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Health & Wellness

What Is Candida and How Do You Contract It?

Have you ever heard of Candida? Have you had a friend with a Candidiasis fungal infection?

Lucky for you, we’re going to tell you all about Candida. Everything from what it is to what it does. Let’s jump in.

What is Candida?

Candida itself is a yeast which is a fungus. Some types of Candida can actually infect people, living on the skin and dark, moist places in the body. Some common spots where Candida thrives include the mouth, the throat, and the vagina.

If Candida becomes too much, it can cause infections. This fungal infection is what’s known as candidiasis. There are a few different ways you can end up with a Candida infection.

Types of Candidiasis

Due to the way Candida can grow, there are a few different types of Candidiasis. In fact, there are three types. The first being…

Oropharyngeal Candidiasis

Also known as thrush, oropharyngeal candidiasis is candidiasis of the mouth, throat, or esophagus. You can contract if it starts to grow and develop wildly. This can happen if the environment inside of your mouth, throat, or esophagus changes, meaning that if the balance of bacteria in those areas changes, it can trigger the growth of the Candida which leads to candidiasis.

You can also contract oropharyngeal candidiasis through kissing and sexual activities. Thrush isn’t classified as a sexually transmitted infection, but you are able to pass it off to your partner. If the conditions are right, they’ll also contract thrush.

If you think you may have thrush, check yourself for the following symptoms:

  • White patches throughout mouth (roof of mouth, inner cheeks, throat, uvula)
  • Cotton like feeling in mouth
  • Loss of taste
  • Hurts to eat or swallow

Get in touch with your doctor if you have these and are worried you have candidiasis.

Vaginal Candidiasis

Vaginal candidiasis occurs in the vagina. Vaginal candidiasis is better known as a vaginal yeast infection and is fairly common. Just like with thrush, vaginal candidiasis occurs when the environment inside the affected area, in this case, the vagina, changes, allowing the Candida to grow out of control.

To avoid a vaginal yeast infection, just continue to take care and maintain the cleanliness of the vagina. If you are pregnant, on birth control, or have taken antibiotics recently, then you may be more at risk. Some symptoms for a vaginal yeast infection are as follows:

  • Itching, pain, or soreness in the vagina
  • Pain or discomfort when urinating
  • Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge

Should you have these symptoms, go to the doctor to get diagnosed. Your doctor will tell you the best way for you to be treated.

Invasive Candidiasis

Oropharyngeal candidiasis and vaginal candidiasis are always on one part of the body. Invasive candidiasis occurs when Candida enters the bloodstream and causes infection. This is called candidemia.

Candidemia is a serious infection as it can affect your blood, eyes, bones, brain, and heart. Those with candidemia often find themselves in the hospital for quite some time. Unfortunately, it can result in death.

Although it can be difficult to detect candidemia because those with it tend to already be sick, a fever or chills that don’t go away after antibiotic treatment are symptoms of invasive candidiasis. Check with your doctor as soon as you can.

Watch For Candida

A Candida infection is no fun, so be sure to keep an eye out for the symptoms of each type. Should you suspect you have an infection, visit your doctor to get checked out.

Did you find this article helpful? Be sure to share it with others who may need it. Check out the rest of our blog for more content like this.

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