Friday, 25 August 2017


The white patches grew on Sara's tongue for days before she got scared of the implication. Her mama was sure it was because Sara did not keep a proper hygiene. Of course, Sara thought otherwise. She took brushing her teeth seriously and even did it twice a day like the dentists adviced. But she could also not discount her mama's opinion not when she could see the white patches growing every day.

 Her mama further explained that it was probably because she did not concentrate on her tongue as well as her teeth. She could not dispute that fact and so, she started washing her tongue as well but after two weeks, they knew they were dealing with more than unwashed tongue, not when it also came with itches and pain. So mama finally took her to the hospital, where it was diagnosed that she had candidiasis. Sara and her mama wondered at what that could mean. It was definitely a disease they have never heard of. You might fall into that category of Sara and her mama. Well, chill, you would wonder for long.

·        What is Candidiasis?
Our body was created very artfully and there are many things that have are found in the body who serve their purposes. One of such is the different kinds of yeasts that live in our body. Candida, from which Candidiasis is from, is one type of yeast we have in our body. Candida lives in small doses without causing problems in the skin, mouth, or belly mostly. But sometimes, when they find themselves in a conducive environment, they grow beyond normal and cause problems. They usually grow in moist, warm areas such as the tongue (thrush), underarm, diaper area, vagina (yeast infection), beneath the breast, nail bed area and any skin folds. It is mostly common with infants, elderly or people with weak immune system. Antifungal medication usually treats yeasts infection without reoccurrence. However, yeast infections may return as a sign of more serious diseases such as diabetes, leukemia, or AIDS.
The most common yeast infections (Candidiasis) are; 

  •  Thrush: It is called thrush when it infects the mouth. It is common among infants. With them, it is not considered abnormal or even severe except if it last for more than a few weeks.

  • Signs and symptoms

When you have thrush, the most noticeable symptom is the white or yellow patches that appear on the tongue, lips, gums, roof of mouth, and inner cheeks. Other symptoms include soreness in the mouth and throat; cracks at the corner at the mouth, pain, difficulty swallowing, and sometimes itching.
  • ·        Treatment

Thrush can be treated with antifungal medicines like Nystatin, Clotrimazole, and fluconazole.
It could also be treated by rinsing the mouth with Chlorhexidine (CHX) mouthwash especially in people with weakened immune systems.
  • Vaginal or vulva infection

It does not only happen in women but very rarely in men. It is called vaginal yeast infection commonly. Yeast infections are found in the vagina or vulva of about 20% to 50% of healthy women and can overgrow if the environment in the vagina changes or suits their growth. Use of Antibiotics and steroids is the most common reason for yeast overgrowth. However, pregnancy, menstruation, diabetes, and birth control pills also can contribute to getting a yeast infection. It has been discovered though that the risk increases after menopause.
·        Signs and symptoms
The most noticeable symptom is the itch in the vagina. Other symptoms include a thick, white “cottage cheese” discharge from the vagina, redness and swelling of the vagina and vulva (the outer part of the female genitals), discomfort during sex, pain and burning when you pass urine, and irritation. 

For a man, symptoms include redness around the head of the penis, swelling, irritation, itch and soreness of the head of the penis, thick, lumpy discharge under the foreskin, unpleasant odour, difficulty retracting the foreskin (phimosis), and pain when passing urine or during sex.

Usually, over-the-counter antifungal medication can work wonders and destroy the infection. Sometimes, oral medication such as Fluconazole might also be necessary.

  •         Invasive Candidiasis

This rarely occurs in healthy individuals or people with strong immune system. In this situation, the yeast infection enters the blood stream. The blood, brain, bones, eye, kidney, and heart are most often affected, but Candida yeast also can grow in the lungs, liver, and spleen. The yeast infection is a leading cause of esophagitis (inflammation in the swallowing tube) in people with AIDS. As expected, this is usually life-threatening.
·        Symptoms
In the oesophagus, the symptoms include difficulty swallowing, painful swallowing, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
For gastrointestinal Candidiasis, the symptoms include anal itching, belching, bloating, indigestion, nausea, diarrhoea, gas, intestinal cramps, vomiting, and gastric ulcers.
For others, the symptoms are majorly fever and chills.
·        Treatment
The treatment is usually by administering oral or intravenous antifungal medications such as fluconazole or an Echinocandin such as Caspofungin or Amphotericin B.
·        Prevention
It is always easier to prevent than to cure diseases or infections, in this case. Some are resilient in spite but we can do our part as humans to reduce the tendency.
Proper dental hygiene might help reduce oral Candidiasis (thrush) in people with weakened immune system. Chlorhexidine mouthwash can also prevent or reduce thrush, especially in Cancer patients.
Using cotton underwear might reduce the tendency of getting skin or vaginal yeast infections.
Avoid wearing wet clothes for too long

Proper diet to improve the immune system would also help the body fight diseases and infections in general.


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