Candida Albicans: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
What Is Candida Albicans?
Candida Albicans also known by the name of Monilia is a form of a fungus usually found in the skin or the mucous membranes like the mouth, vagina or rectum. This fungus also has the ability to traverse through blood and adversely affect throat, intestines, and valves of the heart. Candida Albicans tends to become infectious due to some change in body environment allowing it to grow in such proportions that it gets out of control.
What Are The Causes Of Candida Albicans?
Majority of times, especially in cases of Candida Albicans in the mouth or vagina, there is no clear cut reason as to the cause. It is suggested that chronic use of antibiotics might be the cause as it destroys beneficial bacteria along with the harmful ones allowing candida to grow. This condition is called as a yeast infection. Candida Albicans is known as thrush when it grows in mouth, especially in children and infants and it presents in the form of red scaly skin. It is called as Vaginalitis Moniliasis or Yeast Infection when it grows in the vagina. Candida Albicans can also affect the esophagus and the digestive system. In rare instances, Candida Albicans can be caused due to poor immune system such as in cases of individuals with HIV/AIDS.
What Are The Symptoms Of Candida Albicans?
The symptoms of Candida Albicans depend on where the fungus grows.
If the fungus grows in the mouth then the symptoms are presence of patches which are creamy-white or bluish-white in color on the tongue or in the throat.
In case of the fungus growing in the vagina, then the symptoms are white or yellow discharge along with inflammation of the walls of vagina causing burning and itching.
The symptoms caused when the fungus is in the vital organs of the body are illustrated below:
- Kidneys: Hematuria.
- Heart: Murmurs and damage to heart valves
- Lungs: bloody mucus discharge
- Eyes: Eye pain and blurry vision
- Brain: Seizures and alteration in the mental function
How Is Candida Albicans Diagnosed?
To diagnose Candida Albicans, the treating physician will take a detailed history and conduct a physical examination and will order laboratory tests to include blood cultures to identify the presence of fungus in the body. Tissue biopsy may also be done at times.
What Are Treatments For Candida Albicans?
Majority of cases of Candida Albicans can be treated at home with over the counter or prescription medications. Some of the medications used to treat Candida Albicans are:
- Oral Diflucan
- Amphotericin B
The most preferred medication in females for treatment of vaginal candidiasis is a single dose of fluconazole. More serious cases of Candida Albicans are treated with intravenous administration of medications. Majority of the cases of Candida Albicans are treated with antifungal medications but this disease can recur at times due to unprotected sexual activity with an infected partner or partners. It is recommended that if an infected individual is on antibiotics that he or she stops the antibiotics for some time till the fungus clears up.