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Probiotics and candida. What are the facts?
You do not have to do a lot of research to get the answer to this question. But in order to find out more about the subject, let’s have a look at these 2 components and see how one can impact the other in a rather meaningful way.
Everybody knows how probiotics work by now. These are living organisms that can be found in our own biological system, especially in the gut where, not coincidentally at all, more than 70% of our immune system is located. Probiotics are linked to a lot of processes, including digestion, immune defense and even brain functioning.
These microorganisms can be found virtually everywhere on our body, both in and out. While some live on the outside of the skin, killing off the germs and pathogens even before they enter our organism, others lie deep within our system, taking care of a lot of biological processes.
Since they are so important to our daily functioning, it goes without saying that we should really take care of them just as they are taking care of us. In other words, learning how to keep our microbiota functioning in perfect conditions is to know how to improve our health on a long term.
This is what gets us to the main topic today, which is candida.
An essential Candida insight
It is essential because, usually, people have 2 misconceptions about candida: it only affects women and it is only related to the vaginal area. These are both wrong from the get-go. Candida can definitely appear in both men and women and its area of effect is by no means secluded to the genital area.
Candida is a fungus that can manifest itself in a wide variety of regions, including genitals, throat, mouth, blood and skin. Its main cause of development is yeast overgrowth, usually belonging to the Candida albicans strain, but here is an interesting fact. This yeast already lives within you.
For the most part, if not all, the Candida yeast is present in small amounts in the human body and it takes some kind of bacterial imbalance to trigger its development, as the environmental changes start favoring this outcome. Although we are used to see Candida more of an uncomfortable affection, it can also pose some real dangers to our health, which means that we definitely must not take it lightly.
But in order to get a better grasp of what the affection really is and how it manifests itself, let’s take a look at the different categories, along with their symptoms and manifestations.
Oral Candida – Thrush
This area includes the mouth, as well as the throat and the best part of it is that it rarely affects healthy grown individuals. For the most part, it is only present in infants, old people, chemo patients, those suffering from diabetes, asthmatics, steroid medication consumers and AIDS sufferers. Basically, everybody with a weakened immune response.
If you think these categories are definitely out of your range, then we have bad news for you. Candida could also appear in those who take antibiotics, especially more powerful ones. Although they can help you get rid of the infections, one of the side effects is that they pave the way to other health problems, Candida being one of them. This is why, in many cases, doctors will prescribe probiotics as a remedy against antibiotic related side effects.
- Redness of the mouth and a feeling of discomfort
- Several white spots, mainly on the tongue
- Difficulties in swallowing and an uncomfortable sore throat
- Sometimes ulcerations at the corners of the mouth
So, coming back again to what we said earlier, genital Candida can also appear in men, although it is more common in women. In most cases, when men contract a form of Candida, it comes from their female partners. Candida is extremely contagious and it functions more like a venereal disease, although it is not one. In other words, the most common ways of passing Candida along is through sexual interactions.
Although the genital Candida can be treated with medicine like Fluconazole, preventing its appearance is something that a healthy and potent mictobiota does, as it controls the yeast and it prevents it from spreading in the first place.
- Itching in the genital area in both men and women
- Vaginal redness and soreness
- Cottage cheese lookalike vaginal secretions
- Pain during the sexual acts
- For men – itching or a burning feeling on the tip of the penis
Diaper rash Candida
As the name suggests, this is only relevant when talking about babies. It is because the yeast often develops in humid and moist environments, and the diaper provides them with precisely that. This is why you definitely need to be on the lookout for any symptoms like redness of the skin that it is usually covered by the diaper or even spots similar to blisters, filled with a fluid.
In these cases, a doctor will easily recommend you an antifungal medicine, usually in the form of cream or powder, in order to counter the affection.
This is the most aggravating condition related to the yeast infections and it has the potential of becoming deadly if not taken care of in the early stages. It is basically a blood infection, as the yeast agents are moving into the blood stream. From there, they can move to other parts of the bodies, even reaching vital organs, and further creating more serious health affections.
If left untreated, it will soon lead to death. Even more, it is more dangerous than the other types of infections because the symptoms are actually not well determined. They mostly depend on the part of the body they manifest in and the organ that it is being affected.
For the most part, you will have increased chances of contracting this invasive Candida affection if you have gone through a recent surgery, if your immune system is seriously weakened, if you have a catheter installed or if you have recently been into the ICU, intensive care unit for one reason or another. If you know you could be included into one of these categories and manifest abnormal health problems, you should definitely consult your health specialist.
How can probiotics help?
For the most part, using probotics will simply prevent any similar problems from ever occurring. This is because the intestinal flora is the one defining your immune system, along with its efficiency. A stronger immune system means a lower chance of contracting any types of infections, Candida included.
When we are talking about curing the affection, probiotics may prove to be a key ingredient. Simply by restoring your microbiota could have tremendous health benefits, including the eradication of any potentially harmful pathogen, yeast included.
All it matters is to take actions when the first symptoms of Candida have appeared and, even more important of all, use probiotics beyond this goal alone. Our understanding about probiotics has grown exponentially and we now know how much we can rely on them and how beneficial their influence is.