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How to get rid of oral thrush?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 1443 Questions
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hi, i have recently been on holiday in thailand where i consumed a lot of alcohol over a 1 week period. i also took ritalin and diet pills and towards the end of the holiday i woke up with oral thrush, i think. Its only very mild but ive been home a week now and cant seem to completely get rid of it? first do u think the alcohol and drugs caused the problem and secondly do u have any tips for getting rid of it? i have developed a cough, mostly at night, which is productive but only a small amount of mucus. do u think the two are related? they didnt start at the same time with the cough coming a few days later but has now lasted almost a week. like i say it comes on mostly at night but before i go to sleep so before i am lying down. do i need to see a doctor asap? thanls
Posted Mon, 17 Feb 2014 in Infections
 
 
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 29 minutes later
Brief Answer: Thrush can be reduced Detailed Answer: Hi Thanks for your query. I have gone through your query and I would like to answer your questions specifically. Its only very mild but ive been home a week now and cant seem to completely get rid of it? A. Thrush is fungal infection and is a part of normal flora. It happens due to low immunity which may happen for many reasons including stress, antibiotics, etc. Alcohol and the other medicines you have taken are not known to cause it. Since it is part of normal flora, it would be unreasonable to cure it. It should decrease by a few lifestyle measures like exercise daily, hygienic food, no alcohol, pure drinking water, yogurt etc. first do u think the alcohol and drugs caused the problem and secondly do u have any tips for getting rid of it? A. It happens due to low immunity which may happen for many reasons including stress, antibiotics, etc. Alcohol and the other medicines you have taken are not known to cause it. It should decrease by a few lifestyle measures like exercise daily, hygienic food, no alcohol, pure drinking water, etc. do u think the two are related? A. I think that your own immunity is working towards reducing the thrush by producing mucous. Cough is a reflex that brings out mucous. It is a good thing. But if you are getting symptoms of infection like fever, malaise etc, then you can get a throat swab or a sputum culture and sensitivity done. It will help find a bacterial cause. If bacteria are found, you will need antibiotics, which may worsen the thrush. do i need to see a doctor asap? A. No, you do not need to see a doctor ASAP, unless you have other symptoms apart from thrush and mucous. If you follow the lifestyle measures that I have told, you will be able to reduce the thrush. Though there is no harm in seeing a doctor. Hope it helps. Let me know if I can assist you further. Dr Vaishalee
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: How to get rid of oral thrush? 28 minutes later
thanks very much. is oral thrush painful? one more question please i obviously have a weakened immune system which is either down to hiv or fear of hiv (stress). are there any symptoms that could tell the two apart?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 28 minutes later
Brief Answer: Oral thrush is not painful Detailed Answer: Hi again, Oral thrush is not painful, but may bleed sometimes when trying to scratch it off. The only thing common between two conditions - HIV and low immunity because of stress is the presence of opportunistic infections like thrush. Otherwise both these conditions present with a different course and tests are available to rule out HIV. Stress does not cause any significant changes in complete blood count but HIV does. Then HIV can be tested with tests like ELISA, Western blot, RNA-PCR and DNA-PCR. The symptoms for HIV are usually bad flu-like symptoms initially like fever, swollen glands, sore throat, rash, fatigue, muscle and joint aches and pains, headache. Then there is period of no symptoms. This period may last from months to years. After this period the stage of opportunistic infections starts. These symptoms (and course) are not seen in stress. Thus get yourself tested and if the tests for HIV are negative, then be re-assured that you do not have caught HIV. Hope it helps. Dr Vaishalee
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: How to get rid of oral thrush? 41 hours later
Hi Doc, I've also noticed a couple of mouth ulcers that i have had for as long as i can remember, maybe 6 months to a year. They arent painful and are located towards the front of my mouth in line with my teeth and almost exactly the same position on each side. Are chronic non painful mouth ulcers another sign of a weakened immune system or would they be painful? I saw a doctor today who said i had very mild case of oral thrush and prescribed fungilin lozenges. He thought the thrush could be caused by reflux/heart burn as the back of my throat is red but not sore. thanks,
 
 
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 6 hours later
Brief Answer: Many causes for mouth ulcers Detailed Answer: Hi again There can be many causes for mouth ulcers. These usually occur due to some inflammation. If the mouth ulcers have been for a long time, it means that the reason for the inflammation has not disappeared. It does warrant a consult with ear, nose and throat specialist. Yes they can be a sign of weakened immunity, when the weakened immunity is causing some type of infection that is leading to chronic ulcer. Mostly acute ulcers are painful, not chronic ulcers. Chronic ulcer means that it is not healing well. Fungilin should be ingested at all. There are other alternatives like nystatin oral gel etc. But these medicines only help temporarily. Thrush will come back. You will need to learn to live with it as most of the population does. It is not that big an issue. Dr Vaishalee
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