Lately, it seems my body's defenses' are on the low side. ..
Ever since last summer, I've had three vaginal yeast infections. I only went to the doctor the first time, she said it was pretty normal for it to happen, gave me some medicines, and told me to use the same ones if it happened again... and so I did the other two times. I didn't think that much about it, though; it was supposed to be a 'common' thing, and the last two times it happened I was on antibiotics, so I thought that could be the cause.
Then, in December, I got mononucleosis - I haven't a clue how it happened though - and stayed in hospital for a couple of days. It eventually went away without any serious consequences.
Last week, for some reason, my mouth started to feel all irritated and bumpy on the inside, then lots of cold sores started to appear - and I mean LOTS - in the walls of my mouth and on my tongue. It's been a hellish week really; I've been unable to speak, unable to eat anything but soup and other non-solid foods, because my mouth and tongue were swollen and plagued with sores, and it hurt so much to even sneeze. I went to the doctor, and he told me it might be due to stress - I'm in the middle of my exams period at university -, and that it'd eventually go away. I have to admit I'm quite stressed lately, and that I get one or a couple of cold sores every once in a while, but it had never been anything to this extent, I dunno.
However, as it's started to fade and hurt a little less, I've realized that my tongue is white on the surface, and that it hurts a bit when I swallow - not the way it does when you have a sore throat, though. Doing some research I found that it might be oral candidiasis, although I haven't gone to the doctor yet because of my exams.
My questions are:
First, should I worry about some underlying reason for this apparent sequence of health problems? I've had blood analysis done after mononucleosis, and it seemed everything was pretty normal... Could it be - at least this last cold sores + probable oral candidiasis - a result of my defenses being low from mononucleosis?
Second, do you know about any 'natural remedies' for cold sores? Just out of curiosity, since they seem to appear and then go when they feel like it... maybe something to make it hurt a little less? I've heard about aloe vera, for example, is that right?
And third, aside from the treatment the doctor might give me once I get the appointment, if it ends up being candidiasis, what kind of foods should I avoid and which should I take in order to help balance the bacteria in my mouth? I've heard about yoghourt, and other acidic foods - such as vinegar - being good, and sugary foods, bread, fruit, and carbohydrates in general being not that good. Is that true? Could you give me some more examples, or provide me with a link with information about this kind of diet?
sorry, but i squished your second link because the website is NOT a reliable source. the problem with searching for health info on the internet is that there are a whole lotta quacks out there, and it's hard for people outside of the field to distinguish between good info, and junk.
Kotori, How are you feeling overall? (In addition to exam stress, which definitely can be incredibly stressful!) How do you feel about your interpersonal friendships? About life in general? How often do you exercise?
Also, random comment on medicine in Spain as a possible explanation: My sister lived in Spain last year for a study abroad program. She was sick a lot and spent a lot of time "getting to know the Spanish health care system." One thing she noticed was how really strong medicine was prescribed for mild things, or that you could get OTC medicine with contents tightly controlled in the US. I don't know your situation (like if you've lived in Spain all your life and this is a totally new thing), but I'd also look at the medicine you've been prescribed. My sister also mentioned that women go to gynecologists much less often than in the US, and that they were quicker to prescribe stuff without checking everything out first. For example, maybe your second yeast infection wasn't actually a yeast infection, or a different strain of it, etc. Just throwing this out there...
[This message has been edited by Ecofem (edited 02-03-2006).]
Overall, I must say I'm in a quite ugly situation.
On the one side, at home I'm constantly arguing with my mother, and I rarely speak to my father anymore. The situation is awful, with my mum trying to get divorced then going back on her words over and over again, with my father blackmailing us into not giving us a single cent if my mum does get divorced, and with me being fed up of it all... But this is not a new thing, so I'm as used to it as one can get used to living under a sorta abusive parent. I'll get out of here I soon as I can, since it seems my mother is not.
Then, on the other side, I broke up with a two year long relationship some months ago, only to have my ex-boyfriend's best friend fall in love with me, and start a really complicated triangle between me, him, and my ex (kinda like in a typical teenage movie ). They don't talk to each other anymore, I'm friends with both of them, but the situation is awful, and I want nothing more than everything back to normal, but that's not going to happen, so I might as well get used to it too.
So, considering, also, my university exams... I think my life right now is quite complex and stressful. And I don't have almost any time to exercise at all, even though I try to when I'm able to. But definitely that could be a cause for 'bad health', I guess. Body reacts to everything, the little prick...
And about Spain's health care system, well; I'm Spanish and have always lived here, and I can say for example that it's true that visits to the gynecologist are a 'rare' thing, or at least not as often as I've gathered here they should be. I'm almost 20, I've only been to a gyno once, and that was only because I got Candidiasis - I can't think about a single friend of mine that has gone even once. It's a much more common thing in 'older', and by that I mean 'adult' people. Anyway, when I used the treatment for Candidiasis the other two times, it went away just as swiftly as it had the first time, and it really felt the same way to me - if it hadn't felt exactly the same, I'd had gone... but the first time I got it they gave me the appointment for two months afterwards, and I had to spend the whole summer with Candida not knowing what it was, so waiting again was not an option. And about medicine prescribing, I'm not sure if 'strong' medicines are easily prescribed or not... But from what I've heard, many people say that kind of comments about the health care system here. I dunno.
I don't know if this helps but I just recently got oral candidiasis myself. If that is in fact what you have (find out for sure from a doctor) you usually just have to use an anti-fungal mouth wash until it goes away. Eating yogourt is VERY good to help stop it from happening because you always have the stuff in your mouth to cause oral candidiasis but the "good bacteria" in your mouth (the same kind in yogourt) usually keeps it from growing and causing any problems.
If you've had a weakened immune system and more importantly if you've been on anti-biotics of any kind, you definitely could have oral candidiasis (once again just check with a doctor to be sure).
As for good natural remedies for cold sores, get pure sea salt and rinse with salt water a few times a day. Pure sea salt will have a much better effect than the kind of salt you have with dinner because normal table salt has too many additives which don't really help you get better. You definitely notice the difference because if you use pure sea salt it DOESN'T STING at all, with table salt it stings big time.
You definitely seem to be going through an extremely stressful time of your life right now; I know you can't exactly escape from you family situation and the friends-love triangle, but now (or as soon as exams are over!) please start taking more time for yourself. You really deserve a break, and I think it'd help your overall health. Take a long walk, read a book, etc. do whatever you really enjoy doing that also helps you feel relaxed. Exercise really, really helps your body and mind: even twenty minutes if that's all you have can make a difference. Or what about signing up for a yoga course?
Thanks for your feedback on the Spanish health care system; I did not realize you are Spanish because you write English like a native speaker! (I think it's great that Spain has national health care, regardless of the downsides.) That is too bad about your appointments though!
I had about a year or so where I when I seemed to constantly have bacterial vaginosis and went to the doctor numerous times. I believe that a change in diet (go fruits and veggies and yogurt!) played a role, as did going off of birth control pills; however, I think decreasing my stress levels actually helped the most. Not exactly easy when outside factors are high but some hope for the long-term.
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