Common Candida Symptoms

Candida infections, though common, are not often understood. Most people think of Candidiasis, or yeast overgrowth, as the type of yeast infection often advertised in television commercials aimed toward women. While vaginal yeast infections are one of the most common types of Candida overgrowth, there are actually many other types of yeast infection that can cause a wide range of symptoms. These symptoms can be very diverse, and the same type of infection may affect two different people in very different ways. Since the symptoms vary so much from one person to the next, doctors often have a hard time nailing down the exact cause of a particular patient’s complaints.

Millions of people are suffering undiagnosed Candida infections, which can cause persistent and troubling symptoms that appear to have no clear cause. Candida infection has also been linked to a large number of other diseases, as either a causative factor or co-morbid condition. Since these links are often misunderstood or not well known, treating these diseases becomes quite complicated. It is often through their own research and individual efforts that a patient will address their own Candida infection and begin to see an improvement in their symptoms.

Common Candida Symptoms

Candida infection symptoms manifest in many different ways. For some people the symptoms are related to brain function, such as:

1) Blurring of vision
2) Difficulty concentrating
3) Poor short term memory
4) Mood swings or unpredictable personality changes
5) Anxiety attacks
6) Depression
7) Irritability
8) Migraines or other headaches
9) Difficulty sleeping
10 ) “Brain fog”
11)  Sensitivity to sensory stimuli like smells, sounds
12)  Sensitivity to certain foods or chemicals
13)  Lightheadedness
14) Fainting

Other common symptoms from Candida infection involve the digestive system. These symptoms will include things like:

1) Irritable bowel
2) Projectile vomiting
3) Intolerance to gluten
4) Intolerance to alcohol
5) Painful gas or bloating
6) Constipation
7) Diarrhea
8) Acid reflux

Other Candida symptoms relate to the skin or surface tissues of the body, such as:

1) Canker sores
2) Vaginal yeast infections
3) Jock itch
4) Itching around the rectum
5) White coating on the tongue
6) Skin rashes
7) Eczema
8) Dandruff
9) Acne
10) Dermatitis
11) Athlete’s Foot
12) Fungal infections of fingernails or toenails

In addition to all of the above symptoms, which are often quite clear and noticeable, chronic infection with Candida organisms can also cause a range of other health conditions. Some patients may not even realize a link with Candida until they begin connecting the dots by doing their own research. These health conditions include:

1) Anemia
2) Irregular heartbeat
3) Low sex drive
4) Muscle weakness and fatigue
5) Hypertension (high blood pressure)
6) Dizziness
7) Allergies
8) Menstrual problems (severe PMS)
9) Frequent ear infections
10) Sensitivity to heat or cold
11) Tension or soreness in the neck and shoulders
12) Frequent urination
13) Aversion to being touched
14) Night sweats or chills
15) Unexplained weight loss
16) Mild fever or low body temperature

Thanks to television commercials, vaginal yeast infections are one of the most commonly recognized manifestations of Candida overgrowth. Men can also contract yeast infections in the genitals. However, the symptoms associated with Candida infection are clearly much more widespread than those common types of infections. As you can see from the lists above, Candida infection can involve the entire body, and can cause a huge variety of symptoms that range from mild to extremely bothersome. In fact, suffering repeated vaginal yeast infections is usually a sign of a more widespread internal infection, not simply a problem within the vagina. Candida infection should be considered a systemic problem which affects the entire body, and treatment should be directed toward curing the internal infection rather than simply treating the symptoms.

Aside from the fact that treating a Candida infection will lead to relief from the above symptoms, it may also help to avoid other chronic diseases. Though it is unclear whether yeast is the direct cause or only one of several factors leading to the development of these diseases, the following conditions are thought to be related to chronic Candida infection:

1) Alzheimer’s
2) Major Depressive Disorder
3) Fibromyalgia
4) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
5) Meniere’s Disease
6) Leaky gut
7) Crohn’s Disease
8) Rosacia
9) Psoriasis
10) Adrenal Dysfunction
11) Lupus
12) Celiac Disease
13) Chronic Sinusitis
14) Macular Degeneration
15) Barret’s Esophagus

Finally, some research even indicates a link between Candida and conditions such as ADHD, autism, and schizophrenia. While there is no solid proof of these claims as of yet, the link has been indicated by several different research studies. In treating those conditions, some patients are finding that addressing underlying Candida overgrowth is effective in bringing about at least partial relief of symptoms.

