Sunday, July 01, 2007

Candida Yeast Infection

The Common Candida Yeast Infection
By Sarah Rhodes

Agar plate culture of Candida albicansMany different types of anti-fungal medicines are prescribed to treat Candidiasis, including Amphotericin B, fluconazole, nystatin and ketoconazole. Like many other prescription drugs, these often come with unwanted side effects, but may be necessary in the case of severe Candidiasis or where all other treatment options have failed.

Yeast infections can happen to any girl, and they're not related to having sex although they occasionally can be spread from one sexual partner to the other. This is quite rare, though, and the partner of someone who has a yeast infection does not automatically have to be treated. Yeast infections that are spread through sex are not considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD). A doctor won't be able to tell how you got a yeast infection, but will be able to tell you if you really have one, and if so, how to treat it.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should also consult your obstetrician/gynaecologist before beginning any over-the-counter treatments. There are some medications that should not be taken by pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding. In addition, girls under the age of 12 should be seen by a physician before using yeast infection medications.

Candidiasis (also called candidosis or moniliasis) is usually a mild, superficial fungal infection caused by the genus Candida. It usually infects the nails (onychomycosis), skin (diaper rash), or mucous membranes, especially the oropharynx (thrush), vagina (moniliasis), esophagus, and GI tract. Rarely, these fungi enter the bloodstream and invade the kidneys, lungs, endocardium, brain, or other structures, causing serious infections. Such systemic infection is most prevalent among drug abusers and patients already hospitalized, particularly diabetics, immunosuppressed patients, or patients receiving broad-spectrum antibiotics. The prognosis varies, depending on the patient’s resistance.

To help keep your vaginal area dry, try switching to all-cotton underwear and make sure you carefully dry off after you shower. If you can, wear cotton underwear to bed or don't wear any, and always wash and thoroughly dry your underwear before wearing them. Don't lounge around in a wet bathing suit and avoid jeans or pantyhose that are too tight.

A woman who has had one vaginal yeast infection can usually recognize its symptoms if it recurs. And a woman who has had several infections has no doubt about what's wrong when the next yeast infection starts. Another symptom is a thick, mostly odourless discharge. But this can be misleading because discharge in and of itself is not diagnostic. If you have a white discharge with an intense irritating itch, you may have an infection. Unfortunately, many women will, in response to increased oestrogen at mid-cycle and the increased production of cervical mucus, develop a white, curdy discharge. That is not a yeast infection.

Rarely, the yeast infection may spread throughout the body. In systemic candidal disease, up to 75 percent of people may die. Even common mouth and vaginal yeast infections can cause critical illness and can be more resistant to normal treatment.

About the Author
Sarah Rhodes suffered from chronic yeast infections for many years before finally discovering a natural, permanent cure that works. Read about Sarah and the secret that permanently cured her yeast infections at Yeast Infections No More.

Picture: Agar plate culture of Candida albicans.