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.