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Thrush (the medical name for candidiasis) is a type of fungal infection caused by microscopic yeast-like fungi of the genus Candida. The fungus settles on the skin and mucous membranes of all organs that have them: in the oral cavity, in the intestines, in the vagina, in the urinary tract.
Candidiasis can also affect internal organs (visceral, or deep candidiasis). Symptoms of candidiasis are: burning and itching in the area of the affected organs, white discharge, pain during intercourse (with genital localization of the process).
Thrush is a fairly common disease. According to statistics, 75% of women on the planet have suffered from thrush at least once in their lives. In the medical environment, candidiasis is considered an easily diagnosed and fairly easily curable disease. But people with a non-medical education have many misconceptions about thrush.
Thrush is a female disease. In fact, both women and men suffer from thrush. In women, thrush is usually localized in the vagina and external genitals, and in men, it affects the glans penis and foreskin. In both men and women, thrush is accompanied by itching and burning. In women - in the external genital area. In men - in the area of the glans penis and foreskin. In both sexes, thrush is characterized by pain during intercourse and urination. The only differences are that women with thrush have white, cheesy discharge from the vagina (hence the name of the disease), while men have white plaque on the head of the penis and white discharge, similar to semen, when urinating. Moreover, thrush occurs even in newborns. In this form of candidiasis, the cheeks and tongue of the child are covered with a whitish coating, reminiscent of cottage cheese. With timely diagnosis and proper treatment, this disease is not dangerous for the baby.
Thrush is a venereal disease. Candidiasis is not a sexually transmitted disease. He only has a clinical picture similar to them.
Thrush is sexually transmitted. Partly true. Although thrush can be transmitted sexually, most often the disease is not sexually transmitted. However, when thrush occurs, doctors recommend refraining from sexual intercourse until complete recovery - in order to exclude the possibility of infection of the sexual partner.
Having this fungus in your body means you have thrush. Wrong. The fact is that all healthy people have yeast-like fungi of the genus Candida. Moreover, a person is "infected" with these fungi in the first year of life (!). Their presence in the microflora of the vagina, colon and mouth is considered the norm. Thrush develops only when the number of these microorganisms exceeds the permissible norm.
The cause of thrush is a weakened immune system. Not only this. One of the reasons for the multiplication of Candida fungi in excess of the norm, in fact, are considered diseases that cause immunodeficiency. Such as diabetes mellitus. In addition, thrush can be provoked by conditions accompanied by a weakened immune system: pregnancy, lactation, taking antibiotics and contraceptives. A weakened body is unable to stop the growth of the fungus. But not only weakened immunity is the cause of thrush. The second reason is called changes in the microflora of the mucous membranes (mouth, vagina or intestines). The balance of the microflora of the mucous membranes can be disrupted due to malnutrition, antibiotics and weakened immunity. Thus, it turns out that thrush is provoked by all the same reasons that were listed above.
During pregnancy, it is impossible to treat thrush. This is a common mistake of expectant mothers. Noticing the symptoms of thrush, they are in no hurry to take medication for fear of harming the baby's health. But thrush during pregnancy is a very common occurrence. There are two reasons for this: firstly, pregnancy weakens the immunity of the expectant mother, and secondly, during pregnancy, hormonal changes also change the microflora of the woman's vagina. And an imbalance in microflora, as mentioned above, provokes thrush. In fact, it is not only possible to treat thrush during pregnancy, but also necessary. Not only in order to get rid of her unpleasant symptoms, but also in order to protect the baby from infection with candida fungi during the passage through the birth canal. Treatment of thrush in pregnant women causes minimal harm to the unborn child, since drugs with low toxicity are chosen for pregnant women. And they are not used orally, but intravaginally.
Sweet tooth lovers are more likely to get thrush. The level of sugar in human blood is a constant value and does not depend on the amount of sweets eaten. But in those suffering from diabetes, the risk of contracting thrush is indeed higher than in healthy people. But this is due to weakened immunity.
There is a special diet for the prevention of thrush. Some people believe that eating yeast foods (buns) and cheeses with mold increases the growth of the fungus. And the use of fermented milk products, preferably with bifidobacteria, slows down the growth of these microorganisms. In addition, it is recommended to eat foods with antimicrobial properties: garlic, red pepper, grapefruit, tea tree oil. In fact, there is still no scientifically substantiated study to support this theory.
Thrush can be cured with caramel. Partly true. Indeed, for the treatment of thrush, it is sometimes advised to use caramel containing lactulose. But the effectiveness of this method of treatment is still being questioned by many doctors.
Thrush can be cured by boosting immunity. If the number of fungi of the genus Candida has already exceeded the permissible norm on the mucous membrane, the disease can only be cured with special drugs. Immunomodulatory drugs can only serve as an adjunct to the main treatment. That is, you first need to cure thrush, and only then eliminate the factors that provoked its development.
Thrush can be cured without a visit to the doctor. It is a myth. For example, many ladies are trying to cure thrush with vaginal tablets and broad-spectrum suppositories. But such treatment will not have a result, and most likely, it will aggravate the disease, because these drugs suppress the normal microflora of the mucous membrane. Only a doctor can correctly diagnose the disease and prescribe treatment. In addition, it is unlikely that the pharmacy will give you the necessary medicines without a doctor's prescription. So, if you have symptoms of thrush, the best solution would be to visit a doctor.