Thrush: symptoms and treatment
- Prevalence of disease
- Causes of pathogen
- Factors provoking the aggressiveness of the fungus Candida
- Clinical forms of the disease
- Symptoms and signs of thrush
- Diagnosis of thrush
- Treatment for thrush
- Traditional methods of treating thrush
- Prevention of thrush
Thrush (candidiasis) is a fairly serious pathology that affects the mucous membranes, skin, and even internal organs. It is caused by yeast-like fungi of the genus Candida. The disease occurs only when the body's defenses weaken and the conditionally pathogenic fungal microflora, which is constantly present on the skin and mucous membranes of a person, when activated, begins to multiply uncontrollably.
Thrush is a disease that can affect almost any person, since its development is associated with deep endogenous factors. It occurs in acute and chronic form and has a wide variety of symptoms. Therefore, many patients are sometimes unable to reliably determine the cause of their poor health.
Prevalence of disease
Yeast-like fungi of the Candida genus are considered the most harmless and the most widespread representatives of the most ancient civilization. They are permanent inhabitants of the microbial association of the human body. Candida can be found on the mucous membranes of the intestines, vagina, in the oral cavity and on the skin.
According to statistics, at least once in a lifetime about 2/3 of the planet’s population has suffered one of the possible forms of fungal infection. Symptoms of this disease are often observed in workers of the confectionery and canning industry, due to irritation of the skin with acids, juices, essences, alkalis and sugary substances, and also it is found in enterprises that use antibiotics and various types of fungi. Signs of candidiasis are very often detected in people who, due to their professional activities, have to contact water for a long time. These are workers of baths, pools, etc.
Candidiasis is often a companion of diseases of the blood system, chronic infectious pathologies, metabolic disorders, enzymatic insufficiency of the gastrointestinal tract. It also occurs in patients after inadequate use of antibiotics, cytostatics, hormones, immunosuppressants and narcotic drugs.
Causes of pathogen
The causative agent of thrush are yeast-like fungi Candida. These are microorganisms that are fairly widespread in nature, which do not cause alcohol fermentation, but at the same time cause food spoilage, and the most aggressive forms provoke the development of pathological processes in the human body.
Candida fungi have an elongated cylindrical shape and can form a primitive mycelium. This microorganism does not form endospores characteristic of marsupial fungi, but under adverse conditions it creates chlamydospores (modified cells covered with a dense membrane). They, according to experts, are the most important factor of infection.
Pseudomycelium of the fungus - a few elongated cells connected in long chains. Moreover, each cell of the pseudomycelium has a fully formed cell membrane, approximately the same as that of the true mycelium.
Fungi Candida multiplies by budding. At the same time, a new cellular germ (blastopore), separated from the mother cell, turns into a mature individual over time.
This microorganism lives in a slightly alkaline or neutral environment, and even with its slight shift to the acidic side, the development and reproduction of the pathogen is suppressed. In the course of his life, Candida can shift the pH of the medium to a weakly alkaline reaction, and therefore the pathological process that he triggers is often avalanche-like.
Factors provoking the aggressiveness of the fungus Candida
Yeast-like fungi Candida, due to its structure, is well protected from the effects of various adverse factors. The optimal temperature for normal growth of a microorganism is from 20 to 27 degrees. However, at the temperature of the human body, the causative agent of candidiasis also grows and develops normally. Yeast-like fungi digest sugar well, and therefore they prefer to "settle" on tissues rich in glucose.
Candida refers to conditionally pathogenic microflora, however, with a decrease in the effectiveness of protective mechanisms, it can provoke the development of a pathological process. The main factors include various endocrine or infectious diseases, long-term antibiotic therapy, hormone therapy, the development of malignant neoplasms, childhood and old age, and pregnancy.
As a rule, it is customary to attribute thrush to autoinfection, that is, the source of infection is the person’s own microflora. At the same time, specialists are aware of cases when infection with candidiasis comes from outside.
It should be noted that the development of the pathological process occurs due to a decrease in local immunity, but at the same time the fungus itself does not change its properties. When the immune defense is weakened, the pathogen attaches to the epithelium cells and penetrates into the deeper tissue layers. Sometimes in such a situation a dynamic equilibrium is established, and the thrush, turning into a latent form, lasts for years. In this case, the pathogen tries to penetrate as deeply as possible, and the host organism constantly rejects it. When the balance is shifted, recovery may occur, or a relapse of the disease may occur.
Clinical forms of the disease
In clinical practice, the following forms of pathology are encountered:
- Urogenital candidiasis (thrush)
- Candidiasis of the oral mucosa;
- Candidiasis smooth skin and skin folds;
- Visceral candidiasis (lesion of the respiratory tract and digestive tract);
- Chronic generalized (granulomatous) candidiasis.
