What is candida?
Candida is a yeast, which is a type of fungus. There are different species of candida, though one of the most well-known species is candida albicans.
How is candida transmitted?
It naturally lives in small numbers on certain parts of the body such as on the skin and in the mouth. This usually does not cause any health problems. However, if the environmental conditions are just right for the candida, then it may start to grow out of control. This overgrowth of candida fungus is referred to as candidiasis.
Individuals are more likely to suffer from this condition if they are immunocompromised, have certain medical conditions such as diabetes, or are taking certain medications such as steroids. An imbalance of the environment of the skin, such as a change in pH, can encourage fungal growth. It is also possible for candida to be inadvertently introduced to the bloodstream during surgery.
How is candidiasis diagnosed?
Depending on what part of the body is affected, symptoms of candidiasis will vary. An infection may be diagnosed by an assessment of a person’s particular symptoms.
What effect can it have on physical health?
Candida in the mouth (oropharyngeal candidiasis) may cause pain, reddening and white or yellow patches to develop in the mouth. The lips can also develop discoloured patches and the edges of the mouth may become cracked. This infection can spread to the throat, making swallowing painful.
Genital candidiasis is also called a yeast infection and is quite common in women, but rare in men. In women, it causes pain, itchiness and redness around the vagina and may cause abnormal discharge.
It is fairly common for babies to develop a rash due to nappy irritation on the skin. However, in some cases, this could be caused by a candida infection, resulting in raised, red sores. Invasive candidiasis in the bloodstream causes fever and chills. This infection can be deadly as the fungus can spread all throughout the body.
The presence of a yeast infection such as candida can be detrimental to gut health and may compromise the body’s ability to absorb and use nutrients.
What effect can it have on mental health?
The findings of some scientific studies have implied that there may be a link between candidiasis and mental illness. For example, in one study involving 808 people, it was found that men with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder were noticeably more likely to have a candida infection than men without these mental health issues.
It is also possible that candidiasis may impair the memory. Women with either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder as well as candidiasis were found to perform worse in a memory test than women with a mental illness but no candida infection.
In another case study, it was found that the presence of a candida infection impaired the treatment of depression. Participants were being treated with micronutrients to help improve their psychiatric symptoms, however, those who had a yeast infection during this time did not respond as well to treatment. One participant was given olive leaf extract and probiotics to target the infection, which resulted in an improvement of depressive symptoms. These results suggest that candidiasis could contribute towards depressive symptoms.
What is the current treatment?
Various medications are available to try to bring a candida overgrowth under control, depending on which area is affected. Thrush in the mouth may be targeted using antifungal medicines such as nystatin, clotrimazole or fluconazole. For those who already have a weak immune system, chlorhexidine mouthwash can be used as a preventative measure.
For cases of genital candidiasis, an over-the-counter cream, tablet or suppository will often calm the infection. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe a stronger antifungal drug or several courses of treatment, if the infection keeps returning.
Babies who develop a rash caused by candida can be treated using an antifungal cream. Invasive candida is combatted with either oral or intravenous antifungal medication. A doctor may even prescribe this in advance of an operation if a patient is particularly at risk.
Appropriate diet and lifestyle changes are recommended to create an environment that discourages candida growth. Bioresonance therapy with a BICOM® machine can help to support the gut and encourage microbial balance, helping to bring and infection under control.
Candida is a naturally-occurring fungus that is not usually harmful. That said, certain factors can cause the yeast to grow excessively, leading to an infection. The symptoms experienced and treatment that is used varies depending on which part of the body is infected. Some evidence suggests that candidiasis may also lead to mental health symptoms associated with conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Antifungal drugs are generally quite effective in calming a case of candidiasis, while bioresonance and dietary changes also help to create an environment that will discourage further infections.