Mushrooms live everywhere: in the soil, in the air and even in the human body. They cannot be detected with the naked eye due to their microscopic size. With the onset of favorable conditions, they are able to multiply and parasitize rapidly. For the most part, fungal infections can seriously threaten the health of those with weakened immune systems. For example, prolonged onychomycosis (fungal infection of the feet and nails) can lead to exacerbation of chronic diseases.
Dermatologist of the medical center “ON Clinic Poltava” Yekaterina Manzhula says:
“Fungus is not just a nuisance problem. This is a serious parasitic infection of the body, capable of acting as a catalyst for all inflammatory processes of internal organs and systems. And, first of all, the fungus weakens the immune system ”.
The number of fungal infections is increasing every year. Scientists call an increase in the number of
Speedometer: measuring the speed of danger
HIV-infected individuals and those suffering from other immune diseases.
The most common parasitic fungi are those of the genus Cryticiccus neoformans, Sandida albicans, Mucoraceae sp. They are capable of parasitizing the skin, hair, nails, as well as affecting the internal organs and systems of a person.
According to the doctors of medical sciences of the Lviv Medical University, for every 10 cells of the human body there are 2 times more bacteria, fungi and viruses of various origins. As long as a person is healthy, including good nutrition, the risk of infection is low. According to official figures, 15-40% of healthy people carry fungal infections and can infect others. As a rule, mucous membranes, skin integuments, nails and even blood are considered the favorite places for the location of fungi.
I will add: both useful and conditionally pathogenic (capable of being activated only with the onset of a favorable environment) and pathogenic fungi “live” in the human body. If their number is normal (balance is maintained) and this rate is under control of a healthy organism, they are not capable of causing serious harm.
Fungi on the skin and nails
Fungi affecting the skin and nail plates are most easily transmitted. Among the most common diseases, dermatologists note mycoses, a group of diseases that infect the skin, hair and nails. It is these parts of the body that every second are in close contact with the environment, rich in mycotic pathogens (dermatophytes, trichophytos, yeasts of the genus Malassezia). Most often, people encounter interdigital mycoses, dermatomycosis of the hair, feet and skin due to direct contact with infected objects (towels, bed linen, clothes), as well as due to close contact with infected people or animals.
The symptoms of mycosis include redness, peeling, itching in the area of the nail, skin folds on the body, scalp, feet. If you find such symptoms, contact a dermatologist immediately.
Compliance with basic hygiene rules, the use of your belongings and accessories in public places (baths, saunas, swimming pools) will help protect yourself from fungus. If you visit a manicurist or hairdresser, make sure that his workplace and tools are sterile. If you find violations, do not agree to the procedure. If a member of your family is already infected, it is necessary to carefully disinfect the shared areas (bath, toilet) with disinfectants, wash the bed linen and clothes of the infected separately from their belongings.
Fungi in the genitals
Fungi of the genus Candida are present in small quantities in the female and male body. In women and men, they can cause candidiasis (thrush): in the weaker sex, the vagina is affected, and in the strong, the foreskin, the head of the penis. More often
Nonspecific and specific types of candidiasis
Candida is activated against a background of weakened immunity, due to prolonged use of antibiotics, a sharp change in climate, against the background of metabolic disorders. Symptoms of the disease are burning and itching in the genital area, pain during urination, uncharacteristic discharge.
Alla Braslavets, a gynecologist at the ON Clinic Kharkiv medical center, notes:
“Frequent stress greatly reduces the protective functions of the body, which many people forget. If there is a fungal infection in such an organism, including those from the genus Candida, the fungi begin their attack without obstacles ”.
Fungi in children
In children, fungi of the genus Candida most often affect the oral cavity and can cause candidiasis or stomatitis of the oral cavity (the formation of white ulcers and plaque on the mucous membranes). Even newborns can develop a fungal infection. I will say that the cause of the development of a fungal infection in this case may be:
- improper feeding;
- insufficient sterilization of nipples, teethers or baby dishes;
- the formed habit of the baby to take in his mouth all objects that come to hand.
In older children, thrush is most often activated against the background of reduced immunity and trauma to the oral cavity.
Pediatrician of the children’s department of the medical center “ON Clinic Kharkiv Palace of Sports” Tatiana Sirbu advises:
“Treatment of fungal infections in adults and children is based on the use of antifungal drugs, general strengthening procedures, a special diet (refusal of large amounts of carbohydrate foods, yeast products, fatty and smoked foods) and hygiene. And, of course, the doctor should select the treatment regimen, based on what kind of fungus parasitizes in the body. ”
Fungus in the internal organs
The gastrointestinal tract and genitourinary tract can also be affected by the pathogenic effects of a fungus, more often of the genus Candida. In most cases, candidiasis of the gastrointestinal tract develops against the background of uncontrolled intake of antibiotics, due to serious disorders of the immune system, as well as due to ingestion of contaminated foods (for example, due to unwashed vegetables and fruits). But candidiasis of the genitourinary tract can appear due to diabetes mellitus, surgery, or the presence of drainage in the urinary tract. Also, the cause of damage to the genitourinary system of a fungal infection is a decrease in immunity.
And there are also very dangerous fungi. For example, the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis can be airborne and, if inhaled, can cause blastomycosis. This is a lung disease that can progress to acute respiratory failure.
Sporothrix schenckii, which lives on bushes of roses, barberry and other horticultural crops, is considered no less dangerous. The fungus enters the skin of a person through minor scratches or cuts and causes sporotrichosis, a rare skin infection that most often affects the face, hands and feet.
Can you protect yourself from fungi?
Sure! Our body has its own microorganisms that are able to maintain immunity, but can be destroyed by drugs. In most cases, self-medication leads to this. In order not to become hostages of mushrooms, strengthen the immune system, observe the rules of hygiene and timely undergo scheduled examinations by therapists, dermatologists, gynecologists and urologists. If already infected, start treatment immediately.
Don’t let the Mushroom Corporation become the masters of your body!