June 3, 2008

Anatomy of a Yeast Infection

I'm currently taking prerequisite classes in order to get into nursing school.  I've banged out the basic fundamentals, Anatomy & Physiology I & II and Microbiology.  I love what I'm studying and I now have a much more detailed understanding of some of my problems.  

As you know, lately I've been plagued by yeast infections.  They are just the worst.  When you're already so fragile down there, it's the most unwanted visitor.  Unfortunately, I know why Mr. Yeast took up residence in my snapdragon.  

I've been under a lot of stress, from my job, from my loved ones, from my body and one of the best parts about being a woman is your body really wears the signs of stress.  About 2 months ago, I started getting this horrible, painful, cystic acne.  (That REALLY helped with my stress!)  I tried being more active in my skin care routine, but I could not get it to clear up on my own.

I made an appointment with my dermatologist and he reminded me that the last time I came in with a serious case of pizza face was 2 years ago when I switched jobs and bought a new home.  Clearly, stress related.  My doctor decided to put me on the same antibiotic he had given me then.  

Here is the first problem: there are many possible microorganisms that are colonizing my face and causing the breakout.  The best treatment would be an antibiotic with a small range, targeting the specific cause of the acne and leaving other naturally occurring bacteria alone.  That's really not done in dermatology.  The common practice is to give the patient an antibiotic with a wide range.  Hopefully, this medication will wipe out the problem.  Meanwhile, because the drug has a wide range, it also kills off other important naturally occurring bacteria in your body.  

That's how we come to yeast.  Everyone has yeast in their snizes all the time, but your body keeps it under control.  There is a daily struggle between good bacteria that protects your body and bad bacteria that can be potentially harmful.  A course of antibiotics can wipe out the good bacteria in your honey pot.  Yeast is an opportunistic bacteria.  It seizes the opportunity when the bodies defenses are low and multiplies like there's no tomorrow.  

With a more specific antibiotic, this problem may not occur.  There are also prescription medications that can be taken in conjunction with a course of antibiotics like Nistatin or even Diflucan every 3 days for full duration of the medication.  Yogurt and Acidophilus can help too.  
I thought after the first treatment of Diflucan, I would be clear, but just a few days later the yeast infection I had was so much worse.  I strongly advise asking any doctor that prescribes you antibiotics to ask for a medication to protect your body during the course of treatment.   


lora said...

I do the Diflucan twice a week, and it didn't make much of a difference for about three weeks.


A lifetime of Diflucan? I hope not. Do you know how embarassing it is to fill that rx every month? totally and completely embarassing. I swear the pharmacist must think I have the breadiest snatch in town.

But, it helps.

. said...

Diflucan never ever works for me. I've been thinking about boric acid as I've heard that works wonders.

a woman in pain said...

I'm so sorry Diflucan isn't an option for you. I don't know what I'd do without it.

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