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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » The doctors won't listen

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Author Topic: The doctors won't listen
forspecial
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Member # 43526

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I've been suffering from chronic, nearly constant yeast infections for a year and three months now and I've seen two different doctors and my gynecologist about it in that time period, multiple times. I've been prescribed oral antibiotics monthly, which only alleviates the problem for a few days. I've taken 12-14 rounds of the over-the-counter stuff, which helped at the beginning. I also have PCOS and have been tested for diabetes 3 times, with negative results.

Sex is painful and it's starting to come between my boyfriend and I because I just can't do it. My doctors continue to insist that this is something that will pass or will be cured with the medications that have not worked for me in months. I am in constant pain and change my underwear 2-3 times during the school day due to discharge and in an effort to reduce the moistness of the area as much as possible to avoid worsening the infection.

I'm at the end of my rope. I do plain yogurt suppositories, I take a probiotic and an enzyme capsule to kill the yeast cells, I take warm baths with tea tree oil drops, I take medication. I've even had my boyfriend get a Diflucan to take, to make sure that he wasn't just reinfecting me every time we had sex. After that, I cleared up my infection for about two days before it came back with a vengeance, before I'd even ever had intercourse again.

I don't know what to ask, or say, or suggest to my doctors to make them listen to me and take me seriously. I have another appointment with my normal gyno on April 12th, and I want to try and get this issue resolved. I need help!

Posts: 39 | From: Misourri | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Karybu
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I'm so sorry you're dealing with this, forspecial. I've been in a similar situation myself in the past, so I sympathize, and I understand how frustrating it can be to feel like doctors aren't taking you seriously.

The first thing to do, if you haven't already, is to step away totally from even trying to have any kind of genital sex until you get this figured out. It may not be the cause of your infections, but having sex while you have any kind of vaginal infection or imbalance is a pretty big no-no.

A few questions, too, just to get a better idea of what might be going on here: are you on any type of medication other than the ones you've been prescribed for treating the infections (including any form of hormonal birth control)? What's your diet like (if you can, a list of everything you eat in a typical day would be really useful)? Have your doctors done any kind of testing to make sure that this is in fact a yeast infection, and if it is, what type of yeast it is? Have you had a full screening for STIs since this started? Any health conditions (of any kind, not just related to your reproductive/sexual health) besides the PCOS?

Since you have another appointment coming up with your gyn soon, if you have not been tested for absolutely everything under the sun, including a full STI panel, that's the first thing to ask for. Beyond that, the best thing to do is just be very insistent that the solutions they have suggested in the past are absolutely not working, that this is interfering with your quality of life, and if they do not feel capable of finding a solution to this problem, you want a referral to someone who can. It is tough sometimes to speak up that way in a medical setting, so if that's something you're a bit shy about, is there any way you could bring along a support person?

Lastly, have you considered looking into any other form of health care? Western medicine can do a lot of amazing things, but sometimes, for chronic infections or conditions especially, seeing someone like a naturopath can be helpful too.

--------------------
"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

Posts: 5799 | From: Canada/Australia | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
forspecial
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I'm not sure what the strain/type of yeast that it is, but I have been tested and confirmed that it is indeed a yeast infection, and has been. I'm on a hormonal birth control pill; this whole thing was triggered, I think, by a change in pills. However, since then I have been on three other pills and the yeast infections seem to be picking up speed. My diet used to be full of junk, but since the infections I've been working really hard to eat better, though the way my family stocks the pantry makes that difficult at times. I try to eat a lot of complex carbs and proteins and stay away from heavily processed food as much as possible. I do eat a lot of sugary things, though.

I haven't had any STI screenings since it started, since my doctors had confirmed the yeast. I am iron deficient and I also have an anxiety disorder as well as a myriad of symptoms that may be normal human wear and tear or could also be part of some kind of disorder, I don't know. I've also been recently diagnosed with cold urticaria, which is an allergic reaction to coldness on skin. I have not found many doctors willing to take the opinions of an 18 year old patient into account.

I work at a Whole Foods and spoke to one of our wonderful people in the "Whole Body" section, who is also a naturopath, and she recommended a huge live culture probiotic supplement that I have taken for four consecutive months with improvement that makes the condition bearable most days. I also take an enzyme pill that is supposed to digest the cellulose walls of the yeast cells and kill them, and that has also helped to manage the condition.

Unfortunately a support person other than my mother (Who, being a nurse, is not a support so much as a take-charge-and-ask-all-the-questions person) is out of the question. I like to believe that I can speak up for my medical rights as a patient, but I have a tendency to falter a little bit when she is clearly so certain that she knows how to fix my problem.

I really appreciate your help and support; this journey has been stressful beyond belief and very frustrating

Posts: 39 | From: Misourri | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Karybu
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It may be that you've got a strain of yeast which is more resistant to treatment or a little bit rarer, which is why standard treatments aren't working for you. Since you do know that it's yeast, it's possible for your doctor to do a culture of your discharge to find out what type of yeast it is, and tailor your treatment accordingly. A full STI screening would also be a good idea; it's possible that you've got another infection as well which is making you more susceptible to yeast.

Along with that, one of the best things you can do is cut out as much sugar from your diet as possible for the time being. It's thought that a lot of yeast infections actually start in the digestive system and then travel to the vagina, and since yeast feed on sugar, ditching that or minimizing the amount you eat will likely help a lot. If you eat a lot of dairy (aside from yogurt, which is good because of the probiotics) try and cut down on that too. If you aren't being treated for your iron deficiency, that's something to get onto ASAP as well; there's some evidence to suggest that iron deficiency can be a contributing cause of yeast infections or at least make recovery more difficult, so managing that could help too.

With the anxiety disorder, how are you dealing with that? Medication, therapy, meditation? It may not seem like anxiety could have anything to do with your physical health, but stress and anxiety can really do a number on your immune system and make it easier for you to get sick and more difficult to recover. So, managing your anxiety effectively could actually make a big difference.

Per talking to your doctor about all this, if a support person isn't doable, have you considered writing down the basics of what you want to say? I personally have found that helpful in the past, knowing what I want to say helps me stick up for myself. It's not the solution for everyone, of course, but it might be worth a try.

I hope you get this sorted out soon, I know how frustrating this kind of thing can be and I sympathize.

--------------------
"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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forspecial
Neophyte
Member # 43526

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An update:

I had an appointment with my doctor today and got a full STI panel and a yeast culture. She said that once we know more about what's going on, we can take action. For now she prescribed me another diflucan just to keep the worst of my symptoms away while I wait for everything to come back. It should be about a week.

Posts: 39 | From: Misourri | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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