Many microorganisms are a natural part of the human microflora. This is about 85% of beneficial bacteria and about 15% of pathogenic bacteria and yeast. Among the latter, Candida albicans stands out. The name is based on two words: сandida - "white" and albicans - "to become white." The question of what it is is more relevant than ever, because a number of undesirable symptoms associated with a woman's health depend on Candida Albicans.
Candida Albicans - Good and Bad
Candida Albicans is the simplest microscopic yeast-like fungus (or form of yeast), the most common of the genus Candida, which includes a total of about 150 species. According to statistics, it is carried by 60 to 80% of the world's population.
In small quantities, it lives in the microflora of a healthy person: mainly on the intestinal mucosa, as well as on the mouth, genitals, and on the skin. The fungus can appear immediately after a person is born and remain with him for life. Such resettlement is recognized as an absolute norm: the fungus does not harm a person and even more. When controlled by friendly bacteria in the body, it can benefit:
- beneficial bacteria feed on Candida Albicans,
- together with beneficial bacteria, Candida participates in the formation of normal microflora,
- helps in the production of vitamins B12 and K,
- participates in biochemical processes.
However, the situation changes when, under certain conditions, the amount of Candida Albicans fungus increases: whole progressive colonies are created, which goes beyond the normal range. The fungus begins to dominate other fungi and bacteria. The process of active reproduction is fraught with consequences: the toxic waste products of Candida Albicans enter the bloodstream and are carried throughout the body. This always has negative consequences: the fungus becomes the causative agent of the infection. Due to this dual behavior, Candida Albicans belongs to the category of opportunistic parasitic fungi. Do I need to get rid of it? Of course not. It is important to simply balance the amount.
The morphology and physiology of the parasitic fungus, or why is it difficult to treat?
Candida Albicans is a unicellular microorganism, the size of which is up to 10 microns. It multiplies by division only in the human body. The cells are oval or round, with a dense shell from 3 to 5 layers. It can exist in two forms: yeast to survive in acidic conditions, and fungal to develop in neutral and alkaline environments. The fungus is resistant to various types of environment and temperature conditions, up to drying and freezing once. However, it is sensitive to high temperatures, sunlight, iodine, phenol, formalin, etc. It has the ability to actively adapt, changing its shape, which helps to adapt to changes in the human body. This provides him with protection against immune system resistance and drug exposure. Therefore, it is not so easy to get rid of it.
How is Candida Albicans fungus transmitted?
In terms of the frequency of infection, candidiasis ranks 4th in the world and belongs to autoimmune diseases, in which the main cause of its occurrence lies in the human body itself. The sites of infection are the gastrointestinal tract, genitals, skin, nails, nasopharynx. Penetrating into the body, the fungus is fixed on the mucous membrane of the digestive system, then the bloodstream transfers it to other organs.
There are many ways of infection with the Candida Albicans fungus, which is a great danger given the speed of development of the fungus: it is able to double its population in one hour. Interestingly, the fungus can enter the child's body when it develops in the womb, passes through the birth canal, during breastfeeding, contact with the skin of an infected mother, when playing with other people's toys.
The fungus can enter the body of a healthy adult woman through:
- unprotected sex,
- medical manipulations (dental treatment, examination by a gynecologist, etc.),
- airborne droplets,
- hygiene items and clothing of an infected person,
- stay in the pool, steam bath, sauna.
What contributes to the growth of the fungus?
The Candida Albicans fungus begins to multiply if the healthy microflora of the female body is disturbed. This is due to the following unfavorable factors.
- weakening of general or local immunity,
- long-term use of antibiotics, steroids, contraceptives,
- hormonal changes in the body: pregnancy, menopause,
- endocrine system pathology: diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, etc.,
- infections of the genitourinary tract,
- chronic diseases,
- diseases in the acute stage,
- colds, acute respiratory infections,
- avitominosis and hypovitaminosis, lack of vitamins of group B, C, PP,
- age (early or advanced),
- prolonged or chronic stress, which can reduce the protective properties of the immune system by 50%,
- a significant reduction in the population of beneficial bacteria in the intestine,
- bad habits - smoking, alcoholism.
- a food system dominated by refined carbohydrates, animal products that contain hormones and
- antibiotics, vegetables and fruits containing pesticides,
- professional skin injuries,
- trauma to the mucous membrane of organs (for example, during sex, with improper bite or wearing dentures),
- insufficient hygiene: personal and household,
- humid and warm environment, affecting the decrease in the protective functions of the skin and excessive sweating (for example, wearing very warm, as well as tight clothing),
- aggressive hygiene products,
- bad ecology.
