Candidiasis (Yeast Infection) (cont.)
Candidiasis Yeast Infection Causes
- In women, yeast infections are the second most common reason for vaginal burning, itching, and discharge. Yeasts are found in the vagina of 20%
to 50% of healthy women and can overgrow if the environment in the vagina changes. Antibiotic and steroid use is the most common reason for yeast overgrowth. But pregnancy, menstruation, sperm, diabetes, and
birth control pills also can contribute to getting a yeast infection. Yeast infections are more common after menopause
- In people who have a weakened immune system because of cancer treatments, steroids, or diseases such as AIDS, candidal infections can occur throughout the entire body and can be life-threatening. The blood, brain, eye, kidney, and heart are most frequently affected, but
Candida also can grow in the lungs, liver, and spleen. Candida is a leading cause of esophagitis (inflammation in the swallowing tube) in people with AIDS.
- Almost 15% of people with weakened immune systems develop a systemic illness caused by Candida. These infections enter into the bloodstream through breakdowns or cuts in the skin or mucous
membranes. Candidal organisms may build up in an area because of frequent use of
antibiotics, which kill the bacteria that normally keep
them under control.
- Use of devices implanted in the skin such as urinary catheters and IV ports also provide access for the yeast to enter the body. IV drug
users utilizing dirty needles may inject the yeast directly into their bloodstream or deep tissues.
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