Candidiasis is an infection caused by a yeastlike fungus called candida. It can infect the mouth, vagina, skin, stomach, and urinary tract. Approximately 75 percent of women will get candidiasis of the vagina during their lifetime, and 90 percent of all people with HIV/AIDS develop candida infections.

Signs and Symptoms

What Causes It?

Normal amounts of candida existing in the mouth, stomach, and vagina do not cause infections. Candidiasis occurs when there is a buildup of candida. This may be caused by taking certain drugs (especially antibiotics), pregnancy, being overweight, bacterial infection, or any of a number of health conditions (for example, immune disorders, diabetes, and psoriasis).

What to Expect at Your Provider's Office

Your health care provider may take samples for testing (for example, a vaginal wet smear) and do extensive tests (such as a CT scan or test of your stool) if it appears that the infection has spread. An antifungal medication may be prescribed, and dietary changes may be recommended. These treatments usually cure candidiasis. If you have recurrent bouts of candidiasis, your provider will explore the possibility of an immune deficiency or some other disease.

Treatment Options

Drug Therapies
A number of antifungal medications are available to treat candidiasis. Your health care provider will prescribe a drug depending on the location and severity of your disease. Most treatments last from 2 to 3 days to 2 weeks. Be sure to take all medicine exactly as prescribed. If you do not, the same infection could come back. Reinfection with a new strain of candida also can occur. For more severe candidiasis, you will be given fluids and electrolytes intravenously.

Some topical vaginal creams and suppositories are available over the counter and may be used for 1 to 7 days; see your provider if the condition persists.

Complementary and Alternative Therapies

The "candida diet" allows no alcohol, no simple sugars, and very limited amounts of refined foods. Alternative therapies aim to "starve" the yeast and use natural antifungals.


Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Teas should be made with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Drink 2 to 4 cups per day.


Some of the most common remedies used for candidiasis are listed below. Usually, the dose is 3 to 5 pellets of a 12X to 30C remedy every one to four hours until your symptoms get better.

Following Up

You can prevent another yeast infection by taking lactobacillus acidophilus when you take antibiotics, avoiding antibiotics that act against a wide variety of bacteria when possible, wearing cotton or silk underwear, maintaining good hygiene, and staying at the proper weight. Women should avoid douches (except when medically necessary), vaginal deodorants, and bubble baths.

Special Considerations

Be sure to tell your health care provider if you are pregnant.


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