Candida albicans is a yeast fungus that is present on our skin and in our body orifices (such as the vagina and mouth). Normally, the other bacteria present keep a healthy balance between the yeast and bacteria. In fact this symbiosis (balance) keeps us healthy, occasionally, the yeast overgrow and cause Candida symptoms. Other yeast fungi can be responsible for candida symptoms; however the most common is caused by the Candida albicans variety of yeast.
The yeast does not cause Candida symptoms without having the proper conditions to allow them to reproduce at a rate to overcome other cells and produce symptoms. Generally, a moist area, opening in the body and a dark environment are required. The opening the Candida gains entrance is most often via cavities such as the mouth, vagina, and skin to skin areas such as under the breast, underarms, or between the toes.
The symptoms you will incur with an infection will involve some type of irritation, redness, rash and discharge or drainage. Those with other health problems that compromise the immune system are more susceptible to this infection.
Candida Symptoms and Facts
When Candida over grow in the vagina, the most common two symptoms produced are intense itching and a white clumpy discharge that looks like milk curd. Thrush is the name given to Candida that occur from an infection in the mouth. Predominantly, infants and toddlers are affected by thrush; however adults can be infected as well. Symptoms include a white cover inside the mouth or the interior of the mouth becomes inflamed a red; causing pain.
Adults who smoke drugs that irritate the lining of the mouth (methamphetamine for instance) have a higher incidence of Candida. In rare instances Candida symptoms can cause a serious internal infection. This occurs when the yeast gain access to the inside of the body, usually via the esophagus (throat) and enter the lungs or stomach.
Any area of the skin can be prone to Candida symptoms if the conditions are right and a person’s skin integrity is compromised. When areas such as skin folds stay moist, yeast are likely to grow. A red flat rash will appear and the area will itch or become irritated. Diaper rash in infants is often a result of Candida. Diabetes patients have a high incidence of Candida symptoms due to the high blood sugar they have when symptoms are not controlled. Yeast feed on sugars in order to reproduce.
Treatments for Candida include anti fungal applications in the form of topical creams, mouth rinses and oral medications. Secondary bacterial (most often staph) infections can occur if symptoms are not treated. Mild Candida symptoms can sometimes be treated with a vinegar (diluted with water) solution. Overall, most Candida symptoms are treated without further complications.
Recurrent Candida symptoms may indicate other serious diseases such as cancer (leukemia), diabetes, and auto immune deficiency. Anyone who has repeated symptoms should consult a health professional. Someone receiving oral antibiotics for other infections is prone to yeast infection; particularly vaginal infections in women and oral infections in children. The antibiotic can kill the good bacteria on and in the body; along with the bad bacteria. Consuming yogurt cultures has shown to help prevent Candida in those prone to yeast infection.