Candidiasis, also known as thrush, is a yeast infection whereby the fungus Candida infects and inflames parts of the body that have moisture.
While Candida is a normal part of the body and is usually harmless, changes in the body can cause some abnormalities which result to the infection.
Candidiasis usually manifests itself in the mouth or tongue (oral thrush), vagina (Candidal vulvovaginitis) and diaper area (common in infants and toddlers).
Sometimes, the infection is just superficial but if candidiasis causes are not treated, it can progress to something systemic and even life-threatening.
While the level of infection can vary, common symptoms or manifestations include severe itching and burning, soreness, irritation, and a discharge that’s whitish or sometimes even whitish-gray (looking like cottage cheese).
In oral thrush, the appearance of lesions in the tongue and other areas is common.
Here are the 6 most common candidiasis causes that you should watch out for:
The body’s immune system is responsible not only for fighting foreign bodies that attack normal bodily functions but also for limiting the growth of Candida only to a quantity that is beneficial for the body.
When your immune system doesn’t function as it ought to and your immunity is lowered, then overgrowth occurs.
Of course you also become more prone to other diseases and illnesses, and that’s not a very good combination.
Use of Antibiotics
The use of antibiotics to fight bacteria has also been found to cause candidiasis.
If antibiotics are overprescribed or overused, this significantly reduces the quantity of commensal bacterial flora that can normally be found in the gastrointestinal tract.
Without the bacteria there, it becomes a conducive environment for Candida to propagate.
Hormonal changes, especially in women, are also commonly found to cause candidiasis.
Pregnancy for instance changes the levels of estrogen dramatically, and this makes pregnant women more prone to developing a yeast infection.
Using oral contraceptives like birth control pills can also alter the hormonal balance.
Diabetes mellitus is a significant predisposing factor of candidiasis, especially if it’s poorly controlled.
If you have other metabolic illnesses or an immunosuppressive condition like lupus, HIV or AIDS, this also increases your risk of developing candidiasis.
Candidiasis is common in the genital area, especially the vagina.
But penile candidiasis among males is also possible if they have sexual intercourse with someone who is infected.
By having direct contact with the infection, it can easily be transferred from one sexual partner to another.
However, candidiasis in the male genitals is really a lot less common.
Dentures and tongue piercings
One of the most common candidiasis causes, at least for oral thrush, is the disturbance of the normal environment of the mouth.
For instance, if you wear dentures, the Candida can cause a mild inflammation in the area affected.
Tongue piercing can also increase the prevalence of Candida in the mouth, which is bound to cause infection in some people.