Yeast Signs & Symptoms

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Yeast Infection In Men

One man wrote to an Internet advice service asking whether or not it was possible to have a genital yeast infection in men, after having sex with his infected girlfriend. Like many men, he had previously thought only women got these genital infections.

The answer, from James M Steckleberg, M.D., was to the effect that although Candida infections are in fact more common in women than men, it’s entirely possible for a yeast infection in men to develop  on the genitals after unprotected sex — which means sex without a condom — with a woman who has an infection of the vulva or vagina.

The interesting thing, however, is that even if a woman does have a yeast infection, it is not certain that a man having sex with her will contract it. Indeed, the good doctor claims that sexual transmission of Candida albicans infections is somewhat uncommon.

What can make a man more susceptible to infection is prolonged antibiotic use. As we know this is due to the fact that the probiotic bacteria which inhibit the overgrowth of Candida are destroyed by antibiotic use, leaving the yeast cells free to flourish.

Furthermore, he observes that men who have diabetes or some kind of immune system deficiency, in particular HIV, are more susceptible to yeast infections in men. He then emphasizes that the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection include a reddish rash, and a feeling of itching or burning on the glans of the penis.

He recommends monistat as an over-the-counter remedy, to be used twice daily for a week. Even so, the fact remains that if a man and his partner both have symptoms of Candida albicans infection, it’s important that they both receive treatment, because otherwise the possibility of constant reinfection may occur. It’s also a good idea to avoid sexual contact until the infection has completely cleared up in both partners.

Thrush is another name for Candidiasis. As discussed before, it usually affects the head of the penis, or the glans penis, in men, and is responsible for inflammation, pain on urination, and occasionally the classic whitish discharge which is often likened to cottage cheese. Candida albicans and other yeast species can also affect the skin, a condition known as Candidal skin infection; this may occur inside the mouth, in which case the condition is known as oral thrush.

The British National Health Service website says that if think you may have contracted thrush for the first time, it’s a good idea to see a doctor to ensure that the diagnosis is made correctly, and to avoid the possibility of a sexually transmitted infection being missed.

Once you’ve had thrush, you will be able to treat the condition yourself, using over-the-counter medication or suitable home remedy.

Certainly those who have a weakened immune system, particularly those who are suffering from HIV infection, need to ensure that they get medical treatment to avoid a more serious case of invasive candidiasis. We’ll look at this in more detail in a moment.

As we’ve already observed, you can treat thrush without prescription. Just as well, really, since it’s not actually necessary to have sex to contract the condition.

For example, even something as simple as using shower gels or soaps that contain perfumes and astringent chemicals may cause irritation of the skin sufficient serious to allow Candida infection to develop.

It stands to reason that using plain soaps or shower gels, and wearing loose fitting cotton underwear which avoids the buildup of moisture and heat, are both sensible precautionary measures to avoid yeast infections in men.

While Candida albicans occurs naturally on your body, it favors warm moist areas, so people who are obese and have massive skin folds are more likely to develop the condition.

And, as previously mentioned, type I diabetes or type II diabetes are factors that should make you pay attention to your health: the high level of glucose in the bloodstream and the increased level of sweating which people with diabetes tend to experience may both promote the growth of the yeast fungus.

Invasive candidiasis is actually quite serious, because Candida albicans can spread quite quickly through the body, and affect many of the bodily organs. The risk factors for invasive candidiasis include HIV infection, type I or two diabetes, taking any kind of immunosuppressants, which are drugs used to stop the body rejecting transplanted organs, or undergoing high dose radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

It’s also linked to having a central venous catheter implanted into your chest, the system used for injecting high levels of medication on a long-term basis. And men and women having kidney dialysis are also somewhat at risk from invasive candidiasis.

The symptoms include a high temperature or fever, shivering, nausea, and headache. The simple fact is that if you know you are at risk from invasive candidiasis you must get help immediately if you develop thrush or any of the above symptoms develop. This is actually a medical emergency, and in some cases may require admission to hospital as a preemptive measure against yeast infection that can kill a man.

