What is Candida?
Candida, more commonly referred to as Candida albicans, is an infection caused by fungus which can be found in and on all areas of the body. Specific to moist areas, Candida is known to induce such common ailments as yeast infections, thrush, diaper rash, skin rash, and nail infections.
The immune system may prevent bacteria from surfacing in such areas as the mouth, skin, and vagina. However, there are conditions under which the bacteria can generate yeast and thus infections begin to occur. This is generally due to a weak immune system that cannot fight off the bacteria and allows for the penetration of such bacteria to infiltrate these areas of the body.
For example, babies may contract Candida in the form of a diaper rash while adults are more generally affected in genital areas, mouth, nails, between skin folds, and under the breasts.
Among the many types of Candida albicans which can occur are: Thrush, Esophagitis, Cutaneous Candidiasis, Vaginal yeast infections, and Deep Candidiasis.
While thrush affects the mouth, esophagitis is an infection which can spread to the esophagus. This is particularly evident among cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy or others who have been stricken with AIDS.
Conversely, while cutaneous candidiasis affects the skin, deep candidiasis can enter the bloodstream in cases where an individual may be undergoing an operation in which a tracheotomy may have to be performed. So too, this condition can also become present in drug users or those who have been involved in a serious accident.
One of the most common forms of Candida Albicans is yeast infections. Statistics show that approximately 75% of women have had this condition at least once in their lifetime, and a smaller proportion of women have had it more than once. Studies have also shown that women are more prone to have yeast infections especially if they are on any type of antibiotic medication, take birth control pills, become pregnant, or have a pre-existing condition such as diabetes.
While Candida Albicans can cause a myriad of symptoms, it can be treated effectively and without long-lasting damage. In addition, having a strong immune system plays a key role in preventing Candida albicans from occurring. Stress is one of the leading causes of an unhealthy immune system and once the immune system is adversely affected, infections such as Candidiasis may occur.
Maintaining good health including a proper diet, exercise, and emotional balance can make all the difference in suppressing this type of infection.