Preventing Yeast Infections

By May 18, 2012

I read in Constance’s book that yeast infections are associated with disordered eating or EDNOS. Why is that? I often get yeast infections even though I am a recovered anorexic and at a normal weight. Please let me know what I can do to prevent them. Thank you. – Anonymous

Dear Anonymous:

It’s not clear why some women get more yeast infections (candidiasis) than others do, but there are a number of factors that increase the risk. These include diabetes, antibiotics, birth control pills, and pregnancy. When the immune system is weakened—such as from poor nutritional status due to disordered eating—a person is more vulnerable to any infection, including yeast infections.

Some people advocate eating yogurt to help treat and prevent vaginal yeast infections, but very few studies have been done regarding this connection. In one small study, however, eating one cup per day of yogurt containing live cultures of lactobacillus acidophilus seemed to help reduce the frequency of infections. Yogurt is known for many other health benefits, so if you enjoy it, it’s worth a try. Another food that’s often suggested to minimize yeast infections is cranberries or cranberry juice (particularly unsweetened). To my knowledge, studies have shown that cranberry juice helps prevent urinary tract infections caused by the E. Coli bacteria, but hasn’t been shown to prevent vaginal yeast infections.

I think it’s really important that you get an examination from a gynecologist, if you haven’t already done so. You want to be sure to rule out any other medical problems that could be causing your yeast infections. If you have been seeing a health care professional and still haven’t been getting better, I would seek out a second opinion.

I hope this helps and that you are soon free of these uncomfortable and tiring infections.