Infectious Diseases

Types of Fungal Diseases and Treatment

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Fungal diseases become more common every day. Any illness that weakens the immune system gives the opportunity for fungi to be able to grow and thrive within the body. Often times cancer patients, HIV patients and others with serious illness have fungal diseases as a secondary issue. There are thousands of relatively healthy people who get the more common skin diseases caused by fungi.

Fungi are everywhere. They are found in homes in the way of mold and in the human body is the form of yeast. Mushrooms are a fungi, and the majority of them are harmless. Fungi live by breaking down down organic matter. There are approximately 250,000 known fungi and only 180 are known to cause diseases in people.

There a myriad of fungi that naturally live in the body. They help to create a balance. An opportunistic infection is caused by an organism that normally lives in the body and does no harm,  but reacts to an opportunity of a weakened immune system to cause disease.

There are several types of fungal diseases. They are categorized under superficial infections, systemic infections, and opportunistic infections.

Superficial infections
These are the many skin and mucous fungal infections that affect millions of people world wide. These are the common infections like ring worm, yeast vaginitis, oral thrush, and athlete’s foot.

Systemic infections
This is the fungi disease that enters the bloodstream and can quickly become life threatening. They can be caused by an opportunistic organism that attacks a person with a weakened immune system or an invasive organism. Examples of invasive organisms include cocci or histoplasma.

Opportunistic infections
These can be either superficial or systemic.

There are many examples of fungal diseases and infections.

Pneumocystis pneumonia - This is a fungal infection of the lungs.  It quickly becomes life-threatening in a malnourished or premature infant and those who have a severally compromised people.

Fungal meningitis - Fungal meningitis is an infection that causes inflammation of the membrane that covers the spinal cord and the brain. It is caused by crytococcus, a small fungus that is inhaled when breathing.

Aspergillis - Aspergillis is a mold. It can be found in so many locations that it is hard to avoid. It spreads through the air and cause lead to pulmonary and bloodstream infections. These are most in people with compromised immune systems.

Prevention of Aspergillis is the goal. Cleaning basement areas, air conditioning systems, heating systems can be helpful.

There are many common skin infections that are caused by skin infections. These can typically be treated and eventually controlled with medications. It is also important that fungi grows in moist warm places. Things like keeping feet dry and clean can be very helpful.

It is a good idea to have a little knowledge about fungi and how they work so when symptoms appear they treated correctly.

More about this author: Trenna Sue Hiler

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