Category Archives for "Health"

July 18, 2016

What is Candida?

What is Candida?

Candida belongs to a group of fungi that has adapted to colonizing the human body as its host. The Candida species are in fact responsible for many of the commonly seen infections. There are two clinical presentations of candida species infections. The first type is the muco-cutaneous infections that is easily seen and diagnosed. The changes to the skin and the mucosa of the mouth have characteristic features. The other type is not easily diagnosed without the help of laboratory diagnostics. This second type is the invasive infection that can involve the internal organs.

40% of the patients who died as a result of healthcare associated blood infections have been found to have been colonized with Candida species. Also those who survive have to endure much longer hospital stays up to 30 days. Healthcare professional are growing increasingly concerned about the treatment-resistant, non-albicans species. Dr. David R. Snydman MD has written about the alarming increase in health facility nosocomial blood infections. This is being experienced especially in critical care units.

The favorable parts of the body that allows this type of fungus to grow and proliferate include:

  • The mouth
  • Pulmonary and laryngeal
  • Skin folds
  • The external genitalia
  • The urinary tract
  • The genital tract
  • The liver
  • Hair and nail

 What causes Candida Infection?

The skin fungus has a preference for areas that are warm and moist. There are underlying illnesses/ conditions which affect or overwhelm the body’s own natural defense to respond to eliminate the fungus. The risk of candida species overgrowth is increased with the following:

Conditions

  • Poor nutrition
  • Excessive sweet foods in the diet
  • Poor hygiene

Illnesses

  • Diabetes
  • Auto-immune diseases
  • Prematurity
  • Gastro intestinal diseases
  • Organ transplant especially liver transplant
  • Drugs which include steroids and antibiotic abuse
  • Sexually transmitted illness
  • Blood diseases such as leukemia and leukopenia
  • Kidney patients on dialysis
  • Invasive medical procedures

Candida Symptoms

The wide range of symptoms suggestive of candida infection varies depending on the organ or structure which is affected.

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