Conclusion

For anyone who has been diagnosed with one of the above conditions, or for those who have any combination of unexplained symptoms such as the ones listed here, a Candida infection should be suspected. This infection will often affect the entire body, and may not always be apparent to the patient because so many symptoms seem unrelated. Once the underlying systemic infection has been addressed, the patient will often find significant relief from his or her symptoms.

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Vaginitis

What is Vaginitis?

Vaginitis is an umbrella term that actually encompasses two separate, but very similar conditions. The term “vaginitis” simply refers to an inflammation of the vagina. The condition can affect women of any age, and is very common. It may be caused by a transmittable infection, or by factors relating to the woman’s own body chemistry.

While some women may be asymptomatic, most will notice an array of symptoms including an itching or burning sensation, discharge, and possibly a foul odor in the area. Pain or irritation may become worse when attempting sexual intercourse. There will usually be some noticeable signs of irritation, such as redness or swelling of the labia or perineum.

Causes of Vaginitis

The most common cause of vaginitis is Candida infection, or what most women refer to as a yeast infection. Yeast infections are rarely caused by simply coming into contact with yeast. The underlying cause relates to the patient’s body chemistry and even their diet. One common cause of yeast infections is douching, which many women ironically do to feel clean. Douching removes the “good” bacteria, which are supposed to be present in the vagina to control the growth of Candida, and then yeast is able to multiply uncontrolled. When using antibiotics to control bacterial infections, sometimes the bacteria levels in the vagina decline as well, and a yeast infection can result.

Yeast infections are also related to diet, such as consuming too much processed sugar and a lack of probiotics in the intestinal tract. Occasionally, women with diabetes may suffer repeated yeast infections due to the imbalance of sugars in the body. Treatments for a yeast infection can range from prescription medications and topical creams, to a more holistic natural remedy which is more effective in the long term.

The other main type of vaginitis results from bacterial infection. The most common cause of bacterial vaginal infection is a bacteria called Gardnerella. Other bacterial culprits may be gonnorhea, chlamydia, Trichomonas, Mycoplasma, or Campylobacter. Some of these bacteria may be introduced to the vagina through sexual contact, while others result from poor personal hygiene habits. The vagina can also become vulnerable to infection when the woman’s own hormones are imbalanced. This usually seen in women who are postmenopausal, recently gave birth, or are prepubescent, and is caused by low levels of estrogen. When a bacterial infection is present, treatment typically includes a course of antibiotics.

Symptoms

The symptoms of both bacterial and yeast infections in the vagina may seem quite similar. They both include itching, burning, pain, and possible redness. However, the two types of infection will produce a noticeably different discharge in the patient. Yeast infections will cause a watery, white discharge that looks like cottage cheese. This type of discharge is the classic sign of a vaginal yeast infection. Bacterial infection symptoms differ depending upon the type of bacteria that is present. This type of infection may produce discharge, or cause very dry conditions within the vagina. The odor associated with bacterial infections is a distinct, fish-like odor that most physicians recognize almost immediately upon examination.

Prevention

As with many other health conditions, vaginitis can often be prevented by knowing risk factors for the condition and avoiding or correcting them when possible. Vaginitis can be prevented by exercising caution with sexual partners (using condoms) and by maintaining good personal hygiene habits, such as wiping from front to back when using the bathroom. This prevents bacteria around the rectum from entering the vagina. Refraining from douching will also ensure that levels of helpful bacteria remain where they are supposed to be, and the pH of the vagina will be more stable and healthy.

Women should also refrain from wearing overly tight clothing. Since some women notice an irritation of the vagina during menstruation, switching to organic cotton tampons which are chemical-free is often recommended. Spermicide, some soaps and perfumes, colored tissues paper and latex condoms are other common irritants which upset the pH of the vagina and lead to infection. Avoiding the use of hot tubs is also recommended.

When a woman’s own body chemistry is a suspected cause of repeated vaginal infections, hormone replacement therapy may be necessary. Others may need to become aware of how their dietary choices impact their bodily chemistry and lead to infection, especially when yeast has been a persistent problem. Persistent and repeated yeast infections may be an indication that a blood sugar test should be done to rule out undiagnosed diabetes.

