Candidiasis is an infection caused by a yeast-like fungus named candida albicans.
A common yeast infection in men, and also women, candidiasis is the fungus that causes thrush infections.
It is natural for most people having a small amount of fungus in their bodies; this does not cause any problems as ‘good’ bacteria and the body’s immune system keeps thrush at bay.
However, when people’s immune system is down, or a ‘good’ bacterium in the body has been destroyed, the candida albicans fungus can double or multiply, causing candidiasis (thrush) to develop.
The following are common factors that increase the likeliness of candidiasis developing in men:
Poor Personal Hygiene
Warm and moist conditions promote the growth of candida albicans fungus that flourishes on skin which has already been damaged. Therefore, it is imperative that men follow a good personal hygiene regime to avoid developing thrush.
Perfumed shower gel, soaps and body washes can irritate sensitive skin on the penis and promote the growth of candida albicans fungus. To decrease the chance of developing thrush men should make sure that they dry their genitals correctly after washing, as not doing so heightens the chances of developing candidiasis.
Males with diabetes are more at risk of developing candidiasis because they are more likely to already have a weakened immune system that is unable to fight off the infection; as candidiasis develops quickly.
Males with diabetes that is not controlled by medication, diet and lifestyle, or are unaware that they are diabetic, are more likely to develop candidiasis and have reoccurring thrush that keeps on coming back after treatment.
If you are showing any of the following signs:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
Or, if you think that you have diabetes, you should go and see your GP.
Males with HIV will already have a weakened immune system that will be less likely to keep candidia albicans fungus at bay when ‘good’ bacteria in the body are destroyed.
When you are ill your immune system is weak and the body works harder to fight a virus and repair itself. Therefore, you will be more likely to develop candidiasis as the body will have less ‘good’ bacteria to fight the cause of thrush.
Being on antibiotics can cause candidiasis to develop in males because antibiotics work to fight infection in the body, whilst doing so they cannot distinguish between what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’ bacteria.
Therefore, antibiotics can destroy too many ‘good’ bacteria in the body, allowing the candida albicans fungus to multiply and thrush to develop.
Eating a diet high in processed foods, cheese, caffeine, alcohol and white flour products can cause candidiasis to develop. In order to prevent the onset of thrush males should maintain a healthy, balanced diet that is low in fat and sugar.
Foods that prevent candidiasis include: white meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, soya milk, rice, oats, whole-meal bread, nuts and seeds, natural yoghurts and probiotics.
Males are also more likely to develop candidiasis through sexual activity with an infected partner, as thrush can be transmitted through sexual intercourse.
If you have symptoms of candidiasis make sure that your partner is treated as well, in order to avoid spreading the infection.