Yeast infections are caused by a fungal organism Candida albicans, also known as Candidiasis yeast-infection. Yeast is found everywhere on your skin normally. They do not cause an infection all the time, as they are kept under control by the body's immune system. However, there are different types of yeast infections that can be life-threatening, and this article will deal with the ones that affect humans.
Yeast infections that are seen in AIDS, cancer, and transplant patients can prove to be dangerous. It is also known to be a sexually transmitted disease (STD). It is seen that 70% of women develop at least one yeast infection in their life. Also, over 40% of the women suffer from more than one in their lifetime. Women are more prone to this than men. Men can also suffer from it, but they never realize it due to their exterior sexual anatomy as opposed to the interior sexual anatomy of women. Children are also prone to this condition.
Oral: The white patches seen in the mouth are known as oral thrush. These are caused by Monilia Albicans. The mouth and throat tissues are invaded by the organism. The infections are seen inside the cheek, on the roof of the mouth, tongue, gums, and lips. These white patches when wiped from the mouth may cause bleeding and a painful patch of ulcer can also be seen. Esophageal thrush that spreads to the esophagus is known as esophagitis. This makes it very painful and hard to swallow food and water.
The causes of this type are reduced resistance to Candida in women due to the use of birth control pills. Antibiotics used for a long time causes reduction of the bacteria that do not allow yeast to grow. As the 'good bacterial' population decreases, the yeast turns into an opportunistic pathogen. Tricyclic antidepressants can also be a reason.
Skin: Itching and rashes caused on the skin can be a case of this problem. Yeast thrives in areas of moisture, like the groin, underarms, under the breasts, lower abdomen, under the folds of buttocks, between the fingers and toenails, etc. Cuts and sores can also be a reason.
Obese people are also prone to this infection, as there is more skin surface contact in their body. Diabetes and yeast infections go hand in hand most of the time. Weak immune system can also lead to growth of yeast on skin.
Systemic Candidiasis: When the yeast finds its way into the bloodstream, it may lead to systemic candidiasis. This infection is observed in patients suffering from AIDS or cancer. This is a serious condition and can prove fatal, if not treated.
In Children: Infants can suffer from yeast infection type due to transmission of the organism during delivery or through breast-feeding. The most common one in children is thrush. Children have a weak and developing immune system and are susceptible to this condition. Also, children who are on antibiotics may also fall prey, as the good bacteria necessary for digestive and immune system may diminish. Thus, antibiotics and yeast infection have a correlation.
Vaginal: It is a common infection seen in women, which can cause itching, pain, and discharge in the vagina. It is caused by Monilial vaginitis or vaginal candidiasis. This type is also caused due to the use of birth control pills, pregnancy, diabetes, unprotected sex, menstruation, hormonal changes, and a weak immune system.
The changes occurring in a woman's body during pregnancy lead to yeast overgrowth, as the balance of acid and yeast in vaginal is disturbed. These infections won't have much effect on the pregnancy, but cause a lot of discomfort to the pregnant women.
In Men: Penile yeast infection is observed in men. It can be very painful, and men notice this only when they suffer from related health problems or if their partners are detected with a vaginal infection.
Yeast infection in men is caused due to a weak immune system that cannot control the growth of yeast. Diabetic men also are prone to this condition, as the sugar in urine helps the growth of yeast. The most common source in men is unprotected sexual intercourse.
There is no specific cure for this problem, but there are many easy methods of treatment. The best way is to maintain hygiene. Have healthy foods and healthy drinks to build up a strong immune system. Have plenty of water and yogurt to help the immune system. You should try to keep your diabetes under control. Always remember, prevention is better than cure.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.