Pitching Yeast

My husband and a few buddies brew beer in our backyard as a hobby. Sometimes they ask us ladies to “pitch the yeast” (toss a vial-full of that rich-smelling substance into the tub), and we giggle hysterically. These girlfriends know all too well the constant Fracas with the Itch, and they aren’t even diabetic!

Pitching_yeast_2 So you PWD ladies out there will sympathize when I say: it’s worse than the @#$% diabetes! I learned early on that yeast infections are a classic sign of the onset of diabetes. Right. Would’a been nice if my OB/GYN had mentioned the diabetes connection before I landed in the hospital. Anyway, what I didn’t get at the time was that it’s also a classic long-term symptom of being a woman with diabetes. As if carb-counting, shots, hypos and the rest of it weren’t enough, we get a healthy dose of maddening itch-meister yeast, which thrives in our elevated-sugar environments.

Why, oh why, can’t I ever shake it for more than a week or so max? Why, oh why, haven’t the gynos and the endos gotten together yet to come up with some viable treatment for chronic Candidiasis? Over-the-counter creams are essentially useless, and Diflucan apparently damages your liver over time. (I haven’t had the test yet, but just keep thinking: hold on, Liver dear!)

What CAN we do? Eat yogurt, try chewable Acidophilus tablets, and/or ask our docs for prescription Terazol cream — all of which help offset the discomfort, but sure don’t stop those “active cultures.” Any of you wise women out there have any particular advice? Wives tales and homeopathic alternatives welcome.


35 Responses

  1. Kassie
    Kassie March 19, 2006 at 5:11 pm | | Reply

    I know some women who *swear* by #5 on this list: http://www.ehow.com/how_2200_treat-yeast-infection.html

    I can’t vouch for it as I have been spared that d symptom.

  2. Megan
    Megan March 19, 2006 at 5:40 pm | | Reply

    I can honestly say I have never had a yeast infection. I think some people are just more prone to them.

  3. Rachel
    Rachel March 19, 2006 at 7:15 pm | | Reply

    At three weeks short of 30 and a year of being type 2, I have yet to experience the joy of a yeast infection. I hope it stays that way for a long, long time. My sister, who has never had problems with blood sugar, had her first yeast infection a couple years ago, at age 39 following two yeast infection-free pregnancies. I suppose we’ll see, won’t we?

  4. Kerri
    Kerri March 19, 2006 at 7:30 pm | | Reply

    “Acidophilus pills, cottage cheese and yogurt, cotton paneled underwear, pantiliners, make sure you pee after sex EVERY TIME, and keep the duration of your high bloodsugars as short as possible,” says Kerri, victim of many yeast infections in the past but hasn’t experienced that chaos in four years. (Looking for wood to knock on.)

  5. PrintCrafter
    PrintCrafter March 19, 2006 at 8:57 pm | | Reply

    Wow. I had no fricken idea. Well any day you don’t learn something new, you should have stayed in bed.

  6. art-sweet
    art-sweet March 20, 2006 at 7:31 am | | Reply

    I am bitterly jealous of those of you who have never had to overcome a frantic urge to scratch private parts in public a yeast infection.

    That said – I’ve asked my doctor several times about consequences of repeated use of the magic pill (diflucan) and never heard anything about liver damage. Where did you come up with that (and yikes!)?

    I have had some success with homeopathic yeast remedies such as candida pills when taken early. You let them dissolve under your tongue. They are (tiny) sugar pills, so those of you who are more fanatical about your carb counting than I am may want to account for that. I also find that plain yogurt is a better itch reliever than just about any of the OTC creams.

  7. AmyT
    AmyT March 20, 2006 at 10:44 am | | Reply

    Hey Art-Sweet,
    I’m with you: What no yeast?! Shuuuut up!

    Anyway, my gyno says that Diflucan can be “hard on your liver” over time. Anyone else hear such a thing?

  8. Jean
    Jean March 20, 2006 at 6:47 pm | | Reply

    Kefir (plain, unsweetened, organic)–better than yogurt–lots of good probiotic strains

    Raw goat’s milk


    Olive oil (for cooking)

    Coconut oil — for cooking, applying to affected part, and even melting in water and swishing as a mouth rinse. Candida is very opportunistic and resides in the mouth as easily as in other warm, moist parts of the body. So using an anti-fungal mouth rinse makes a lot of sense.

    Okay, if you were to do all the above (which I do), you might think it was a major lifestyle change. Which it is. But it’s a lot more comfortable than chronic yeast.

  9. Jane
    Jane March 21, 2006 at 8:15 am | | Reply

    I’m a Type 1 diabetic and I used to have yeast infections until someone mentioned that diet sodas exacerbate the problem. I gave them up seven years ago and haven’t had an infection since.

