Bacterial vaginosis is a common vaginal infection, which occurs when certain bacteria in the vagina that normally exist in small numbers overgrow or multiply quickly.
Bacterial vaginosis and its causes
The cause of bacterial vaginosis is not fully understood. It has been demonstrated that bacterial vaginosis is caused by an overgrowth of various bacteria. It is not caused by a single type of bacteria. There are a large number of good bacteria in the vagina that keeps the number of harmful bacteria very low. The infection, called bacterial vaginosis develops when the number of harmful bacteria increases in number than good bacteria. Experts describe these changes like changes in the bacterial flora of the vagina from Lactobacillus species to high concentrations of anaerobic bacteria. The condition is not considered as a sexually transmitted disease as the bacteria come from your body, not from a sexual partner. Also, the infection does not get passed on to male sexual partner, and he does not need any treatment. However, in some women, bacterial vaginosis is associated with the sexual practice. It may occur after a change in sexual partner. In such cases also, the infection is not caught from another male partner. However, this change may alter the balance of normal vaginal bacteria.
Bacterial vaginosis is not due to poor hygiene. In fact, excessive rinsing of the vagina may change the normal balance of vaginal bacteria, which may make the infection more likely to develop.
Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis
The symptoms may include gray vaginal discharge; it is one of the main symptoms of bacterial vaginosis. The discharge has a fishy smell. Bacterial vaginosis is the commonest cause of vaginal discharge in adult women. The fishy smell may be most noticeable while sexual practice. The vaginal discharge tends to be thicker and more just after menstrual periods and sexual practice. The vaginal discharge does not cause itching or soreness in the reproductive area.
Some women do not experience any symptoms. These women get to know about the infection by chance while cleaning of the vagina and other reasons. The infection can occur in any woman, but it is prevalent in women who have an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD). According to studies, about half of women using an IUCD had bacterial vaginosis at least one time over a two year period.
Diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis
The typical vaginal discharge with fish smell can make bacterial vaginosis likely. The discharge due to the infection has a typical pH level as compared to other causes.
To identify whether it is bacterial vaginosis or not, your doctor will perform a test by swabbing of the vaginal discharge. Other related laboratory tests may also show to identify the right cause of the problem.
- If you have left untreated bacterial vaginosis, you may have an increased risk of developing pregnancy complications. These may include infection of the uterus after delivery, early labor or even miscarriage.
- There is an increased risk of developing an infection of the womb following certain surgeries. For example vaginal hysterectomy. However, a patient with bacterial vaginosis is provided by antibiotics before operations of the uterus to prevent the infection.
Treatment of bacterial vaginosis
Metronidazole is a medication, which is used commonly for bacterial vaginosis. In most cases, it eliminates the infection within a period of 7 to 8 days. The recommended that work to balance the vaginal bacteria are 400 mg two times daily. Some women can feel sick and even vomit while taking Metronidazole. To avoid this problem, take medicine just after consuming food. You may also experience a metallic taste as an adverse effect.
Patients are not allowed to consume alcohol while taking metronidazole and for at least two days after completing the treatment. If taken along with alcohol, it can make you vomit and may cause other health related issues.
Lactating women should exercise caution while taking medicine for bacterial vaginosis as it can get into breast milk. However, the medicine is not known to affect the nursing a baby. To play safe, it is recommended that you take a one week course and that also with a preferred lower dose so that the baby does not receive the large dose of metronidazole.
Metronidazole is categorized as nitroimidazole antibiotic drug formulated for the treatment of anaerobic bacteria and protozoa. It works by exerting amebicide, antiprotozoal, and antibiotic activity. Metronidazole is considered as the first choice treatment for mild to moderate Clostridium difficult infection. The medicine is also available in the form of a gel to treat dermatological conditions like fungating tumors and rosacea.
Uses of Metronidazole
Metronidazole is prescribed for the following conditions:
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Pelvic inflammatory disease in combination with antibiotics such as levofloxacin, ceftriaxone, and ofloxacin
- Pseudomembranous colitis due to Clostridium difficile
- Anaerobic bacterial infections
- Helicobacter pylori eradication treatment for peptic ulcer disease
- Infection of the small intestine
- Amoebiasis, infection caused by Entamoeba histolytica
- Trichomoniasis, infection caused by Trichomonas vaginitis
- For adults- The recommended dose is 250 mg thrice daily.
- For pediatrics- 15 mg/kg is the suggested dose, which is to be given three times daily for five days.
It is very important that you check with your doctor before initiating the treatment with Metronidazole.
Adverse effects of Metronidazole
- The common adverse events associated with Metronidazole therapy include diarrhea, metallic taste, and nausea. Intramuscular administration is associated with thrombophlebitis.
