Thrush or candidiasis is a type of fungal infection caused by the Candida species of fungus. This article provides some information about the symptoms of this condition.
Otherwise known as candidiasis or yeast infection, thrush is a type of fungal infection. It affects the mucosal surfaces of the body, which include the mouth, vagina, and the intestines. It is caused by the Candida species of fungus, called Candida albicans. The most common forms are oral and vaginal thrush. In immunocompromised people, the condition may affect the bodily systems, and may become life-threatening too. Such condition is termed candidemia. However, superficial infections are far more common.
The most common among the symptoms of oral thrush is a thick, white coating, or raised lesions inside the mouth, especially on the tongue and the inner cheeks. Such lesions may also appear on the gums, tonsils, roof of the mouth, and back of the throat. In some cases, these lesions can be painful; and may bleed slightly, while brushing the teeth.
The affected person may find it difficult to taste foods, and may also develop a bad taste in the mouth. Severe oral thrush may cause fever, and the infection may spread to the esophagus and other parts of the body. White coating on the tongue is mostly seen in babies. Such babies may also have a poor appetite, and experience difficulty in swallowing.
As far as vaginal candidiasis is concerned, itching and burning are the most common symptoms. The condition may also cause redness and swelling of the genital area. In some cases, the affected woman may experience pain as they touch the genital area. Pain during urination and sexual intercourse, is also common. Vaginal thrush may cause severe discomfort, and may affect the daily activities of the person. Another symptom is vaginal discharge, which is thick, sticky, and white. In some women, the vaginal discharge can be greenish, with a strong smell of yeast.
In case of oral thrush in babies, antifungal medicines are administered. If the infant is being breast-fed, then the mother has to be treated; in order to prevent spread of this infection back and forth from baby to mother, and vice versa. In older children and adults, oral thrush is treated with antifungal medication. Consuming yogurt is found to be effective in controlling this condition. In case of mild vaginal candidiasis, a short-term treatment with antifungal medication may be sufficient. However, severe cases require a longer treatment, in order to get rid of this fungal infection.
Even though, the most common types of thrush are the superficial ones that affect the mouth and the vagina; the term thrush is more often used to denote oral thrush. The candida species of fungus is part of the normal flora in the human body. However, when it multiplies rapidly due to various factors, candidiasis or thrush symptoms develop.
This condition can be prevented to some extent by controlling the intake of refined food and sugar. Ill-fitting dentures can be a causative factor for oral thrush. Avoid sex with multiple partners, and practice good oral and personal hygiene. Thrush can be controlled with proper treatment and lifestyle changes.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.