What is thrush and what causes it?
Thrush is the overgrowth of yeast or fungus commonly Candida albicans that is normally resident in the mouth, vagina and other mucous membranes of the body. Other types of fungi that cause thrush include Candida tropicalis and Candida glabrata.
What are the types of thrush?
Thrush can be classified depending on the areas it affects. Oral thrush affects the inside mouth region, while vaginal thrush affects the vagina and surrounding regions.
What are the signs and Symptoms of thrush?
Thrush appears as thick white or creamy-colored spots or deposits on the surface of the mouth, tongue or vagina. The spot may also be raised and can join to form larger ones known as plaques. Wiping the spots often causes bleeding.
The mouth becomes sore and there is difficulty in swallowing especially in infants.
Infants may develop nappy rash since thrush –causing yeast may be in the baby’s stool.
Adults with thrush will experience a burning feeling in the mouth and throat.
Difficulty in tasting foods or a bad taste in the mouth
What conditions increase the risk of developing thrush?
Some of the conditions that increase the risk of one developing thrush include:
- Age – newborns and older adults are more at risk of developing thrush.
- Monthly periods
- Weakened immune system caused by diseases such as HIV/AIDS
- Use of dentures
- Certain antibiotics and steroids can trigger thrush
- Use of excessive mouthwash
- Wearing of tight fitting synthetic clothing
- Use of perfumed soaps and bubble bath
What are the ways of treating thrush naturally/home remedies for thrush
Some of the known home remedies that can be used to treat thrush include yogurt, clove oil and apple cider vinegar.
What are the medical treatments used on thrush?
For oral thrush, the anti-thrush drugs prescribed include nystatin, ampotericin or miconazole. These are in the form of drops, gel, topical oral suspension or lozenges.
For vaginal thrush treatment includes topical treatments such as clotrimazole, econazole or miconazole. Others are fluconazole or itraconazole tablets.
Can thrush be sexually transmitted?
Yes, it is possible for thrush to be transmitted from an infected partner during unprotected sexual intercourse. However it should be noted that thrush is not strictly sexually transmitted.
How does one prevent thrush?
To prevent infection by thrush, one needs to avoid or minimize those factors that increase the risk of developing it such a tight fitting clothes, avoiding perfumed soaps, regular change of sanitary wear and maintaining a well balanced diet.
How is Thrush diagnosed?
Diagnosis of thrush is mainly done by looking at the mouth or vagina while the doctor asks questions about the symptoms. Some tissue may be scraped for analysis.