Candida albicans is normally present in all human beings, and it’s usually healthy for the body to have this in small numbers.
A yeast infection normally occurs whenever there is an overgrowth in the number of the Candida fungi, in which case ‘Candidiasis’ or a yeast infection takes place, which may occur due to a number of reasons. Although the disease in most cases is not fatal, it can become fatal when left untreated over a long period of time. A yeast infection can cause discomfort and irritation which hampers a person’s normal lifestyle.
Yeast infections mainly take place around the vaginal area, in the mouth, under nails, under skinfolds, under the penis foreskin, and in the gut’s lining. Whenever a yeast infection persists potentially over a long period of time like for some months or even many years, then it gets transformed into chronic yeast infections, which can be deadly.
Causes of Prolonged Yeast Infection
Though no serious health issues come along initially with such an infection, but it can give rise to a more serious disease from within if we let the infection persist in our body without taking proper treatment. Constant Yeast infection mainly occurs due to a suppressed or weakened immune system. Diabetes mellitus and cancer like leukaemia can result in a suppressed immune system. Early stages of AIDS or HIV infection may also encounter such symptoms. Candida yeast infections can also occur from factors like using the morning after pill or the birth control pills, and it may sometimes occur if a person goes through menopausal hormone replacement therapy. Hormonal imbalances in the body and change in the vaginal pH level from the intake of oestrogen pills also can contribute in causing prolonged Candidiasis. Whenever yeast cells get a suitable environment they start replicating fast, which is more the case for people with weaker immune systems or have an unhealthy diet. Moreover the constant intake of antibiotics can also lead to Chronic Yeast Infections, which may be directly taken or even if they are incorporated in our food chain like the commercial poultry.
Yeast infections also take place as a result of poor hygiene. People using perfumes and deodorants can also develop infection under their armpits due to the harmful chemicals present in them. If a man having yeast infection has sexual intercourse with a woman, then the woman can also develop a repeated fungal infection.
A study on chronic urinary tract infection due to Candida utilis was conducted on an elderly male. He was seen at an outpatient urology clinic for around a period of 3 years. Repeated urine samples were tested to find Candida species which was described as the presence of pyuria. At two emergency cases his urine sample was tested to be found a concentration of yeast more than 105 CFU/ml. The patient developed prostatic hypertrophy and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The organism was identified to be yeast Candida utilis. This unusual and low virulence of the yeast is associated with chronic and symptomatic disease. On the whole, it is quite clear that chronic urinary tract infection is one of the main consequences of failing to treat a chronic yeast infection early. So treatment should always be started early to avoid cases of chronic yeast infection occurring.
How Can Being Pregnant Contribute to the Risk Factors of Chronic Yeast Infection?
When a woman gets pregnant there is a hormonal imbalance caused in the vagina due to which the pH level also lowers alarmingly. Due to such imbalance the beneficial Lactobacillus bacteria are also killed and the growth of Candida albicans starts proliferating. Yeast infection also occurs pre-menstrually. The secretion of progesterone is increased in our body before the period starts. This is an indication that the uterus needs to shed of the vaginal lining. Sometimes premature shedding also takes place before the actual period occurs due to the increased level of progesterone. These tissues, if rich in sugar will help the Candida to grow further. Yeast infection before period is also caused due to the imbalance in pH. The level of oestrogen is inversely proportional to the pH level in the vagina. Oestrogens makes the cells of the vagina to secrete acidic solutions. Thus this confirms that due to lower pH level and higher sugar, constant yeast infection before period can start to occur.
Treatment of Chronic Yeast Infection
Recurrent yeast infections are cured by a group of medicines which are known as azoles. The azoles can be purchased from the medicine store after they have been prescribed by a doctor. The azoles are available in the form of medicated tampons, vaginal creams, suppositories etc. Oral azoles are also available (in single dose) for vaginal therapies can also prove helpful.
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A study of recurrent vulvovaginal Candidiasis (RVC) was conducted with the sole purpose to reduce the episodes of RVC through the intake of fluconazole 200 mg/dose. The study was conducted on 55 patients who received a 200 mg fluconazole for 3 alternate days. This was followed by examining the symptoms after 10 to 14 days by which it was decided if the patient was eligible for the rest of the course. The same course was then followed for a month and then with 10, 15, 20, 30 days interval. Probiotic was also administered alongside. The result was positive with 51 women who completed the whole course was found effective. So overall, it’s quite clear from this study that repeated vulvovaginal Candidiasis has shown to decline its cases with the use of fluconazole and probiotics. But it’s also important to change one’s diet as well, by cutting down on foods and drinks that are rich in sugar, along with reducing the intake of starchy vegetables like potatoes and yam, and also lowering alcohol consumption.
Some of the preventing measures of Constant Yeast Infection include:
Avoiding synthetic clothes and instead look to wear light cotton clothes.
Tight jeans should be avoided as ventilation is a major factor and we should switch to materials that are more breathable.
After bowel movement in the toilet, the front and back should be wiped dry and clean.
Douching should be avoided.
Till the infection is cured completely, do not indulge in sexual intercourse.
Do not take any antibiotics without the doctor’s consent.
After all the above treatments, if you still continue facing discomfort and problems due to recurrent yeast infection, then consult your doctor to find out if there are any other underlying illnesses.
Urinary Tract Infection Due to Candida – Journal of Clinical Microbiology – 1999 – By Kevin C. Hazen, Gordon W. Theisz & Susan A. Howell
Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candida – ISRN obstetrics and gynecology Journal – 2011 – By F. Murina, A. Graziottin, R. Felice, G. L. Radici & S. Di Francesco
Chronic Candidiasis- Your Natural Guide – Book By: Michael T. Murray – 2016
Fungal Immunology-From an Organ Perspective – Book By: Paul L. Fidel & Gary B. Huffnagle – 2006
Treatment for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue – Book By: Mari Skelly & Helen Walker – 2006
Permanently Beat Yeast Infection & Candida – Book By: Caroline D. Greene – 2012
All About Yeast Infections & Candida – Book By: Sean Mosley – 2013
Women’s Health Solutions – Book By: Gary Null – 2011