora which can indicate a vaginal infection and imbalances in the vaginal flora. They test for PH levels in the vagina. This is not a diagnostic test, but will indicate if there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
Another alternative treatment is to take Nystatin powder, this is usually prescribed by an environmental doctor and can be taken orally and vaginally. This is usually taken in small amounts increasing the quantity slowly every four days until you reach half a teaspoon daily.
To make Nystatin pessaries take half a teaspoon of nystatin powder, half a teaspoon of coconut oil. Soften the coconut oil until it becomes liquid, add nystatin powder and mix well. Put the mixture in an ice cube tray, allow to set and use.
You can also use this method for making your own pessaries (melting coconut oil and adding your chosen probiotic. Again with anything that is inserted in the vagina some people may be too sensitive and this could cause further irritation, so be cautious when trying anything new.
In order to prevent thrush it is important that you limit your sugar, white flour and yeast intake. Caution is also needed when eating fruit as the yeast will feed on the fruit sugar. If possible limit gluten intake and eat plenty of fresh vegetables, salad and organic meat. There are plenty of examples of Candida diets available via Google or Safari but the above principles are a good starting point.
Hope some of this helps. I'll post the advice up separately in here so people can refer to it.