  10. Jude
    Jude March 21, 2006 at 9:58 am | | Reply

    I am Type 2 (for the last 4 years) and don’t have yeast infections (knock on wood!!)–but my boobs “sweat”! Causes a pretty permanent rash under the boobs! I believe this is diabetes caused—I read somewhere where your feet sweat with diabetes. Anyone else with my problem and how did you care for the rash? Currently, I apply lots of baby powder!!

  11. The LIVabetes Glucose Goddess
    The LIVabetes Glucose Goddess March 21, 2006 at 7:59 pm | | Reply

    I know exactly what you mean!
    I have had chronic and recurrent yeast infections since diabetes.

    I’m still searching for the cure for yeast and for diabetes!

    Here is an interesting article I found on the web about Yeast..check it out!


    Anything is worth a try!

  12. Stefanie
    Stefanie March 21, 2006 at 10:31 pm | | Reply

    Fortunately, I only had one yeast-infection, over ten years ago. Try a tampon soaked in yoghurt as soon as you feel first symptoms. It feels cool and soothing, and it works!

  13. julia
    julia March 22, 2006 at 5:43 am | | Reply

    I don’t have D, but I am prone to yeast infections, too, especially if I have to take an antibiotic for any reason (which is why I avoid them at all costs). I’m going to check out all these links people have provided – I hate taking pills and the little plunger job is pretty disgusting.

  14. Rhys
    Rhys March 22, 2006 at 3:55 pm | | Reply

    Trackback on this great article! :)

  15. Carolyn
    Carolyn March 22, 2006 at 7:09 pm | | Reply

    I have never had a yeast infection either….I have heard that drinking unsweetened cranberry juice is good for helping with an infection and also eating a lot of garlic and some people also insert a clove of garlic (peeled) wrapped in guaze into the vagina – who knew???

  16. sweetsnomo
    sweetsnomo March 24, 2006 at 9:18 am | | Reply

    I can’t believe I missed this post…I love my gyno for sending me to the lab regarding my yeast infections. He was the one that found out I was diabetic. Still trying to find the ultimate cure for yeast infections. I will try the Kefir as I also heard this would work. Difluc x 3 the last time to kick it…worried about the liver issue. Any more info on this??

  17. AmyT
    AmyT March 24, 2006 at 9:00 pm | | Reply

    Well, I had the liver test done today. I’ll let you know…

  18. NephSpouse
    NephSpouse March 28, 2006 at 6:01 am | | Reply

    not being a lady or a diabetic I really should keep my mouth shut, but typical of a man I’m going to jump in :)

    The liver problems with diflucan are supposed to be very rare, and you can tell if you’re going to get them with the blood test and monitoring. I haven’t read anything that says it gets more likely with repeated use over time, except that you have the same chance of developing a problem with it each time. Unless you already know that there is something wrong with your liver I’d get more info on it rather than just decide to suffer because of an uninformed fear of it.

    There are however, many oral diabetes drugs that can have an interaction with it, so if you’re on those you need to make sure the doc prescribing them knows that too.

    I promise not to stare if I see a lady scratching in public if you promise not to stare when I do it :)

  19. Wacky Hermit
    Wacky Hermit March 28, 2006 at 9:43 am | | Reply

    I used to get chronic yeast infections alternating with bacterial vaginosis. They’d give me antibiotics for the BV, which would give me a yeast infection. The yeast infection remedies (both OTC and prescription) killed so much yeast that the bacteria would take over again. I’d go through weeks like this, one week having one kind of infection and the next week the other. I was always so full of creams that my poor husband had to wait patiently to have sex with me.

    I found an herbal remedy that works better. I make calendula oil (by packing a jar full of calendula petals, filling it with oil and letting it sit for 2 weeks) and mix it with tea tree essential oil, three parts calendula to one part tea tree. Then I soak a tampon in it and insert. Smells awful but works. If you don’t like the tea tree smell, you can use just the calendula.

  20. fynche
    fynche March 28, 2006 at 10:23 pm | | Reply

    The garlic suppository works wonders. As does yoghurt, although I never heard of soaking a tampon in it. Both are recommended for vaginal itching in “Our Bodies, Ourselves” Peel a clove of garlic without nicking it, wrap in a sterile gauze and tie a piece of plain floss around it so you can retrieve it. Keep in overnight, but be forewarned, you’ll have garlic breath(really).

  21. Amanda
    Amanda March 29, 2006 at 5:18 am | | Reply

    I’m really prone too! I’m not diabetic, but I get at least a few infections per year. Because it’s only a few I’m not too worried about taking diflucan, but I eat yogurt practically daily. It helps somewhat, but not always. I feel for you girl!

    BTW someone up there mentioned peeing after sex and someone else mentioned cranberry juice, and those are both actually to prevent bladder infections.

