What is candidiasis?

Candidiasis is the result of an overgrowth of candida (a type of fungus) anywhere on the body. There are more than 20 types of fungi, candida, the most common of which is candida albicans. These fungi normally inhabit the human gut, but their growth is suppressed by other beneficial gut bacteria.

Under certain conditions they can become so numerous that they cause an infection especially in warm and moist parts of our body, an example of this is vaginal infections and inflammation of tissues in the oral cavity caused by candida.

Candida infections usually occur in warm, moist areas of the body such as the armpits. Normally, the skin effectively blocks the fungus, but any injury can cause candida to enter the skin.

In babies, this type of fungus in most cases affects the mouth and the diaper area. Vaginal candidal infection is the most common form of vaginitis.

In adults, oral fungal infections become more common with age. Rarely, the yeast infection can spread throughout the body, but even oral and vaginal candidiasis can lead to severe disease and the fungus can become resistant to standard treatment.

Frequent candida infections can be a sign of more serious diseases such as diabetes, leukemia and AIDS.

Symptoms of candidiasis

The signs and symptoms of vaginal candidiasis are a thick white discharge that is often described as having the appearance of cottage cheese. The infection usually causes itching and irritation of the vagina and the external surrounding tissues. In some cases, pain during intercourse or burning during urination may occur.

Candidiasis in men – symptoms of the infection may appear after intercourse with a woman who has a vaginal yeast infection. However, candidiasis is not a sexually transmitted disease because women can have candida in their bodies and not acquire it from another partner. Most doctors do not recommend treatment for the partners of women who have candidiasis unless they develop symptoms, which can include penile itching and burning, as well as a rash on the skin of the penis.

In infants and adults, candidiasis can appear in many different ways. Candidiasis in the mouth is called thrush. It is characterized by thick, lacy patches that can form on the tongue, palate or elsewhere in the mouth.

Superficial candidiasis of the skin appears as a red flat rash with pointed and hard edges. In people with a weakened immune system, candidiasis can affect various internal organs and cause pain and organ dysfunction.

If candida enters the bloodstream, the affected person may become ill and develop a high fever. If the infection spreads to the brain, it can cause serious changes in mental function or behavior.

Candidiasis treatment

  • A balanced diet including foods such as chicken, eggs, nuts and seeds, vegetables and olive oil. Avoiding sugar and high carbohydrate foods will limit candida growth, as simple carbohydrates and sugar cause candida overgrowth. Fruit should not be eaten as it contains sugar.
  • Increase your intake of probiotics – beneficial gut bacteria that limit candida growth. For this purpose, you can take probiotic food supplements or consume fermented foods that are rich in good bacteria.
  • Avoid exposure to chemicals. Paints, household cleaners, perfumes and deodorants can cause allergic reactions and hypersensitivity are very common in people with candida.

Food cravings especially the constant craving to put something sweet in your mouth can be managed with tools like the Emotional Freedom Technique to help you to overcome unhealthy food cravings and other emotional barriers.

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