Complications

Most episodes of vaginitis are easily remedied by treating either the underlying yeast or bacterial infection. However, repeated yeast infections which are often treated by prescription medications, may lead to a persistent infection with drug-resistant yeast. Yeast can spread throughout the body and cause a wide variety of symptoms and health problems aside from vaginitis. This is why the natural remedy is the preferred method of dealing with a yeast infection, rather than using a prescription medication and risking the downward cycle of drug-resistance and worsening infection.

Untreated bacterial infections can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which infects the entire reproductive system. This can cause harm such as premature delivery during future pregnancies, and even fertility. Some studies have even linked chronic bacterial vaginitis with an increased risk of HIV. Since the risk of complications can be quite serious, seeking an accurate diagnosis from a physician is imperative before attempting to treat any type of vaginal infection.

More information on vaginitis can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaginitis

Thrush

In adults, thrush is most commonly associated with those who have compromised immune systems, such as those who are HIV positive, but anyone can contract thrush if the conditions are right within their body.

Despite its strange name, thrush is actually just a yeast infection found within the mouth. Infants usually come into contact with yeast when traveling through the birth canal, and some may have an underdeveloped immune system and be unable to counteract the exposure. They may also contract it from their mothers who experience hormonal changes after birth which encourage the growth of yeast. Often thrush is passed back and forth between a breastfeeding mother and her baby, resulting in an oral infection for the baby and an infection of the nipples for the mother. If a breastfeeding baby contracts thrush then both mother and child may be treated in order to prevent the disease from recurring.

Like other types of yeast infection, thrush in an adult may signify a more widespread yeast infection throughout the body. It may be related to immune system deficiencies, hormonal imbalance, or improper diet which encourages the growth of yeast. Yeast infections in both babies and adults may also result from the use of antibiotics to treat bacterial infections. While antibiotics are helpful in killing bacteria which are harmful to the body and cause illness, they may also eliminate the helpful “good” bacteria which are supposed to exist within the body to control the growth of yeast. When the levels of good bacteria are depleted, yeast can run rampant within the body, infecting the genitals, mouth, and other areas of the body.

Symptoms of Thrush

An oral yeast infection can be quite painful, so often the first sign of thrush in babies is resistance to feeding. Some babies will appear very hungry, but upon latching onto the breast or bottle will push it back out of their mouths and scream in pain. Adults with thrush face similar pain upon attempting to eat or drink.

Thrush is fairly easy to spot, as it will leave white patches on the tongue or insides of cheeks. These patches may have a creamy appearance and look like cottage cheese. The patches may not easily wipe off, but if they do will leave a red, inflamed area underneath that may bleed.

A breastfeeding mother whose baby suffers from thrush may also develop a yeast infection on her nipples. However, many breastfeeding mothers never contract the infection from their babies. Likewise, many breastfeeding babies are not affected by their mother’s yeast infections. This is likely due to individual tolerance to yeast within the body.

Thrush can also spread down the esophagus, causing further pain upon attempting to eat or drink.

Treatment

Treatment of an oral yeast infection will often involve a prescription anti-fungal rinse that is swished around in the mouth and then swallowed. If the case involves a breastfeeding baby and mother, they may both be treated so that recurrence can be avoided.

As with any type of yeast infection, thrush – especially when it is a chronic problem – is often a sign of an imbalance within the body which leaves the patient prone to these types of infections. While prescription medications can be effective in temporarily clearing up a yeast infection, what they really do is simply kill off the current yeast overgrowth. If the conditions within the body are not recognized and changed, thrush and other types of yeast infections can simply return over and over again. In fact, recurring yeast infections can often develop a strong resistance to the prescription anti-fungal medications which are commonly used to treat them. This can lead to more suffering down the road as the patient contracts infections which become more difficult to treat. For this reason, a natural yeast infection remedy is usually the best choice. The conditions within the body which allowed the overgrowth of yeast in the first place can be altered so that the body develops a better resistance to yeast. This will prevent further outbreaks of yeast infections and is more time- and cost-effective in the long run.

Yeast Infections and Other Common Ailments

Most people associate the term “yeast infection” with television commercials promoting products to cure vaginal yeast infections. While that type of yeast infection is extremely common, with most women suffering at least one of these infections in their lifetimes, there are other types of yeast infections which are not nearly as infamous and easily recognized. Yeast can also cause infections in male genitals, body creases such as armpits or groin, or in the mouth (known as thrush).

