The burning down there, we know the story behind it. We have discussed quite a lot about it. We also know the best ways to cure it at home. But no story is without the villain. Today I would like to tell you about the villain of our story. Candida albicans, the fungus which no-one is talking about much, and is plotting a lot more bad schemes than you think, to make you suffer, hidden behind the veil.
Think of Candida albicansas the suppressed, kept in uncontrolled, bullied sidekick which turns into the villain once the curfew is over.
Candida Albicans: The Fungus behind Vaginal Thrush
Candida albicans is a normal part of our vaginal micro-flora. C. albicans, normally, is kept in control by our immune system and the good bacteria present in our vaginal flora. When vaginal flora gets disturbed and/or we become immune-deficient, it starts causing health issues.
C. albicans causes “Vaginal thrush”– medically known as “Vulvovaginal candidiasis” when vaginal flora is disturbed. It is the most common infection women deal with. It is estimated that 75% of adult women experience its blow at least ones in their life.
The other common problem caused by C. albicans is urine infections. It is initially present in lower parts urinary tract, but if kept un-treated may ascend up to kidneys.
Frequent and urgent need to urinate,
Incomplete emptying of the bladder,
Blood while urinating,
It is also the mucosal infection like vaginal thrush. When C. albicans colonise the mouth, the infection it causes is known as “Oral Thrush” or “Oral Candidiasis”.
It causes white lesions on the tongue and/or inner cheeks,
Pain or difficulty in swallowing food might occur,
Burning mouth syndrome,
Excessive dryness- mouth feels parched,
An oddity of taste,
Redness of throat.
Sometimes C. albicans infect the skin as well. The moist, warm, sweaty areas are the frequent targets of C. albicans, like armpits, groins, between the fingers and toes, corners of mouth etc.
The More Serious Infections
Both oral and vaginal thrush are mucosal infections. But C. albicans causes one more serious disease, i.e. “Disseminated Candidiasis”. It is a systemic infection. It occurs when C. albicans enters the bloodstream.
When we become immunosuppressed due to drugs like immunosuppressant or chemotherapy, enters tissues and go in the blood.
C. albicans is also a part of the normal gut flora. So disseminated candidiasis can start if C. albicans enters the system by invading gut walls through ulcer and wounds. It also grows in medical devices like intravenous catheters, and cause disseminated candidiasis in patients. It can then reach to visceral organ and cause serious issues.
1. Candidemia: It is the blood infection caused by C. albicans. Symptoms include:
2. Neutropenia: When C. albicans invades the blood, it causes Neutropenia, the most common risk factor involved with disseminated candidiasis. Neutropenia is when the number of neutrophil cells of blood decreases to an alarming level. It makes us prone to more infections.
3. Endocarditis: When C. albicans infects the inner lining of heart, heart chambers and valves. Symptoms include:
Pain in lower parts of the body
4. Endophthalmitis: It is the infection of eyes caused by C. albicans. It can lead to complete loss of vision. Symptoms include:
Inflammation of eyes
Pus in eye tissue
5. Meningitis: Inflammation of tissue that is around your brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include:
Sensitivity to light
6. Candida peritonitis: Inflammation of the lining of the inner abdomen. Symptoms include:
Loss of appetite
7. Osteomyelitis and septic arthritis: Bone infection, i.e. osteomyelitis and septic arthritis are also caused by C. albicans. It is rare. Symptoms include:
Can we get rid of it entirely?
Candida albicans is a part of the normal and healthy human microbiome, though it is present in very fewer numbers due to our good bacteria and our immune system. We cannot remove it entirely from our systems. We can only keep it in check by strengthening our immune system and by increasing the number of good bacteria in our microbiome.
Billion Cheers Probiotics are one such solution. It contains 10 probiotic strain which strengthens our immune system. It also helps in dramatically increasing the number of good bacteria. Each serving initially contains 24 billion CFU of bacteria. Ones consumed the bacteria immediately starts to double in number. It is due to the presence of prebiotics in Billion Cheers.