What is Candida Thrush?
Candidiasis is the most common opportunistic fungus that mostly affects people with weakened immunity. Candida is found in every human being, but a healthy immune system keeps its growth under control and protects you from having any sort of yeast infection. Candida is usually present in mouth, throat, genital and vagina. When a Candida infection occurs in the mouth, it is called Candida thrush. When this infection reaches deeper into the throat, it causes severe throat pain, nausea, pain swallowing food, and loss of appetite. Thrush in the mouth may also cause cracking at the corners of the mouth also known as angular chelitis.
Women often have this occasional vaginal thrush; this is due to yeast infection by Candida in the vagina. Women who encounter this infection often experience a thick white creamy discharge from the vagina. It may be watery at times. Major symptoms for a vaginal thrush are itchiness, redness, discomfort and pain outside the vagina. It is also called as vaginitis or vaginal thrush Candida infection.
Candida in the mouth can be identified by the white patches on tongue, throat and inside mouth. Generally, after waking up from sleep, one may get a layer of white things on the tongue. That is not the Candida infection. After cleaning your tongue if you still see the white patches sticking to your tongue, you are having Candida thrush.
How to Recognize Candida Thrush?
– White patches on tongue, mouth or throat
– Vaginal Candida thrush can be recognized from unusual discharge from the vagina.
– Itchiness outside the vaginal wall
– Smelly discharge
– Discomfort at vagina during sexual intercourse.
Candida is naturally present in our mouth, intestine and vagina. It is harmless as other good bacteria control the growth of it and prevent us from getting a Candida infection. But overgrowth of Candida can cause severe infections. Candida can thrive in warm and moist parts of our body. This is why the vagina is the most commonly affected area of the body that can easily encounter Candida thrush.
During intercourse, Candida may sometimes be transmitted from one partner to another, but does not cause Candida infections. Candida thrush usually occurs in people with weak immune systems, or those who are diabetic. However, it can also be experienced by people taking high dose of antibiotics or those who have HIV or AIDs. For people with a weak immune system, Candida may start growing at a later stage. There are 20 different species type of Candida, of which Candida Albicans and Candida tropicalis are most common. They are not bacterial infections or as deadly as any other sexually transmitting diseases, but can become very serious if left untreated.
Although, Candida can spread through sexual intercourse, oral sex, kissing and smooching, it does not harm you until you give it a chance to grow. Around half of the women across the world will experience Candida thrush at least once in her life. There is no apparent reason as to why it happens but there are certain factors that contribute of fungal overgrowth.
Candida Thrush Studies
A study based on diagnosis of the vaginal discharge suggested that in about 415 patient’s, the highest number of cases diagnosed were for Trichomonas vaginalis. Candida albicans were the second highest cause of an abnormal discharge from the vagina, with 102 patients tested positive for the presence of Candida albicans. (see table below)
Another 95 subjects tested positive for the presence of gonorrhoea and a relation between trichomonas vaginalis was found to be related with gonorrhoea.
The findings of this study suggest that when a woman experiences any abnormal white discharge from the vagina, there is a higher chance of it being caused by the Candida fungus. This study also found that of the women who were diagnosed with Candida infections, 54 women were previously using contraceptive pill before there infection. So the use of contraceptive pills may be one of the main causes of vaginal Candida infections.
In another review of oral candidiasis published in the Postgraduate Medical Journal, it was found that the commonest cause of oral thrush was none other than Candida albicans. There were various factors that had a role in this, one of them being age. Various risk factors included Cushing’s syndrome, high carb diet, impaired function of the salivary gland, diabetes mellitus and various immunosuppressive conditions. This was found to hold good for most of the observed cases.
The study also highlighted some of the root causes of oral Candida thrush, but it’s interesting to note that like the former study, Candida albicans was the main species that caused oral thrush infections. So it is safe to say that any form of thrush, especially with a whitish discharge is more likely to be due to the overgrowth of Candida albicans fungus.
How to Treat Thrush Candida Infection?
If you prefer to go to your GP:
– Various drug treatment can be carried out using antifungal sprays, creams, lotions, and ointments. Anti fungal sprays are available from your doctor.
– It is suggested to consult a physician in case of a systemic Candida thrush, as the severity of the infection can be a little complex and more tricky to treat.
Other Natural Techniques
– Maintaining a healthy natural diet.
-Cutting down sugary foods and drinks.
– Taking probiotics.
– Eat natural unsweetened yogurt.
– Sipping some diluted ‘apple cider vinegar’ throughout the day.
– Have a daily bath/shower, and brushing the teeth twice a day.
– Oral Candidiasis – Postgraduate Medical Journal – 2002
By A Akpan, R Morgan
– Diagnosis of vaginal discharge Case Study – British Journal of Venereal Diseases – 1970
By Catterall RD
– The Gut Health Protocol
Book By: John G. Herron – 2016
– Fungal Allergy & Pathogenicity
Book By: Michael Breitenbach, Reto Crameri, Samuel B. Lehrer – 2002
– Linda Page’s Healthy Healing
Book By: Linda G. Rector-Page – 2000
– Essentials of Clinical Mycology
Book By: Carol A. Kauffman, Peter G. Pappas, Jack D. Sobel – 2011
– Candida & Candidamycosis
Book By: Emel Tümbay, Heinz P.R. Seeliger, Özdem Ang – 2013