The Mystery of Candida albicans Infection In Men

Why mystery? Well, because a lot of enlightened practitioners, both medically qualified and not, have written on the Internet about the role yeast infections may be playing in chronic health conditions.

The observation that people with chronic health conditions can get completely different diagnoses from different medical practitioners is an interesting one, because what it implies is that there is a common factor work that may be universal, but which is not recognized.

The Yeast Connection is a website that specializes in Candida albicans information, not just yeast infection in men, but nonetheless you will find it useful, as well as offering a yeast fighting program.

Dr Crook, the author of the website and several books on the relationship between health and Candida albicans, also provides an evaluation quiz which is designed to assist in revealing whether or not you actually have an infection of Candida albicans.

This questionnaire has only 10 questions, but offers a high degree of certainty about whether or not men actually are suffering from yeast infections. (That man may be you!)

It starts with a question about whether or not you’ve taken repeated or prolonged courses of antibacterial drugs, and moves all the way through a series of questions covering your general health and any  sense you may have of being “sick all over”, hormonal disturbances, memory or concentration problems, your use of steroids, and the state of your skin health, including whether or not you experience any itching.

In fact, it’s a fairly good way of diagnosing yeast infection in men.

By scoring the answers to the questions, you can come up with a scorching dictates whether or not your health problems are likely to be yeast related.

One success story which is recorded on the website — that is to say, an account of one man who successfully dealt with a male yeast infection — recounts the development of serial infections of yeast overgrowth, and familiar symptoms of sugar cravings and carbohydrate loading.

Other notable symptoms included prolonged bouts of athlete’s foot and jock itch, nausea, lethargy, and sinus drainage. While the man’s doctor was, we are led to believe by implication, unsympathetic, simply suggesting the use of over-the-counter topical treatments, he did prescribe a course of antibiotics as being necessary for the sinus drainage problem and the bacterial infection.

The antibiotics, perhaps naturally, made the infection worse. In response to this, the doctor prescribed even stronger antibiotics.

It was only at an annual physical review that the doctor noticed the man’s toenails were yellow and acknowledged that he did indeed have a fungal overgrowth.

Sporonox was eventually prescribed for the fungal infection, producing a resulting improvement in the man’s health so astounding that the patient became convinced yeast infection was a major problem.

With these tablets, the athlete’s foot and jock itch disappeared, the energy level the man enjoyed went through the roof, and his sinus drainage stopped completely.

The doctor was hidebound in his belief that yeast infection in men was the domain of people with HIV, and so the man couldn’t possibly have yeast overgrowth.

The man then decided to do some research and developed a diet regime which was designed to overcome yeast infection and promote good bacterial growth, using probiotics. Almost every doctor that the man consulted subscribed to the belief that yeast infections can’t happen in otherwise healthy men, an attitude which seems to be all too common.

There is a considerable weight of circumstantial evidence on the Internet that yeast infection in men is just as big a problem as it is in women, and indeed this applies both to the common or garden jock itch and athlete’s foot as it does to a more pervasive infection of the body with Candida albicans.

Skin and genital infection in men

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Men and Candida – Yes, Men Get It Too!

Yeast infection in men is not at all uncommon. In most cases, the infection will be of the genitals or the genital area. So if you feel any itching around the penis or groin, or you notice a white discharge from the end of your penis, it may be that you have an overgrowth of Candida albicans, a yeast naturally found in the body.

For this reason, you may wish to know more about the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection, how it is diagnosed, and some possible cures for yeast infection in men.

Symptoms Of Yeast Infection In Men

Symptoms of an infection vary from man to man. Some men develop blisters on the genitals along with red patches. There may be some swelling  or  a problem urinating; there may be a white discharge from the tip of the penis and you may feel weak as the body tries to fight off the infection. Memory loss and irritation have also been reported by some men with Candida albicans overgrowth.

Occasionally the symptoms of a yeast infection are very similar to those of herpes, so it is best to seek medical attention if you have any doubt about the problem you are facing. This will ensure you are getting the right treatment for the right medical condition.

