Definition of Candida
Candida is commonly found in 80 % of the people; it is seen in the form of a skin rash and can sometimes be the cause of dangerous infections. Candida Albicans is a yeast microorganism that commonly lives in the intestinal tract of every human being. It shares space in your bowel with a variety of other microorganisms, mostly helpful bacteria, call probiotics. The bacteria to yeast ration in a healthy person; is about 10:1, so in a normal bowel everything lives in a nice ecological balance. The problem comes when your "inner ecology" gets off balance through a variety of causes. The bowel becomes vulnerable to other opportunistic' microorganisms seeking a new home. With no healthy probiotics to keep it under control, the growth of yeast takes off, multiplies and causes Candida Overgrowth yeast infection resulting in a multitude of symptoms.
Our immune system is supposed to keep fungal growth under control or even have small amounts of Candidaas food for the protective bacteria in our body, but due to various causes the body looses its friendly bacteria, the Candida cells begin to grow uncontrollably resulting in infection.
Systemic yeast overgrowth or Candidiasis is not a condition acquired from some external source, that can be effectively cured by the use of drugs. It is the result of living habits, dietary, environmental and even emotional influences that have led to a reduced level of biological functionality of the entire body as well as the mind and emotions in many cases. The yeast organisms would have no place to multiply out of control and mutate into pathogenic forms unless the proper conditions for their mutation and proliferation existed. It is important to note that Candida yeast organisms have a place in the normal microbial ecology of a healthy intestinal environment. When present in healthy concentrations, the primary function of these organisms is to consume unfriendly bacteria produced in the gut. Once the intestine's microbial ecology is sufficiently disturbed (by the factors listed below) and the concentration of healthy bacterial species is greatly diminished, the candida yeast organisms begin a process of mutation into harmful fungal forms. In their mutated forms, these fungal rhizoids develop elongated root like structures capable of penetrating the intestinal lining, entering the circulating blood and colonizing tissues throughout the body. Such fungal organisms produce powerful toxins, posing a severe challenge to the system's detoxification pathways and cause many of the candida sufferer's symptoms.
Symptoms of Candida
As many as 75% of women experience genital candidiasis, also known as vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), candidal vaginitis, monilial vaginitis, monilial infection, and vaginal yeast infection during their lifetime. Overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans, normally present in vaginal flora, causes an allergic reaction that produces symptoms. It most commonly occurs in sexually active young women and is the most commonly diagnosed vaginal infection.
Genital yeast infection generally is not considered to be a sexually transmitted disease, but it is possible to acquire infection from a partner with genital or oral colonization. Men with genital yeast infection are usually asymptomatic.
Vulvovaginal candidiasis is an opportunistic infection associated with risk factors that disrupt the body's natural defense against proliferation and infection, such as the following:
- Broad-spectrum antibiotic use
- Diabetes mellitus
- Scented feminine hygiene products
- Steroid use
Some other symptoms of Candida are:
- Thrush appears as creamy-white or bluish-white patches on the tongue - which is inflamed and sometimes beefy red - and on the lining of the mouth, or in the throat.
- Diaper rash caused by candida is an inflammation of the skin, usually red and sometimes scaly.
- Vaginitis is characterized by a white or yellow discharge. Inflammation of the walls of the vagina and of the vulva (external genital area) causes burning and itching.
- Infections of the fingernails and toenails appear as red, painful swelling around the nail. Later, pus may develop.
- Infection of the penis often results in balanitis (inflammation of the head of the penis).
An infection in the bloodstream can affect the kidneys, heart, lungs, eyes, or other organs causing high fever, chills, anemia, and sometimes a rash or shock. Candida can cause the following problems depending upon the organ infected:
- Candida in the kidneys can cause blood in the urine
- Candida in the heart can cause murmurs and valve damage
- Candida in the lungs can cause bloody sputum (mucus discharge)
- Candida in the eyes can cause pain and blurred vision
- Candida in the brain can cause seizures and acute changes in mental function or behavior
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