Aside from these fairly recognizable ailments, which usually present quite obvious symptoms, yeast overgrowth within the body has been implicated in a wide range of less widely-understood medical conditions. While there is not a 100 percent agreement upon the role of yeast in these conditions, evidence suggests widespread systemic yeast infection may contribute to medical conditions such as the following:

  1. Migraine headaches
  2. Mood disorders such as depression
  3. Unexplained weight gain
  4. Chronic fatigue
  5. Fibromyalgia
  6. Asthma
  7. Psoriasis
  8. “Foggy brain”, or difficulty with concentration and memory
  9. Allergies or food sensitivities
  10. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  11. Behavioral disorders in children
  12. Sexual dysfunction

Origin of Internal Yeast Infections

A type of yeast called Candida is most often associated with yeast infections. Candida actually lives within the body in small amounts at all times, and in normal healthy individuals should not cause a problem. The numbers of Candida organisms are controlled by beneficial bacteria which also live within the body and feed on the yeast. The organisms maintain a delicate balance which is not harmful to their human host unless this balance is disturbed. When yeast begins to multiply beyond its normal level, an infection that can affect many different parts of the body is the result.

The levels of bacteria which normally control the growth of yeast may be disturbed for many different reasons. One common cause is the use of antibiotics. While antibiotics are very helpful in killing harmful bacteria which cause infections, they also can reduce the numbers of helpful bacteria within the body. With nothing to control its growth, Candida can begin multiplying very quickly. This is a very common problem in patients who are HIV positive or have other immune system disorders which necessitate frequent or long-term use of antibiotics.

Since yeast feed upon sugar and thrive in environments with a high sugar content, diet also plays a role in the development of yeast infections. For this reason, diabetes is often a contributing factor, as those with diabetes have chronically higher blood sugar levels.

Other causes of internal yeast infections may be related to hormone imbalances, such as those commonly seen during pregnancy and menopause. Also, any disruption of the immune system can lead to an internal imbalance which encourages the growth of yeast.

Alternative Treatments

Those who suffer from the above ailments are often frustrated by the general lack of effective treatment options available to them. Many of these conditions are not fully understood, and no cure or satisfactory symptom management is currently available. Research into the causes and possible cures of these ailments is ongoing, but in the meantime many patients are becoming more willing to try safe alternative medical treatments.

Since Candida overgrowth has been implicated in the above conditions, it makes sense that a natural yeast infection remedy is often very helpful to these patients. Unlike traditional medical treatments, which often only mask the symptoms of a disease, this type of alternative medical treatment seeks to address the root of the problem. This remedy changes the conditions within the body which led to widespread systemic yeast infection in the first place. Once those conditions have been corrected, yeast is unable to cause any more problems, because it can no longer flourish and infect the patient.

Treating a yeast infection the natural and holistic way is actually quite simple to do. It involves dietary modifications and correction of the body’s internal balance of beneficial bacteria which control the growth of yeast. The treatment also helps to promote a healthier immune system so that the body can more effectively fight off infections within the body. Patients often feel an improvement in symptoms within a matter of days. In just a few weeks a drastic difference is noted.

For those who suffer the mysterious ailments listed above, especially those tired of waiting for answers, a natural solution to widespread internal yeast infection may be the answer they have been seeking. This link provides extensive information on treatment of the underlying cause of the problem your body has rather than treating only symptoms.

Side Effects of Yeast Infection Medications

There are a number of yeast infection medications available. These treatments can be obtained over the counter at a pharmacy, or even at dollar stores. There are also prescription strength medications which require a doctor visit for a confirmation of the diagnosis before they can be used. Basically these are just stronger, more concentrated versions of the medications available over the counter. Medications for yeast infections come in two forms. There are creams and gels which are applied topically, and pills which combat the infection from within. For some very stubborn or severe yeast infections, doctors and pharmacists sometimes recommend using both forms of treatment.

How Yeast Infection Medications Work

It is normal for yeast to be present within the body in small amounts. Sometimes, however, the yeast will begin to multiply and grow beyond the level which can easily be controlled by the body’s immune system. Medications that combat yeast work on a cellular level. They block certain functions within the yeast cells, and the organisms begin to die. When the level of yeast in the body is returned to normal low levels, symptoms will disappear. This does not mean yeast is completely eradicated from the body, and if the cause of the overgrowth is not correct the yeast can grow out of control again in the future.