Classification of candidiasis
Fungal infection has two forms of damage, as it can develop on the skin and nails, as well as the mucous membranes of the body. In these cases, various types of candidiasis are distinguished:
- skin: affecting the skin, candidiasis appears in areas of the body such as the groin and armpits, under the female breast, between the fingers,
- nails (change in the structure of the nail plate),
- professional (skin lesions between fingers and nails, for example, in cooks and pastry chefs),
- oral cavity (plaque on the inner cavity of the cheeks, itching and burning, fever, candidal seizure),
- ENT organs (for example, angina),
- eyes (redness, lacrimation, purulent discharge, white flakes),
- gastrointestinal tract (for example, dysbiosis),
- genitourinary system (for example, cystitis),
- vaginal (for example, candidal colpitis, thrush).
You can find out more about the symptoms of thrush in women here.
Methods for detecting candidiasis
Laboratory tests help diagnose candidiasis, that is, detect a fungus, get an idea of its number and identify a response to therapeutic antifungal agents. The norm is 10 in the 3rd degree units of a fungal infection, everything that is higher is an indicator of infection and a reason for prescribing treatment.
Thus, the following analyzes are required:
- bacteriological culture,
- PCR (polymesar chain reaction) - identifies the causative agent of candidiasis by examining such biological material as saliva, sputum from the bronchi, urine, epithelial cells of the mouth, nasopharynx, skin, vagina, rectum,
- skin biopsy,
- immunogram (state of the immune system),
- examination of flora for the presence of other types of infection,
- subcutaneous text with candida extract (determines the dose of immunotherapeutic treatment),
- a blood test for candidiasis (if a systemic nature of the disease is suspected).
To determine thrush in women, the following studies are carried out:
- serological blood test,
- analysis of scraping of epithelial cells,
- sowing that determines the fungal flora,
- screening and typing.
Collecting patient complaints and information about the type of activity, lifestyle, past or chronic diseases helps to make the correct diagnosis.
How and with what to treat?
The fight against candidiasis excludes self-medication, as this can lead not only to frequent relapses, but also to serious complications.
Only a course intake of drugs prescribed by a doctor excludes, firstly, the development of the body's resistance to infection and a constant violation of the body's microflora, and secondly, the occurrence of a chronic form of the disease.
Treatment of an infection caused by Candida Albicans is always complex. According to what was found in the analyzes, the woman is prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs, immunomodulators, vitamins, pro- and prebiotics. In addition, advice is given on changing lifestyle (giving up bad habits, playing sports) and adjusting the diet. Antifungal drugs help to cure thrush: ointments, suppositories, tablets. Among them is the modern highly effective drug Lomexin.
Following the rule “it is easier to prevent a disease than to cure it,” a woman should pay more attention to prevention in order to exclude the development of the Candida Albicans fungus.
- 1 time a year to be tested for candidiasis.
- Support the immune system.
- Avoid stress.
- Avoid colds and infections.
- Observe hygiene.
- Create a healthy menu.
- Carefully consider the choice of personal hygiene products and underwear.
- Use protective equipment during sex.
Doctors identify a certain risk group for infection with such a microorganism. It includes:
- People with a lack of physical activity, as a result of which their circulation deteriorates and slows down.
- The presence of HIV infection as a factor that lowers immunity.
- Long-term use of antibiotics, including with a change in drugs.
- Unbalanced nutrition - lack of vitamins and nutrients, frequent unhealthy snacks.
- Anorexia is, again, a lack of vitamins.
- Prolonged lying position, for example with leg injuries, as well as in those who have suffered strokes, heart attacks, etc. - this leads to a decrease in immunity.
So one of the best ways to prevent infection or recurrence of the fungus in the body is to strengthen the immune system and control your health.
- Features of the disease
- Causes of yeast glossitis
- How does it manifest
3.1. Other symptoms of candidiasis on the tongue
- Treatment of candidiasis of the tongue
4.1. Medicines used for candidiasis
4.2. Traditional methods of dealing with oral candidiasis
- How to eat during treatment
- How to avoid the onset of the disease
For the full functioning of all parts of the gastrointestinal tract, various fungi and bacteria must be present in the body. They are called conditionally pathogenic. If their number corresponds to the norm, the person feels good, he does not develop unpleasant symptoms of the disease. But under the influence of negative external or internal factors, bacteria and fungi can begin to multiply actively. Then their activity becomes abnormal - a disease of the oral cavity or stomach, intestines is diagnosed.
