Yeast Infection Up Close

February 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Yeast Infection

Candida albicans is a fungus that causes yeast infection in the vagina. 3 out of 4 women is estimated to have this kind of vaginal infection in a lifetime condition which is worsened by pregnancy and diabetes, as well as by the use of oral contraceptives, antibiotics, and steroids.

Studies also show yeast infection’s connection with a woman’s post menopause stage during which the vaginal walls become thinner due to plummeting levels of estrogen. Yeast infection in the vagina causes a lot of trouble for women. It is often characterized by vaginal or urinal itching and burning, thick-white discharges, and painful sexual intercourse.

Remedies of Yeast Infection

One of the most popular remedy for vaginal yeast infection is probiotics which are tiny live microbes that naturally inhabits the digestive system and the vagina. This friendly bacteria, most common of which is Lactobacillus, suppresses and blocks the spread of harmful microorganisms. Probiotics usually come in the form of oral supplements, although vaginal suppositories also exist but are hard to find.

Boric acid is another chemical substance commonly used to address yeast infection. It is a natural and milder remedy that has both antiseptic and antifungal characteristics.. Studies have shown that it is as effective as sporanox, a kind of antifungal drug.

On the other hand, as compared to topical or oral medications, boric acid suppositories proved to be more effective by a margin of more than 50%. However, the use of this natural remedy for vaginal yeast infection carries a caveat that such should not be taken by mouth, not be applied on open cuts or wounds, and not used excessively. Its side effects could include burning or irritation in the vagina. Thus, pregnant women and infants should avoid using this on the skin.

Another natural remedy for yeast infection, otherwise known as candidiasis is tea tree oil. It is used by diluting it and applying it to the vaginal area that has infection. Applying it to the body without first diluting it is not advised since the full strength of the substance may be harmful to the sensitive skin of the vagina.

Although the compound terpinen-4-ol is said to be the key ingredient in treating candidiasis, this remedy for vaginal bacterial infection is not recommended since there has been very few studies that concluded its effectiveness for humans.

Get a Proper Diagnosis

Serious vaginal infections, although easily treatable by natural over-the-counter home remedies for yeast infection, should not be let to chance. One should make sure of the risks or gravity of the condition so as to employ the appropriate remedy.

This warning should be stressed to some particular individuals such as those who have had a history of similar vaginal infections, those who have tried self-medication but the symptoms persist, those who have had cancer treatments, those who have other afflictions, and those who have are promiscuous in their sexual relations since the symptoms of yeast infection could be similar to sexually transmitted diseases.

Yeast Infection Basics

February 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Yeast Infection

Of the 20 plus species of the microscopic fungi called Candida, Candida albicans is the most common that causes the vaginal infection known as candidiasis.

Numerous Candida albicans usually inhabit in areas of the body where it is warm and moist like in the underarms and the vagina. While our skin usually blocks yeasts, a cut in the skin allows them to penetrate. As one grows older, varied kinds of yeast infection may be had such as around the gums, below the breast or the abdomen, and underneath other folds of the skin.

However, the later kinds of yeast infections are merely superficial and easily go away with proper treatment. The 2 kinds of yeast infections that are much more resistant to ordinary treatment are mouth and vaginal yeast infections. Recurrent yeast infections may spell more serious diseases like diabetes, sexually-transmitted diseases, or leukemia.

How Yeast Infection Develops

Yeasts in the vagina, which usually grow with the changes in its environment, could cause vaginal burning, itching, and discharges. Use of antibiotics, birth control pills, and steroids also encourage the growth of yeasts, as well as pregnancy, diabetes, menstruation, and the presence of sperms. Yeast infection is also a common occurrence after menopause.

Yeast infection that spreads widely throughout the body can also have life-threatening impact for people whose immune system’s resistance has been weakened by cancer treatments because the cuts that results in the skin become gateways through which the infection enters. This is aggravated by the constant use of antibiotics that kill the good bacteria that are supposed to fight yeast infection.

In addition, cuts in the skin that allow the yeasts to enter the body could also include catheters and IV’s that directly bring the yeast infection to the bloodstream and tissues. Key organs of the body frequently suffer especially the lungs, spleen, and liver where candidal fungus can also grow. People suffering from AIDS also very likely have inflammation of the throat which is likewise caused by candida fungus.

Seeking Medical Help

Medical help is always the next rational thing to do when self-help medication fails or when, instead of getting better, the symptoms of yeast infection worsen. Vaginal discharge that goes beyond one week should prompt one to see a doctor. Recurring candidiasis is usually an indication of a more serious health problem that lies underneath the surface.

More especially for people who have undergone serious cancer treatments like chemotherapy, any form of yeast infection should be dealt proactively since it may indicate a poor functioning of the immune system.

Some cases, though, need to be taken aggressively by admitting oneself to a hospital in order to promptly inquire as to the gravity of the condition. More serious cases of kidney infections, inflammation of the pelvis, or appendicitis are just few of these cases whose symptoms could be confused with that of serious yeast infections, but rather carry more serious and life-threatening consequences when simply ignored or when mistaken to be some other less serious condition.