  22. stephanie
    stephanie April 4, 2006 at 9:50 pm | | Reply

    yeah.. it totally sucks. i’ve had it twice this year. and it is soo annoying. yeast infections seriously suck.

  23. sandy
    sandy April 11, 2006 at 11:04 am | | Reply

    Well… I have to tell you, I am a 21 year old in the very same boat. I’ve been having chronic yeast infections (I mean 5 out of 7 days EVERY SINGLE week, except of course when I’m on my period). I got every single type of STD and blood test possible – everything showed I was healthy/normal except for my glucose. After a 12 hour fasting, my blood sugar level was 111 dl/mg. That isnt very high at all… I am only 112 lbs and 5’3″ – so I can’t try and loose wieght to lower it. They don’t know how to diagnose me because I don’t think I’m exactly considered diabetic. My point is, no one has helped me with my chronic yeast infections still. They say boric acid insertions (a special mixture at the pharmacy precribed by a doc) will help the pH balance in the vagina… I’m hesitant to do this as I use boric acid as a roach killer~ then again I’m getting pretty desperate. I’ve done all the acedoph. tablets, yogurt, diflucan, monistat….. they don’t help. (diflucan and monistat will stop the yeast for about 2 days max).

  24. ems
    ems April 27, 2006 at 10:34 am | | Reply

    i just stopped taking diflucan after being on it for at least 3 years (sometimes weekly, sometimes twice a month, sometimes monthly.) i was on it because of intense pains that developed- my docs believe- as a result of chronic/recurrent yeast infections. i believe the diflucan caused me horrible indigestion, abdominal pain, aches and pains over many muscles and even hair loss. i thought i was falling apart!my doctor never monitored my liver functions while i was on this although all the medical sites say this is wise. instead they suggested i had some condition that was causing all of these things. in fact, i strongly believe it was liver issues from the diflucan as I just had blood tests (from another doctor) that show mildly abnormal AST ALT levels. the diflucan drug information:
    says in bold letters that it can cause liver issues. my symptoms are classic of liver issues and this page
    shows that diflucan is one of drugs that can cause changes in your liver function.
    however, years ago i was on a different prescrip (lamisil) for a few months and was monitored closely by the dermatologist. i think in cases like that it may be ok.

  25. SS
    SS October 10, 2006 at 10:50 am | | Reply

    I’m suprised no one has mentioned this site:

    Their product ThreeLac could help with diabetes too.

    I am awating my first supply of ThreeLac, having battled reoccuring yeast infections, hypoglycemia plus many other symptoms that the doctors couldn’t explain.

    I don’t see how it would hurt to try!

  26. BrightDaysAhead
    BrightDaysAhead October 11, 2006 at 8:49 am | | Reply

    I have had reoccurring yeast infections for the last 5 years (at least 1 a month). I seriously believe I have never gotten rid of it. I have been tested for STDs with no positive results, so I am sure that it is yeast. I have tried douches consisting of hydrogen peroxide & water, and vinegar & water with temporary relief. I have eaten yogurt and taken acidophilus. I have inserted yogurt & acidophilus. Inserted yogurt didn’t work at all. Inserted acidophilus takes away the itch for about a day, but with an increased milky discharge. Crushed acidophilis pills immediately relieve the outer itching. I have tried garlic in gauze. (Don’t try this. It doesn’t work & its stinky). I began with OTC treatments. They would work temporarily, but it would come back. Now they have ceased to work at all. In the past, my doctor would just say to treat with the OTC as often as necessary. I haven’t been back as we no longer have insurance and it has not helped in the past. I believe it is time to treat this orally as candida yeast resides in the digestive tract and in other parts of the body. Perhaps the “flora” has been out of balance for some time. I will be trying homeopathic remedies listed on Publix web site. The web site is http://www.publix.com. Go to Wellness & Pharmacy, Health Center. Click on “Homeopathy” and click on “yeast infection”. This web site provides all kinds of different hemeopathic remedies for yeast. Wish me luck & good luck to all of you that have problems too!

  27. Gisele
    Gisele November 14, 2006 at 5:38 pm | | Reply

    I contracted what sounds like a yeast infection due to a flare up of my diabetes (a medclinic doctor stated my urine sample had a high content of sugar in it), and I have had yeast infections before (only about 3 in my entire lifetime) — but this one was a doozy. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic called Ciprofloxacin (despite the knowledge that this probably wasn’t a UTI or classic bladder infection, but truly a yeast infection) — he told me I had to follow-up with my primary care physician regarding my diabetes and get on medication to stabilize my sugars — in the meantime, the medication did not work — I took it routinely for 6 days and my condition only worsened. The itching was awful and the inflammation spread over the entire vaginal and anal areas. I was absolutely miserable! I called the clinic back asking them to prescribe the right medication as I now knew this had to be related to my diabetes and not in any way related to a typical bladder infection or UTI. He prescribed the Diflucan and I believe I have only used this maybe twice in my entire life. Now, I am uneasy about taking it because of what I read about it causing Liver problems long-term. I haven’t tried the yogurt or acidophilus pills, but I have to say it has been a week already and I am absolutely miserable. What would you suggest?

