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- What is Candida?
- Diagnosing Candida
- What Causes Candida?
- Help for Candida
- More Information on Candida
What is Candida?
Candida, also known as Candida albicans, is a type of yeast which is classified in the same group as fungus, mold and mildew. Thriving in a dark, moist environment, it can be found naturally in the body, particularly in the mouth, digestive tract, vagina, or skin folds.
Other areas of the body that may be affected by Candida are the ears, dental cavities, groin, under the breasts or nails. When in correct systemic balance, Candida is not a harmful organism and will not cause troublesome symptoms. Prevention is important, as treatment for Candida albicans can be unsuccessful and infections can become recurrent.
The symptoms of Candida overgrowth are chronic fatigue, abdominal bloating, constipation, diarrhea, skin infections, headaches, menstrual cycle disturbances, and even cognitive difficulties or depression. Candida affects both men and women, but is more common in babies and people with weak immune systems.
Common Conditions Related to Candida
- Oral Thrush - A mouth infection caused by Candida that manifests with white sores or spots around the lips, on the tongue, gums, and inside the cheeks
- Esophagitis - Candida that spreads to the esophagus from the mouth
- Skin candidiasis - A diaper rash that is common in babies
- Vaginal yeast infection - A white, curd-like discharge occurs along with itching and severe burning while urinating or during sex
- Deep candidiasis - Candida spreads through the bloodstream to the entire body which causes fever, shock, and multiple organ failure
What Causes Candida?
The most predominant type of yeast is Candida Albacans. An overgrowth of yeast occurs when the immune system becomes suppressed and toxins produced by the yeast can enter the blood stream through the colon wall, infecting other parts of the body.
This condition can be triggered by a number of factors such as antibiotic and steroid use, birth control pills, hormonal changes during pregnancy, menstruation or menopause, allergies, poor hygiene, stress, a poor diet, or chemical poisoning.
Help for Candida
Treatment for Candida albicans includes conventional over-the-counter medication or prescription medication such as topical creams, anti-fungal drugs, probiotics, or oral drugs.
Complementary and alternative therapies include acupuncture, immunotherapy, or increasing vitamin intake to alleviate symptoms of Candida overgrowth.
Additional Information on Candida
There are various ways to prevent Candida infections, including the following tips:
- Eat a low carbohydrate diet
- Avoid foods and beverages that contain sugar, yeast, alcohol, or dairy products
- Keep your skin cool and dry
- Avoid frequent use of antibiotics
- Practice good hygiene by washing and drying your vaginal or groin area, and dry well in-between toes and other skin folds
- Wipe the vaginal area from front to back after using the toilet
- Avoid use of irritants such as perfume, bath oils, or talc on the vaginal area
- Change soiled and wet diapers immediately to avoid Candida rash
- Wear cotton underwear and avoid wearing tight trousers or jeans