How to Identify the Various Types of Yeast Infections
February 14, 2012
BY AMANDA SMITH
Candida albicans is a type of bacterial fungus that is present in every one of us in various areas of the body. When an imbalance occurs in the body causing the so-called bad bacteria to grow, this enables the fungus to grow and thrive resulting in a yeast infection. A yeast infection can occur in numerous areas of the body and each area can have various symptoms. These symptoms may sometimes be difficult to diagnose because they are similar to that of other illnesses or diseases.
Yeast infections can be caused by numerous things including having a weakened immune system, being diabetic, taking antibiotics, eating a poor diet full of carbohydrates and sugary foods, and poor hygiene.
Genital Yeast Infection
The most common type of yeast infection that we hear about the most is a vaginal yeast infection in women. A vaginal yeast infection can occur for the same reasons as listed above, along with being on birth control or being pregnant. If you suspect that you have a vaginal yeast infection, you should look for the following symptoms:
- Burning/itching sensation around the vaginal area
- A white thick discharge that may sometimes resemble that of cottage cheese
- Burning during urination
- Pain during sexual intercourse
These symptoms can be treated with homemade natural remedies and/or over the counter topical creams and ointments. The symptoms may disappear with treatment, however if an underlying cause is behind the yeast infection, that will need to be addressed as well. Seventy five percent of women will experience a yeast infection some time within their life.
A man can develop the same type of yeast infection in his genital area. He may experience the same type of symptoms as a woman, along with red spots located around the head of the penis. Males are a lot less likely to develop this type of yeast infection, but it is possible.
Oral thrush is a type of yeast infection that develops inside of the mouth. People that wear dentures or smoke are more susceptible to develop oral thrush than those who don’t. This problem can be very painful and can even cause problems with eating and drinking. Symptoms of oral thrush include: white lesions or patches on the tongue or inside of the cheeks that may become painful and even bleed, a thick coating covering the top of the tongue, loss of taste, and cracking red skin in the corners of the mouth. If oral thrush is not treated properly, it may spread to the throat and esophagus causing more severe problems.
Systemic Yeast Infection
Systemic candidiasis is when a yeast infection enters into the blood stream. This type of infection is typically found in people suffering from A.I.D.S. or Cancer. When this happens, the infection can spread to other organs, including the brain and can even be fatal. Symptoms of systemic candidiasis can include a fever, decreased blood pressure, an increase in heart rate, multi-organ failure, and meningitis. This is the most serious type of yeast infection and needs to be treated immediately.
A yeast infection can make an appearance on both your fingernails and toenails. When this happens, the nails will typically turn to either a yellow or green color and possible loss of the nail all together. This type of infection may be difficult to diagnose due to the small amount of symptoms that may be present. Many over the counter fungal medications are available for use on the nails, however this type of yeast infection can sometimes be more difficult to treat and may require a stronger prescription medication to get rid of the infection.
Intestinal Yeast Infection
A yeast infection can form easily on the inside of the intestines. This is typically caused by a poor diet. When a person consumes a diet that is high in sugars and carbohydrates, the yeast will feed on them, causing yeast growth. An intestinal yeast infection can exhibit a variety of symptoms, however these symptoms are synonymous with other gastrointestinal problems, making it difficult to diagnose.
Some of the symptoms of intestinal yeast growth may include:
- Increased gas
- Unexplained weight loss
- Overall discomfort
In order for an intestinal yeast infection to be properly diagnosed, a doctor may need to run some tests before treatment can begin. These tests may include a blood test or a fecal matter test. This type of infection can be difficult to diagnose even for a physician.
The Candida fungus is present all over the skin making it possible for yeast growth to occur in areas where there is an increase in moisture and heat, especially in the arm pits, groin area, and skin folds. If these areas are not kept clean and dry, a yeast infection may occur causing symptoms inclusive of a red rash, an itching sensation, and burning.
This type of infection can be prevented by keeping these areas clean and dry at all times. Obese people are especially susceptible to getting these types of yeast infections. Over the counter powders, creams and sprays are available to treat these types of candida infections. If a yeast infection occurs frequently, a prescription medication may be needed.
It is always important to take note of what symptoms you are experiencing. If you believe that you have a yeast infection, there are numerous natural remedies and over the counter remedies that you can try. If these fail to rid your body of the infection, medical help should be sought to get stronger treatment. If symptoms persist of get worse, you should see your doctor to ensure that the problem is not something more serious. Yeast infections are very common among people of all age, especially those who have a weakened immune system.
Embarrassment should not be a reason to avoid seeing a doctor if you believe that you have a yeast infection that will not go away with basic treatment, and failure to undergo the appropriate treatment may lead to aggravated health conditions.