Have you ever wondered why some people are more prone to fungal infections? If the answer is yes, then this write-up surely belongs to you. Fungi are present around us in the form of microscopic spores on the ground and in the air. There are significant fungi that do not cause any harm, while there are some varieties that cause serious infections in some people. According to Ayurveda, fungal infections can pose a serious threat to health and wellness. Therefore, it is important to understand the risk factors and preventive measures to get rid of these infections.
Fungal infections can occur anywhere in the body, but the most common site is the skin, and the infection produces symptoms like redness and itching. They are most common among individuals who have compromised immune systems and sometimes result in sepsis, which is a life-threatening response to infection. Sepsis can occur as a result of infections like pneumonia, influenza, or UTIs.
In this article, we will discuss some common fungal infections in the USA, risk factors of fungal infections in adults, and prevention of fungal infections in adults.
Common Fungal Infections in Adults
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDAC), some common fungal infections are:-
- Vaginal Yeast Infection:- A vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection that is responsible for symptoms such as irritation, discharge, and excessive itching of the vagina and vulva. The fungus that causes this infection is fungus candida albicans.
- Athlete’s foot:- An athlete’s foot is also a fungal infection of the skin in which there are itchy and scaly rashes between the toes as the feet become too sweaty within the tight-fitting shoes.
- Jock itch:- Jock itch is also a fungal skin infection that causes rashes with itching on the moist areas of the body. These rashes commonly occur in the groin and inner thighs in people who have profuse sweating. The infection usually clears up in 1 to 3 weeks.
- Ringworm:- Ringworm is also a fungal infection as opposed to its name, which suggests some worm causes it. In this disease, there is an itchy, circular rash with clearer skin in the middle, and it appears like a ring.
Symptoms of Fungal Infections in Adults
Some common symptoms of fungal infections in adults are:-
- Vaginal yeast infection or candidiasis:- This type of infection causes itching and foul discharge from the vagina.
- Fungal infections of the skin:- A fungal infection of the skin causes redness, itching, flaking, and swelling.
- Fungal infection of Lungs:- This type of infection causes coughing, fever, chest pain, and pain in muscles.
Risk Factors of Getting Fungal Infections in Adults
The below-mentioned risk factors make an individual more susceptible to fungal infections:-
- Loss of equilibrium between the doshas or vital forces:- Ayurveda believes that if there is a loss of balance between the three doshas, namely vata, pitta, and kapha, then the immunity gets weakened, and the individual is more likely to get a fungal infection.
- Impaired Agni:- A weak digestive system can result in the formation of Ama (toxins) that provide a suitable environment for the growth of fungi.
- Seasonal variations:- Ayurveda emphasizes that the doshas get imbalances during the change of season; hence, it is important to follow a seasonal regimen or ritucharya. Otherwise, the transitioning seasons disrupt the body’s natural defence mechanism and the probability of getting a fungal infection increases.
- Weakened vital energy or Ojas dhatu:- Various factors, such as poor lifestyle, including unhealthy food choices, poor nutrition, excessive stress, and lack of exercise, can negatively impact vital energy or ojas, and the individual becomes more vulnerable to infections.
Prevention of Common Fungal Infections in Adults
Some precautions help to prevent common fungal infections including Athlete’s foot, Vaginal Yeast Infections, and fungal infections in the lungs such as:-
- To prevent athlete’s foot, it is essential to keep your feet clean and dry.
- The vaginal yeast infections can be prevented by wearing breathable underwear, avoiding scented sprays or other products, and maintaining good hygiene.
- To prevent lung infections, you can follow the ancient practice of the instillation of ghee-based nasal drops in both nostrils on a regular basis while working in an area that is high in fungal spores.
From an Ayurvedic point of view, the preventive strategies are focused on restoring the balance of the doshas. You can easily prevent the onset of fungal infections by following the below-mentioned guidelines:
Prevention of Fungal Infections – As Per Ayurveda
- Balance doshas:- One can customize diet plans based on their constitution or Prakriti and adopt a regime that supports digestive fire or agni and maintains the balance of the doshas.
- Herbal supplements:- Ayurveda emphasizes the use of herbal supplements such as neem, haridra, and other herbs that have antifungal properties and speed up recovery.
- Proper hygiene:- Follow a proper cleansing routine and take care of the areas that are prone to moisture and warmth and hence produce infections. Moreover, daily oil massage or abhyanga is essential with suitable oils to maintain skin health. Also, the individuals should follow dincharya, or daily regime, and ritucharya, or seasonal regime, to maintain overall health and wellness.
- Regular detoxification:- Ayurveda places huge importance on detoxification therapies or panchkarma therapies to eliminate Ama and rejuvenate the entire system of the body.
After knowing about the risk factors of fungal infection in adults, it is important to follow the Ayurvedic- way of life. Ayurveda stresses nurturing complete wellness and resilience and, therefore, empowers individuals to lead a life that is free from diseases.