Yeast infection is a vaginal infection usually caused by an opportunistic fungus known as Candida albicans. It is a part of the gut, a group of microorganisms that live in the mouth and intestine.
Candida albicans yeast is a common type of fungus usually found in small amounts in various body parts, such as vagina, mouth, digestive tract and on the skin. The fungus is normally harmless and doesn’t cause any symptoms. A bacteria known as lactobacillus acidophilus that is present in a comparatively larger numbers in the vagina, keeps a check on other organisms, like yeast. When the balance of these micro-organisms is disrupted due to some reason, it can cause the yeast to grow and cause irritation.
The yeast produces toxins that your body’s immune system can struggle to cope with. When the candida albicans population starts getting out of control, usually caused due to antibiotics or high estrogen levels. It can also be a result of certain health condition like HIV. The yeast weakens the intestinal wall, penetrating into the bloodstream and releasing its byproducts throughout the body. These byproducts are toxic in nature and can cause damage to your body tissues and organs, and also the immune system. The wide-ranging side effects of this change range from headaches and fatigue to abdominal pain and depression.
Yeast infection can be characterized by:
Vaginal discharge does not always occur, but if it is present, it’s normally odorless. This infection can also spread to a male partner. Symptoms of yeast infection in a male are irritation, soreness or itching of the genital area after contact with an infected woman. The presence of candida in small amounts does not require treatment, approximately 20% to 50% woman have small amounts of yeast in their vagina.
Certain medications, such as antibiotics and chemotherapy may increase the chances of developing a yeast infection. Using perfumed vaginal hygiene sprays or use of douches may also disturb the pH balance of vagina and result in excessive growth of yeast. A vaginal yeast infection is not usually considered a sexually transmitted disease as yeast can be found in the vagina of most women naturally. The major waste product of yeast cell activity is acetaldehyde, a poisonous toxin that promotes free radical activity in the body. Acetaldehyde is also converted by the liver into ethanol. Some women even report feeling drunk or hung-over along with debilitating fatigue from the high amounts of ethanol present in their system.
Yeast infection can easily be prevented by good genital hygiene. Keep your vaginal area clean by using a mild, unscented soap and water. If you go for a swim, change your wet swimsuit quickly once you are out of the pool. Wearing a wet swimsuit for long may keep your genital area warm and moist. Do not use deodorant tampons or feminine sprays, powders, or perfumes. These items can change the normal balance of organisms in your vagina. So if you suspect that you have yeast infection, the first thing you need to change is your lifestyle, to find what could have caused the overgrowth of candida albicans. Consider all the possible causes like, antibiotics, stress, alcohol and drugs, oral contraceptives, a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates.
The occurrence of yeast infection has actually been increasing rapidly over the last few decades due to frequent use of antibiotics, obesity, diabetes and inclination towards processed foods. Fortunately, there are many easy things you can do to prevent or cure it quickly. Eliminating the risk factors is a crucial step in tackling the yeast infection. Many women remain undiagnosed by their doctors and unaware of their condition.
Although, yeast infection is not a major problem and some women prefer to wait for it to get fine on its own, however it can be corrected quickly with proper hygiene and care. After using the toilet, wipe, to avoid spreading yeast or bacteria from your anus to the vagina or urinary tract. Here are some safe and effective home remedies for yeast infection that can provide immediate relief:
Preferably wear cotton underwear that helps keep your genital area dry and doesn't hold any moisture and warmth. Avoid wearing tight-fitted jeans. These may increase body heat and moisture in the genital area leading to prolonged yeast infection. Proper care and hygiene can easily cure it. If it does not, then you can visit your doctor, who can prescribe some lubes that you can apply to the genital area to control the infection. Oral medication can also be prescribed if the imbalance has grown too much.
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