The Immune System and Yeast Infections
A yeast infection, referred to as Candidiasis, is a fungal infection caused by an uncontrolled population of the Candida fungus. Candida fungus is commonly found in the body, even if the person is not infected. In a recent study, close to 20% of women tested positive for Candida yeast presence. It is important to note these women were not suffering from a yeast infection. A yeast infection occurs when the yeast fungus multiplies in size to a point where it can no longer be controlled.
The body has a natural controlling mechanism that, in most cases, prevents Candidiasis from happening in the first place. The body's immune system is that controlling mechanism. Flora refers to a collection of microorganisms that live in the body and whose job it is to control other organisms from spreading. The human body has a number of flora, for example vaginal flora, intestinal flora and oral flora. When the flora is unable to control Candida fungus, a yeast infection develops. What prevents the flora from controlling the fungus? A weakened immune system. How does the immune system become weak? By internal and external factors.
By internal factors, we mean the immune system itself is the problem. This is caused by problems at the genetic level, where the immune system did not develop properly. Persons born with an immune system deficiency face a lifetime long struggle to keep their bodies as healthy as possible. External factors cover a wide variety of topics, some of which are but are not limited to: stress, diet, previous injury, surgery, drug therapies and the environment. While internal factors cannot be prevented, there are a number of things every person should do to prevent external factors from weakening their immune system.
Natural ways to strengthen the immune system:
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night
- Eliminate as much stress from your life as you can
- Eat a well balanced diet and do not skip meals
- Eat foods that have high antioxidant values (fresh fruit and vegetables) as they can boost your immune system
- Find out if your body is lacking any nutrients and supplement with vitamins
- Keep your body hydrated as it flushes toxins from the body
- Exercise as it increases blood and nutrient circulation and flushes toxins from the body
- Keep your immune system strong by avoiding a dependency on drugs or antibiotics
Keeping your immune system in excellent shape is one of the best ways to prevent any illness, or, in this case, a yeast infection. Illness, of any type, simply adds unnecessary stress on the body, mind and our day to day life. Prevention, as always, is the best treatment.