It is according to this scenario that candidiasis develops in the tongue, throat and cheeks. Consider how to treat it and what measures to follow to avoid relapse after recovery.
Features of the disease
With candidiasis, there is an active spread of Candida fungi. Most often it is Candida albicans. To identify the pathogen, doctors carry out laboratory diagnostics - microscopic and bacteriological examination of the mucous membranes of the mouth, scraping plaque from the tongue.
Oral candidiasis is usually classified into two types:
- Yeast stomatitis. It affects the cheeks, gums, palate. The tissues are covered with a characteristic white coating that cannot be easily removed.
- Yeast glossitis. The focus of infection is the tongue. His back is affected. Small deep grooves are formed on its surface, in which whitish masses are deposited.
Thrush of the tongue always has vivid clinical symptoms. It leads to swelling and inflammation of the tissues, causing severe pain. It comes to the point that the patient cannot normally chew food and even drink. The situation is aggravated by a fetid odor from the mouth, which cannot be masked in any way.
Causes of yeast glossitis
In most cases, the disease is a consequence of a weakened immune system. Therefore, more often than others, people who have suffered some kind of serious illness encounter him. Also, the pathology develops due to dysbiosis, which has arisen as a result of prolonged antibiotic therapy, the use of hormones or immunosuppressants.
Other reasons include:
- ulcerative glossitis / stomatitis not cured in time,
- frequent mechanical damage to the mucous membrane covering the tongue,
- deficiency of vitamins and minerals,
- malfunctions of the liver,
- violation of the normal quantitative ratio between different fractions of blood proteins,
- diseases of the thyroid gland,
- frequent consumption of alcoholic beverages, smoking,
- potassium deficiency in blood plasma,
- pregnancy, breastfeeding.
Tongue candidiasis also occurs as a result of direct contact with the carrier of the infection. This refers to the transmission of the disease during kissing, when using shared utensils. In newborns, the cause of pathology is the passage of a sick mother through the birth canal.
How does it manifest
The disease is easily diagnosed, since its symptoms are vivid and speak for themselves. Symptoms are the same in adults and children. Pathology develops according to the principle of dermatitis. The skin becomes inflamed, reddens, the mucous membranes swell. As the number of fungi increases, ulcers form. They are painful, covered with a white or yellowish coating. When trying to remove the latter, blood begins to flow.
Subjectively, the patient complains about:
- itching / burning in the affected areas of the tongue,
- pain when eating solid foods
- bad breath
- discomfort during a conversation.
Plaque found on mucous membranes consists of dead cells of the epithelium, fibrin, bacteria, microparticles of food. It can be located in small isolated areas or merge into volumetric circles. If measures are not taken in time to eliminate this symptom, the infection will spread to the pharynx, and then to the internal organs.
The danger lies in the fact that candida reproduce very actively. They are able to penetrate into the deep layers of the mucous membranes of the mouth. Then the disease is difficult to treat, and the likelihood of relapse remains high.
As for the painful sensations that appear while eating, they are associated with severe tissue inflammation. The latter blush and bleed. Any mechanical impact aggravates the situation.
If pain appears when swallowing, then candidiasis has spread to the pharynx. A feeling of a lump in the throat indicates the appearance of bulky film growths. You shouldn't let this happen. The sooner treatment is started, the lower the risk of unwanted complications.
Other symptoms of candidiasis on the tongue
Other signs that indicate a disease include:
- weakness, lethargy,
- increased body temperature,
- proliferation and enlargement of the papillae on the surface of the tongue,
- deterioration of taste or loss of the ability to recognize tastes,
- swelling of tissues
- decreased mobility of the tongue.
When these symptoms appear, it is imperative to make an appointment with the dental clinic.
Treatment of candidiasis of the tongue
The treatment regimen is selected taking into account the factor that provoked the development of the disease. The main goal of therapy is not only to destroy the pathogenic flora, but also to strengthen the immune system, to improve the functioning of the stomach and intestines. If this is not done, the likelihood of relapse will remain high.
If the disease is caused by prolonged antibiotic therapy, taking hormones or steroids, as is most often the case, you need to lower the dosage of these groups of drugs and start using antifungal pills at the same time.B vitamins of group B and immunomodulators have an excellent effect on the body during the treatment of candidiasis of the tongue.
Medicines used for candidiasis
It is impossible to get rid of Candida fungi that have multiplied on the mucous membranes of the tongue without medical preparations. Medicines should:
- relieve inflammation,
- activate regeneration processes,
- reduce pain,
- destroy fungi,
- heal ulcers
- reduce swelling.
