Candidiasis is a serious illness. Although one may easily disregard its severity, especially for those who only have skin or cutaneous manifestations, it is important to know that this strain of fungus can actually be lethal, and should be given medical attention, especially if episodes or recurrences are noted.
According to medical experts, Candida albicans, the fungus causing the infection, enters one's system at birth after passing through the birth canal. A healthy amount of fungus stays in the system and is maintained by the normal flora. However, in immunocompromised patients, there is a disruption in the normal flora and the system becomes challenged. The good fungus are killed and the imbalance among the normal strain and disease-causing strain begins. This is when candidiasis manifests either as a skin problem, vaginal yeast infection, genitourinary illness, esophagitis or even sepsis.
Immunocompromised patients, like those with AIDS, HIV or cancer are easily affected by candidiasis. As mentioned earlier, it really affects a person when the immune system is compromised. In patients with AIDS, HIV or cancer, the main problem is their immune system. Due to chemotherapy, cancer patients experience a weakening of their immune system. This gives the fungus greater chance to cause disease. Similarly, AIDS or HIV patients, being immunocompromised patients, can easily contact this disease. The gravity of this illness is worsened when Candida becomes largely present in the bloodstream. Multiple organ failures can be noted if this is untreated.
Studies show that transplant patients also have a higher probability of getting such an infection. Candida seems to be the leading strain causing fungal infection for these patients. Again, it should be noted that transplant patients are immunocompromised also. The patients can acquire the disease through the hospital environment too. Air and water are very potent ways of fungal transfer.
To prevent further widespread of Candida, fluconazole is administered. Since the 1990s, the statistics of immunocompromised patients contacting this infection has gone down dramatically because of the immediate administration of this drug.
Due to the nature of the diseases of the patients, non-pharmaceutical options are also explored. Chemotherapy and the presence of other drugs during treatment are not something welcomed by these patients. Because of this, herbal options are now being considered, some of which have been proven to be effective for non-immunocompromised patients with candidiasis. For patients whose immune system is compromised, on the other hand, herbal treatment of the infection still needs further studies.
Changing one's diet to fight candidiasis may also help the healing process. Again, this may be hard to achieve in patients with HIV, AIDS and cancer. Introduction of castor bean oil and shark oil in the person's diet have shown promising results for some patients. This could actually have a future in helping patients with compromised immune systems.
Lastly, it should be noted that patients can still get cured of their candidiasis despite the situation of their immune system. It is not impossible to rid one's self of this yeast infection. Unfortunately, studies and reports show that these patients have a very high chance of recurrence, primarily because of the nature of their immune system. They should be very careful of the water hey drink and the medical tools that are used on them. Catheterization and blood transfers should be handled with utmost care to avoid possible episodes of candidiasis. It is not impossible to avoid this infection, although the risk is high. Practicing utmost caution when dealing with these patients may be the key to ensuring a Candida-free environment.