Thrush: symptoms and treatment
- Prevalence of the disease
- Causes of the causative agent
- Factors provoking the aggressiveness of the fungus Candida
- Clinical forms of the disease
- Symptoms and signs of thrush
- Diagnosis of thrush
- Treating Thrush
- Folk methods of treatment of thrush
- Prevention of thrush
Thrush (candidiasis) is a serious enough pathology affecting mucous membranes, skin and even internal organs. It is caused by yeast-like fungi from the genus Candida. The disease occurs only when the defenses of the organism and the conditionally pathogenic fungal microflora, which is constantly present on the skin and mucous membranes of a person, weakens, becoming more active, begins to grow uncontrollably.
Thrush is a disease that can affect almost any person, since its development is associated with profound 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 the disease
Yeast-like fungi of the genus Candida are considered the most harmless and the most common representatives of the ancient civilization. They are permanent inhabitants of the microbial association of the human body. Candida can be found on the mucous membranes of the intestine, vagina, in the oral cavity and on the skin.
According to statistics, one of the possible forms of a fungal lesion at least once in a lifetime was borne by about 2/3 of the planet's population. The symptomatology of this disease is 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 it is found in enterprises where antibiotics and various kinds of fungi are used. Signs of candidiasis are very often detected in people who, due to their professional activities, are forced to contact water for a long time. They are workers in bathhouses, swimming pools, etc.
Candidiasis is often a companion of diseases of the blood system, chronic infectious pathologies, metabolic disorders, enzymatic deficiency of the gastrointestinal tract. It also occurs in patients after inadequate use of antibiotics, cytostatics, hormones, immunosuppressants and narcotic drugs.
Causes of the causative agent
The causative agent of thrush are Candida yeast-like fungi. These are microorganisms that are widely distributed in nature, which do not cause alcohol fermentation, but, at the same time, are the cause of 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 marsupials, but under adverse conditions it creates chlamydospores (modified cells covered with a dense membrane). They, in the opinion of experts, are the most important factor of infection.
Pseudomycelia of the fungus is several elongated cells connected in long chains. Each cell of the pseudomycelia has a fully formed cell membrane, about the same as that of a true mycelium.
Reproduction of Candida fungi occurs by budding. At the same time, the new cell rudiment (blastopore), having separated from the maternal cell, eventually turns into a mature individual.
This microorganism lives in a slightly alkaline or neutral environment, and even with its slight shift to the acidic side, the development and multiplication of the pathogen is suppressed. In the course of his life, Candida can shift the pH of the environment to a slightly alkaline reaction, and therefore the pathological process that it causes is often avalanche-like.
Factors provoking the aggressiveness of the fungus Candida
Yeast-like fungi Candida, due to its structure, are well protected against the influence of various unfavorable factors. The most optimal for normal growth of a microorganism is a temperature of 20 to 27 degrees. However, even at the temperature of the human body, the causative agent of candidiasis also normally grows and develops. Yeast-like fungi absorb sugar well, and therefore they prefer to "settle" on tissues that are rich in glucose.
Candida refers to a conditionally pathogenic microflora, but 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 antibacterial therapy, hormonal treatment, development of malignant neoplasms, childhood and senile age and pregnancy.
As a rule, thrush is usually referred to as autoinfection, that is, the source of infection is the person's own microflora. At the same time, specialists know cases when infection with candidiasis comes from outside.
It should be noted that the development of the pathological process occurs due to the reduction of local immunity, but the fungus itself does not change its properties. With the weakening of the immune defense, the causative agent is attached to the cells of the epithelium and penetrates into deeper tissue layers. Sometimes in such a situation, a dynamic equilibrium is established, and thrush, passing into a latent form, lasts for years. In this case, the pathogen tries to penetrate as deeply as possible, and the host's organism constantly rejects it. When the balance is shifted, recovery may occur, or a relapse occurs.
Clinical forms of the disease
In clinical practice, the following forms of pathology occur:
- Urogenital candidiasis (thrush)
- Candidiasis of the oral mucosa;
- Candidiasis of smooth skin and skin folds;
- Visceral candidiasis (defeat of the respiratory tract and digestive tract);
- Chronic generalized (granulomatous) candidiasis.
Symptoms and signs of thrush
Candidiasis of the genitourinary system
As a rule, this form of the disease manifests itself in women in the form of vulvovaginitis (more often 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. On the eve of the vagina (as well as in the vagina itself) foci of hyperemia and whitish spots are formed around which bubbles can arise. However, the most characteristic sign of the disease are curdled whitish-gray discharge, which have an acid-milk smell (or the smell of stale rye bread). Often, itching and discomfort intensifies during menstruation, after a long walk and after water procedures, as well as in the afternoon and during the night's 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.
When developing candidal balanitis, men complain of burning and redness in the foreskin and glans penis. Symptoms may increase after sexual contact. In some cases, vesicles and erosions occur on inflamed areas, and scarce excretions appear. Patients with weakened immunity may develop edema, which often leads to cicatricial phimosis, fissures of the foreskin and sclerosis.
Thrush of the oral cavity
Thrush of the oral cavity, or candidal stomatitis is a disease that occurs most often in newborn babies, 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 oral cavity of white curdled plaque. At the earliest stages of stomatitis development, small foci of redness form on the inner side of the cheeks, as well as on the gums and on the tongue. Then they merge and form films, different in shape and size. Such films are easily removed, and under them a bright bright red surface is found. As a rule, candidiasis of the oral cavity proceeds without raising the temperature and inflammation of the lymph nodes.
For the chronic form of the disease is characterized by the appearance of coarse, densely attached to the mucous membranes of raids, after removal of which on the affected areas remain erosion. The tongue in patients with chronic thrush is greatly increased in size. It is covered with deep furrows and a yellowish white coating.
