Happy New Year everyone, hope you had a good break, despite the weather! So the rain, as well as putting a dampener on holidays, has also created ideal conditions for fungus and bacteria to proliferate. You may have noticed all the mushrooms currently growing in the grass; very unusual for this time of year. Health wise you may have noticed an increase in tinea pedis or athletes foot. This is caused by yeasts that live on the skin.
Athletes Foot Symptoms:
- Itching skin that has a moist or white look,
- Cracks between the toes
- Peeling skin on the toes, heels or balls of the feet.
Athletes Foot Treatment:
- Most commonlt treated with over the counter antifungal solutions
- A natural alternative you may wish to consider is topically applied tea tree or manuka oil
- For severe or long lasting problems consider adding a probiotic for immune and digestive health
Unfortunately for the ladies humid weather can also lead to outbreaks of vaginal thrush or urinary tract infections. These are generally caused when bacteria or yeast migrate from the bowel to the vagina or bladder. The moist conditions provide the ideal environment for them to multiply and become a problem once they are there. Added to this many of us may have increased the number of bacteria and yeast in the digestive system due to holiday indulgences, such as excess alcohol and sugar. This can upset the balance of good vs. bad bacteria and provide the ideal environment that yeasts and bacteria love. Therefore when we are looking to treat these types of infections we need to look at increasing good bacteria in the digestive system, as well as in the local area.
Thrush & UTI Treatment:
- As stated previously we need to look at the digestive system to resolve things in the long terms. Taking probiotics will help to improve the balance of good bacteria. It would help to cut back on sugary foods that feed the bad bacteria and yeasts.
- Garlic and coconut have antifungal actions, so increasing these foods in your diet could also be beneficial.
- I often get asked if eating yoghurt with acidophilus will fix thrush. It can help eating yoghurts with live cultures, as long as they are not too high in sugar (and if you are not dairy intolerant), but it will not give you the therapeutic dose that a supplement will give you. It can actually be more helpful to put some of your live yoghurt on a tampon and pop it in over night to work topically.
- When looking at probiotics, different strains have a preference for living in certain areas of the body. Some in the small intestines, some large intestines and now there are even some that like the vagina and urinary tract. So make sure you choose strains to repopulate different areas of digestion and the local area affected. (ask Clinicians about which products would be right for you)
With regards to urinary tract infections cranberry can be helpful and can be taken as a preventative to stop bacteria being able to stay on the walls of the bladder. Also D-mannose, a plant sugar that attractive to bacteria helps to flush them out (there are products with D-Mannose included - please ask us for more information). Please remember if you get any signs of blood (pink urine) or severe back pain with a urinary tract infection, or if it persists please see a doctor.
Preventative measures that you can look at are avoiding sitting around in wet togs, gym gear and remove your gym shoes as soon as you get home and air them. Try to avoid tight clothing if you are having problems and wear breathable cotton under wear. Drink plenty of water to flush the urinary system and avoid too much coffee, tea and sugary drinks.
If you need more information about these topics I will be writing more indepth articles over the next couple of weeks.