Fungal infections, also known as Candida are caused by fungus which is a microorganism type. There are 2 types of infections and these are called yeast and tinea infections. They are caused by the same fungus known as Candida albicans. Now more than ever, fungal infections have become popular and there are a couple of reasons for this. People live longer and the older a person gets, the higher the risk of suffering from these infections and this is because the immune system becomes weak. A weak immune system is a major risk factor for these infections. In addition to this, there is an increased use of antibiotics. One of the most common organisms responsible for causing fungal infection is Candida found in the digestive tract of humans, the genital area and mouth.
In normal conditions, Candida is controlled by bacteria that is deemed beneficial but when the bacteria and fungus balance gets upset through use of antibiotics the immune system also gets compromised and consequently, an overgrowth of ever-present Candida multiples thus causing fungal infections. There are certain PH levels which are also known to encourage fungal infections. For instance, people under a high sugar diet are exposed to a higher chance of getting fungal infections. There are several areas that might be infected by fungal infections and these include genitals, mouth, throat, skin and systematic infections.
Causes of Fungal Infections
There are different factors known to cause fungal infections and it is ideal to look at some of these. With this knowledge, it becomes easier to have an idea on the best way to address the condition.
- Jock itch, athlete’s foot and ringworms are as a result of a fungus known as tinea.
- A large number of fungal infections like oral thrush, vaginal thrush and fungal gastroenteritis are triggered by a fungus known as Candida albicans.
- Fungus is also known to cause lung infection because of fungal spores which are inhaled.
There are other factors that trigger fungus overgrowth and these are known to cause fungus infection as well and some of these are as highlighted below.
- Excessive use of antibiotics. This is because they can kill some of the healthy bacteria and this exposes the body to fungal attacks. Lack of healthy bacteria creates an ideal environment for microorganisms to grow.
- Having an immune system that is weak as a result of steroid use, chemotherapy or HIV/AIDS.
There are other instances when fungal infections get passed from an expectant mother to her new born baby during birth or at the time of breastfeeding.
Symptoms of Fungal Infections
The symptoms for fungal infections vary in accordance to the severity and type of infection. These also vary in accordance to the affected body part and other individual factors. The following are some of the major fungal infections known as well as the symptoms that define each.
- Itching feet
- Flaking and scaling of skin around the feet
- Formation of yellowish and thick toenails. In this case, once the toenails are affected, the nail beds are detached.
- Itching around the groin area
- Scaly, red rash forms on the groin area
- The affected areas also lose hair.
- Sores and lesions are formed on the skin and these have a color that is yellow white. They also form in patches on your tongue or around the mouth
- Bleeding sore gums
- Lesions or patches that end up being raw, painful and sore. This also makes it difficult to swallow or eat.
- White thick discharge that has the same texture as cottage cheese.
- Vaginal itching
- Vaginal irritation
- Burning sensation when urinating
When fungal infections are noted on a recurring basis, this might be an indication of a more serious health condition like HIV/AIDS and in this case, it is advisable to seek immediate medical help.
Fungal Infections Home Remedies
It is important to ensure you address fungal infections in time in order to avoid further complications. While it is possible to use medications prescribed by your doctor, there are also a couple of home remedies which are essential and which help you fight off fungal infections. Some of the natural remedies you need to try from the comfort of your home include the following. Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies and herbal remedies yourself! Here are some of the home remedies and herbal remedies that you can try.
- Garlic oils, oregano oil and lavender oil– Garlic oils, oregano oil and lavender oil are seen as excellent remedies for these infections. This is especially true if the affected areas are the nails and they should be applied under the nails. Use any of these 2 oils by mixing them and with olive oil and applying the mixture to the areas affected.
- Turmeric powder and water– Take turmeric powder and water and create a paste using this. Apply this to the area affected and after a while, it will dry off. Wash it with water and dry off. This not only gets rid of infections but it is an ideal way of easing the symptoms.
- Tea Tree Oil– Apply a coat of tea tree oil on affected area as this is the most effective remedy for fungal infections on your feet. This remedy should be used for 2 weeks and you will note some major differences and improvements.
- Apple Cider Vinegar and Water– The affected area should be soaked in apple cider vinegar and water mixture. These should be used in equal proportions since it is an effective remedy for fungal infection.
- Comfrey Tea– On a regular basis, it is advisable to consume high amounts of comfrey tea which reduces and also avoids infections.
- Grape Fruit, Olive Oil, and Water– Combine seed extract from grape fruit and olive oil in one glass of water and drink this. It is an extremely beneficial fungal infections treatment.