  28. Sarah Hunter
    Sarah Hunter March 18, 2007 at 7:20 pm | | Reply

    I have been yeast infection sufferer since I was 14 (When I first started my period). Now I’m 25 and still suffer from them. Diflucan worked for a while, I went about 6 monthes without any flare ups, but now, it doesnt work. Naither does over the counter stuff (monistat etc..). Its driving me crazy.
    I am going to try the “DR Wong Essentials”.
    Hopefully it works?!

  29. Shira Beckett
    Shira Beckett April 19, 2007 at 6:12 am | | Reply

    I’m severely insulin resistant and yeast infection seems to be my default setting. The only thing I have ever found that is guaranteed to make it go away (I had a three-month infection from two days after my wedding and I tried everything!) is to avoid absolutely any form of sugar or sweetener – this includes fruit – and anything with yeast in it. I also cut out stuff that’s likely to harbour mould or yeast such as cheese and pickles. It’s annoying, though – you have to check *everything* because so many things contain sugar, yeast or yeast extract. It’s infuriating. I also eat a lot of raw garlic. Burns like hell (I accompany it with antacid liquid – contains some sweetener but what can you do) but makes the thrush go away faster! I’ve never found any kind of pessary to work; every time I’ve used one, whether it’s garlic or ecostatin or canesten, my thrush has got worse. I just have to stay away from anything with sugar or yeast, because I can get thrush from nothing more than an ill-timed piece of chocolate or bowl of muesli, or even just having sex will do it sometimes (friction). If my body is trying to have a period, I have to be extra careful, as well. Periods usually mean thrush for me, and it won’t go away afterwards unless I’m strict about the diet.

  30. Michael M
    Michael M May 8, 2007 at 12:03 pm | | Reply

    Informative page you have, It’s surely beneficial to learn more on this subject. One should learn as much as possible to be able to put it into a good use. Here is another page about this topic of Chronic Yeast Infections http://www.yeast-infection-cure-treatments.com/Chronic-Yeast-Infections.php

  31. Rose
    Rose May 23, 2007 at 12:34 am | | Reply

    Im 20 years old and have had a thrush infection a couple of times before. The first time I didnt know what on earth was going on! I looked up the symptoms on the net and ended up using acidophilus which totally worked for me. The time after that I got straight in there fast with acidophilus on a tampon and it stopped it in its tracks. That was about a year ago. I came off the pill about a month ago and was coming up to my first period and got that unbearable itch. Ive been so busy at work and the like that I wasnt very promp with the acidophilus and so it seems to have gotten a bit out of hand, spreading to my bum cheeks even! I took some diflucan yesterday for the first time and the itching is no where near as bad but theres still alot of sore redness. It says it should work in 1-2 days and so if the symptoms havnt gotten much better by tomorrow morning then I guess the Diflucan isnt working so well. And that scares me case as we all know Yeast Infections are a real downer! Will somebody hurry up and find a cure I mean its 2007! Anyway you could say im a little frustrated but atleast I know im not alone! Good Luck Everyone!

  32. Rose
    Rose June 3, 2007 at 11:49 pm | | Reply

    Well I went to the doctor and sure enough I had thrush. So thrush can develop into a rash and then peel! go figure. Doctor gave me some anti fungal cream and its clearing up nicely but hasnt completely gone. Have to keep remembering to use the cream. Its a bit of a drag. You even have to use it for two weeks after its cleared up and thats putting it on twice a day. doctor did a blood suger level test also but it was all good. I guess maybe i just got a bit run down!

  33. Lindsey
    Lindsey July 16, 2007 at 6:28 pm | | Reply

    Boric acid capsules have been the only thing that have seemed to help with my recurrent yeast. I didn’t think I was diabetic, but I did find out I have pcos and likely insulin resistance, which is a pre-diabetic condition. I’m hoping that as I get that under control the yeastie beasties will go away.

  34. KateK
    KateK March 15, 2008 at 8:01 am | | Reply

    I have had type 2 diabetes for 3 1/2 years and have had “chronic” yeast infections for over 4…which makes me believe I had diabetes for a year before diagnosis!! I get them twice a month, every month. Not only itching, but the worst part is a fissure…a crack in the skin…yep, “down below”. I have searched the internet for years and just came upon this site. Anyone else with yeasts this bad? My A1C’s are always below 6%.

  35. AmyT
    AmyT March 15, 2008 at 6:07 pm | | Reply

    You need to get yourself on some proactive preventative treatment. I have been taking diflucan for years now… don’t let it go!


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