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The Candida albicans organism has been a topic of hot debate for quite some time now. While once an unknown, this tiny fungal creature can have a huge impact on your day to day health.

You may be familiar with the relationship between the good and bad bacterial flora within your body, but the reality of the situation is that the good bacteria in your body is also working to keep natural levels of Candida in balance as well. When the yeast to bacteria ratio becomes altered, you can end up with any of a wide variety of fungal infections.

Recognizing Acute Candida Infections

As with any other infection, something that is acute is rather quick in it's onset and has a rather short life. If you've had a very stressful life event, have been ill and have a compromised immune system, or have taken a course of antibiotics, you may end up with an acute Candida infection caused by the shift in bacterial balance because of your medications. You're likely familiar with the names of some of the more acute forms of Candida fungal infections.

Vaginal yeast infections impact many women on a regular basis. Women who have taken antibiotics often swear they'll get a vaginal infection right away. This is because of the major shift in the balance of Candida to bacteria in the vaginal area. Many women also recognize the symptoms of Candida each month, right before menstruation, because of the change in their vaginal pH during that time. In most cases, vaginal yeast infections can be treated with over the counter medications and creams.

Athlete's foot is perhaps one of the most annoying yeast-related problems people face. Believe it or not, this condition can impact not only your feet and toes but your hands and fingers as well. Athlete's foot often occurs if you wear shoes that are too tight, creating a warm, moist environment between the toes, or if you wear damp socks. This particular infection is mold-like in nature, and is rather aggressive. It's also highly contagious. You can often alleviate your symptoms by keeping your feet clean and dry and by using over the counter anti-fungal treatments.

Oral thrush is a condition a lot of people believe only impacts babies, but adult men and women can and do get it as well. Thrush occurs when the levels of Candida in your mouth build up to unnatural levels, causing lesions on your tongue and on the insides of your cheeks, ultimately making eating and swallowing painful and difficult. Those who have compromised immune systems, diabetes, or who use inhaled corticosteroid drugs are at a higher risk for developing this type of infection. It is often treated with yogurts and acidophilus capsules and, in more severe cases, with prescription antifungal medications.

There are several other infections related to yeast you may encounter as well.

Men may develop jock itch while younger people are more prone to developing ringworm and other fungal skin infections. Even tinea versicolor, a condition that causes white spots on your skin, is related to yeast. The important thing to remember is that acute infections often go away with a round of treatment and the restoration of bacterial/yeast balance in the body.

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