What is a yeast infection?
Yeast infection or fungal infection is also known as candidiasis. Yeast infections generally develop in moist environments such as the webs of fingers and toes, nails, genitals, and folds of skin.
What are the different types of yeast infections?
Oral thrush - This is a painless infection of the mouth and throat. It is often recurring and generally affects babies, young children and the elderly. However it can affect people of all ages.
Moniliasis is a painful vaginal yeast infection experienced by many women. This is especially common during pregnancy or during treatment with antibiotics.
Balanitis is a yeast infection of the penis
Systemic yeast infections can occur in cases of diabetes, AIDS or other illnesses that suppress the immune system.
Some medical practitioners also recognize a condition called Chronic yeast infection or chronic candidiasis. This may affect the ganstrointestinal, nervous, endocrine and immune systems. Treatment is focussed on removing pre-disposing factors such as medications, foods with high sugar or yeast content, high carbohydrate vegetables and dairy products.
What causes yeast infections?
Candida albicans is a fungal organism that thrives in the mouth, gastrointestinal tract and skin. We have healthy bacteria that counteract this yeast. However when our immune system gets compromised by illness, stress or antibiotics.
Yeast infections are common among people whose hands are often in water, children who suck their fingers, people whose clothing retains body moisture. Diaper rash known as candidal dermatitis is due to yeast growth in the folds of a baby's skin.
Diabetics are particularly susceptible to yeast infections because of the high levels of sugar in their blood and urine and low resistance to infections.