All About Fungal Infections

Fungi are organisms that can cause various health problems if they are not properly addressed right away. They are also known as germs and may be as small as tiny microorganisms or could be as big as a mushroom. They exist everywhere, but they are normally harmless. They can cause itchiness at times, however, and should be treated with anti-fungal creams or oral treatments.

These organisms can also cause more serious health issues, especially if the person they come in contact with are already ill or have a weak immune system. They can also settle in parts of the body where we really don’t have them to be. They could multiply rapidly on the skin, nails, between our toes and, in the private parts.

Fungi can grow even on healthy persons. But they should be treated right away with creams,  any anti-fungal solution, or anti-fungal oral medication to ensure that they will be eradicated and will not cause more serious health concerns.

What are the types of fungal infection

What could be the most annoying thing that fungi can to one’s body is to cause itchy skin problems. These easily identify the types of the fungal infection that may affect areas of the body.

1. Athlete’s foot (clinically called tinea pedis). An athlete’s foot is a condition caused by tiny fungi growing in between the toes. This makes the skin really itchy and quite sore. Doctors usually recommend treating this condition with a cream known as terbinafine.

2. Fungal Groin Infection. There are older people who may develop an itchy fungal infection in the skin. This kind of fungal infection grows (in men) at the top of their thighs (also called the groin creases) and, in older women, under the breasts. Many have experienced an improvement in this condition after a few application of an antifungal cream like miconazole.

3. Ringworm (Tinea Corporis). This skin condition is characterized by a dry, slightly reddish circle of itchy skin that is usually found on the legs or arms. There are cases that ringworms also developed on the scalp. This condition is then called Fungal Scalp Infection (Scalp Ringworm). It usually goes away with best antifungal cream for ringworm or tablet.

What is common to these fungal skin infections is that they are usually itchy rather than painful. The fungal growth also often makes the skin a bit flaky. They are not contagious, however. You won’t catch the infection by simply touching the other person’s skin. Though they can be quite annoying and irritating, they are normally easily treated and are not considered serious health concerns.

Fungal nail infections

Many have also experienced fungal infection developing on the toenails. It is a common concern among elderly persons. Research indicates that children hardly ever get it, however. You can easily spot a growing nail infection as nails where fungi have started growing on them are characterized as follows:

  • Nails have turned white.
  • Nails are observed to become flaky and brittle.
  • Nails are observed to be following an unnatural or a curved-over shape instead of growing fairly flat.

Many people have often complain of having these problems on their toenails. This is called fungal Nail Infections (Tinea Unguium). Just like skin fungal infections, it is quite bothersome to have fungi growing on your toes. They are not painful, yes, but they could really be very itchy. There are treatment options that you may find available over the counter, but they are not usually effective for this kind of fungal infection.

If you want a quick and effective way to get rid of a fungal infection, you may need an antifungal tablet called terbinafine. This medication has side-effects and can interfere with other medications that you may be taking, so you can only purchase it with a doctor’s prescription. you might be taking, it is only available on prescription.

Many health skin experts have found that fungal nail infections are not always commonly observed to affect the fingernails, however. Those who develop this kind of fungal infection may have gotten them because of what they do. Those who work in the salon or farmer, for instance,  may have contacted a fungus and have allowed it to grow and multiply through the conditions beyond their control.

Your fingernails can change if there is something wrong with your body. If you have an underlying health condition, you may need to consult a doctor who should be treating your condition even before trying to treat any uncommon conditions on your fingernails.

Fungal Infection on other sensitive parts of the body

There are other parts of the body where fungi may consider a great place for them to multiply. One of that is the ear canal. A humid environment is a breeding ground for fungi. So, if you do a lot of swimming and are usually in moist surroundings, it is not impossible for fungi to find their way to your ear canal and even on your lungs.

Fungal growth in the lungs may be caused by a weak immune system and is a serious health concern.  Those who are receiving medications for cancer or receiving chemotherapy are highly susceptible to developing this type of fungal inspection.