Herpes and Yeast Infection

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Causes

The most common cause of a yeast infection in men is sex with an infected partner. Although not a sexually transmitted disease per se, Candida albicans may be passed between sexually active partners even if only one of them initially has the infection. This means that both partners need to get treatment.

Hot and unwashed areas of the body are classic sites for infection – athletes know only too well the discomfort of “jock itch”! (Thought this can be caused by other bugs than the fungus that causes yeast irritation.)

Men with diabetes tend to have more problems with Candida than other men; possibly this is due to the elevated blood sugar levels and high sugar levels in the urine, which serves as nutrient for the  yeast.

Prolonged antibiotic use may lead to overgrowth of Candida and other yeast species because antibiotics kill so-called good bacteria along with the bad. These good bacteria, or probiotics, naturally hold the overgrowth of Candida in check. When they are removed through antibiotic usage, the Candida is free to flourish without restraint.

Stress also plays a role in how many yeast infections you get; the strength of your immune system plays a major role in combating yeast infection in men.

Treatment Of Yeast Infection In Men

The most common treatment for yeast infection is an over-the-counter anti-fungal cream. This cream is applied directly to the genitals and should hopefully clear the infection up in a short period of time. If the infection does not go away with this cream, an anti-fungal prescription for tablets by mouth, such as Diflucan, may be prescribed.

diflucan

Important: Before using any kind of treatments, it is best to go to the doctor to rule out other medical conditions – herpes being high on the list – so you are definitely getting relevant treatment!

Yeast infection cures may take the form of traditional home remedies

Garlic contains active ingredients that will curb yeast overgrowth. If you can tolerate them, raw garlic tablets or chewing raw garlic can help to cure the infection, because garlic is a proven anti-fungal agent.

Low sugar yogurts contain probiotic bacteria which help to restore the proper balance of bacteria and yeast in the body; they also assist with digestion, and many people choose to use these when suffering from a yeast infection.

Apple cider vinegar and honey have been used as home remedies too.

Try one or more home remedies to see if they help clear up the problem. If not, visit your doctor to determine if there is something else going on. There is no reason to be embarrassed. It is best to know what you are suffering from so you get the proper treatment and clear the problem up in the shortest time possible. With the right care, the infection will be gone and you can get back to your normal life without pain or itching.

Watch this extraordinary explanation of yeast infection in men and women….

Men Can Get Yeast Infections Too

As already discussed, a yeast infection is caused by the same fungus in men as it is in women: Candida albicans. The symptoms are slightly different though, so you need to be checked by a doctor to ensure that you do not have a sexually transmitted disease.

And because information about these problems in men is harder to find than information about the same condition in women, here are some things you need to know if you suspect you have developed an infection linked to overgrowth of Candida albicans in the genital area, or indeed anywhere else.

Symptoms of Yeast Infection In Men

Symptoms include irritation and soreness on the head of the penis. Itching is not uncommon either and becomes very annoying. Some men will experience a discharge. This discharge may include the clumpy, white substance which women commonly experience when they have an infection of this type. It’s often described as being like cottage cheese.

If the head of the penis develops little blisters or turns red, you likely have a genital yeast infection, though some men won’t experience any symptoms whatsoever. However, the symptoms may mimic those seen in cases of genital herpes. For this reason, a visit to your doctor should be at the top of your list if you experience any of the symptoms described below.

Causes Of  Yeast Infection In Men  

A yeast infection may develop for a number of reasons.

  • If your immune system is weakened for any reason, you are more susceptible to an infection of this type.
  • Frequent antibiotic use plays a role in the development of this condition as antibiotics kill bacteria in the body that normally keeps Candida albicans under control.
  • Use of a catheter increases your risk of developing this type of infection.
  • Yeast infections may be transmitted between two partners during sexual intercourse
  • Men with diabetes are more likely to develop an infection of this type as the yeast feeds off the high sugar levels.
  • Candida albicans and other species of yeast cell exist in the body normally. It’s only when they grow out of control that a problem develops.

Treatment of Male Yeast Infection 

If you have been diagnosed with this condition, your doctor will recommend a suitable treatment. An over-the-counter antifungal agent medication may be all that is needed to treat the problem.

