Hey, this might not be the most pleasant subject in the world but it is common enough that we all, both men and women, should be aware of what it is, the types and their symptoms. Why? So we can get treatment at the onset before it gets out of control. Read on as guest blogger, Rachel Pharlain, shares with us some of her research.
There are certain things, as humans, we hope we’ll never deal with. Crazy in-laws, car accidents, and unforeseen medical conditions are at the top of the list. A healthy human body contains trace amounts of a variety of bacteria. Yeast cells, also known as candida albicans, are one type of bacteria that can be found in small amounts without any damage to the body (Editor’s note: actually this low level is necessary for a balanced system).
In some circumstances the cells begin to grow too rapidly. When this happens, women and men may develop a yeast infection. Here are the different types of yeast infections that can develop:
Vaginal or Genital Yeast Infection
Men and women can develop yeast infections in or on the genitals. Unfortunately three out of four women (and some men) will need to deal with at least one yeast infection in their lifetime. Vaginal yeast infections can develop through the use of certain antibiotics, hormone shifts due to pregnancy or estrogen based birth control pills, health issues like HIV or diabetes, or sexual contact with someone who has a yeast infection.
- irritation of the genital area
- pain or burning during urination or sex
- pain or swelling at entrance of the vagina
- abnormal white vaginal discharge
Vaginal yeast infections will most likely dissipate without treatment, but who wants to deal with the pain any longer than necessary? Add to that the fact that any sexual contact that you engage in could result in a continual cycle of passing the yeast, why take the chance? The good news is that vaginal yeast infections are fairly easy to shake.
There are a variety of over-the-counter medications and home remedies that can be used to rid yourself of the infection. Before hitting the pharmacy, check with your local physician for an actual diagnosis because vaginal yeast infections share many symptoms with a urinary tract infection.
Oral Candidiasis (Thrush)
Women, men, and children can experience oral candidiasis also known as thrush. Thrush can develop when the number of yeast cells in the mouth or throat increase. Certain medication and illnesses can increase the chances that thrush will develop. Smokers and people who wear improperly fitted dentures also have an increased chance of developing thrush.
Symptoms of this delightful infection include:
- creamy white raised lesions that bleed when brushed against.
- redness and soreness in mouth.
- sore throat or difficulty swallowing.
If you suspect you have thrush, you should consult your dentist or doctor. They will prescribe you with a pill or mouth wash meant to kill the extra yeast cells. Failure to receive the proper medication to get rid of the yeast infection could result in the yeast infection spreading to the blood stream.
Yeast Infection in the Blood Stream (Invasive Candidiasis)
Invasive Candidiasis develops when the yeast infection imbalance spreads from the original site into the blood stream. Once in the blood stream, the infection may eventually spread into organs, bones, muscles, joints, and eyes.
- fever and chills
- a variety of different symptoms depending on what area of the body the infection spreads to
Doctors will diagnose invasive candidiasis through examining infected tissues with a blood culture. Treatment is usually an oral or intravenous anti-fungal medication for a few weeks. If the infection is not treated, it could lead to organ failure.
Yeast infections can be irritating, painful, and in extreme cases highly dangerous. Your doctor or dentist can diagnose and prescribe treatment if you believe you may have a yeast infection. Medication whether home remedies, over the counter drugs, or prescription drugs can easily eradicate your infection before it seeps in the blood stream and becomes a dangerous problem.
About the Author
Rachel Pharlain is not a seasoned health and fitness nut. In the last year Zombies, Run!, a few uncomfortable illnesses, and a her love of fruit has gradually led her to a healthier mindset.
Do you have any home remedies for yeast infections that you’d like to share with the Live Lighter community?