You can use probiotics as a common natural cure for yeast infections caused by an imbalance of the candida fungus, which is naturally found in the digestive tract, mouth, skin and genital area of the body. Using probiotics can also prevent reoccurring yeast infections, if you use them regularly. Probiotics for yeast infections contain Lactobacillus acidophilus, a friendly bacteria that can be found in certain food or taken as supplements to a regular diet. Using probiotics can help restore the natural balance of candida and lactobacillus.
Yogurt is a common natural way to use probiotics for yeast infections. It contains healthy Lactobacillus acidophilus and helps restore the proper ratio of good bacteria. Some health experts recommend eating about 5 ounces (150 ml) of yogurt daily to ward off yeast infections and maintain a healthy digestive system. Other natural probiotics that you can use to successfully treat yeast inflections include goldenseal, garlic, tea tree oil and oil from clove, cayenne and oregano. You can even use these herbs if you are lactose intolerant.
Women generally experience at least one vaginal yeast infection in their lifetimes, marked by itchiness, pain and burning. Probiotics for yeast infections of this type can be applied topically. A yeast infection can also appear in the mouth, where candida thrives.
Thrush is a condition that can affect children and appears as white spots or a rash in the mouth. Older persons who wear improperly fitted dentures can contract perleche, which causes cuts or cracks near the lips. The skin can also be treated with probiotics for yeast infections on the hands, feet and genital areas of men and women. Yeast infections of the skin occur if the skin is moist for long periods of time, allowing candida bacteria to grow.
The number of yeast infections is on the rise for several reasons. People who use medication to treat a compromised immune systems from the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) virus commonly suffer from yeast infections, as well as those who have weak immune systems for other reasons. Also, the regular use of antibiotics kills some of the good bacteria in the digestive tract that keeps the system balanced. Probiotics for yeast infections have proven helpful for these individuals, as well.
A few side effects exist when you use probiotics for yeast infections. Lactobacillus acidophilus can cause bloating and gas, especially if you are lactose intolerant. Garlic in large doses can thin the blood and cause body odor and bad breath. Goldenseal should not be consumed over long periods of time, in order to avoid potential digestive and neurological problems. A consultation with a physician is a good idea before you use probiotics for yeast infections, whether it comes from food or as a dietary supplement.