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Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina; it is characterised by vaginal discharge and burning, itching redness, and swelling of vaginal tissues. Pain often occurs with urination and with sexual intercourse. There are three general types of vaginitis- atrophic, irritant and infectious.
The 3 types of Vaginitis include:
Atrophic (Hormonal) Vaginitis
This can occur in post menopausal and hysterectomised women due to hormonal changes and deficiencies. A decrease in oestrogen can lead to the formation of adhesions, painful sex, infection, itching and a burning, watery discharge.
Soaps, bath oils, vaginal deodorants can irritate and damage the delicate walls of the vagina. The physical action of sexual intercourse can also irritate the vagina.
Bacterial infections, such as the sexually transmitted gardnerella, cause inflammation and a watery, greyish, fishy odour. Viral infections, such as the sexually transmitted genital herpes, cause painful ulcers in the vagina and surrounding areas. Chlamydia is another sexually transmitted disease. It is usually asymptomatic but can cause inflammation with a discharge. Fungal infections such as Candida albicans produce a thick, cheesy discharge, which may cause inflammation, itching and a yeasty odour.
As with all conditions your Doctor should be consulted to diagnose and treat this condition. Ask your Doctor about the latest advice on this ailment. A prescription is usually given for a vaginal cream or tablets.
The diet should be high in fresh fruits and vegetables as well as wholegrain cereals. Include more protein foods in the diet. Some examples are peas, beans, kidney beans and lentils, as well as lean meats, chicken and fish. This provides a wide range of nutrients and ample fibre. A high fibre diet provides the correct environment for 'good' bacteria to thrive in the bowel.
FOODS TO AVOID
It has been suggested that the patient should eat no refined carbohydrates. These foods include white flour, sugar, cakes, biscuits and sugary drinks. Sugars can become food for the candida organism. Fish oils and cold pressed vegetable oils contain the Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Other foods to avoid are the yeast containing foods where there are signs of food allergy or reactions. These foods may cause a cross-reaction when the immune system is already reacting to the candida infection. Cheese, bread made with yeast, alcohol, grapes, raisins and unpeeled fruits all contain yeast. Low fat milk, unsweetened yoghurt and eggs may be added to the diet.
• Drink at least 2 litres of filtered water a day. Keep tea and coffee to a minimum.
• Avoid alcohol and cigarettes.
• Garlic has a natural antibiotic action and may be useful for infectious Vaginitis.
• Acidophilus yoghurt will help to re-establish the correct environment in the bowel.
• Vitamin C can provide immune system support.
• Echinacea is believed to enhance immune function and to have antifungal properties.
• Acidophilus a probiotic supplement such as Lactobacillus acidophilus can fight yeast overgrowth.
• Garlic can counteract yeast infections and improve immune system defences.
• Golden seal may be beneficial if used as a douche for vaginal infections.
• Oregano Oil has potent anti-fungal actions and can be very useful for women who have recurrent vaginal yeast infections due to systemic candidiasis.
• Pau d'arco has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal action, which can be effective in restoring the vagina to a normal state. Pau d'arco tea is often used as a douche for vaginal yeast infections.
• Tea tree oil may shorten the course of vaginal infections on organisms Candida albicans and Trichomonas vaginalis. Tea tree oil vaginal suppositories can be used for vaginal yeast infections.
Ask your MedAux Pharmacist for advice.
1. Follow the Diet Hints
2. Your Pharmacist may suggest a whirling spray or a douche if required. Candida will sometimes be inhibited by increasing the acidity of the vagina using a weak solution of vinegar in a whirling spray.
3. Avoid using fragrant and artificial soaps.
4. Wear loose cotton clothing and underwear to keep the genitals cool and well ventilated. Women prone to thrush should avoid wearing pantihose.
5. Do not use tampons.
6.Your Pharmacist may suggest a local anaesthetic cream to be applied on the outside if there is any itching.
7. Consider some supplements if the diet is inadequate. Acidophilus helps promote the bacteria, which normally keep the candida organism under control.