Thrush on the Throat (Esophageal Thrush)

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If you’ve got thrush on your throat, tongue and roof of the mouth, you’ve probably got a bad case of the infection, and you need to consult your doctor as soon as possible – esophageal candidiasis is a common sign of AIDS.

However, you may get thrush on your throat even if you don’t have AIDS. Oral thrush in diabetic patients may spread to the throat, if left untreated.

Depending on the severity of your infection, you’ll need to follow different treatments. Read on to find out more about esophageal thrush and how to treat it.

What causes esophageal thrush?

throat-thrushCandida Albicans accounts for more than 50% of the oral candidiasis, and it’s the main pathogen – the infecting organism – involved in oral thrush.

This type of candida is no stranger to the human body – the vast majority of people either carry it right now, or are going to carry it at some point in their lives.

The fungi is often part of the intestinal gut. So often, in fact, that about 70% of the population carries it in their intestinal flora. Though this figure may seem high, most of the time this type of candida is harmless, since it’s kept in check by the rest of the bacterial flora.

Aside from the gut, candida albicans is also present in the mouth. About 50% of the world’s population carries it and, again, it’s not usually dangerous.

The real problem comes when this organism grows to disproportionate numbers – a process known as candida overgrowth. This may be caused by a variety of factors, from a course of antibiotics to an imbalanced diet to bad oral hygiene. Several diseases also cause an increase in the population of candida albicans, such as AIDS, cancer, vaginal yeast infections and diabetes mellitus.

What are the symptoms of esophageal thrush?

The most common symptoms of esophageal thrush are difficulty or pain swallowing, and the sensation that food gets stuck in your throat. You may also notice oral thrush symptoms.

What can I do?

The typical treatment for esophageal thrush is fluconazole or itraconazole, which are both usually found in the form of pills. The typical length of such treatment is 2-3 weeks.

Alternatively, if there’s a possibility of interaction between fluconazole and other medication, you may be prescribed echinocandins such as caspofungin, micafungin, or anidulafungin, which are typically taken intravenously.

Conclusion

Don’t neglect thrush on your throat – chances are you won’t anyways, since it’s likely you won’t be able to eat properly – as it may be the sign of a more serious condition. Consult your doctor as soon as possible and take the treatment exactly as prescribe. Also, remember to eat properly, since candida thrives on sugars and yeast.

Resources:

https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/thrush/
https://aidsetc.org/guide/candidiasis-oral-and-esophageal
http://www.healthline.com/health/candida-esophagitis#Treatment6
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candida_albicans