- Infrequent adverse reactions include vomiting, paraesthesia, stomatitis, headache, hypersensitivity reactions, dizziness, dark urine, glossitis, etc.
- Long-term therapy or high dose of Metronidazole may give rise to the development of neutropenia, leukopenia, and increased risk of peripheral neuropathy.
- Some adverse reactions associated with topical forms of medication include dryness, eye watering, irritation, and local dryness.
Alcohol consumption during Metronidazole treatment has been thought to have a disulfiram-like reaction with effects that can include an accelerated heart rate, breathlessness, flushing of the skin, nausea, and vomiting. Consumption of alcohol should be avoided during the treatment or two days after completing the course.
Pregnancy and lactation
According to an older study, there is a link between an increase in birth defects and metronidazole. Earlier such studies raised some concerns. However, these studies were not up to the mark and make it difficult to be sure if these birth defects were caused by metronidazole. More recent researches performed on thousands of women, but unable to find evidence that can show metronidazole during pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects. While some studies still state that metronidazole should not be given to pregnant women. The current data do not support an increased risk of harmful effects on the baby while taking this medication and there is no evidence of harm to the fetus due to metronidazole.
It has been reported that the antibiotic medication (metronidazole) excreted into human breast milk in large amounts. However, the dose received by the infant via breast milk is lower than therapeutic dose given to treat infants who were unable to tolerate this medication with minimal adverse effects. The infant may experience loose stools, especially when the medication is injected into the veins. Because the antibiotic drug has been shown to be carcinogenic in studies, a decision should be made whether to discontinue the treatment or discontinue breastfeeding.
While making a decision, the importance of the medication to the mother should be taken into account. Lactating mothers are advised to consult a doctor and check about all your choices of breastfeeding. Some recommend discontinuing breastfeeding for one day following maternal treatment for Trichomonas infection after a single dose. Also, nursing infants should be monitored for gastrointestinal symptoms. As an alternative option, a nursing mother may also choose to pump and discard breast milk for the period of metronidazole treatment and one day after the treatment ends and feed her infant stored breast milk.
Flagyl is an antiprotozoal medication, which is formulated for the treatment of infection in the stomach and genital areas. It works effectively against diarrhea.
Diarrhea causes, symptoms and its treatment
Diarrhea is described as the passage of abnormally liquid or unformed stools associated with increased bowel movements (three or more a day). It can result in dehydration, which means lack of enough fluids in the body to function properly. Dehydration is a matter of concern particularly in children and elder people. Hence, it must be treated at the right time to avoid serious health issues. Diarrhea can occur in people of all ages, and it has been estimated that an average adult has acute diarrhea about four times a year.
Acute diarrhea is associated with the bacterial, parasitic, and viral infection whereas chronic diarrhea is a cause of functional disorders like inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Some more common causes of diarrhea include:
- Bacterial infections- So many types of bacteria consumed through contaminated food or water can be the reason of developing diarrhea.
- Reactions to certain medicines- Medications for blood pressure management, antacids containing magnesium, antibiotic drugs, and cancer medications often lead to diarrhea.
- Intestinal disorders- Intestinal problems like colitis, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and bowel disease can all cause diarrhea.
- Intolerance to food- Some people are not able to digest food items containing artificial sweeteners, and lactose (a type of sugar found in milk) can contribute to diarrhea.
- Functional bowel disorders- Those people who are having diarrhea often experience irritable bowel syndrome.
Diarrhea can also occur after a stomach surgery or removal of the gallbladder. It can be due to increasing in bile in the colon after gallbladder surgery.
Diarrhea may be accompanied by bloating, cramping, nausea, abdominal pain, an urgent need to go to the toilet, or bloating. A person suffering from diarrhea may have a fever or bloody stools, depending on the cause of the problem.
Diarrhea is not usually dangerous, but with time it can harm you and can raise serious health issue. You must talk to a health care specialist if you notice any of the following:
- Severe pain in the stomach or rectum
- Having diarrhea more than three days
- Blood in the stools, black or tarry stools
- Symptoms of dehydration, including dry skin, light-headedness thirst, dark colored urine, less frequent urination, fatigue, etc.
- Fever of 102 degrees or higher
In most cases, lost fluid needs to be replaced to prevent dehydration. Medicines that stop diarrhea may be useful, but they are not given to a patient whose diarrhea is caused by a parasite or bacterial infection. If you prevent diarrhea before clearing the bacteria or parasite, you will trap the organism in the intestine which will prolong the condition. Instead of this, health care specialists recommend antibiotic medication as a first line treatment.
