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July 26, 2008

Health Q&A - Yeast Infections & More

By Emily Bennett

Home remedies for yeast infections and heartburn, why office workers get sick so often, and more.

If you have a health question, submit it to Emily at info[at]

Recurring yeast infections

Dear Emily,

I have recurring yeast infections and although my doctor has given me everything from over-the-counter inserts to Diflucan, they seem to return. I’m tired of taking medication and was wondering if there were any natural remedies available.


Hi Alicia,

Do you know why you have recurring yeast infections? Is it because of the foods you eat (alcohol, sugars, mushrooms, and other foods could be culprits)? Do you wear tight clothes that don’t allow your vagina to “breathe” (tight jeans, pantyhose)? Do you wear nylon underwear (synthetic materials can result in yeast overgrowth)? Prevention is always best.

Actually, there are plenty of home remedies you can try to remedy your yeast infections. Here are a few that I’ve tried myself:

Plain yogurt – make sure the first ingredient is bacterial cultures and it contains no sugar. Dip a tampon in the yogurt and insert the tampon into your vagina. Repeat this every night until the infection subsides (about four or five days).

Boric acid – Insert a 600 mg suppository into your vagina every night before bed for three to five nights.

Do one or the other to cure your infection; do not do both. And don’t use these remedies in conjunction with doctor’s prescriptions. As well, you should always consult with your doctor before taking anything – home remedies or otherwise.

I hope this helps,

Dust allergies

I recently got a job in an office environment where I’m surrounded by electronics and, as you can imagine, dust. It has been less than a year and I can honestly say that I have never gotten sick so often as I have working here.

Is it possible that the computer environment is making me sick?


Hi Tara,

There are many things that can lead to your getting sick more often than usual. To start the time of year plays a factor, as winter time is when most people stay indoors and more easily pass around germs and bacteria.

As well, offices equipped with plenty of electronics collect plenty of dust, as you mentioned, which may cause respiratory problems (congestion, runny nose, sore throat, cough).

Finally, older buildings could contain illness-causing molds, so it’s very possible that the air circulation is causing some issues.

You can wait it out and see if perhaps this is just a tough cold that your immune system just can’t shake off as easily. You can build your immune system by taking zinc, Echinacea and vitamins B and C (please consult your physician beforehand though).

I think your best bet would be to visit a doctor to rule out any other reasons why you may be feeling ill all the time, and if the office environment continues to bother you, perhaps you should think about alternative places to work.


Keeping hydrated

Everywhere I look, I see information about the importance of drinking an adequate amount of water every day, but I can honestly say that I don’t drink more than a glass a day, and I feel fine.

I tried drinking 8 glasses a day once, and all it did was make me go to the bathroom 20 times more often than I would’ve otherwise. I could stand to lose a few pounds, mind you, but otherwise, my health is fine. Seriously, is drinking water that important?


Hi Geena,

Oh my goodness, you need to start drinking more water, girl! Water is very important for the human body; humans cannot live for more than 3 days without it. Next to air, water is the most important element needed for survival.

Water serves as a lubricant, forms the base for saliva, regulates your metabolism, alleviates constipation, and regulates body temperature. It also hydrates your skin and helps prevent disease.

You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water every single day (130 / 2 = 65 ounces of water). And you know what? Water might help you with weight loss because, a lot of the time, we think we’re hungry when we're actually just thirsty. So the next time you're about to reach for food, reach for a glass of water instead and see if you feel satiated.

Drink up,

Heartburn issues

Lately, it seems that no matter what I eat, I get heartburn. Is there a way to curb this sensation? It’s very irritating and I simply cannot commit to a life of lettuce.


Hi Joanie,

Heartburn is a result of stomach acid climbs up into the esophagus, irritating it and causing a burning sensation. It is not, as many believe, a result of excess acid, but rather acid making its way to the wrong parts of the body.

You do not have to live on a diet of lettuce and water; there is hope. To begin, try the natural route. Whenever you feel heartburn coming on, mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 3 parts water in a shot glass and drink up.

If this does not work, then it’s time to visit your doctor, who will likely prescribe Losec or some other heartburn alleviating drug.

For now, you might want to avoid coffee, citrus fruit, and (gasp!) chocolate. As well, try not to eat huge portions in one sitting and steer clear of eating too close to bedtime.

I hope this information helps,

If you have a health question, submit it to Emily at info[at]

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