Another common place where fungi can breed is inside a woman’s vagina. This kind of fungal infection is clinically called Vaginal Thrush (Yeast Infection). When this happens, causes an itchy sensation and usually some vaginal discharge. Treatments like cream or oral medications are normally prescribed to cure this infection.

A rare condition known as aspergillosis or Fungal Lung Infections may develop where a fungus causes an allergic reaction in the lungs and causes problems with breathing. A specialist will have to diagnose and treat it this condition.

Is there a possibility for this fungi to invade my body?

Like any other health issues, there are a lot of myths surrounding this organism. There was a time when these fungi are believed to be floating around the human bloodstream and can infect the whole body. These fungi are taken to be the cause of irrational behaviors that many individuals display.

There has never been any scientific proof that this ‘systemic candida’, as it’s called, exists. For a deeper understanding and to know the truths about fungi, you can talk with a specialist on this.

WFD: O Avocado by David Lazar

My urges for certain foods are completely clear to me—I loved to eat saltines and tomato juice when I was in nursery school (much nicer to say than pre-k, which introduces children to the harsh world of consonants and attenuation—we don’t have time, even then, to say kindergarden) and I like to drink tomato juice and eat crackers now. Lots of salt, and tomato juice seemed novel when I was a child. Some adults drank tomato juice, it seemed, before expensive meals. This is a cultural fashion that has passed. I don’t recall the last time I was in a restaurant and witnessed a Heinz apertif. But when I was a boy, and still now, it gave and gives tomato juice a bit of juice. Some people have an aversion to tomatoes, especially children. My own son looks at a tomato, sliced, juiced (I never understood the exception for sauced) as a food horror, perhaps the seeds, in the slices, waiting to invade, and the texture of the juice, unfit for a drink. Sometimes I’ll go several months without having tomato juice and a strange need will overtake me. I’m not sure if it’s emotional or physiological necessity, some combination. But I have to rush out and buy and drink several glasses of tomato juice at once, like some kind of tomato junky. I have visions of being found, sprawled, with a can of V-8 beside me, detectives shaking their head: “He got a bad case. Up from Mexico. Tomato Cartel.”

Other urges from my childhood are more resistable. I think of having liver every so often. I used to love liver. If you really needed to, you could say I was a liver lover. You could even taunt me by saying that. Liver lover. But apparently I don’t crave it enough to yield to the desire. Will I ever again eat liver? Not chopped, but an actual cooked piece of liver, with onions. I’m working myself up into a yen by writing about it. “Yen” is a word that isn’t much in vogue anymore. I love “yen.” I’d love to bring yen into vogue through the good offices of liver.

I like very fresh bread, and slightly stale bread. Slightly stale rye bread from a bakery, with butter. My father used to say that he liked stale bread, and he did, very stale bread, capable of crumbling, for birds. This intrigued me as a child, and I’ve inherited a modified version of it, as though the grip of the Depression were lightening generation by generation through the relative freshness of foods of we consume. I like to put a single slice of slightly stale rye bread, well-buttered, on a plate, and eat it while watching an old sitcom, like Bob Newhart, or Dick Van Dyke. Then the difficult decision of whether to have another is muted by the involvement of the show, which I’ve invariably seen. I frequently decide to have half a slice, because to have another full slice would be too self-indulgent. Little pleasures pushed too far fall over the edge and land on the carpet, butter side down.

Eating anything very late at night . . . I have to eat alone—that’s the essence of guilty pleasure in food. I can’t experience guilty pleasure eating with anyone else. It’s completely masturbatory. I sometimes worry that my son will catch me eating something after he’s gone to bed. When he finds out that I’ve eaten something after he’s gone to bed, he sometimes acts betrayed.

I frequently don’t eat what I really had the urge to eat, and I’m filled with regret. And I don’t understand why I didn’t order, buy or make what I really wanted. I don’t understand why I sabotaged my pleasure. And then I dislike what I’m eating, and my meal or snack becomes work-eating. I have to just get through it. And I’m annoyed at myself, because the idea of interrupting the meal to reclaim the desire is more than I can muster. It must be put off for another time! I must be disappointed! And the idea of beautiful, moist egg salad, warm of course, sits on my pleasure hope chest and whimpers, mutters.