Flagyl as the first line treatment for diarrhea
Flagyl is one of the medications prepared to treat infections caused by parasites and anaerobic bacteria. It falls into the category of medications known as antibiotics. The medicine is supplied in the form of a tablet and is active against a wide variety of bacterial infections. It is composed of Metronidazole (the active pharmaceutical component of the medicine). Metronidazole exerts its mode of action by attacking bacteria and parasites.
Its dose will vary depending on the condition being treated. The medicine is supplied in the form of a tablet that can be swallowed with water before or after consuming food. Patients must not take alcohol beverage during Flagyl treatment for at least 24 hours following the end of the treatment.
Your health care specialist will work out the amount of Flagyl tablets that is right for you. The dose of the medication will be given on the prescription label. Your condition will start getting better after taking the tablets in 2 to 3 days. For obtaining maximum benefits, it is important that you complete the full course that has been prescribed to you. Do not stop the treatment early without checking with your health care specialist.
Flagyl is normally a safe medication. It is not likely to cause any side effects until you take it exactly as prescribed by your health care specialist.
Fungi are found ubiquitously; they live in the air, in the soil, on plants and in water also. These fungi are both infectious as well as non-infectious to living organisms. Antifungal drugs are those drugs that are used to selectively eliminate fungal pathogens. The anti fungal drugs ensure that the fungal pathogen causes a minimal harm to the organism’s body and system.
Fungi belong to the class of parasitic plants that includes yeast, molds, and mildew, etc. when the fungus enter the body through pathways such as skin or air breath inside; it may cause the infection as it starts to multiply within the tissues and the organs of the body. Fungi can cause various infections of the body including the inflammation of the digestive tract, genitals and other body organs and tissues.
You can find mushrooms everywhere, air, soil, plants, and water and in fact on the human body also. Most of the fungi reproduce by spore formation. Hence, the spores of fungi can be found in the air. These spores reach the lungs when the infected air is inhaled, and the spores travel by the breathed in the air. Although all the spores that enter the body either through the skin or the nasal passage are not able to produce any infection because our body’s immune system starts working in the direction of doing the best to eliminate the pathogens. Our innate immunity fights against the fungal infections because of the presence of these elements:
- pH levels of the skin and our body
- Cilia present in the respiratory tract of our body
- Different types of helpful fatty acids of the skin
Risk factors for getting fungal infections:
Fungal infections mostly hit the below-given people such as:
- Those people who are on the course of antibiotic
- Pregnant women
- People with uncontrolled diabetes
- Extremely overweight people
- People with weakened immune system due to HIV or aids
- People who come in direct contact with the infected person
- people who touch the contaminated objects
What are the common fungal infections and their causative agents?
The fungal infections are classified into the following categories and various diseases caused by fungi falls into these categories:
- Superficial: infection the outermost layer of the skin and hair
- Cutaneous: infection of the epidermis of skin as well as in the nails
- Subcutaneous: infection in the subcutaneous layer of the muscles and fascia
- Systemic: the infection of lungs and different organs
- Opportunistic: infections in the patients with weakened immune system
The most common fungal infections are:
- Tinea corporis caused by Microsporum sp. and Trichophyton sp.- it is marked by ringworm lesions on arm, trunk or legs
- Candidiases caused by Candida albicans is characterized by the lush growth found in various areas of the body.
- Tinea pedis”athlete’s foot” is caused by Microsporum sp. and Trichophyton sp. it is indicated by ringworm of foot
- Aspergillosis caused by Aspergillus fumigatus and showed as fungus ball in the tissues.
Diagnosis of fungal infections:
The characteristic appearances of the various infected regions are one of the biggest hints of having a fungal infection. For diagnosis purpose doctors check on the particular part of the body like skin, hair, and nails, etc.
For the diagnosis purpose a few tests are done such as:
- Wood’s UV lamp test to determine the presence of fungus
- Potassium hydroxide preparation test, to detect the fungi
- Culture and sensitivity test
- Blood sample testing is also done to determine the presence of systemic fungus
- Urine test also helps fuel
- The doctor may also recommend testing sputum, bone marrow, or tissues of the infected area to be taken for testing
- Many other tests are also performed to identify the presence of fungi or to specify the presence of a particular fungus, like:
- Microscopic tests
- X-rays scanning
- Blood antibody test
- DNA detection test
- Agar Culture test etc.
