There can be several causes of yeast infection, and it is of utmost importance to know these causes, in order to cure this fungal infection. This article provides some information about the factors that can contribute to its recurrence.
Yeast infections are more commonly caused by candida albicans, a type of yeast that can be found in the human intestinal tract. Yeast is nothing but a type of fungus and so, yeast infections are a type of fungal infections, caused by the overgrowth of candida albicans. Under normal circumstances, these fungi do not cause any health problem, as their population is kept under control by a strong immune system and the beneficial bacteria residing in the intestinal tract. However, factors that can weaken the immune system or destroy the population of beneficial bacteria in the body can contribute to yeast infections or candidiasis. For some people, such infections can be recurring in nature.
In general, it can be caused by factors that reduce the population of beneficial bacteria in the intestine, which in turn provides an opportunity for rapid proliferation of fungus like yeasts. Prolonged use of antibiotics is one such factor that can kill both harmful and beneficial bacteria residing within our body and thus, promote the rapid growth of yeast or candida albicans.
Apart from antibiotics, it can be associated with medications like steroids and birth control pills. In fact, use of birth control pills is an important cause of this condition in women. Recurrent candidiasis can also be caused by a diet rich in sugar. Yeasts like candida albicans thrive on sugar and sugary foods. Yeasts also need a moist and humid environment to thrive, which is why yeast infections of the mouth and the genital area such as vaginal candidiasis are more common. Tight-fitting clothes can provide a favorable environment for the growth of fungus on the skin by proving a moist and warm environment.
Diabetes is a health condition that can put an individual at an increased risk of contracting this condition. The relation between these two conditions can be explained by the fact that the level of blood sugar increases in the case of uncontrolled or poorly-controlled diabetes, which helps candida albicans to grow and cause infection frequently. Women on the other hand, can become vulnerable to frequent yeast infections during pregnancy. Finally, recurrence of this condition could be an indicator of a compromised or weakened immune system. This is the reason why, those affected by HIV/AIDS can repeatedly experience this condition.
Its symptoms can vary depending on the part of the body that is affected. As for example, oral thrush or candidiasis that affects the mouth can produce symptoms like cottage cheese-like appearance in the mouth, tongue, and the throat. Yeast infection of the skin can manifest in the symptoms like skin rashes, itching, redness of the skin, and swelling. Yeast can affect the genital area, and its symptoms in men can include the appearance of small lesions at the head of the penis, as well as an itching and burning sensation in the genital area. Vaginal yeast infection symptoms may be characterized by itching, irritation, and burning sensation in the vagina, cottage cheese-like vaginal discharge and pain, especially during intercourse. Overgrowth of yeasts in the intestine on the other hand, can cause digestive problems.
Its conventional treatment involves the use of antifungal creams, ointments, and oral antifungal medications. Oral antifungal medications are usually recommended for infections that do not heal with topical antifungal preparations. Along with these, vaginal suppositories are used for treating this condition. However, many people tend to get candidiasis repeatedly, and the antifungal medications may fail to prevent the recurrent episodes of this fungal infection. Therefore, along with medications, it is important to find out and address the underlying causes.
Many a time, natural remedies can also prove helpful in this regard. Some of the well-known home remedies are plain unsweetened yogurt, buttermilk, garlic, tea tree oil, and vinegar. Out of these, yogurt and garlic can be consumed, as well as applied topically on the affected area. Buttermilk can be consumed for treating this condition, while tea tree oil and vinegar can be applied topically on the infected area. Along with these, probiotic supplements which contain the numerous beneficial bacteria can help to check the growth of candida albicans in the body.
The best way to prevent this recurrence of candidiasisis to make some dietary changes such as the avoidance of sugar, sugary foods, and yeast-containing foods. One can also consider to follow a yeast-free diet to get rid of this condition. Keeping the genital area clean and dry, avoiding tight-fitting clothes and undergarments, and drinking plenty of water throughout the day can prove helpful in this regard. However, be sure to inform the physician if the infection persists even after using the home remedies, and taking all possible preventive measures.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.