Right now I’m thinking about herring. It’s the first food I remember eating, creamed, the herring, not me, with my grandfather in his kitchen. I must have been five or so. I like to buy the little jars and dip crackers into them for a day or two. I do that two or three times a year. But why not more, why not less? Why do our urges press when they do, and then recede?

Many of our urges are charmingly regressive. Some less so, no doubt. Some best left unsatisfied, less the urge curdles. I’d love to go to the circus again! But the odds are it would leave me dyspeptic if it were the standard Barnum and Bailey run. The circumference of my amazement and the standards of performance have both changed too much. This is true with certain foods, too, which can no longer be replicated. Or my own taste too far down a certain road. I shiver at the salvers of sliced tongue we used to have on Sundays, piled onto sandwiches alongside potato sandwiches, and occasionally have the urge to try again. But I just know this one wouldn’t go anywhere if tested. The conceptual tide has turned. Tongue is best—sorry—licking the contours of memory.

Sometimes one experience can fuel a lifetime of urges. Before I had moved to California in the late nineteen seventies, I had never tasted an avocado. Mexican restaurants hardly existed in New York in the sixties, and they weren’t in our cultural milieu. I was in grad school in California, and riding home from the supermarket with my bag and stopped along the way. I took out the avocado I had bought, and used my pocket knife to cut the oval top off, and ate the fruit from the skin. It was the most orgiastic taste experience of my life. I devoured the whole thing. I loved eating that avocado so much that I kept the pit for a few years. Avocados, to me, tasted like nothing else I had ever eaten—I couldn’t find a category for them—neither quite sweet, nor tart, when perfect they were soft but had texture. O the avocado! I’ve kept eating them since, my urge for them unabated, trying always to recreate that first swoon. But, interestingly, the pleasure so strong, both in tasting again, and in memory, that disappointment, even when the occasional unripe agent of my urges appears, isn’t a cause for alarm. I suppose that’s the definition of mature love when it comes to urges, and food that is, my avocado love.

david-lazar

David Lazar‘s books include Occasional Desire (Nebraska), The Body of Brooklyn and Truth in Nonfiction (both Iowa), Essaying the Essay(Welcome Table). Powder Town (Pecan Grove), Michael Powell: Interviews and Conversations with M.F.K. Fisher (both Mississippi). Forthcoming are After Montaigne (University of Georgia) and Who’s Afraid of Helen of Troy (Etruscan Press). In 2014-15 he is curating a digital chapbook on nonfiction editing for The Conversant.org/Essay Press. Six of his essays have been “Notable Essays of the Year” according to Best American Essays, the latest in 2014. He created the undergraduate and Ph.D. programs in Nonfiction Writing at Ohio University and directed the creation of the undergraduate and M.F.A. programs in Nonfiction Writing at Columbia College Chicago where he is Professor of Creative Writing. He is the founding editor of the literary magazine Hotel Amerika, now in its thirteenth year.

WFD Summer Tour: Packing and Kale Chips

We leave for the first leg of our WFD Summer Tour in six days. We’ll be having dinner with Randon Noble and Richard Peabody in DC, Laura Bogart in Baltimore, and Anna March in Rehoboth Beach, and then on our way back, Rob Bennett in Baltimore again. I’m heavily involved in The First Stage of Packing: doing laundry, lining up the suitcases and duffle bags, making shopping lists, and getting the tires checked. This is the part of things that makes me anxious, because it’s the part where I have to plan for things that could wrong. But also the part that makes me itch to get on the road, because now we have concrete plans. We’ll be dining at Vidalia in DC and Clementine on our first pass through Baltimore. Like any good foodie, I’m spending almost as much time looking at the menus and planning my miles as I am looking at maps and planning our route. Where we will eat in Rehoboth depends on the availability of crabs.