Antifungal drugs and treatment:
Various antifungal medications are successfully used for the treatment of infections caused by fungi. Here is the few common prescription and over the counter antifungal drugs used to remove fungal infections:
- Clomitrazole that comes in the tablet and lotion form
- Amphotericin B is given by intravenous injection
- Nystatin, a drug very similar in composition to amphotericin b
- A standard topical antifungal drug known as ketoconazole is also available in oral dosage forms to treat systemic fungal infections in the body
- Miconazole, a commonly used topical as well as intravenous injection drug
- Flucytosine, is a synthetic drug used for the treatment of systemic fungal infections
- Fluconazole is also a fungicide that is popularly recommended by doctors
Fungal infection is one of the infections which are caused by a fungus. The fungus tends to grow, multiply and invade the skin causing inflammation of the digestive tract, genitals and other organs of the body. Fungi can be easily found in any habitat such as sea water, soil, plants or animals and human skin.
Several different types of fungi like yeasts or dermatophyte are responsible for causing fungal skin infections.
Fungal infections can be contagious and spreads from one man to another. Human beings also have protection against fungi as our bodies have non disease causing bacteria which provides protection from these fungal infections. These bacteria do not give harmful fungi, space and nutrients and so keep them in check.
If somehow fungi try to settle onto the skin, then also our immune system fights them off. The high acidity level in the vagina also provides another layer of protection. In patients whose immune system are not able to fight fungal infection efficiently, they are basically prone to fungal skin infections, whereas prolonged use of antibiotics too destroys helpful bacteria which allows the fungi to colonize the skin and mucous. Women suffering from postmenopausal symptoms, their hormonal changes reduce the acidity of the vagina and make it much more vulnerable to vaginal yeast infections.
- Athlete’s foot- It is one of the common skin conditions which largely affects sole of the feet and the area in between toes. Athlete’s foot is a foot fungal infection. This is usually scaly, red, itchy and could be even weeping and oozy.
- Jock itch– It is another common fungal infection of the groin and upper thighs. Tinea cruris is the medical name for jock itch. This infection is most common in men and boys, but women can suffer from the infection too.
- Ringworm– Ringworm another fungal infection affects commonly skin and scalp area. It starts to appear as a reddish, scaly and itchy rash. With time it grows large and forms red ring.
- Onychomycosis– This is the infection of the nail and nail bed. The infection starts first as a tiny light colored spots on the nails. When it spreads little deeper, then shape and color of the nail get changed and they become much thick and brittle.
- Candidiasis Albicans– Candida albicans is a pretty common type of fungus. It specifically target areas like mouth, vagina, urinary tract and stomach.
Symptoms of Fungal Infections
The symptoms of fungal infections differ and they depend on the type and severity of the infection.
- Symptoms of athlete’s foot include: itching, scaling and flaking of skin feet.
- Symptoms of jock itch include: redness, itchiness and scaly rash in the groin area.
- Symptoms of ringworm include: hair loss in the affected area, red and itchiness of the scalp.
- Symptoms of fungal infection affecting mouth are: soreness, bleeding gums and difficulty to eat or swallow.
- Symptoms when infection affects the vagina include: irritation, itching in the vagina and white vaginal discharge.
- Symptoms of fungal infection affecting the digestive tract include: nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing and diarrhea.
Fungal Infections of Diagnosis
Most of the fungal infections can be diagnosed by their appearance. Whereas, some diagnostic tools are also used for other types of fungal infections.
- Scrapings– If the infection is caused in nails, then the doctor will take pieces of the affected nail to examine it under microscope. This will help to differentiate onychomycosis from several other problems that may thicken the nails.
- Throat Swab– Those people who rely on prolonged antibiotic therapies, sometimes get oral thrush, a Candida infection, which causes white patches in the mouth and throat. A throat swab is rubbed across the white patches and then cultured in the laboratory to know about the presence of fungi or other microorganisms.
- UV light– Black lamp or ultraviolet light is sometimes also used under which some forms of fungal infections try to appear fluorescent and others don’t.
Fungal infection treatment includes a variety of anti fungal drugs. The medication is prescribed depending on the fact where the infection is located and its severity. For treating skin infections one may use best antifungal cream, drops or ointments.
- Alternative therapy such as increasing the intake of natural anti fungal- garlic, vitamin C and essential fatty acids that may boost our immune system. Lowering intake of sugar may also work.
- Probiotics also play some role in treating fungal infections. Probiotic such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, provides good bacteria that restores body’s balance and try to compete with fungi for colonization. Lactobacillus acidophilus can be easily found in fermented foods like yogurt, soy products and pickles.
- Butenafine Hcl Cream is a best antifungal cream that treats several fungal skin infections like ringworm, athlete’s foot and jock itch. Other topical medications which could treat fungal infections are: Miconazole, Ketoconazole and Permethrin. Miconazole is a good foot fungus medication which, when applied once or twice a day definitely gives effective results.
- Clotrimazole and Beclomethasone, the combination of this topical medication is also used for treating skin infections.
- Some other antifungal drugs include: Fluconazole, Griseofulvin, Itraconazole and Terbinafine HCl.
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