For this purpose, dentists prescribe drugs for the following pharmacological groups:
- Antifungal. They act by destroying the cell membranes of the pathogen. Made in the form of tablets and capsules for oral administration.
- Antiseptics for rinsing the mouth. They destroy viruses, fungi, bacteria, create conditions for the restoration of healthy microflora.
- Gels and ointments with antifungal activity. Used strictly locally. They are used to treat the surface of the entire tongue. They help to remove swelling, minimize itching and burning. The resulting wounds heal perfectly.
- Antiseptics in the form of aerosols. Very easy to use. Suitable for use in public places. They are characterized by a wide range of actions.
During the treatment of candidiasis in the tongue, it is important to use exactly those drugs that the doctor prescribed. Do not exceed their dosage, as this can provide the opposite effect.
Traditional methods of dealing with oral candidiasis
If you really want to supplement drug therapy with herbal remedies, it is permissible to use:
- decoctions of anti-inflammatory herbs,
- alcohol tincture of propolis,
- soda solution.
These products should be used while rinsing your mouth.
How to eat during treatment
Candida fungi multiply very quickly if a person eats a lot of sweets. Therefore, until complete recovery, you need to stop eating:
- ice cream,
Any alcoholic beverages are also banned.
Fans of meat dishes should give preference to turkey and chicken. Buckwheat porridge is very useful - it contains many vitamins of group B. In order not to irritate and injure the mucous membrane of the tongue once again, you should eat warm and well-chopped food.
How to avoid the onset of the disease
Prevention measures include adherence to simple rules:
- balanced diet,
- elimination of traumatic effects on the tissue of the tongue,
- taking an antifungal drug during a course of antibiotics, hormones,
- course use of immunomodulators,
- observance of oral hygiene,
- timely treatment of emerging dental diseases.
People who care about the health of their teeth and visit the dentist twice a year are much less likely to experience candidiasis of the tongue. This is a proven fact. Therefore, do not ignore the requests of your doctor to come for preventive examinations.
Allocate superficial candidiasis of the mucous membranes, skin, nail folds and nails, chronic generalized (granulomatous) and visceral candidiasis, as well as allergic forms of candidiasis. The most common form of mucosal candidiasis is candidiasis stomatitis (thrush). It develops mainly in infants and the elderly, weakened by chronic diseases. On the mucous membrane of the cheeks, palate, tongue, gums, dotted white plaques appear, merging, they form films resembling curdled milk, in which budding cells and pseudomycelium of the fungus are found. When they are removed, a pink, sometimes eroded, bleeding mucous membrane is exposed. The pathological process often extends to the tongue (yeast glossitis), tonsils (candidal angina), red border of the lips (candidal cheilitis), corners of the mouth (seizures).
With yeast glossitis, a white filmy plaque forms on the back of the tongue, its lateral surfaces, as well as in the folds (grooves), while the tongue swells and grows, the filiform papillae are smoothed out. With candidal sore throat on the tonsils, in addition to plaque, plugs are formed, but unlike ordinary sore throats, the body temperature does not rise, swallowing is painless, regional lymph nodes are not enlarged. For candidal cheilitis, dryness and redness of the red border of the lips, grayish flaking scales, a burning sensation, constriction are characteristic. With candidiasis, maceration and redness of the skin and mucous membrane in the corners of the mouth are noted, grayish-white crumbs and films are formed, under which cracks and pinpoint erosion occur.
Candidamycosis of the mucous membranes of the genital organs (vulvovaginal candidiasis, balanoposthitis) is manifested by redness and swelling of the mucous membrane, the formation of white plaques in the form of films and cheesy layers, surface erosion. Patients are worried about itching, there may be serous-purulent discharge.
With candidiasis of the skin, mainly skin folds are affected, interdigital, more often brushes, under the mammary glands, inguinal, intergluteal. On the contacting surface of the folds, a weeping lesion with clear fine-festoon borders appears, it is surrounded by a border of whitish macerated epidermis. There may be so-called screenings around it - small foci. In some places, the focus is covered with whitish crumbly layers, small cracks are visible, along the periphery there are dotted vesicles, erythematous scaly spots. Smooth skin candidiasis can occur in the form of erythematous, vesicular, psoriasiform eruptions.
Candidal paronychia is characterized by edema and hyperemia of the nail fold, the disappearance of the supraungual skin. In the future, the nail plate is affected, which becomes brown, bumpy (with stripes and depressions) or becomes thinner, sometimes exfoliates (candidal onychia).
