Infectious Diseases

Vaginitis. You’ve heard of it, but do you really know what it is, how to recognize it and how to rid yourself of it?

If the acid-alkaline chemical make up of the vagina is out of balance, yeast and other microorganisms may produce prolifically. The result is Vaginitis, a condition with symptoms such as, itching, irritation and inflammation. The typical causes for this infection are Candida albicans, a protosoal organism, Trichomanas vaginanlis, and the bacterium Gardnerell vaginalis, which grows in ozygen-free conditions.

Yeast infections can be identified by a cheesy discharge, with an odor. In addition to itching and burning, symptoms may include an abnormal discharge, chafing, painful intercourse and an urge to urinate more frequently than usual.

Some infections, such as chlamydiosis or trichomoniasis, may be present for years without symptoms. Among the various conditions that may lead to vaginitis are lowered resistance due to fatigue, poor diet or an infection elsewhere. Douching can upset the acid-alkaline balance, as can oral contraceptives. Hormonal changes that are brought about by pregnancy, diabetes or menopause, increase vulnerability to vaginitis. High blood sugar levels promote the growth of yeasts and other organisms, which is why diabetic women often develop vaginitis. Undiagnosed diabetes should be considered if a woman suffers unexplained bouts of vaginitis.

Women are particularly vulnerable to vaginitis when taking antibiotics for infections in other parts of the body. Certain antibiotics have side effects, including diarrhea and the overgrowth of natural yeasts, which can spread infecting organisms to the vagina. In menopausal women, low estrogen levels cause the vaginal walls to become thin, dry, and susceptible to abrasions that allow germs to enter.

So, what can you do to avoid this? Cut down on foods high in refined sugar. Avoid fad diets, tight-fitting clothing, irritating soaps and hygiene products, such as douche, powders and sprays.

While sexual partners often require treatment to prevent re-infection with bacteria or tri- chomonas, yeast infections may recur. Women taking certain antifungal pills should avoid alcohol interaction, which can cause a sudden rise in blood pressure.

Here is an almost sure way to improve your chances in avoiding these infections through your diet. Eat dairy products, eggs, green and yellow vegetables, yellow and orange fruits, and fish for vitamins A and D.

Eat fortified grains, cereals, poultry and seafood, bananas, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds for B vitamins. Eat shellfish, beans and legumes for magnesium and zinc.

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