Thrush Infection Treatment Self Care

There are many home remedies and antifungal medications for yeast infections that are effective for both genital infections and baby thrush. Baby thrush is the most common form of thrush and is a yeast infection of the mouth.

Yeast Infection Treatment Strategy

To cure a yeast infection, the most effective care options address the three-faceted approach:

  1. Do not feed yeasts the foods upon which they thrive.
  2. Reduce yeast growth through natural and pharmaceutical agents.
  3. Reestablish normal intestinal ecology.

The first facet is to refrain from feeding yeasts what they like to eat, which allows them to thrive and divide. Yeast lives on mostly simple sugars, yeast and fermented foods. These include:

  • alcoholic beverages
  • breads
  • cheese
  • fruits and fruit juices (including dried fruits)
  • refined flour products
  • sugary foods
  • vinegar
  • yeasted fermented food products, such as soy sauce.

All of these foods should be avoided when dealing with a yeast infection.

The Anti-Yeast Diet

The anti-yeast diet is more difficult for vegetarians, but definitely possible. There are many recommended foods for those trying to rid themselves of a yeast infection, including:

  • fish
  • lots of vegetables
  • meat
  • nuts
  • occasional eggs
  • poultry
  • seeds
  • some whole grains.

Some yogurt, especially acidophilus culture, is also acceptable if milk is tolerated. Oils should be obtained from some butter and cold-pressed vegetable oils, such as olive, flaxseed, sesame and sunflower.

Reducing the Yeast Population

Home yeast infection treatment also focuses on using home remedies as well as prescription and over-the-counter antifungal medications to diminish the amount of yeast present.

Nystatin powder is the most commonly used drug for initial treatment of intestinal yeast. Another stronger antifungal agent is called ketoconizole, brand name Nizoral®. This is effective for most yeast problems, but it can be irritating to the liver, so its use must be watched closely.

Home remedies that help to reduce yeast by killing it or by interfering with its growth include caprylic acid, fresh garlic and garlic extract and the herb pau d’arco, or taheebo.

Caprylic acid is a natural fatty acid extracted from coconut oil. It interferes with the growing and duplicating process of the Candida albicans fungus. While it does not actually kill yeast, it is effective in reducing intestinal yeast levels. Goldenseal root also has some antifungal properties.

Home Remedies for Thrush and Baby Thrush

If a baby seems to have a sore mouth or is uncomfortable feeding, check the mouth for thrush. The yeast grows in the baby’s mouth and is apparent on the cheeks and tongue and, later, on the roof of the mouth.

Thrush treatment consists of coating the baby’s mouth with an antifungal medication three to four times a day for five to seven days. Rinsing the baby’s mouth quickly will discourage the spread of thrush. Thrush is easy to treat and is harmless if treated properly.

It is best not to let family members and visitors put their fingers in a new baby’s mouth. If you are bottle-feeding, make sure that you boil the bottles and wash your hands before feeding the baby.

Mothers can reduce risk of thrush and help thrush heal by using Lansinoh or other breast ointments to heal nipple cracks, thereby decreasing the risk of infection. Rinsing the nipples after each feeding with a mixture of one cup of water and one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar can also be helpful.

These tips can also be helpful:

  • Boil nipple shields, pacifiers and chew toys separately for 20 minutes after each use.
  • Mothers should not save expressed milk during this time. Re-infection can be caused by using tainted milk.
  • Wash bath towels in bleach after each use and never share your towel. Mothers should not rub their nipples with towels.

Treat mother and child together. If you can clear up everyone at the same time, your chances of recurrence are significantly lower.

Resources

eMedicineHealth: Emergency Care Consumer Health (2007). Candidiasis (Yeast Infection). Retrieved July 11, 2007, from the eMedicineHealth Web site: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/candidiasis_yeast_infection/page6_em.htm.

Hawthorne, Anna-Marie (2006). Natural remedies for thrush. Retrieved July 11, 2007, from the Natural Family Online: Whole Living for the Whole Family Web site: http://www.naturalfamilyonline.com/go/index.php/258/natural-thrush-remedies.

Health World (1996). Vaginal Yeast Infections: American Institute for Preventive Medicine. Retrieved July 11, 2007, from the Healthy World Web site: http://www.healthy.net/scr/article.asp?ID=1607.