Glossary of Terms

Candidiasis is a fungal infection usually caused by Candida Albicans, a member of the Candida yeast species. It is commonly known as a yeast infection or thrush, and is also referred to as andidosis or moniliasis. These yeast or fungi live on our body surfaces and are normally found in small numbers, not enough to cause any harm. But under moist conditions with some amount of heat, their population can increase exponentially to form visible infections in certain parts of the body. Some examples are vaginal infections, oral fungal infections, skin rashes and infections of the nail bed.

These are eukaryotic microbes which are classified under fungi. There are about 1,500 species described in our current knowledge. They are essentially single celled organisms though certain members of the species may transform into multicellular beings through formation of a string of connected cells. This chain is called psuedohyphae. Yeast reproduce either by an asymmetric process called budding or by mitosis. Candida is a unique variety of yeast and one its members, Candida Albicans is the prime cause of yeast infections.

Vaginal Thrush (Candidal Vulvovaginitis)
In females, irritation in and around the vagina coupled with a thick white discharge may indicate vaginal thrush or Candidal vulvovaginitis. It is an infection of the mucous membranes present in the vagina. There may be pain during intercourse and a burning sensation during urination. It is the most common form of vaginal infection after bacterial vaginosis. Use of antibiotics or certain chemical changes may trigger the onset of vaginal rush.

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
It is also known as vaginal bacteriosis and is a bacterial infection which affects the vagina. It may be caused by having multiple sex partners, but this is mere assumption as sexual intercourse cannot be conclusively linked to this condition. BV is normally caused because of certain imbalances in the naturally occurring bacteria cultures present in the body. It can easily be confused with yeast infection or trichomoniasis, which are not bacterial infections.

It is a type of bacteria belonging to the lactic acid bacteria group and in this microbial organism cell division happens along a single axis. Thus they form long chains or pairs, hence deriving their name from the word streptos which means bent or twisted. This species is responsible for diseases such as strep throat, bacterial pneumonia and meningitis.

It is sometimes referred to as trich and is associated with vaginitis, an infection of the vagina. It sexually transmitted and is caused by a unicellular microbe parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. It puts undue pressure on host cells and when the cells disintegrate and die they feed on the fragments. It is an infection of the urinary and genital tracts and predominantly affects the vaginal and urethral regions in females.

Atrophic Vaginitis
It is an inflammation of the vagina and the surrounding urinary tract. It is caused by the gradual thinning and contraction of the tissue coupled with decrease in lubrication present. These problems are associated with decrease in the female hormone estrogen. Hence the major cause of this condition is decreased levels of estrogen though there a number of other causes too. This condition can cause undue irritation, soreness and itching in the vaginal area and bleeding after engaging in sexual intercourse.

It refers to a collection of diseases which affects the metabolic functions of a person. People suffering from this condition have an extremely high level of blood sugar, on account of their pancreas not functioning or because it does not produce enough insulin. The cells may also not respond to insulin that is synthesized in the body. The elevated sugar levels cause symptoms like increased thirst, hunger and frequent urination.

Inflammation is the response of vascular tissues to certain stimuli which may pose a threat to body. These stimuli may include germs, irritants or damaged tissues. In effect inflammation is the attempt by the body to rid itself of external irritants and to initiate the healing process. It may be a symptom of certain bacterial or fungal infections. It is a general immune response to external or internal stimuli. Without sufficient inflammation wounds or bruises would not be able to heal properly. This makes it essential for the recovery process in the human body.

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