Symptoms and signs of thrush
As a rule, this form of the disease is manifested in women in the form of vulvovaginitis (more often it is called thrush), and in men - in the form of balanitis (inflammation of the skin on the head of the penis).
With the development of candidiasis of the vagina, women complain of itching and burning in the area of the external genitalia. In anticipation of the vagina (as well as in the vagina itself), foci of hyperemia and whitish spots are formed, around which blisters may occur. However, the most characteristic sign of the disease is a cheesy, whitish-gray discharge, with a sour-milky smell (or the smell of stale rye bread). Itching and discomfort often increase during menstruation, after a long walk and after water procedures, as well as in the afternoon and during the nighttime sleep.
Genital candidiasis in men is a disease that can occur after sexual contact with an infected partner. However, sometimes inflammation develops in patients with diabetes and after prolonged antibiotic therapy.
With the development of candidal balanitis men complain of burning and redness in the region of the foreskin and glans penis. Symptoms may worsen after sexual contact. In some cases, vesicles and erosion appear in the inflamed areas, as well as scanty discharge. In immunocompromised patients, edema can develop, which often leads to cicatricial phimosis, cracks in the foreskin and sclerosis.
Oral thrush, or candidal stomatitis is a disease that is most common in newborns, as well as in people who are forced to use dentures. The most typical symptom of this form of infection is the appearance on the mucous membranes of the mouth cavity of white cheesy plaque. At the earliest stages of development of stomatitis on the inside of the cheeks, as well as on the gums and on the tongue, small pockets of redness form. Then they merge and form films of various shapes and sizes. Such films are easily removed, and under them a brilliant bright red surface is found. As a rule, oral candidiasis occurs without fever and inflammation of the lymph nodes.
For the chronic form of the disease is characterized by the appearance of coarse, closely adjacent to the mucous membranes of the raids, after the removal of which on the affected areas remain erosion. The tongue in patients with chronic thrush is greatly enlarged. It is covered with deep grooves and a yellowish-white bloom.
In the case when the fungal infection spreads beyond the limits of the oral cavity, a candida candida (candidiasis of the corners of the mouth) sometimes develops. It can be presented in the form of cracks or erosion, with clear boundaries and gray-white staining.
With the development of candidiasis of the lips, peeling is noted, the skin on the lips gathers in folds and becomes thinner, and cyanosis appears on the red border.
Candidiasis smooth skin and skin folds
With the development of this form of fungal infection, lesions most often occur in large folds of the body (between the buttocks, in the groin, under the mammary glands, under the armpits). However, the fungus can settle in the folds between the fingers, on the feet and on the palms, as well as on the smooth skin of the body. In this case, the foci of infection are small blisters. After their opening, erosion remains, which over time increases in size and can merge together. Foci of fungal lesions have an irregular shape. They are colored bright red and separated from healthy skin by a strip of exfoliating epidermis.
Candidiasis of interdigital spaces is a disease that is characteristic of people who, by the nature of their professional activities, have to contact water for a long time. Most often, the fungus affects the skin on the hands between III and IV, as well as IV and V fingers. Patients complain of severe burning and itching. With the development of the pathological process, the affected area becomes covered with cracks, and then dark red erosion forms on it.
In seriously ill people with weakened immunity (in particular, in HIV-infected people), the skin of the feet and palms are often affected. When this occurs, the detachment of the epidermis occurs, peeling, as well as dirty brown deep grooves in areas of excessive keratinization.
When a fungal infection of the nails occurs, the skin around the nail begins to redden, swell, thin and peel off, and the nail roller thickens. Due to malnutrition, the nails become thin, become yellow-brown in color and separate from the bed.
- Candidiasis of the respiratory tract. This is a form of visceral candidiasis, which is very rare in clinical practice. As a rule, the disease affects patients with severely weakened immune systems. In this case, the infection can affect almost all parts of the respiratory tract, from the nasopharynx to the lungs. Unfortunately, due to the lack of specific signs of the disease, the diagnosis of respiratory candidiasis is often delayed. With the development of candidal bronchitis, patients experience general disorder, body temperature rises, persistent cough appears with sputum, in which blood impurities are sometimes found, dry and moist large-bubble rales develop, and so on. Patients complain of pain in the side, there is a subfibrillitis. As a rule, with candidal pneumonia, the lower and middle lobes of the lung are mainly affected.
