What is a yeast infection?
Often women with yeast infections will see Dr. JJ because they have vaginal yeast infection (Candidiasis: vaginitis caused by Candida albicans (a yeast).
This is a very common complaint for women. Causes could include their immune system being compromised or stressed and some women get it from their partner. Dr. JJ has had some patients where he has treated their yeast infection and it has cleared up, but keeps coming back. They then test their partner only to discover that he has a yeast infection (yes, males can get yeast infections too). A man can have a yeast infection and not show any symptoms.
There is another diagnosis of a "whole body yeast infection" or "systemic yeast infection" called Candida, which Dr. JJ does not agree with. This is usually a group of general symptoms that are then labeled as candida or a yeast infection. Dr. JJ believes that these symptoms are usually due to digestive problems and not having a well-balanced gastrointestinal flora.
There are a number of things that can affect the balance of your flora, including anti-biotics. While there are many instances where it is necessary to take an anti-biotic to fight an infection, it is also important to take a pro-biotic when you are taking anti-biotics (not at the same time, take the probiotic a few hours after taking the anti-biotic), to help replenish the good bacteria. Once the full prescription of anti-biotics has been taken, Dr. JJ will often recommend his patients continue to take probiotics for up to a month.
What are some common symptoms of yeast infection?
Yeast infection symptoms for women include vaginal discharge, itchiness and pain during sexual intercourse. For those with "candida" or gastrointestinal imbalance they may have gas, bloating, itchiness around the anus. In babies, cancer patients and HIV patients yeast may present itself orally as thrush (white spots on the tongue, or a white coating on the tongue that doesn't go away).
Men often don't show symptoms of yeast infections (they are asymptomatic). So a man can have a yeast infection and not realize it.
How do you diagnose a yeast infection?