Chronic yeast infection (candidiasis) is a painful and debilitating health condition caused by Candida fungi. Candida fungi are opportunistic pathogens that are allegedly present in more than 80% of the population, but can cause chronic yeast infection only under certain conditions.
More than 100 species of Candida can be found in nature, but only two dozens of those species are considered to be actual triggers of yeast infection in humans. Candida albicans are the most prevalent species, followed by Candida glabrata and Candida krusei. Candida albicans causes about 80 percent of all yeast infections, while other types of fungi account for the additional 20 percent.
Yeast organisms are normally present in a large percentage of healthy individuals. They inhabit the warm, moist environments of the vagina, mouth, gastrointestinal tract and rectum. Yeast organisms are balanced by beneficial microorganisms (probiotics) and cause little harm in a healthy individual. However, in case of infection they begin to reproduce rapidly.
Excessive concentration of yeast organisms, especially in warm and moist areas of the body surface, may trigger candidiasis. There are some special conditions, which can encourage this process. These conditions usually depend on the candidiasis’s subtype. For instance: vaginal candidiasis may be accelerated by pregnancy, birth control pills or antibiotics, whereas male yeast infection develops mainly due to the poor personal hygiene. Nevertheless, weakened immune systems can be an overall cause of recurring yeast infection of any subtype. Additionally, being overweight or stressed may increase the risk of Candida infection.
Here is some candidiasis related data:
· According to some researchers, the 21-30 years age group has the highest prevalence of chronic yeast infection, followed by the 11–20 years age group.
· The most common type of Candida infection is vaginal, and affects about 75% of all women at least once in a life. Approx. 40% of all women have chronic candidiasis.
· Since yeast bacterium thrives in warm, moist environments - chronic candidiasis tends to be more common in hot weather conditions.
· Physical and emotional stress may lower your immune system and increase your tendency to herpes and colds outbreaks. This can also contribute to yeast cultivation.
· Certain foods, including yeast foods, sweets, refined carbohydrates, dairy products (which are hard to digest, are loaded with lactose, hormone growth chemicals and are mucus forming) and wines (which are high in glucose) can trigger candidiasis.
Some researchers showed that the consumption of live strains of lactobacillus acidophilus - either in the form of yogurt or supplements - can help ward off Candida infections. Indeed, a study conducted during 1990s at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York revealed, that women who’ve eaten a cup of yogurt every day for 6 months had managed to decrease their incidence of chronic candidiasis three fold. However, only thirteen women completed the study, and this was certainly not enough to support the theory.
Candidiasis can affect dogs as well as people. Actually, yeast has become a common thread that connects many dogs, which have skin disease of various types.
The most prevalent subtypes of chronic yeast infection are:
· Vaginal subtype: develops inside vagina or vulva. This is the most prevalent type of chronic candidiasis.
· Oral subtype (thrush): develops inside the mouth. Thrush is seen most often in infants or in people with severely suppressed immune systems.
· Baby subtype (diaper rash): a condition that causes rashes in the area of the diaper.
· Male yeast infection: a subtype that leads to inflammation of the penis glands.
· Nail bed infections (paronychia): a sub type of yeast infection that usually appears in the area of the fingernail.
Additional yeast infections can manifest in almost any part of the body, especially in the skin folds: under the arms, under the breasts, between the toes etc. Note that every subtype of yeast infection has its own unique characteristics.
In many cases, yeast infections are superficial, treated easily and are not associated with serious health impairments. The local symptoms of candidiasis can eventually vanish without the use of medication. However, in certain instances it can spread to different parts of the body. This may serve as evidence of severe deterioration of a body’s inner balance.
Chronic Candida infection can also be a mere symptom of more severe conditions, including socially transmitted diseases that have similar symptoms, diabetes, leukemia and AIDS, to name a few. For this reason, the appearance of candidiasis symptoms requires professional consultation with a qualified physician.
While chronic yeast infections symptoms can be relieved at home using an OTC or prescription medication, bear in mind that almost all Candida infections are a warning sign of a major internal imbalance that needs to be properly addressed. Since the root cause of most yeast infections is Candida overgrowth, unless you fix the internal problem that's causing the discharge, rash and other Candida related symptoms, these symptoms will re-appear after a while. Moreover, failing to tackle the internal factors that trigger chronic candidiasis related symptoms could often lead to serious health complications. Since the causes of Candidiasis are so multi dimensional, it is best to follow a holistic treatment which will work towards healing your body from within and restore it to a state of well being and health.body from within and restore it to a state of well being and health.