What Is Candida?




An Overview Of This Yeast Infection Causing Organism

You are probably familiar with yeast infections or fungal infections. They are so common, it is likely you or someone you know has had one. Candida is the organism responsible for most yeast infections. An infection caused by this organism is called Candidiasis. So what is Candida?

By David Castillo Dominici (FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

By David Castillo Dominici (FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

What is Candida?

It is a normally harmless fungus living on your body. It occasionally causes yeast infections that make you feel miserable until you effectively treat the overgrowth and bring your body’s flora back into balance.

There are approximately 20 different kinds of Candida organisms. The one usually responsible for yeast infections is Candida albicans. Candida is a fungus found normally on your skin and in your body. It helps maintain a normal balance of your body’s flora. However, sometimes Candida grows out of control and causes health problems.

What is Candida overgrowth triggered by?

When an illness or outside agent disrupts the normal balance of your body’s microbes, Candida begins to flourish. Candida thrives in warm, moist environments. Common places to find Candida infections are the mouth, vagina, underarms and in folds of skin. Since this organism is found naturally on your skin, when you have a cut or abrasion, your risk of a Candida infection increases. When your skin is intact, it is effective at keeping out yeast and other microbial agents that cause infections.

Yeast infections inflict people of all ages. Babies have diaper rashes caused by Candida. Fungal infections of toenails are common in adults. Women frequently experience vaginal yeast infections caused by Candida. Most cases of Candida are not serious. However, when this organism enters the bloodstream, it is sometimes fatal. Yeast infections are notoriously difficult to treat. Toenail infections linger for weeks or months. Vaginal infections typically clear up only to return a few weeks later. Infections in the diaper area are often stubborn to reverse since the region is constantly moist and warm.

What is Candida treated with?

You can buy over-the-counter medications to treat various forms of Candida infections. If those are not effective, your doctor may prescribe prescription drugs. Lifestyle changes may be necessary for people who suffer from chronic yeast infections. This includes adopting a diet that inhibits the growth of fungus in the body.

It is also helpful to know the reason for Candida overgrowth in the first place. The fungal infection may be a symptom of a more serious disorder such as a compromised immune system or diabetes. There is also a strong link between antibiotic use and the development of fungal infections. Eliminating the cause helps prevent a recurrence.

Diagnosing a Candida infection is an easy task for a medical professional because of the distinctive symptoms of white patches in the mouth or a thick white discharge from the vagina. Lab test confirm the diagnosis, but these are often not needed. Some of the symptoms associated with a yeast infection are similar to those caused by other medical conditions, so you may wish to consult a doctor with your first infection and in instances when you cannot clear an infection on your own.

 





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