Many health experts believe that there is a relationship between fibromyalgia and vaginal yeast infections, and more specifically, candida albicans. But what is the nature of the connection between fibromyalgia and candida? Do FMS sufferers have more yeast infections than non-FMS sufferers?
Candida Albicans: What it is and its Relationship to Yeast Infections
Yeast infections are caused by candida albicans, a yeast-like plant that is produced by the body under normal conditions.
However, candida albicans can lead to a yeast infection when there is an excessive growth of candida. Yeast infections are a fungal overgrowth commonly found in the vagina, which often lead to vaginal pain, irritation and swelling.
Chronic yeast infections occur when the growth of yeast spreads through the body, leading to a variety of symptoms.
Candida Albicans and Fibromyalgia
Experts believe that fibromyalgia patients are prone to undiagnosed conditions with irregular bacteria and viruses, like vaginal yeast infections. Many experts believe that if candida spreads and isn’t treated, it can cause pain similar to that experienced as one of the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
A proliferation of Candida albicans is often caused by a weakened immune system Similarly, an overactive immune system is believed to be one of the main causes of fibromyalgia.
Yeast infections can also be caused by the use of antibiotics, corticosteroids and oral contraceptives, as well as nutrient deficiencies. A yeast infection can also be caused by a person’s diet or hormones associated with pregnancy.
Because fibromyalgia increases one’s sensitivity to pain and stress, yeast infection symptoms can often be more troublesome for FMS sufferers than for non-FMS sufferers.
Candida albicans is an underlying condition in many other illnesses in addition to fibromyalgia, including chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and Crohn’s disease.
Fibromyalgia Syndrome, Yeast Infections and Candida Symptoms: The Connection
Many symptoms of yeast infections and fibromyalgia overlap; and while this doesn’t mean that yeast infections cause fibromyalgia, it does mean that many fibromyalgia symptoms are made worse by the onset of a yeast infection.
Some common symptoms associated with candida albicans include:
- extreme fatigue
- acid reflux
- poor concentration and/or short-term memory loss
- sore throat
- sinus problems and/or migraines (chronic headaches)
- eye pain, blurred vision or sensitivity to light
- low sex drive
- skin discoloration
- fainting or dizziness
- muscle twitching or weakness
- menstrual problems
Some psychological problems associated with candida albicans include:
- panic attacks
How to Prevent a Yeast Infection
While most yeast infections are treated with antibiotics, antibiotics can actually cause an overgrowth of yeast in the body. Preventing a yeast infection is therefore your best option in candida treatment.
Here are some tips on how to prevent a vaginal yeast infection:
- wear underwear that is 100% cotton
- wear skirts
- use scent- and dye-free laundry detergent
- avoid using fabric softeners
- avoid douching
- avoid using tampons
- limit your milk and sugar intake
- eat a small amount of yogurt daily
- try a yeast-free or low-yeast diet
Also be sure to check out our section on Fibromyalgia and PMS.