Male Yeast Infection-What Men Should Know

February 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Yeast Infection

A very common misconception about yeast infection is that only women can get it. Yeast infection among men is an often neglected disease because not too many men are aware that they are already afflicted with the disease.

The significant difference in the body constitution of men and women is a primary factor why yeast infection among men is almost always goes undetected. Men’s body would hardly give a clue of its existence until other more serious health problems develop.

Awareness of yeast infection among men usually starts only when come to know that their sex partners have the infection. In such cases, both of them should take antifungal medications, lest they risk giving the infection back to the other partner. It is advised that partners should see to it that the infection is totally gone before resuming sexual contact.

What’s even more alarming to know is the fact that male yeast infection can reach as far as the urethral canal and the prostate gland. The canal of the vagina is a conducive place for yeasts to grow, especially during sexual intercourse. Thus, unprotected sexual intercourse tends to promote yeast infection, especially if the woman has vaginal yeast infection. Easily noticeable male yeast infection is a penile yeast infection characterized by dry and cracked skin which gives extreme pain upon erection.

The main cause for the growth of yeast fungi in the body is a weak immune system wherein there is an imbalance between good bacteria and yeast. It is important to stress though that candida albicans (yeast) do not pose harm to your body not unless they grow to such numerous supply that they outnumber your body’s good bacteria. Thus, antibiotics can cause yeast infection, as well as alcohol, beer and other wheat products that unsuspectingly carry some molds with it.

Visible signs of penile yeast infection are the redness and blisters of the head of the penis that is often sore and itchy. Digestive problems are the most common symptom of male yeast infection. Other more common symptoms include a foul breath, sexual dysfunction, mood swings, memory loss, dryness and itching of the skin, athlete’s foot, and prostate illnesses. Since these fungi are parasites, one tends to crave for food and more food.

A very easy way to determine whether or not one has male yeast infection is through spitting in a glass of water early in the morning after waking up. After 30 minutes, a positive result is characterized by a sinking of the saliva into the bottom, a cloudy texture in the water, and a spider web-like appearance develops. On the other hand, if the spit simply dissolves into the water, luckily you don’t have yeast infection.

It should be noted, however, that self-diagnosis when it comes to male yeast infection is not advised since its symptoms resemble so much of other sexually-transmitted diseases like genital herpes. Thus, in order to have that reassuring peace of mind, see your doctor for a more precise diagnosis or so that you’ll be given proper prescription suited to your unique condition.

Vaginal Yeast Infection: What Women Should Know

February 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Yeast Infection

Candida albicans is widely present in the human body, but in relatively small amounts. In fact, some areas of the body have this fungal organism without the individual even knowing it since some women (or men) may not exhibit symptoms of yeast infection, especially when its number is not large enough to cause even the slightest infection.

The vagina, more specifically, is a unique environment that allows these candida fungi to survive and grow. Recurring yeast infections that are, at first, thought to be mere simple yeast infections could actually be a sign of a sexually-transmitted disease or an underlying serious condition that needs to be more aggressively treated.

It should be noted that while candida is not a kind of sexually-transmitted disease since it is present in a perfectly healthy vagina, it is likely for men to have it after having sexual contact with a partner who has a yeast infection. In fact, studies show that carriers of candida albicans experience few or no symptoms at all.

The presence of vaginal yeast infection is characterized by painful body rashes, itching and swelling in and around the vulva, painful sexual intercourse, vaginal odor and thick discharge, and painful burning urination, among others. These general yeast infection symptoms may not necessarily be similarly experienced by all women having yeast vaginal infection.

However, there are yeast infection symptoms that would indicate a more serious condition than yeast infection. Pelvic pain or a feverish feeling, for instance, would indicate that a woman should get professional medical care.

Relief can be provided by pills and creams where medication of such can last for a week or more, depending on the gravity of the condition. Some may need a doctor’s prescription, while others are easily bought over-the-counter.

Yeast infections, particularly in the vagina, can be prevented by keeping the genital areas clean and dry. Cotton crotches in the underwear or pantyhose would also help, as well as the wearing of soft loose pants or slacks. Bathing suits and gym clothing should not be worn wet or moist for long periods and should be washed every after use. Since yeasts feed on sugar and carbohydrates, lesser intake of food rich in sugar should be avoided such as sodas, candies, and fruit juices.

Vaginal infections are very treatable. However, it should not be ignored nor should it simply be self-medicated since it could lead to an even worse problem such as when the severity of the infection cannot be accurately determined by the patient. For example, use of antibiotic could eliminate the good bacteria and could further add to an already severe condition.

The most accurate way of determining whether or not one has yeast infection is by undergoing a microscopic analysis or culturing where the doctor takes a sample specimen from the infected surface of the walls of the vagina. This process is a fast and accurate diagnosis. This course of action is also advised during women’s first encounter of yeast infection so that she could get the proper diagnosis.