Yeast infection or Candidiasis, is a fungal infection caused by any of the Candida species (all yeasts), of which Candida albicans is the most common. Candidiasis is also technically known as candidosis, moniliasis, and oidiomycosis.
Candidiasis encompasses infections that range from superficial, such as oral thrush and vaginitis, to systemic and potentially life-threatening diseases.
The severe and life threatening diseases are also referred to as candidemia and are usually found in persons who have low immunity such as the patients suffering from:
- AIDS patients
- Non-trauma emergency surgery patients
Superficial infections of skin and mucosal membranes by Candida causing local inflammation and discomfort are very common in human being.
However a most common yeast infection is vaginal yeast infections. It occur when yeast enters into the vaginal area and in some cases when there is an increase in the quantity of yeast already present in the vagina relative to the quantity of normal bacteria. Though it can also happens in conditions when the normal, protective bacteria are eradicated by antibiotics. Normally taken to treat a urinary tract, respiratory, or other types of infection or by immunosuppressive drugs, the yeast can multiply, invade tissues, and cause irritation of the lining of the vagina (vaginitis).
Causes Vaginal yeast infections
- Injury to the inner vagina, such as after chemotherapy
- Suppressed immune systems
- Diabetes mellitus, pregnancy
- Taking oral contraceptives
- Use of douches or perfumed vaginal hygiene sprays
A vaginal yeast infection is not considered to be a sexually transmitted infection (STD), since Candida may be present in the normal vagina, and the condition does occur in celibate women. However, it is possible for men to develop symptoms of skin irritation of the penis from a yeast infection after sexual intercourse with an infected partner.
In clinical settings, candidiasis or yeast infection is commonly treated with antimycotics—the antifungal drugs commonly used to treat candidiasis are topical clotrimazole, topical nystatin, fluconazole, and topical ketoconazole.
Some alternative medicine proponents postulate a widespread occurrence of systemic candidiasis. The view was most widely promoted in a book published by Dr. William Crook, which hypothesized that a variety of common symptoms could be caused by subclinical infections of Candida albicans such as:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Digestive and urinary problems
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscle pain
In the book Crook has suggested a variety of remedies to treat these symptoms, ranging from dietary modification, prescription antifungal, to colonic irrigation. With the exception of the few dietary studies in the urinary tract infection section, conventional medicine has not used most of these alternatives, since there is limited scientific evidence to prove either their effectiveness, or that subclinical systemic candidacies is a viable diagnosis.