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How Candida Albicans Overgrowth Could Lead to Candidiasis

Candidiasis, better known as yeast infection, is a very common condition in which a particular fungus or yeast in the body, usually the species of fungus called Candida albicans, becomes overgrown.

The condition affects men and women alike, but it is much more prevalent in women, especially women of child bearing age, with symptoms and side effects that can range from mild to severe.

But what exactly causes yeast infections?

What conditions can lead to an overgrowth of Candida albicans and the resultant infection?

In this article we will explore these questions in more detail, first by providing a comprehensive definition of Candida albicans followed by a discussion regarding the risk factors for Candida albicans overgrowth.

Candida Albicans Overgrowth – What Is Candida Albicans?

As mentioned briefly above, Candida albicans is a type of fungus, also known as yeast. It is present in all people, men and women, and can usually be found in some of the darker, warmer and moister areas of the body such as the mouth, vagina and gastrointestinal tract.

If left to its own devices, Candida albicans would be perpetually overgrown in these areas, but in normal circumstances, the friendly bacteria in the body keeps it from doing so. However, when some condition or outside influence disrupts this balance and begins to destroy these helpful bacteria, Candida albicans is free to multiply, invading and colonizing in the body’s tissues.

This overgrowth is referred to as candidiasis, or yeast infection.

When a person has candidiasis, the yeast colonies formed by Candida albicans overgrowth release a host of potent chemicals into the bloodstream. These chemicals are what typically cause the symptoms of candidiasis, symptoms that can include lethargy, chronic diarrhea or constipation, yeast vaginitis, menstrual difficulties, bladder infections, muscle and joint pain and even depression and anxiety.

In most cases of candidiasis, the overgrowth of yeast is usually confined to one area of the body, such as the mouth or vagina, but if left untreated the chemicals produced by Candida can begin to attack the immune system, weakening it enough to allow Candida albicans to spread out into other areas of the body as well.

What Causes Candida Albicans Overgrowth?

So what exactly causes or leads to the overgrowth of Candida albicans?

The truth is that there are several factors that, either alone or in combination, can cause the overgrowth of Candida albicans.

Some of these risk factors include :

Generally, candidiasis is not a dangerous infection, but when it is not treated promptly this contagious infection can be spread during sex, or in pregnant women, passed on to the newborn in the form of oral thrush, or oral candidiasis.

Untreated candidiasis can also lead to chronic yeast infections, secondary infections, and in very rare cases, can even be fatal.

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