In the case when the fungal infection spreads beyond the oral cavity, sometimes candidiasis jaeda (candidiasis of the corners of the mouth) develops. It can be presented in the form of a crack or erosion, having clear boundaries and gray-white coloration.
With the development of candidiasis of the lips there is peeling, the skin on the lips is collected in folds and thinned, and on the red border there is a cyanosis.
Candidiasis of smooth skin and skin folds
With the development of this form of fungal infection, lesions often occur in large folds of the body (between the buttocks, in the groin, under the mammary glands, under the arms). However, the fungus can settle in folds between the fingers, on the feet and on the palms, and also on the smooth skin of the trunk. In this case, the foci of infection are small vesicles. After their opening, there are erosions that increase in size over time and can merge together. Foci of fungal infection have an irregular shape. They are painted in a bright red color and separated from the healthy skin by a strip of exfoliating epidermis.
Candidiasis of interdigital spaces is a disease that is characteristic of people who, due to their professional activities, are forced to contact the water for a long time. Most often, the fungus affects the skin areas on the arms between III and IV, and also IV and V fingers. Patients complain of severe burning and itching. When the pathological process develops, the affected area is covered by cracks, and then dark red erosions form on it.
In severely ill people with weakened immunity (in particular, in HIV-infected people), the skin of the feet and palms is very often affected. In this case, exfoliation of the epidermis occurs, peeling appears, and dirty brown deep furrows form in the areas of excessive keratinization.
With fungal nail damage, the skin around the nail begins to turn red, swells, thinens and peels, and the nail roller thickens. Due to malnutrition, the nails become thin, get a yellow-brown color and separate from the bed.
- Candidiasis of the respiratory tract. It is a form of visceral candidiasis, which is very rare in clinical practice. As a rule, the disease affects patients with severely weakened immunity. 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 candidiasis of respiratory organs is often not performed in time. With the development of candidal bronchitis in patients, a general state disorder occurs, the body temperature rises, a persistent cough with sputum appears, in which blood is sometimes found, dry and wet large bubbling rales develop, etc. When the candidiasis bronchitis goes bronchopneumonia, the disease is sluggish. Patients complain of pain in the side, subfibrillitis is observed. As a rule, with candidiasis pneumonia mainly affects the lower and middle lobes of the lung.
- Candidiasis of the stomach is a pathological condition provoked by yeast-like fungi, which occurs against the background of a peptic ulcer occurring with a low acidity. This condition favors the formation of fungal colonies in places of erosive or ulcerative lesions. The causative agent causes bleeding and pain, and slows the healing of damaged tissues.
- With prolonged antibacterial therapy, candidiasis of the intestine may occur. Patients suffering from this form of pathology complain of pain and discomfort in the lower abdomen, as well as bloating and diarrhea often develops. It should be noted that the final diagnosis is made only after the composition of the intestinal microflora has been studied.
Chronic generalized candidiasis
This form of 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, with generalized candidiasis, the mucous membrane of the oral cavity is affected, then the fungal lesion covers the lips, the scalp, genitals, skin and nails. Clinical signs of the pathological process are very similar to those 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 the yeast-like fungi from the primary focus are carried along with the blood flow throughout the body, this is the most severe degree of damage, called a sepsis candidate. Often this condition leads to death.
Diagnosis of thrush
When diagnosing, first of all, the symptoms of the disease are taken into account. To clarify the type of pathogen, a bacteriological study is carried out (bak-sowing on nutrient media). However, a patient can be assigned a blood test to detect antibodies to fungal cells. Also in the course of diagnostics, the level of immunoglobulins that prevent Candida from strengthening on the mucous membranes is studied.
It should be noted that the purpose of treatment does not aim to completely destroy the yeast-like fungus of the genus Candida, since in this situation it is only necessary to suppress its excessive development. Typically, patients are prescribed special antifungal (antimycotic) drugs, which are divided into several groups (allylamines, triazoles and imidazoles).
With mild forms of fungal infection, local treatment with solutions, ointments and suppository suppositories is most often prescribed. However, if local therapy does not bring relief, the patient is prescribed a systemic drug (tablets or injections).
Together with the use of antifungal drugs, general restorative treatment is performed. Patients are prescribed vitamin therapy with ascorbic and nicotinic acid, as well as vitamins B2 and B6.
From the diet should be excluded sweets, should limit the intake of food rich in carbohydrates, and give preference to protein products.
Without fail, patients suffering from severe forms of candidiasis are examined for their immune and endocrine status, and also the composition of the intestinal microflora is studied. In the event that deviations from the norm are detected, an adjustment is made and the treatment of the main diseases that caused the development of the pathological process is prescribed.
Folk methods of treatment of thrush
Traditional healers for treatment of thrush recommend the use of medicinal herbs, which have anti-inflammatory and astringent effect. Well-established daisy, oak bark, celandine, St. John's wort, calendula and bird cherry. From these plants prepare decoctions, and then use them for rinses and lotions, and also take inside.
At the same time, the medicinal properties of curdled milk, tea mushroom, kvass and garlic have long been known. These products contain a large number of phytoncides, vitamins and nutrients, as well as acids, which suppress the growth and reproduction of fungi. To restore damaged epithelial tissue, folk healers recommend using freshly squeezed carrot juice. It can be taken orally, and you can do lotions and rinses. Together with sugar, which is very "love" 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 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, immunosuppressants, hormones, and HIV-infected patients for a long time. All of them must be carefully examined and, if necessary, prescribe antifungal treatment.
In the treatment of thrush, affecting the genitourinary system, antifungal therapy should be performed by both sex partners.
Specialists do not recommend self-medication, especially with antibacterial agents.
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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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