Chronic generalized (granulomatous) candidiasis usually develops in children with an immunodeficiency state. The disease begins, as a rule, in early childhood in the form of thrush, glossitis, candidiasis cheilitis, then, often after the use of antibiotics, the process spreads, candidal paronychia and onychia develop, the smooth skin of the trunk, limbs, scalp is affected, where hyperemic and scaly spots with infiltration at the base, papules and tubercles, resolving scarring and leading to focal baldness. Candida pneumonia, gastritis, hepatitis and other signs of visceral candidiasis are often observed. Children are lagging behind in physical development.
With visceral candidomycosis, the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory organs, urinary system, and central nervous system are affected. With candidiasis of the gastrointestinal tract, there is a decrease in appetite, difficulty swallowing, frequent vomiting with the release of cheesy films, liquid bowel movements with an admixture of mucus, intestinal distention, fever. Respiratory candidiasis is characterized by damage to the larynx, which is accompanied by coughing fits, voice changes, the release of mucopurulent sputum, sometimes mixed with blood. Often there are candidiasis pneumonia arising after long-term treatment with antibiotics, immunosuppressants. Candidamycosis of the lungs is manifested by bronchitis, small-focal pneumonia, sometimes resembles tuberculosis. Candidamycosis of the urinary system is characterized by the appearance in the urine of a large number of elements of the fungus, protein, erythrocytes and cylinders. CNS candidiasis resembles the development of an abscess or brain tumor, CNS damage can also manifest as candidal meningitis.
Allergic forms of candidiasis (levurids, or candidamikids) occur in the presence of a primary focus (for example, on the skin, mucous membrane), leading to sensitization of the body. Usually this is facilitated by the irrational use of antibiotics, vitamin deficiency, etc. In this case, levurides can be in the form of erythematosquamous, vesicular and other disseminated rashes in which the pathogen is not found. Headache, malaise, etc. are often noted.
Yeast-like fungi of the genus Candida are aerobic, resistant to drying and freezing. Direct sunlight and artificial ultraviolet radiation only with prolonged exposure and in a humid environment have a detrimental effect on them. Boiling and autoclaving kills them within 3—5 minutes both in culture and in pathological material. They are sensitive to alcoholic (0.5-2%) solutions of iodine, aniline dyes (gentian violet, mityl violet) and disinfectants (2-5% solutions of formalin, lysol, phenol, etc.).
The development of candidiasis is facilitated by immunodeficiency states, endocrinopathies, hypovitaminosis, metabolic disorders (for example, diabetes mellitus), severe debilitating diseases, irrational use of certain drugs (antibiotics, corticosteroids, etc.) leading to dysbiosis, as well as trauma (for example, permanent injury mucous membrane when wearing dentures), reducing the body's resistance. Children and the elderly are most susceptible to candidiasis. There is no innate immunity to the fungus. In the course of the disease, antibodies are formed in patients with candidiasis and in Candida carriers, which are detected using complement binding reactions, agglutination, immunofluorescence and passive hemagglutination reactions, as well as allergic skin tests with candidaallergen. Carriers of Candida and those who are sick, especially with recent forms of candidiasis, can be a source of infection for others. Infection occurs through direct contact with the patient (kiss, sexual contact, infection of newborns when passing through the birth canal). It is also possible through contact with contaminated fruits and vegetables, which is observed, for example, in pickers, fruit sorters (professional candidiasis). The development of candidiasis is facilitated by damage to the skin and mucous membranes, unfavorable working conditions (including a low level of technical equipment at confectionery and fruit processing enterprises), and violations of hygiene rules, for example, in maternity hospitals, nurseries. The disease can be caused by the activation of yeast-like fungi that are in the body in microbial associations (the development of secondary candidiasis in pneumonia, tuberculosis, dysbiosis, etc.).
Diagnosis is clinical. It is confirmed by the results of laboratory research: repeated detection of the fungus in the studied pathological material and its isolation in culture. With visceral candidiasis, it is necessary to carry out serological reactions (agglutination and binding of complement) and allergic skin tests with candidaallergen. Skin candidiasis should be distinguished from streptoderma, eczema, epidermophytosis, rubrophytosis.
Treatment of superficial candidiasis is carried out on an outpatient basis, with visceral and granulomatous candidiasis - in a therapeutic or dermatological hospital. Antifungal drugs are prescribed internally. Vitamins C, A, group B, fortifying and pathogenetic agents are also recommended.
The prognosis for superficial candidiasis is usually favorable, but with granulomatous and visceral candidiasis, a lethal outcome is possible.