Antimycotics may be prescribed in certain cases also. Diflucan is one medication your doctor may prescribe, but allergic reactions are not uncommon. Nizoral is another medication that has been used to treat yeast infections in men. Be aware that liver damage may occur with use of this medication and your body will have a harder time making steroids, such as testosterone.

Discuss each treatment option with your doctor to determine which is right for you.  Over -the-counter counter treatments are often enough to treat the condition. If your immune system is weakened for any reason, you may find that these infections recur. Above all, avoid sexual contact when either partner suspects a yeast infection. By doing so, you reduce the risks of infecting your partner with a yeast infection.

But What Can You Do About Yeast Infection In Men?

So yes, unfortunately men experience these infections too. For men who have a weakened immune system, systemic yeast presents a real problem. But if you’re in this category, you’ll most likely know about it and be under medical care.

For the rest of us, the most common infection is either on the skin or the genitals. A penile yeast infection isn’t a good experience – you itch, your skin turns red and becomes flaky, it’s unappealing to look at, and it’s uncomfortable to deal with. Also, couples who have unprotected sex (i.e. without condoms) can cross-infect each other back and forth until the end of time, so if either partner has a problem, get it cleared up and use a condom until it’s gone.

Causes of penile (and other) yeast infections in men

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Men get yeast infections for broadly speaking the same reasons that women do, although the frequency of infection is different. The main causes are:

Sexual transmission: Candida albicans and other infections may be passed between people by direct contact. In that sense at least it is a sexually transmitted disease, though it may not be considered as such by doctors.  When a man’s partner has an infection, and they have unprotected sex, it is possible to pass the infection back and forth between them.  In this situation, no amount of treatment of one partner alone will help. The couple need to use safer sex and both get cured before reverting to unprotected sex.

While you wait for the problem to be cured, don’t have unprotected sex, wash and dry well, use separate towels, wash your hands after touching your own or your partner’s genitals, and do not share sex toys.

Nonoxynol-9: Condoms with nonoxynol-9 added to the lubricant as a spermicide may promote genital and anal yeast infections. Of course, you can always employ condoms that do not contain any spermicide in the sexual lubricant.

Antibiotics: A course of prolonged antibiotic use can promote a yeast overgrowth. The male body, just like the female, has a standard balance of bacterial and yeast flora in the crotch, and antibiotics can upset the delicate balance between good and bad, which allows the normally restrained yeast cells to mushroom. (Pun intended.)

Diabetes is another cause of male yeast infections, and here we’re looking at sugar as the culprit: elevated sugar in the body or outside the body in the urine is great for yeast growth.

Symptoms of male yeast infection

A penile yeast infection may actually not show any symptoms. But if they do develop, the symptoms can be very irritating:

  • The most common symptom is redness, soreness, itching and irritation of the penile glans.
  • There may be a discharge of cottage cheese like substance.
  • The penile glans may be red or blotchy, and may develop blisters (not to be confused with herpes blisters – if you are in any doubt, see a doctor or sexual health clinic).
  • There may be a smell of yeast.

Monistat can be applied directly to the skin of the penis to cure yeast infections. And it often works well. But…. if it comes back…. you may want to try a holistic program: Yeast Infection No More is a good one (see my note below). This gives you a whole series of recommendations which allow you to rebalance the whole body and eliminate the conditions which allow yeast to flourish. Most who try it tell me it works just fine.

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Prescription treatments

I’ve heard it said these are a good method of treating penile yeast infections. But you have to see your doctor, and the two main drugs used to treat penile yeast infections have side effects. Diflucan (fluconazole) is broad spectrum and will kill Candida albicans and other fungi, but allergies to it are pretty common. Nizoral (ketaconazole) is powerfully toxic, but unfortunately not just to the yeast cells. If you happen to be the susceptible sort, it may affect your liver (but not in a good way), and your adrenal glands as well. I’d encourage you to use a home remedy instead!

And funnily enough, if you look in the right hand column of this website, you’ll see a link to the one I recommend – Yeast Infection No More by Linda Allen.

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