Often clinical appearance gives a strong suggestion about the diagnosis. Generally, a clinician will take a sample of the vaginal discharge or swab an area of oral plaque, and then inspect this material under a microscope. Under the microscope, it is possible to see characteristic forms of yeasts at various stages in the life cycle.
Fungal blood cultures should be taken for patients suspected of having deep organ candidiasis. Tissue biopsy may be required for a definitive diagnosis.
Home remedies for vaginal candidiasis include vinegar douches or insertion of a paste made from Lacto-bacillus acidophilus powder into the vagina. In theory, these remedies will make the vagina more acidic, and therefore, less hospitable to the growth of Candida. Also effective for treatment is the dietary addition of berberis, thyme, grapefruit seed extract, and tea tree. Fresh garlic (Allium sativum) is believed to have antifungal action, so incorporating it into the diet or inserting a peeled garlic clove wrapped in gauze into the vagina may be helpful. The insert should be changed twice daily. Some women report success with these remedies; they should try a conventional treatment if an alternative remedy is not effective, or seek the advice from a licensed naturopathic physician.
Some prescription drugs, particularly antibiotics, may disrupt the bacteria normally present in the intestine and vagina, causing the unpleasant symptoms of constipation, diarrhea, or vaginitis. Because Lactobacillus acidophilus is one such regular inhabitant that can prevent bacterial or yeast overgrowth, consumption of yogurt or L. bacillus capsules or tablets has been found to be effective in decreasing the incidence of candidiasis.
Kathleen D. Wright, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,