Also known as Candida, Monilia and Thrush, yeast infection is just one of a number of the kinds of infections that trouble the vagina and the vulva (the surrounding area to the vagina), causing vaginal yeast infection.
In fact, three types of Vaginitis (the general medical term for infections of the vagina) exist:
· Trichomoniasis: when parasitic protozoa cause the infection of the vagina
· Bacterial vaginosis: an infection of the vagina; sexually transmitted in most cases and caused by bacteria.
· Yeast infection: infection of the vagina caused by yeasty microbes known as Candida albicans.
Candida Albicans, a fungal yeast-like organism, and other Candida are usually resident in our intestinal tract, throat, mouth and genitourinary areas and form a natural part of the organisms in the bowels.
Candida albicans has benefits like being able to defend our gut from harmful bacteria. Candida "knows" how to identify and eliminate bacteria and other disease-inducing organisms inside the intestinal tract.
When conditions are healthy, a human being can harbor millions of Candida microbes that turn out to be of benefit internally. A suitable consition would be one where, our inner apparatus keeps the right balance between acid and alkali, our immune system is robust enough and probiotic bacteria outnumber the Candida organisms (probiotic or friendly bacteria include B. bifidum, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, and L. salivarius). Thus, in our intestines, Candida is kept in check.
However, when a weak immune system, a decrease in friendly bacteria or toxicity or acidity in the blood compromises our inner system, the ideal context for Candida yeast overgrowth occurs.
Like other health conditions, Candida yeast infection is something that is caused by a number of primary and secondary factors and the relationship between them. These factors and cofactors make for Candida overpopulation and are also causative in worsening an already established yeast infection.
In addition, psychological, mental, lifestyle and external elements also directly or indirectly form the context in which Candida runs amok to generate a range of common symptoms of yeast infection.
Overpopulation by Candida is really a condition arising from internal imbalance where Candida albicans mutate from simple, non-invasive yeast form to a mycelial form of fungus that spreads to the rest of the body.
When Candida changes forms from yeast to fungus, it grows radical structures called rhizoids that dig into the intestinal walls to create holes. Yeast, toxic debris, bacteria and undigested food then enter the bloodstream. The conditions that range from disagreeable to threatening then include the leaky gut syndrome, intolerance to nutrients, rashes, brain fog and irritation, itching, swollenness, inflammation and white vaginal discharge (yeast infection of the vagina).
The main culprits of Candida yeast infection overpopulation are:
· Substandard choices in diet and incorrect acid-alkali balance in the intestines
· A degraded immune system
· Accumulation of toxins in the intestinal tract
· Reduction in friendly probiotic bacteria
These 4 elements create the ideal context for Candida Albicans to multiply and mutate from yeast to fungus, which can then be seen as other symptoms such as yeast infection.
An imbalance of hormones (for example during menstruation), intake of antibiotics, prescribed medicaments, steroids and contraceptive pills can also provoke the onset of yeast infection. Lifestyle factors including stress, cleanliness, sexual habits and even the kind of clothes that you wear can also worsen an already established Candida condition.
Yeast infection and one of its most common manifestations, yeast infection of the vagina, is primarily an internal condition brought on by more than one factor and therefore very difficult to master. This is one of the explanations for the difficulty that physicians have to eliminate this recurring condition with prescribed and over the counter drugs.
Causes of vaginal yeast infection can be varied and many. Therefore, the treatment for it should also be multi dimensional. To eliminate the problem at the root, instead of only treating the symptoms of the condition (the external appearance of the infected parts), one requires a holistic, multidimensional approach.