Side Effects

As with most medications, side effects from yeast infection medications are usually mild. Common side effects may include the following:

  1. Headache
  2. Cramping in the belly
  3. Nausea or loss of appetite
  4. Rash
  5. Metallic taste in the mouth

Generally speaking, these side effects do not cause serious problems for the patient.

In addition to the minor side effects listed above, some people may experience an allergic reaction to the medication. If a patient experiences these signs of adverse reaction, they should call 911 or seek emergency care:

  1. Hives
  2. Difficulty breathing
  3. Swelling (lips, tongue, throat, or face)

More serious, but rare, complications may include:

  1. Seizures
  2. Encephalopathy
  3. Meningitis
  4. Nerve damage in extremities

The above complications are extremely rare, but they can happen. For this reason, patients should always tell their physicians about any medication they are taking, even if it is over the counter creams or pills. This can shorten the time it takes to make a diagnosis in emergency situations.

Drug Interactions

Yeast infection medications can interfere with other drugs. Patients who are using certain blood thinners should seek a physician’s advice before using any product for their yeast infection, because certain ones can interfere with blood thinners and cause bleeding problems. These medications may also interfere with drugs designed to combat HIV infection.

If a patient is taking any of the following medications, a doctor’s advice should be sought before treating a yeast infection due to potentially serious interactions (medications are listed by their generic names) :

  1. Wayfarin
  2. Cimetidine
  3. Amprenavir
  4. Carbamazepine
  5. Lithium
  6. Cyclosporine

Pregnant women should also seek a doctor’s advice if a yeast infection develops. Early in pregnancy there is potential for harmful side effects in the fetus if the wrong medication is used. Many women may prefer to try a natural treatment to deal with their yeast infections, since using any drug during pregnancy does carry a small risk to the developing baby.

Risk Vs Benefit

As with all medications, patients and their physicians weigh the risks of using a particular drug against the intended benefits. In most cases side effects are mild, but clearly there are circumstances in which yeast infection medications can cause harm. For this reason it is important to read all package inserts carefully and immediately report side effects to a qualified physician. Also, patients who experience serious side effects are advised to bring their medication with them when visiting a doctor or hospital for treatment.

Conclusion

In most cases, the noticeable side effects of yeast infection medications are quite mild. However, a more important consequence of using these medications may be that they encourage yeast organisms to develop a resistance to the drugs used to combat them. This can contribute to more severe, stubborn infections in the future. The risk of recurring infections, as well as the slight risk of serious side effects, has led many people to look for alternative natural treatments that are safer and offer a more permanent solution.

Yeast Infection During Pregnancy

Any time a health problem arises during pregnancy, it causes extra concern. You aren’t only worried about yourself at this point; you are also worried about the effect the problem has on the baby. You may also be reluctant to use medications or other treatments due to the additional risk of harm to your unborn child. Yeast infections are no exception to this rule, but the good news is that you can take care of your infection and protect your baby at the same time.

Why It Happens

Even if you have never suffered a yeast infection before, you should not be surprised if one occurs during pregnancy. The hormones of pregnancy can change the pH levels in your vagina, and your immune system is weakened as well. These changes can provide the perfect environment for yeast to flourish and cause an infection.

Effect on the Baby

When you’re pregnant, it can be really scary to contract an illness of any kind. The good news is that most infections only affect you. During pregnancy a thick plug of mucus blocks the cervix, or the opening into the uterus where your baby is growing. Even if you have an infection in your vagina, this plug usually blocks it from spreading up into your uterus and harming the baby. For system-wide infections of all types, the placenta can act as a filter to keep many germs away from your developing baby.

As long as you treat a yeast infection promptly, your baby should be just fine. You do want to clear up the infection, of course, because your baby’s health does depend upon you staying healthy. The main consideration, as with any illness, is to make sure the medications you use to treat your illness are safe for both you and the baby.

Seeking Treatment

The main thing to remember when treating a yeast infection during pregnancy is to visit your doctor before trying any medications. This includes over the counter medications as well as prescription ones. Even over the counter medications should be avoided until you have spoken to your doctor and received advice on your condition. While most treatments are safe to use during pregnancy, there are some that can be dangerous for your baby during the first trimester. For this reason, and for your own peace of mind, it is best to follow your doctor’s advice carefully.

