The best-known type of yeast infection is thrush, which is a form of candidiasis that generally affects the genitalia of women. Yeast infections are not only contracted by women, however, as men have been known to get the disease. Yeast infections aren’t exclusive to any gender, but only certain body areas are affected.
Candida, the fungus that causes yeast infections, normally affect mucous membranes of the skin of human beings. When viewed in agar plates in a laboratory setting, they have a whitish-gray, cream, or white appearance. They look like big colonies that are round in shape. One of the species of Candida that cause yeast infections is Candida albicans. There are also other species of Candida that cause this infection.
There are a bacteria that is naturally present in the body, that allows candida albicans to get along with other flora in the body, and keep its growth regulated. Candida albicans thrive in warm, dark, moist body areas. Yeast infections love the mouth, intestines, vaginal area, ears, and any other part of the skin that stays warm and wet. Yeast infections can even occur in armpits and different folds of skin.
The name Candidiasis, or yeast infection, is named because the natural form of Candida albicans is formed from single yeast cells that are oval in shape. It reproduces itself through budding when it is in the form of yeast. Cells have bulbs that sprout out of them, making clones of their genetic makeup. Before letting go, the bulbs stay attached to the parent cells for a short time length.
What are the ideal conditions for yeast infections? Two things that have to happen to allow Candida albicans and other bacteria to flourish without messing with other flora, is that the body’s temperature has to be at a certain level, and balanced ph levels must be maintained. Bacteria such as these die if the ph levels or temperature changes. When this happens, cells of Candida albicans are allowed to morph into fungi and reproduce itself with no restraint.
When Candida albicans start to overtake an area of the body, they produce tingling, itching, burning, and soreness. Quite often, several symptoms can be present at the same time. Scratching the area that is bothersome will only make the condition worse.
Some of the symptoms of the condition are: inflammation and/or swelling joints, water retention, mood changes, odd cravings for carbohydrates, alcohol, or sugar, sadness or depression, poor balance, concentration, and coordination, along with memory loss, tiredness, muscle pains, dizziness, sleepiness, irritability, or swelling of body tissues. These symptoms can also be related to other problems, so more common symptoms should be seen before making a diagnosis.
Wherever there are too many fungi present, side effects that are site specific can occur. Yeast infections that can go down as far as the soft palate in the mouth are patches that are cream or white in color. Having bowel movements can be harder, as well as the potential for problems with digestion. When a penis is affected, it can have sores that appear in patches on the foreskin or head. Discharges from the bowels, genitalia, and ear can be caused by Candidiasis.
Serious or fatal diseases can occur due to yeast infections. When people have a human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, diabetes, or compromised immune symptoms, they are particularly vulnerable to complications arising from yeast infections. If proper diagnosis and treatment are sought in time, people who suffer from yeast infections can be cured completely.