Friday, February 09, 2018 by Ralph Flores
Candidiasis is the medical term for any fungal infection caused by the yeast from the Candida genus. Of the 20 pathogenic species of Candida yeast, the most common cause of the disease is Candia albicans; a fungus usually present in the skin and the mucous membranes such as the vagina, mouth, and rectum. However, a weakening of the immune system or antibiotic use causes an overgrowth of the yeast, making it into an infectious agent.
Yeast infections manifest in various forms, depending on the area of infection.
There have also been cases of candidiasis from Candida auris, a drug-resistant strain of the Candida genus which has caused outbreaks in various healthcare facilities. Infections caused by C. auris are severe, as these can cause infection in the bloodstream, with one out of three cases invasive candidiasis caused by the fungus end up in death.
If a person is healthy, the C. albicans yeast is controlled by the immune system, making the likelihood of infection very low. However, any changes in the immune system — like illness or antibiotic — is a major risk factor for the development of the disease.
Moreover, any defects in the body, such as those listed below, may also increase the risk of infection:
Aside from these, risk factors for more severe forms of the infection such as invasive or systemic candidiasis include:
The Candida species are normally found in a hospital setting; thus some procedures (such as intravenous and foley catheters, prolonged hospital stays, and mechanical ventilation) can also be a source of infection.
Depending on the area, symptoms of candidiasis appear differently. For oropharyngeal candidiasis, symptoms may include:
If a woman has vaginal candidiasis, some symptoms she may have include itching and soreness in the region, pain during sexual intercourse and urination, and abnormal vaginal discharge.
Candidiasis primarily strikes the skin and the mouth; however, this may also affect other organs in the body, based on the locality of the infection.
People who have candidiasis are not advised to consume sugars and other forms of refined carbohydrates, since this may aggravate the condition. Moreover, avoid dairy products, vegetables that contain starch, grains, alcoholic beverages, processed oils and meats, fermented food, and all forms of sugar (both artificial and natural).
Recommended food items to aid in treating candidiasis include eggs, fresh fish, lean meats, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and coconut milk. Unsweetened probiotic yogurt can also help prevent overgrowth.
For infections on the skin, most healthcare providers will recommend topical antifungal creams. When this is located inside the body, such as those with oropharyngeal candidiasis or Candida esophagitis, oral antifungal treatments will be used instead. Severe cases such as those from invasive candidiasis will depend on the level of white blood cells in the bloodstream, as well as other organs that have possibly been infected.
Surgery is an option only when there is a severe case of infection or abscess formation inside the body.
Candidiasis is an infection caused by yeast overgrowth in the body. This is usually a result of a change in the body’s immune system which causes the infection. The condition can be treated with medication, and there are food items available to treat and prevent it.
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