- Gastric candidiasis is a pathological condition provoked by yeast-like fungi, which occurs on the background of a peptic ulcer with low acidity. This condition favors the formation of fungal colonies in places of erosive or ulcerative damage. The causative agent causes bleeding and pain, and slows the healing of damaged tissues.
- With prolonged antibiotic therapy, intestinal candidiasis may occur. Patients suffering from this form of the pathology complain of pain and discomfort in the lower abdomen, and they have bloating and often develop diarrhea. It should be noted that the formulation of the final diagnosis is carried out only after the composition of the intestinal microflora has been studied.
Chronic generalized candidiasis
This form of the pathological process develops in patients with severely weakened immunity, in violation of the thyroid gland, as well as in the presence of diabetes. First of all, in case of generalized candidiasis, the mucous membrane of the oral cavity is affected, then a fungal infection covers the lips, the scalp, genitals, skin and nails. The clinical signs of the pathological process are very similar to the signs of psoriasis or pyoderma (swelling, redness and peeling of the skin). Then the infection can spread to the internal organs (lungs, eyes, kidneys and heart). In the case when yeast-like fungi from the primary focus are spread along with the blood flow throughout the body, this is the most severe degree of damage, which is called candida sepsis. Often this condition is fatal.
Diagnosis of thrush
When making a diagnosis, the symptoms of the disease are primarily taken into account. In order to clarify the type of pathogen, bacteriological research is carried out (bacposal for nutrient media). However, the patient may be assigned a blood test to detect antibodies to fungal cells. Also in the course of diagnostics, a study is conducted on the level of immunoglobulins, which prevent Candida from strengthening on mucous membranes.
Treatment for thrush
It should be noted that when prescribing treatment, the goal is not to completely destroy the yeast-like fungus of the genus Candida, since in this situation it is only necessary to suppress its excessive development. As a rule, patients are prescribed special antifungal (antimycotic) drugs, which are divided into several groups (allylamines, triazoles and imidazoles).
In milder forms of fungal infection, local treatment is most often prescribed using solutions, ointments and suppository suppositories. However, if local therapy does not bring relief, the patient is prescribed systemic drugs (tablets or injectables).
Fortifying treatment is carried out together with the use of antifungal drugs. Vitamin therapy is prescribed to patients with the use of ascorbic and nicotinic acid, as well as vitamins B2 and B6.
Sweets should be excluded from the diet, food intake rich in carbohydrates should be limited, and protein foods should be preferred.
Without fail, patients suffering from severe forms of candidiasis, a study of the immune and endocrine status, as well as studying the composition of the intestinal microflora. In the event that deviations from the norm are detected, an adjustment is made and treatment of the main diseases that caused the development of the pathological process is prescribed.
Traditional methods of treating thrush
Traditional healers for the treatment of thrush recommend the use of medicinal herbs that have anti-inflammatory and astringent effect. Chamomile, oak bark, celandine, St. John's wort, calendula and bird cherry have proven themselves well. From these plants, decoctions are prepared, and then used for rinsing and lotions, and also taken orally.
However, the healing properties of yogurt, kombucha, kvass and garlic have long been known. These foods contain large amounts of phytoncides, vitamins and nutrients, as well as acids that inhibit the growth and reproduction of fungi. To restore damaged epithelial tissue, traditional healers recommend using freshly squeezed carrot juice. It can be taken orally, and you can make lotions and rinses. Together, sugar, which is very "like" yeast-like fungi, it is recommended to add natural sweeteners of non-carbohydrate nature (stevia or licorice) to food and drinks.
Prevention of thrush
In order to prevent the uncontrolled growth and reproduction of yeast-like fungi, specialists should carefully monitor the condition of patients at risk. This includes people who have taken antibiotics for a long time, immunosuppressants, hormones, and HIV-infected patients. All of them must be carefully examined and, if necessary, prescribe antifungal treatment.
In the treatment of thrush, affecting the urinary system, antifungal therapy should be carried out to both sexual partners.
Специалисты не рекомендуют заниматься самолечением, особенно это касается применения антибактериальных средств.
Для того чтобы повысить сопротивляемость организма к любым видам инфекции, следует заниматься спортом и закаляться.
При развитии дисбактериоза кишечника в пищевой рацион должны входить квашеные овощи, кисломолочные продукты, каши из злаков с сохранением оболочки, а также специалисты рекомендуют принимать пробиотики, которые способствуют восстановлению нормальной микрофлоры.
Во избежание развития инфекционного процесса не рекомендуется длительное время применять мыло или зубные пасты, в которых присутствуют антибактериальные добавки.
При выборе нижнего белья необходимо отдавать предпочтение хлопчатобумажным тканям, не создающим парникового эффекта.
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