The cause of a Candidiasis / Candida albicans (yeast infection which is a type of fungus) is anything that interferes with the pH balance of the vagina or more generally speaking, anything that causes an imbalance of the microorganisms (bacteria and yeast) found in a healthy vagina.
This list has been compiled to help you understand the numerous causes of yeast infection and how you can avoid this problem.
- warm weather
- stress – affects pH. By reducing stress, the adrenal glands can rest & helps improve copper metabolism. Lack of rest stresses the adrenals. Stimulants like caffeine or heavy exercise decimates the adrenal glands. Deep breathing & good posture assist oxygenation of the body which inhibits candida.
Medications / Medical Conditions
- antacids & other drugs that reduce acid may worsen candida by creating a deficiency of stomach acid.
- impaired immune system – any condition in which the immune system is weakened or suppressed (ie: AIDS, cancer, stress, immunosuppression from drugs or disease, reduced levels of beta carotene in vaginal cells due to suppressed immunity in those cells, being run down, improper nutrition)
- immunosuppression from drugs or disease
- anti inflammatory drugs
- diabetes – the fungus love sugar (especially white)
- PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
- multiple sclerosis
- hormonal treatment for menopause
- menstrual cycle -pH fluctuates during the cycle & is least acidic on the days just prior to & during menstruation. Infections are the most common at these times.
- reduced levels of beta carotene in vaginal cells due to suppressed immunity in those cells
- chronic diarrhea
- allergic reactions (allergies & allergy producing foods)
- chronic viral infections
- glandular disorders
- trauma (ie: surgery)
- chemotherapy & radiation treatments
- other chronic health problems such as ear infections & sexual dysfunction in adults
- weak adrenals
- improper bowel flora – is very common & often contributes towards candida infections. Much of the problem is due to antibiotic use & constant ingestion of small doses of antibiotics found in drinking water & commercial animal products. Other toxic chemicals or additives in foods may also be a factor.
- Bowel impaired activity – low fiber in the diet, parasitic infections & stress also impair bowel activity. Debris in the intestines also harbor bacteria that interfere with normal bowel flora. Constipation aggravates candida infection. If one does not have a daily bowel movement, harmful organisms have more time to multiply & generate toxins.
- some women have low levels of lactobacilli (see The Healthy Vaginal ‘Environment’ for more information)
- Prevalence of certain bacteria is increased during menstruation
- pregnancy-due to increased levels of progesterone & blood sugar. Alters hormone balance.
- over-alkaline intestinal tract
- severe obesity (due to excessive sweating in the genital area)
Feminine Practices / Products
- douching – alters the normal acidity & pH & can dry the vagina surface (washes away natural protective mucous lining). With women that lubricate heavily, the vagina does not remain dry for more than a few minutes. Douching kills off lactobacilli, leaving your vagina open to attack from the overgrowth of organisms that cause vaginal infections.
- wiping from rectum towards the vagina
- perfumed soaps
- feminine deodorants
- after bath powders
- bath oils
- bath salts
Eating Habits / Diet
- eating habits- a diet too high in simple sugars
- slow metabolism
- environmental chemicals such as pesticides (consumed in food)
- Other toxic substances (consumed in food)
Sex / Sexual Practices
- lubricants that are of mineral oil or petroleum jelly. If they contains sugar, the yeast love it.
- too little lube (note: AbsorbShun natural powder promotes dryER sex NOT dry sex)
- sexually transmitted diseases
- sperm – highly alkaline, so vagina needs to work extra hard to return itself to its acidic status. Multiple partners & no condoms means different sperm & an increased chance of bacterial vaginosis (type of yeast infection)
- birth control pills (bcp) due to progesterone (hormone) & other birth control devices.
Clothing / Laundry
- damp underwear
- fabric softeners
- re-infection from panties not properly cleaned. Normal laundering won’t kill the fungus. This web site www.bodyandfitness.com/Information/Womenhealth/yeast.htm describes how to properly clean underwear.
- wearing nylons – the nylons don’t ‘breath’ (must wear cotton panties underneath nylons to avoid this)
- tight clothing
- colored toilet paper
For more detailed information visit these links, set up by various health & medical establishments across Canada & the United States, that discuss vaginal yeast infections and their causes greater detail.
Resources / Links
www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/pub/std/cand.html (Yeast Infection information)