Thrush – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Wednesday, July 04, 2018 by

Thrush (also called oral thrush) is an infection caused by an overgrowth of a yeast called Candida albicans. For the most part, thrush is not serious and can be treated. Thrush is part of a condition called candidiasis, where it is called oropharyngeal candidiasis.

Thrush is only one area that Candida infects. In some cases, Candida overgrowth can lead to infections in other areas such as the esophagus and the vagina, for women.

Most people naturally have Candida on their gastrointestinal tract, and it is regulated by the immune system and “good” bacteria in the gut. In some cases, however, a weakened immune system (such as the case from chronic diseases or taking immunosuppressants) or one that is not yet fully developed (such as infants) can lead to a rapid growth of Candida and possibly infect the host. This happens in infants after being antibiotic treatment as it eliminates “good” bacteria present that prevent Candida overgrowth. It can also result from the use of steroids.

Known risk factors and symptoms of thrush

It is uncommon for thrush to appear in healthy adults. However, neonates (babies younger than one month) and certain groups of people are at higher risk of getting the condition, including:

  • Those who wear dentures
  • People with diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, or have weakened immune systems
  • Individuals who regularly take antibiotics or corticosteroids, including inhaled forms for asthma
  • People who take medications that cause dry mouth or have a condition that results in a dry mouth
  • Those who smoke

Common symptoms of thrush include:

  • Presence of white patches on the tongue, mouth, inner cheeks, and the back of the throat
  • Red and sore tissues under the patches
  • A white tongue – often described as looking like cottage cheese
  • Cracking at the outer edges of the lips
  • A dry mouth
  • Strange or unpleasant taste in the mouth, accompanied by bad breath

Body systems affected by thrush

Healthy children and adults have no complications from thrush, but those with a compromised immune system such as those with HIV/AIDS are at risk for serious complications from candidiasis, as it may spread to other parts of the body.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent thrush

There are many ways to treat thrush. Here are some recommended food items that you may use (or even gargle) to relieve symptoms.

  • Salt. Gargling with salt is the best way to beat oral thrush, as it creates an unlivable environment for the fungus.
  • Yogurt. Plain, unsweetened yogurt contains probiotics which help regulate Candida fungus in the body.
  • Coconut oil. Using coconut oil, especially in oil pulling, eliminates the yeast and relieves symptoms of the infection.
  • Apple cider vinegar. Gargling or drinking apple cider vinegar will considerably improve the body’s pH level to allow it to fight the overgrowth.

Treatments, management options for thrush

Conventional treatments for thrush involve topical cream and other antifungal medication. If a baby has thrush, keeping cleaning nipples and pacifiers clean is essential to prevent further infection. However, some treatments to prevent infection involve having good oral hygiene, treating yeast infections immediately, and limiting the consumption of processed sugars.

Where to learn more

Summary

Thrush is an infection caused by an overgrowth of Candida albicans.

Thrush is usually not serious and can be treated.

It’s uncommon for thrush to appear in healthy adults. However, babies younger than one month and people with weakened immune systems are prone to infections.

Those with a compromised immune system are at risk for serious complications from candidiasis, as it may spread to other parts of the body.

Some treatments to prevent thrush involve having good oral hygiene, treating yeast infections immediately, and limiting the consumption of processed sugars.

Sources include:

Patient.info

KidsHealth.org

CDC.gov

MedicineNet.com

MayoClinic.org

Top10HomeRemedies.com

DrWeil.com



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