Recurrent thrush is a very common condition which many people self diagnose and self treat. But the question has been raised “is it safe to treat yourself for recurrent thrush infections?”
Recurrent or chronic thrush has a devastating affect on a person’s life in terms of discomfort, emotional stress and relationship embarrassment. Treatment of thrush with antifungal pharmaceutical creams and medications gives immediate relief but within a short amount of time the symptoms often return for no apparent reason.
If you have recurrent thrush it is important to at first seek medical advice to ensure that the diagnosis of thrush is correct and that there are no other underlying medical reasons why you are susceptible to thrush.
There are other infections which can cause symptoms similar to thrush, or thrush can be secondary to other infections. A doctor may want to take a swab or scaping of the infected area and send it to the laboratory for testing. It may take several days to get the results so treatment is usually started before the results come back.
Laboratory tests include looking for the typical yeast cells under the microscope and culturing onto specific agar for 24-48 hours and looking for the typical yeast colonies of Candida albicans, which is the most common cause of thrush.
If you have recurrent thrush symptoms it is important to determine what the underlying cause may be and rule out things like diabetes. Most people become aware of what triggers their thrush e g. tight jeans or certain washing powders or douches, so it is important to avoid these triggers.
Superficial symptoms of yeast infection are usually so typical that it is easy to diagnose. Many people are well aware of their own symptoms and self diagnose and treat and provided you are sure that your symptoms are typical and the same as before it is safe to treat yourself for recurrent thrush.
Candida albicans, the causative organism of recurrent thrush lives normally on the body and when the body’s defences are lowered it can overgrow and cause infection. It is important for you to determine what the conditions are that cause your yeast infection to flare up. Some of the things to consider when you have recurrent thrush symptoms are:
• The symptoms may not be due to thrush. There are other causes of a vaginal discharge and skin rashes. Thrush can also occur at the same time as another infection so you may need tests such as vaginal or skin swabs to clarify the cause of your symptoms.
• Most cases of thrush are caused by Candida albicans. However, about 1 in 10 thrush infections are caused by other strains of Candida species such as Candida glabrata which may not be so easily treated with the usual anti-thrush medicines.
• You may not have used the treatment correctly or for long enough
• You may have been reinfected with a new yeast strain
• You may have undiagnosed or poorly controlled diabetes or some other disease such as cancer or AIDS which has lowered your immune response
• You may have hormonal changes such as with pregnancy, menstruation or menopause which may contribute to your recurring thrush
• You may be responding to antibiotic or steroid treatment
• You may be allergic to your washing powder or a douche you are using
• Your diet may be too high in sugars or you may have allergies to some foods
If you have had thrush in the past and the same symptoms reoccur, and none of the above conditions relate to you, then it is safe to treat yourself for recurrent thrush without an examination or tests. Recurrent thrush is common and many people recognise when they have thrush. It is safe to treat yourself for recurrent thrush when you meet the conditions discussed in this article.
People with recurrent thrush tend to move away from traditional medicines and use safer, more natural remedies and make life changes such as changing diet. But before you are in a position to manage your own symptoms you must do some research to be sure you have the answer to the question of whether it is safe to treat yourself for recurrent thrush?