- Aloe Vera– Aloe Vera is another essential remedy and in this case, it is advisable to apply this with castor beans oil to the affected areas. This not only provides relief but it also ensures that the problem s effectively addressed.
- Try This– Extract juice from leaves of fig tree and grapefruit seeds and add this to a glass of water. When you drink this, it works as an effective remedy and gives you relief.
- Goldenseal– Whether it is taken internally or externally, Goldenseal herb is seen as one of the most effective remedies and this is because it provides quick relief.
- Lotus Flower and Milk– Mixing lotus flowers and some milk everyday is also beneficial. This mixture should be consumed 2 times a day for one month for long term results to be seen. It is one of the most effective remedies for addressing fungal infections that affect the lips.
- Garlic- Garlic is the commonly used herbal remedy to fungal infections. Garlic, is revered for having strong antifungal properties, hence giving it the ability to heal all types of fungal infections. It also the ideal herbal remedy for inhibiting the growth of fungus, thus preventing fungal infections from becoming more severe and septic.
- Calendula- Calendula is the other herbal remedy that has for long been used for countering fungal infections. It has the ability of stopping the itching and soreness that is caused by fungal infections. In addition, it helps in stopping the fungal infection from becoming more severe and spreading to other parts of the body.
- Echinacea- This is a type of garden vegetable that has also for long been used for countering fungal infections. It has the ability to provide the body with immunity, alongside preventing the fungal infections from spreading to other parts of the body. It is among the most effective herbal remedies for fungal infections, thanks to its ability to prevent fungal infections from becoming septic and more severe.
- Lactobacillus acidophilus- This is another herbal remedy to fungal infections that is derived from harmless bacteria. It is administered orally, for those that are suffering from fungal infections. However, it ought to be taken in respect to the doctor’s prescriptions, thanks to the side effects it can have if taken in large doses.
- Cedar- Cedar is among the herbs that have for long provided herbal remedy for fungal infection. It has anti-fungal properties that enable it to cure nearly every type of fungal infections that has been attacking man since times immemorial. It has also provided cure for a variety of health conditions which includes among them warts, urinary tracts infections. Even as effective it is in healing a variety of fungal infections, cedar ought to be taken in small dosages for it has a number of side effects.
Diet for Fungal Infections
While there are treatments that reduce cases of fungal infections, they also pose the threat of serious side effects. In order to ensure you enjoy overall good health, it is therefore important to select a healthy diet that gives you the necessary nutrients needed to fight fungal infections. In this regard, there are a couple of things you need to consider and some of these are as highlighted below.
- Fluids: You have to drink lots of fluids as part of your diet plan if you intend to get fungal infections under control. It is recommended that you should drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of pure water because it cleanses your system and ensures that all the other parts of your body function just as well. You should avoid alcoholic drinks, soft drinks and carbonated drinks if the idea is to adhere to a fungus infections free diet.
- Reduce the consumption of foods that contain high levels of saturated fats, refined salts, refined sugars, trans-fats and monosodium glutamate because these are known to make the condition worse.
- An ideal fungal infections diet is one that contains lots of onions and garlic. While it is alright to add these in your meals, it is advisable to eat them raw because then, they give you numerous benefits. It is also an ideal way of getting the minerals your body needs. These also have anti-fungal properties and it is for this reason that their use is encouraged.
- A healthy diet should be rich in minerals and vitamins. Vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C and zinc. In this case, you should eat fruits such as plum, grapes, oranges, pears, millets, and lemon. You can also include other options of citrus fruits in order to facilitate the healing process.
Prevention of Fungal Infections
Seeking medical treatment when you get fungal infections is important and while this is the case, there are a couple of things you can do in order to prevent fungal infections. Some of these include the following.
- Cleanse the genitals everyday using mild soap and lots of water.
- Avoid douching
- Change tampons regularly
- When pregnant, make sure that you get prenatal care early and on a regular basis
- Eat a diet that is well balanced
- Avoid using feminine deodorants and tampons that are scented.
- Follow the appropriate treatment for HIV/AIDS and diabetes
- Seek medical care regular in order to ensure you don’t get fungal infections
- Using antibiotics only when they are prescribed by a health professional
- Ensuring you don’t wear underwear that is tight fitting, thongs or jeans
- Nursing mothers with nipples that have a discharge should get in touch with their health care providers foe the purpose of getting tests for fungal infections. This is the best way to ensure the same is not passed to children.
- Choosing underwear that is made from cotton
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