Another reason to see your doctor first is to make sure you really have a yeast infection. There are other conditions which may cause similar symptoms, and you want to make sure you are treating the right type of infection. Some other types of problems, if left unchecked because you are using the wrong treatments, could end up being harmful to your baby. Therefore it is always best to see your doctor any time you have a health concern during pregnancy. This is not the time for self-diagnosis.

Using a Natural Treatment

Even if your doctor assures you that the medication he or she prescribed is safe for your baby, you may still have doubts. These fears are not unfounded, since many drugs once thought to be safe for use during pregnancy have been later discovered to be quite harmful. If you are the “better safe than sorry” type, then you may be tempted to use a natural treatment to combat your yeast infection. Natural yeast infection treatments involve dietary modifications and replacement of probiotics which naturally exist within your body anyway. By using this type of treatment you can be one hundred percent certain that nothing you are putting into your body is harming your baby in any way. If you decide to use this type of treatment, talk to your doctor about your decision. Most likely he or she will respect your decision to play it absolutely safe. You can read more about this option here.

Conclusion

Whether you decide to use a natural remedy or a medication to treat your yeast infection, the main thing to remember is to talk it over with your doctor first. He or she needs to know everything that is going on in order to keep you in your best health during your pregnancy. As long as you treat your yeast infection promptly and avoid medications known to be harmful, you can rest assured that your baby has been blissfully unaware of your entire ordeal.

What is Candida?

Candida is a type of fungus that causes infections commonly known as Candidiasis, or yeast infections. Candida normally exists within the body in a form that does not cause problems for the host. In particular, Candida lives in the mouth and gut of its host, and is considered a normal part of the digestive flora which are always present within the digestive tract. Candida also lives within the vagina in women, and in its usual form is undetectable by the host and causes no problems. Candida can also be found on the skin, around the nail beds, within the respiratory tract, and in or around the anus.

A delicate balance exists between Candida and various types of bacteria, which feed upon it and therefore keep the fungus under control. However, if conditions are right Candida will mutate and multiply, and a yeast infection will result.

Two Forms of Candida

In its asymptomatic form, which does not cause problems for the host, Candida exists as unicellular yeast. These are single celled organisms which feed upon sugars inside the host, playing a role in digestion and participating in the complex ecosystem of microscopic organisms normally present in healthy individuals.

When environmental conditions are right, the Candida cells can be activated and switch over to multicellular, filamentous structures called hyphae. Once activated and morphed into this multicellular form, Candida can grow quickly unchecked by the host, and becomes invasive and harmful. In its hypha form, Candida is capable of invading tissues of the body and causing damage to them. This is the form which causes the symptoms of a yeast infection.

What Causes the Transformation

Several different environmental factors can cause unicellular Candida organisms to transform into the infectious, multicellular hypha form. Changes in the pH levels of the environment (the host’s body) can trigger the transformation. One example of this is seen in pregnant or menopausal women. When hormone levels shift, pH levels also change and signal Candida to shift into its hypha form.

In many cases, overuse of antibiotics is the culprit. While antibiotics are helpful in combating bacterial infections, they also tend to kill off the bacteria which normally prevent the growth of Candida. Immunosuppressive medications, such as those used to treat cancer, also play a role by limiting the host’s natural ability to control infections. Candida appears to be an opportunistic organism; when the conditions are beneficial it will quickly take advantage of the situation and multiply.

Mutation and Adaptation

One of the main factors which causes difficulty in treating yeast infections is the organism’s ability to mutate and adapt quickly. This is the cause of multiple, recurring infections that become progressively difficult to treat. Candida multiplies rapidly, and can implement changes to its DNA code in order to thwart its host’s attempts to kill it or limit its growth. The organism accomplishes this through contracting or expanding repeats in its DNA structure, chromosomal translocation, chromosomal deletion, or trisomy in which a third chromosome is added to a pair.

Possessing a variety of strategies to alter its own DNA quickly means Candida is easily capable of responding to an assault by developing a resistance to medications. When a particular medication is introduced into the host environment, it may appear to work at first. Quickly, however, Candida begins to alter its DNA so that it becomes less vulnerable to the effects of the drug. This adaptation means a medication that was once helpful in controlling infection may become useless for future infections. As with most adaptive mutations, these changes help Candida to flourish and become stronger within the host environment. A person with recurring yeast infections will usually find each subsequent infection to be more stubborn and difficult to treat, and symptoms may become more severe as well.