A delicate matter. Frequent thrush infections happen often enough to be noted among symptoms food sensitive people have. An important part of this idea is that the thrush infection itself can produce the usual symptoms the person has, just as bacterial or viral infections do. It is upsetting to have to deal with the discomfort of the thrush infection as well as having ongoing changes in mood, self-confidence or clear thinking.
I have seen patients whose thrush solved on the elimination diet have it return a few days into an additives or salicylate trial, or after an accidental trial of food when away from home for work, or visiting someone. Remember that salicylates are similar shaped compounds to flavours, colours and perfumes so they can all be suspect.
It is not sugar that causes vaginal thrush as the Baseline Diet allows sugar in allowed low chemical foods, and thrush does not occur. Sugar is absorbed quickly from the gut system into the bloodstream. When there is more sugar than we need in the bloodstream it is absorbed into cells and used for energy or added to our fat stores! It does not get lost into the urine, and therefore cannot be near our excretion areas, except in some cases of uncontrolled diabetes. On the other hand, challenges of test foods, or accidental increases in salicylate or additives, are metabolized (some would say detoxified) and the end products are excreted in the urine. There they can make the skin more susceptible to thrush infections.
Do discuss management of vaginal infections with your doctor. Following are some additional hints that help food sensitive people. The usual treatments include creams. Avoid those which contain a benzoate preservative. If you don’t know this and use them, you may have symptoms resolve only to have them come back a few days later. Those that contain nystatin, an anti-fungal, with a sorbic acid preservative are not reported as producing that problem. If you can get antifungal vaginal pessaries that are made of wax no problems occur. These used to be available and were great as they were comfortable. But they have become unavailable in warm climates. Another option is to use a non-wax antifungal pessary, such as nystatin, which tends to be more commonly available. It is a bit gritty but is reported to work as long as you are back on your tolerated foods. It is then wise to avoid food trials until a couple of weeks of comfort have occurred. You then learn to stop food trials as soon as you know you are reacting with other symptoms before you risk another vaginal infection.
As part of diet management you need to be careful about not using anything that can irritate the sensitive area. That means minimizing tight clothing, wearing pure cotton underwear, not coloured, though some report they can if the garments have been washed several times. It is wise not to use soaps or cleansing or deodorant products that contain perfume, or use coloured or perfumed toilet paper. Some even have to avoid nylon underwear.
Instead of soap, use an aqueous lotion or sorbolene when showering, as this coats the skin, or use a product such as Vagisil Anti Itch Cream.
See the separate article on Candida and diet for detail on understanding the role of diet in candida.
Sylvia Thompson says
Medications are also suspect; happened to stop my Panodol Osteo tabs and problem disappeared; a life time of checking sensitivity I trialed them twice and they were the culprit.
Great Diet Detective work Sylvia! It is annoying enough to have to inspect all foods closely without having to ask chemists to ask their supplier to follow up all ingredients. You could keep working around that to see if you can learn more. Perhaps it was something that makes the Panadol long-acting. Have you managed plain panadol? And as one of my eczema patients found out some brands of Panadol have a preservative. It is a problem for us that chemical lines do not have to write ingredient lists! Keep up the good work!
Pamela Holdsworth says
Brilliant deductions….as always….and so easy to follow and understand.