Often, we hear the use of yeast and fungus being used in the same sentence but for those who are keen to know if there is a difference, let’s see if we can uncloud this mystery.
Let’s start with good old fungus; this guy belongs to the Fungi kingdom (if there is such a place), and Yeast, which is somewhat related to a mushroom is Unicellular fungi. Does that clear the matter up?
Still a bit confused, well good reason to be so. Fungus is in fact made of things called “hyphae”, long tubes that cover many areas. There are over 80,000 known species of fungus as there are thousands of its species.
Yeasts reproduce through budding while fungi reproduce both sexually and asexually. Some fungi reproduce through spores and some others by producing clones of themselves.
Yeasts and fungi have been known for very many years. Archaeologists have discovered the presence of yeast in breweries and bakeries in Egypt that date back to about 4,000 years ago.
So, while both yeast and fungus are part of the grand Fungi Kingdom, they are different but have similar characteristics as science calls members of the ‘taxonomic group’.
Yeast is more interesting to us at this point in time because it does cause some health issues for both men and women. Yeasts are found throughout nature, inhabiting soil, and aquatic ecosystems. They are also commonly found on the bodies of humans and other animals.
Yeasts from the genus Candida are pathogenic, meaning they cause diseases. Candida yeast infections are known as candidiasis, and can affect numerous areas of the body, including the skin, genitals, throat, mouth and blood. Candida albicans is the yeast species that most often causes candidiasis. This species of yeast is normally present in the body in small concentrations, but various factors — antibiotic use, hormonal imbalances, stress or a weakened immune system — can cause it to grow rapidly, resulting in an infection.
If Candida yeast gets into the bloodstream, it can spread throughout the body and cause fever, chills and even death. This infection is called invasive candidiasis, or candidemia, and is a common bloodstream infection.
Dealing with less nasty versions of candida infections (in females) is quite common in Australia. The general consensus is that ladies will in their lifetime more than likely be affected by a candida infection. Good news, it’s not sexually transmitted and quite easy to treat.
Over the counter medications or a visit to the doctor for a stronger medication will typically deal with the problem however; for some ladies the recurrence of the problem becomes quite a headache.
There are other treatment options, and these can take the form of herbal medicines of which many can be found in reputable health stores or available online. Treatment is in most cases taken orally to allow systemic treatment of the problem.
When the disease does not respond to treatment, it’s important to speak to your healthcare professional. Keep an eye out for symptoms worsening or continuing for a long period.
Be safe and stay healthy