Examining Yeast Infection Causes

Candidiasis is the scientific name for yeast infection. Yeast is everywhere in our bodies particularly in our mouths, abdomen, under arms, nail beds or any part of our body that has skin folds. For women, yeast can usually be found under the breasts and the vagina. But if the yeast in our bodies reach more than the normal levels, that’s when yeast infection strikes. Yeast infection causes our bodies to produce too much yeast and is triggered by a fungus called Candida Albicans. This fungus likes to thrive in moist areas of our bodies. The most common symptom of yeast infection is severe itching in the affected area.

Common Yeast Infections

Yeast infection can happen to anyone. In fact, it affects men, women and even children. The most common types if yeast infection are, vaginal yeast infections, thrush, diaper rashes and nail bed infections.

Vaginal Yeast Infection

The most frequent yeast infection in women is vaginal yeast infection when there is abnormal growth of yeast in the vagina that causes vaginal burning, itching and discharge. This type of infection is usually caused by taking antibiotics and steroids but it can also be prompted by pregnancy, sperm, diabetes and taking birth control pills. Vaginal yeast infection happens more to women after menopause.

The first symptom of vaginal yeast infection is noticing a white cheesy discharge from the vagina that causes the area to itch. Experiencing pain during sexual intercourse and urination is another symptom.

Thrush

Thrush is a yeast infection of the mouth. Thrush can occur to people who take anti-inflammatory medicines, antibiotics or birth control pills. A person is likely to get thrush if they are a smoker or wear dentures that are either too loose or too tight. Mothers can also get thrush from their babies through breastfeeding.

An indication that of thrush infection seeing white creamy cuts that appear slightly raised anywhere in the mouth. These cuts can sting especially if they are scratched off. Other symptoms of thrush include having trouble swallowing and fever especially if the infection has spread to the throat

Diaper Rash

Diaper rashes can also be caused by yeast infection and it happens to babies not older than two years old and to adults who use diapers. Since the candida fungus thrives in moist places, it’s not uncommon that it would infect the area where the diaper meets the skin. Diaper rashes appear as bright red splotches in the skin and it can occur after taking antibiotics.

It’s easy to spot a diaper rash. The irritated area of a diaper rash can spread all over a baby’s bottom, their genitalia or in specific areas. It can also appear in the folds of the skin.

Nail bed Infections

Yeast infection can also occur on the skin under the nails. Aside from the common causes of yeast infection, nail bed infections also happen when the hands are exposed to water frequently or when a manicure had been badly done.

Nail bed infections are painful and the area around the nail will appear red and swollen. The worst kind of nail infection can cause the fingernail to separate from the skin so that the nail bed turns into an ugly shade of yellow or white.

Yeast infection is a treatable disease and it goes away without any complications. These common types of yeast infections get cleared up in one to two weeks. The best defense against yeast infection causes is having a strong immune system that will protect you from the recurrence of the disease.

A Candid Look into Yeast Infections

What may arguably be the most commonly known yeast infection or form of candidiasis in the world today is thrush, which affects mostly female genitalia. (It is rare, though not impossible, for men to contract the disease.) But yeast infections actually do not limit themselves to either gender, and simply affect certain areas of the human body.

Yeast infections are infections confined specifically to the skin or mucous-like membrane, caused in human beings by a genus of fungi called Candida. It appears in laboratory-cultured agar plates as large, round colonies colored white, cream or whitish-gray. One of its most famous (or rather infamous) species is Candida albicans, though it must be noted that Candida albicans is not the only species that causes yeast infections in human beings.

Candida albicans lives peacefully with other flora in the human body, its growth kept in check by a certain bacteria. It makes its home inside the dark, warm, wet areas of the body. This is why yeast infections are found in areas such as the ears, the mouth, the blood, the gastrointestinal or “gut” area – and yes, the area “down there.” However, it also likes human skin, particularly warm, wet sections which like skin folds and armpits.

Candidiasis is also called “yeast infection” is because Candida albicans’ normal form is that of single oval yeast cells. When in yeast form, it duplicates itself through budding. This means the cells create genetic clones of themselves through bulbs that “grow” out of them. These bulbs stay attached to the parent cells for a while before letting go.

So what actually causes yeast infection? First, the human body’s temperature must be at a specific level and the pH levels must be balanced, two of the conditions necessary for Candida albicans and its partner bacteria to grow without disturbing other flora. But when the temperature and pH levels change, these bacteria die. This leaves the Candida albicans cells free to change into fungi and to replicate with no control over themselves.

Candida albicans fungi mark their territories during this population boom by causing any of these sensations: burning, itching, soreness, or tingling. Sometimes, two of these sensations can be felt at once. It’s a bad idea to scratch the irritated areas, since this act would only compound the overgrowth of the fungi.

Other signs include fatigue, drowsiness, muscle aches, pain or swelling in the joints, dizziness, fluid retention, tissue swelling, loss of balance, lack of coordination, lack of concentration, poor memory, mood swings, depression, anxiety, irritability, and cravings for sugars, carbohydrates and alcohol. But these are also common symptoms for other sicknesses, so they must be taken into consideration along with more reliable indicators.

The overgrowth also causes specific side-effects in afflicted areas. To name a few, yeast infections create white-or cream-colored patches inside the mouth, reaching as far as the soft palate. They cause digestion problems and make even bowel movement difficult. Afflicted penises have patchy sores near the head or on the foreskin. Candidiasis is also responsible for discharges from the ear, the bowels (in the stool) and the genitalia.

Yeast infections can cause serious, sometimes even fatal, diseases. This is particularly true for sufferers with weakened or underdeveloped immune systems, diabetes, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). However, sufferers can be permanently cured through immediate and proper diagnosis and medication.