The incidence of candidiasis or yeast infection is higher in women than men. The following article provides more information on this infection.
Candidiasis, which is commonly referred to as yeast infection, is caused by the overgrowth of a type of fungus called Candida albicans. These single-celled fungi thrive in warm and moist environment. The mouth, the webs of fingers and toes, folds of skin, fingernails, toenails, and genitalia are the areas of the body which are most commonly affected by this infection.
This infection is more prevalent in women, and is difficult to detect at an early stage in men. This is mainly due to the male anatomy. In most cases, the affected person is unaware of the infection for a long time. This infection is mainly the result of unprotected sexual intercourse with a partner who has the same infection. The main symptom is a rash and irritation on the head of the penis. The affected person may also experience a burning sensation while urinating.
The yeast can get transmitted to the infant from the mother’s vagina during the process of birth. Overgrowth of yeast might cause a diaper rash or oral thrush in babies. Since prolonged use of antibiotics disturbs the microbial balance, the risk of the infection might increase in newborns of mothers who are on such drugs. The fungus can get transmitted to the infant during breastfeeding.
This fungus is normally present on the vaginal surface. So when there is an abnormal multiplication of Candida albicans in the vagina, it leads to vaginal candidiasis. Vaginal burning, itching, and discharge are the common symptoms. Pregnancy, menstruation, diabetes, and the use of birth control pills could be the contributing factors.
What is Oral Candidiasis?
Also known as oral thrush, it is an infection affecting the mouth. It commonly affects the roof of the mouth, the tongue, gums, and the lips. A low white blood cell count, low IgA count, or IgA deficiency in the body, are the most probable causes for oral thrush. The symptoms include white, yellow, or cream-colored, raised spots in the mouth. These spots are usually painless, however, if scraped, the area may bleed and leave a painful ulcer behind.
What Triggers the Infection?
Stress, alcohol abuse, excessive consumption of food items rich in sugar could lead to the overgrowth of yeast in the body. Prolonged use of antibiotics tends to destroy the ‘good bacteria’ in the body. These so-called ‘good bacteria’ keep a tab on the growth of yeast and thus prevent its overgrowth. So the onset of the infection is likely in the event of a high ratio of yeast over the friendly bacteria.
Diabetics could be at risk, as diabetes raises the sugar level in the body, which in turn favors the rapid growth of yeast. Apart from a weakened immune system, wearing tight fitting clothes (inner wear), and not keeping the body properly dry (especially after a shower), provides the warm and moist environment that is required for overgrowth of Candida albicans.
Prevention is better than cure, which is why, one might benefit by following certain precautionary measures. These include reducing the intake of sugar-based products, and refraining from the excessive consumption of processed foods and other simple carbohydrates that might cause Candida overgrowth.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.