Candida Yeast Infections
Veterinarian Reviewed on January 9, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Candida Yeast Infections
Candida yeast infections or simply yeast infection is caused by the Candida albicans fungus which proliferates in many areas of the body like the vagina, oral cavity, the skin and in the gastrointestinal system. According to statistics, about 75% of women are expected to develop Candida overgrowth at least once in their lives.
Candida albicans is described as a single-celled micro organism that lives in the intestine of humans. It has the ability to produce more than a hundred different toxins resulting in a variety of manifestations. When the body’s immune system is compromised or when a person is ill, the population of Candida increases causing a yeast infection. Candida is kept at bay by beneficial organisms called probiotics.
Causes of Candida Yeast Infections
Candida lives in our digestive tract; each one of us carries this micro organism in our gut. When the population of Candida increases, it reaches a proliferative stage changing its form from a harmless round bud to a toxic and highly invasive thread-like state. Here are some reasons why Candida proliferates:
1. Prolonged use of antibiotics is often the reason why Candida growth turns into hyper drive. Broad spectrum antibiotics destroy not only bacteria that are specific to a particular infection but also other beneficial bacteria that are already present in the gut.
2. Decreased immune system function due to illnesses, medications and environmental factors may also contribute to Candida yeast infections.
3. Unhealthy diet that is high in simple sugars gives the Candida a perfect food source making it grow and thrive.
4. Having diabetes also predisposes a person to develop a Candida yeast infection with high sugar levels in their blood stream.
5. Chronic exposure to stress can weaken a person’s immune system which can then result in a Candida yeast infection.
Symptoms of Candida Yeast Infections
A person suffering from a Candida yeast infection has a barrage of related, as well as seemingly unrelated symptoms:
1. Candida overgrowth in the mouth can result in oral thrush, a whitish over a reddish bump that is very painful on the cheeks of the mouth, on the gums and may even develop on the tongue.
2. Candida overgrowth in the vagina results in a foul-smelling discharge, vaginal walls are very itchy, inflamed and may even be painful. In men, Candida overgrowth is seen as an itchy rash on the base or on the sides of the penis, there is also a foul-smelling discharge along with inflammation, itching and pain. In babies, Candida is seen like a diaper rash or a rash on the side of the mouth. It is very itchy and inflamed skin causing upset and severe irritation in infants.
3. Candida overgrowth in the intestines can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas formation, bloating and many other digestive problems.
Treatments of Candida Yeast Infections
Candida infections are treated with a combination of probiotic treatments (adding good bacteria to combat yeast population), anti fungal remedies, herbal remedies, and increasing the fiber and water content in a person’s diet.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan