Can stress cause a yeast infection?
Being under stress for a prolonged period of time can significantly lower your body’s immunity and therefore make you more susceptible to yeast infections. But how exactly does it happen? When you’re under stress your body starts producing hormones that affect your health, the longer you’re under stress, the stronger the effect it can have on your body. There are three main stress relates hormones: cortisol, estrogen, adrenaline and norepinephrine. I’ll discuss each of them and their potential links to yeast infections.
- Cortisol balances your fluids and blood pressure in stressful situations, however if you’re under stress for a long period of time it can have a devastating effect on your immune system, increase your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Weaker immune system will make it easy for Candida to multiply and cause a yeast infection. Also, elevated blood sugar levels will feed the yeast, allowing it to establish itself in your body and more difficult to treat. Apart from stress, caffeine, alcohol and sleep deprivation can also increase your cortisol levels and inhibit your immune system .
- Estrogen levels increase under stress. In cases of chronic stress it can suppress your immune system by reducing thymus hormone levels in your blood. Low immunity will make it easier for Candida to multiply, leading to yeast infections.
- Adrenaline is the hormone that makes you sweat and your heart pound in a stressful situation. It helps you focus and gives you an energy boost to quickly react to danger. I didn’t find any studies about links between Candida and adrenaline.
- Norepinephrine, just like adrenaline, it helps you concentrate and shortens your reaction time. It drives blood to your muscles to make it easier for you to run from danger, or fight for your life! There are no studies about links between yeast infections and norepinephrine at the moment.
How can I boost my immunity and avoid vaginal yeast infections?
There are many things you can do to reduce the damaging effect of stress on your immune system and keep Candida at bay:
- Avoid situations that can cause chronic stress or learn techniques to deal with stress:
- Engage in any type of physical activity. Yoga is an excellent way to reduce anxiety and manage stress.
- Make sure you find time to relax every day and do something you enjoy.
- Try to take every opportunity to engage socially, interacting with other people has got a soothing effect on our nervous system.
- You can also use a dietary supplement called Cortisol Health, that helps maintain healthy cortisol levels. It contains compounds with proven ability to control cortisol response to stress: Phosphatidylserine, Ashwagandha Root Extract and Magnolia Bark Extract.
- Meditate. Research shows that meditation significantly reduces cortisol levels in your blood.
- Make sure you get enough sleep.
- Avoid caffeine (coffee, chocolate, energy drinks) and alcohol.
- Follow a healthy, balanced diet.
By following these tips you can make your immune system stronger and your body more able to naturally defend itself not only from yeast infections, but also from harmful bacteria and viruses. It’s also important to try to keep your immune system strong once you happen to get a vaginal yeast infection. It will help you to get rid of it quicker and enhance your treatment, whether you choose medication or natural remedies.
I’m interested to hear about your experiences. Do you feel that stress triggers your yeast infections? What are your ways of dealing with stress? Do you do anything to boost your immune system? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.