Candidiasis, a fungal infection caused by the
fungus Candida, is a fatal disease that most commonly affects people with HIV. Being diagnosed with Candidiasis is
read as a sign of deteriorating HIV infection….the disease is often recurring, causing progressive decline in
health and ultimately leading to the death of the patient. The areas most affected by this disease are the mouth
and the vagina. Vaginal yeast infection is a very lethal disease for women. Other than these places, infection can
also occur on the skin, subsequently spreading to the entire body, but this is a rare condition.
The symptoms of this disease include great discomfort in the
affected areas, inflammation and whitish discharge from the vagina. If the infection does not clear up in a few
days, its best to consult a doctor and conduct a detailed diagnosis and tests. Since the symptoms of such infection
in its initial stages can often be mixed up with common bacterial infection…people have a tendency to ignore it.
For example, a patient having esophageal infection displays the same symptoms of the patient suffering from
candidiasis. Its only when an endoscopy is conducted that the doctor gets to know what the actual disease is. So
it’s always better to find out the cause of the infection before it’s too late.
Interestingly, the fungus causing candidiasis commonly occurs,
albeit in small quantities, in the mouth, throat and vagina. But the beneficial bacteria present
in the skin keep it from increasing its territory. The main causal factor for candidiasis is a weak immune system,
which makes the fungus expand easily. Also, the physical stress caused by chemotherapy weakens the immune system so
much that the disease often becomes chronic and each time it recurs it becomes more painful. There are also other
factors like mineral deficiencies but the cumulative factor is always the weakening of the immune system which
aggravates the condition.
One of the many reasons why Candidiasis is so dangerous is that it can’t be diagnosed easily. The source of infection may
be external, like the catheter, or internal, for example the affected organs. Blood tests seldom reveal the
infection since the fungus is either rarely present in blood, or has a fleeting presence. It is very important
not to let the disease recur after the first time, since the chances are that it can get more fatal the next
time. Some of the common medicines used to temporarily arrest this condition of candidiasis are nizoral and
diflucan. Both can be taken at meal times for a period of two to three weeks or till the infection clears.
However, doctors are still divided in their opinion about which drug is better. The popular opinions are that
the treatment should be started with the milder medicine ketaconazole or nizoral and then, if the symptoms still
persist, move on the stronger fluconazole or diflucan.