You might feel like the odd one out, but it’s common.
While you might automatically associate a yeast infection with venereal disease, it can also affect other parts of the body too. A yeast infection is not a sexually transmitted disease. Places like your nails and mouth can also experience symptoms of a yeast infection.
There can be a lot of stigma around this particular medical condition, so it’s worth breaking down and defining.
Let’s take a look at what exactly a yeast infection is, and how to recognize the symptoms on your own body.
What Is a Yeast Infection?
Dr. Axe explains and discusses the definition of a yeast infection. He describes a yeast infection as a fungus in the body that naturally produces to help in the digestive process.
However, at times the body can overproduce this fungus. This is what is known as a yeast infection. Another name for this is candida. Dr. Axe states that it is the pH balance in your body that is responsible for producing a healthy amount of candida. When this pH balance is out of sorts, your body will produce too much candida. This is described as a chronic health condition.
Possible Causes of a Yeast Infection
There are multiple factors that can cause the body to produce too much candida and develop a yeast infection.
Christine Coppa of Prevention explains that once you know the cause, it is easy to treat and take preventative measures from it happening again. Some of the possible causes of a yeast infection include:
- Antibiotics: Christine says that antibiotics can result in the reduction of healthy bacteria in the body, which in turn encourages the growth of normally balanced bacteria like candida.
- High blood sugar: Having high blood sugar is another factor that can encourage the overproduction of yeast. Yeast grows faster with sugar, so the higher your blood sugar, the faster it will grow.
- Synthetic Underwear: Christine states that underwear made out of synthetic fabric can increase your chances of a yeast infection. Synthetic fabric does not allow your body to breathe, which can cause an overgrowth of candida.
- Infected Partner: Yeast infections can be caught by having sexual intercourse with someone who is infected themselves. A yeast infection is not a sexually transmitted disease however.
The more familiar you are with the cause of your yeast infection, the better you will be able to treat it.
Symptoms of a Vaginal Yeast Infection
A common part of the body for females to experience yeast infections is the vagina. Let’s discuss the symptoms you may have if you are experiencing a vaginal yeast infection:
- Itching and Burning: The vagina has a healthy balance of bacteria normally. When this is imbalanced, yeast cells can multiply resulting in itching, burning, and irritation.
- Swelling: Swelling around the vagina is also a common occurrence from a vaginal yeast infection.
- Discomfort: General discomfort, especially when urinating or having sex. These functions can even become painful when the yeast infection is acute.
How to Recognize Yeast Infection Symptoms
The vagina is not the only place that you may experience symptoms of a yeast infection. Let’s take a look at how overgrowth of candida manifests itself on other parts of the body.
Melissa Stoppler of Emedicine Health discusses how yeast infections occur in warm, moist parts of the body, such as your underarms. In babies, the most common areas are the mouth and around the diaper area. Melissa continues to explain that yeast infections in the mouth are common in adults, and the older you get, the more common this medical ailment becomes.
Lori Smith of Medical News Today elaborates on symptoms that you may experience with a yeast infection. These include severe redness, inflammation, and itchiness.
While these symptoms are common and can be treated, they can also lead to further discomfort in the form of skin fissures or sores if left untreated for too long.
Yeast Infections and the Body
Your body is a complex, functioning system. Every day, multiple processes and chemical reactions occur to keep your health and immunity up to speed. When the healthy functioning’s of the body speed up or slow down, it can have detrimental effects.
When your body produces too much of a natural substance like candida, the result is an imbalance of fungus cells which in turn puts you at risk for developing a yeast infection.
If you think that you might have any of the above symptoms associated with a yeast infection, you should consult your physician.
Yeast infections can be treated quickly and efficiently. The sooner you are able to recognize them, the faster the healing process will be.