Diagnosing a Yeast Infection

How do you know if that discomfort you’re feeling is a yeast infection? Check out some of the common signs and symptoms of this affliction.

What is Candidiasis or Yeast Infection?

Commonly referred to as yeast infection of thrush, candidiasis is a type of fungal infection. In humans, yeast is most prevalent in regular skin and areas that are moist, such as the mouth and vagina. Candidiasis attacks the moist and warm areas of human body like underarms, nail beds and lower abdomen. It causes infections like thrush, vaginal yeast infection (vaginitis) and diaper rash. Diabetic, pregnant and heavy or obese women generally complain of this condition. Candidal infection rapidly affects the body’s metabolism and can cause development of fungus.

Vaginal yeast infections are recurrent in nature and can be sexually transmitted. Lowered immunity is the leading cause of yeast infections. Women suffering from this disease usually complain of a cheesy white and odourless discharge.

Causes of yeast infections:

Some of the common causes of a yeast infection are as follows:

  • If there is a change in the environment of the vagina, then the chances of yeast overgrowth increase.
  • Use of steroids and antibiotics generally lead to yeast infection.
  • Other factors such as diabetes, menstruation, pregnancy, frequent exposure to semen, birth control pills, hormonal imbalance, and stress can lead to its instigation.
  • People with weak immune systems usually fall prey to this infection. Patients undergoing cancer treatment and taking steroid doses too face a high risk of acquiring a candidal infection.
  • Any kind of cuts or wounds on the skin, or even mucous membrane can let these infectious yeasts enter the bloodstream and bring about systematic illness.
  • Devices such as urinary catheters can also provide an access to these infections.
  • Hot, humid weather, poor ventilation and tight underwear augment yeast infection

Signs and symptoms of yeast infections:

If you think you might be suffering from a yeast infection, these are the signs to watch out for:

  • Most women suffering from this disease complain of vaginal itching along with a burning discharge.
  • The infection also causes severe itching in the vaginal area and its surrounding outer tissues.
  • In children and adults, a candidal infection causes oral candidias called thrush. Thrush forms a thick white lacy layer, similar to milky curd, on the surface of the tongue and makes eating painful. Thrush even causes dehydration.
  • People with weak immune systems can easily contract a yeast infection known as Esophagitis. This infection not only attacks the upper part of the gastrointestinal system but also quickly spreads to other bodily parts, mainly mouth and stomach.
  • Men can also get yeast infections, although they may have little to no symptoms. Men also get infected primarily due to lowered immunity, although they can also get it from sexual activity with an infected partner.

Photograph by Jesse Therrien, via sxc.hu