Mental health is a tricky part of your health to navigate.
There is no one surefire way to keep your mind and emotions healthy.
Additionally, trauma, hurts, illness, and other things outside of your control can not only impact your body, but your mind as well.
There are countless articles on how to boost your own mental health, but sometimes the issue affecting your mind is a physical one.
Before you can address the mental health challenges you face, it’s important to get to the root of the physical issue as well.
Just like diabetes can impact mental health, so can yeast infections, and in more than one way. Here’s what you need to know.
What is a Yeast Infection?
When you think of yeast, you might think of the tiny creatures that you mix together with flour to make bread.
And you would be right. Yeast is a form of fungus called Candida that also lives in your body. Under normal circumstances, yeast doesn’t cause any problems.
The body can manage its presence without it causing health problems.
A yeast infection occurs when the environment in your body promotes an overgrowth of the fungus that can cause multiple health problems, ranging from slightly annoying to very serious.
It can show up on the skin, in the mouth, or the genitals.
A vaginal yeast infection for instance is very common for pregnant women to experience.
How Can Yeast Infections Impact Your Mental Health?
Research has started showing that there may be a direct link between yeast infections and mental health.
Meaning that a yeast infection left undetected can potentially lead to mental health challenges.
This is big news because it means that some people who struggle with depression and anxiety may be able to get relief by treating the underlying yeast infection instead of simply giving them meds.
This research is in early stages, so findings are still inconclusive as to whether it’s a causal link or not.
Other ways that yeast infections can impact your mental health are as follows:
The Smell Can be Embarrassing
Persistent yeast infections, especially in women, can cause a smell.
While this smell is often only noticeable to the woman, it can cause a high degree of self-consciousness that she didn’t have before. This can leave her fearful of going out, of having intimacy, and more.
The Pain Can be Overwhelming
Pain that doesn’t go away can lead to sleepless nights, too much stress, anxiety, and eventually, depression.
Some yeast infections cause a great deal of pain that can be difficult to manage. And if you don’t deal with the yeast right away, it can become very difficult to get rid of.
Have you ever had an itch you couldn’t scratch? Yeast infections can lead to those.
They often come with skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. And while most people don’t realize it, these can be caused by yeast infections.
Dealing with your gut health and using the appropriate creams can help ease the itch and eventually get them gone for good.
What are the Risk Factors For Getting Yeast Infections?
Yeast love to live in high sugar environments.
People who are diabetic for instance are more prone to these infections because the body doesn’t break down sugar as well.
Sugar also reduces the body’s natural immune defenses which can cause the yeast to grow into an infection as well.
Gut imbalances also impact yeast. When your natural bacteria is compromised, it puts you at risk of yeast infection.
Other immune system issues will also be a risk factor for getting a yeast infection.
Additionally, being constantly sweaty without ever drying can also create an ideal environment for yeast to grow in.
Are There Treatment Options for Yeast Infections?
Yeast infections are treatable. For minor ones, you might need something like probiotics.
More serious ones might require a combination of dietary changes, probiotics, probiotic foods, and antifungal medications.
Fluconazole is a common antifungal medication that is often prescribed for hard to get rid of yeast infections. For skin infections, creams and lotions are often effective.
Persistent infections often require more aggressive treatment.
The people who are the most successful in combating their yeast infections understand the different ways that food and their environment impacts their body.