chaatmas

But that really isn’t what this blog post is about. This blog post is really about kale chips. I’m very late to this party, I admit. I bought a bag of kale chips when the craze started and found them pretty awful, but like a lot of foods, the productized, mass market version has nothing on the homemade. Still, my first batch, made with sea salt and olive oil, still didn’t do anything for me. (I’m one of those people who isn’t crazy about the taste of kale itself.) I probably wouldn’t have tried again if it weren’t for the early abundance of kale at the Athens Farmers Market and an end-of-the-semester burst of cooking energy. But, finally, I have found the perfect kale chip “recipe.” (I hesitate to call this a recipe, actually. It’s kind of not.) This is so good I wanted to share the secret with you: Shan Indian spice blends. Before I put the kale in the oven (300 degrees for 23 minutes), I spritz a little olive oil on it (but not much, because it doesn’t take much) and then GENEROUSLY sprinkle the kale with chaat or chana masala. (I like the chaat best, but that’s because I love the sulfery taste of the black salt, a taste which I recognize many people do not like at all.) And I mean it when I put “generously” in all caps. A dusting won’t do it. You want to really pour the spice mix on.

kale-chips-fotilia

These are currently “my thing.” After Dominik said, “You know, the smell of kale roasting in the oven is a little hard to take first thing in the morning,” I have put off making them until he’s hadkale chips in a bowl his cup of tea, but I make a batch pretty much every day and have for the last month or so. I’m aware of the problems with food gentrification. but frankly we are a low income family–though in that shabby-chic, graduate student kind of way–and the kale I buy comes from local farmers who are also, for the most part, living on less than most folk. We are not turning kale into biofuel for our BMW or anything. Plus, I’ve read that kale is good for brain health. (Although I read it on HuffPo and, frankly, I take their articles about nutrition with a very, very big grain of salt, so who knows.) And these are seriously yummy.

A note of caution: I tried this with a few other spice blends and it was AWFUL. Regular old grocery store curry powder was overpoweringly sweet and “dusty” in a way that too much turmeric can be. Tikka masala was too mild and the bitterness of the kale overwhelmed it. Experiment, but I suggest leaning toward the bolder flavors.

Thank You!

Our Kickstarter is funded. It reached full funding last week, and I apologize that I’m just now posting this thank you. We spent much of that week trying to figure out what to say. To figure out how to express as much gratitude as we feel. And still, I’m not sure we’ve got it right, because every time I sit down to draft this thank you note to all of you, it falls short and I delete it.

 

(For some reason, I also always seem to fall a little bit into “Stephen Elliott Writing the Daily Rumpus Voice” when I try. But that’s a nice voice, and I would be happy to write half as well as Stephen Elliott, so there you go.)

Two fortune cookie fortunes. One reads “You will journey to pleasant places.” The other reads, “A thrilling time is in your immediate future.”
Our fortunes from last night. No, really.

We are very excited about our list of cities and writers, and we look forward to bringing you tales from the road–and our guests’ short pieces about food–over the course of the summer. We are. But right now, our overwhelming emotion is gratitude rather than wanderlust.

(Here, really, is where the blog post usually begins to derail. It starts to sound to me like an Oscar’s acceptance speech, which then feels pretentious. And we are humbled by this experience, not made more full of ourselves by it.)

First, we are thankful to all the writers who have agreed to participate. The list is amazing: Sara Pritchard, Jesse Kalvitis and Rebecca Doverspike, Ami Iachini Shiffbauer, Silas Hansen, Randon Billings Noble, Richard Peabody, Laura Bogart, Rob Bennett, Anna March, Jill Talbot, and David Lazar. Many of the people on this list are also on my reading list for my Comprehensive Exams. I can’t believe their generosity in agreeing to share their work and their time with us. We are both a little giddy over this.

Next, we want to thank our families. Kickstarter didn’t turn out to work the way we had anticipated. We thought most of our money would come from interested strangers. It didn’t. Most of it came from the pockets of the people we love, and who love us. Thank you, kinfolk.

(Here, too, the post always falls apart. I want to say that I’m not sure we’d have done this if we’d known that so much of the funding would come from the people who are already enabling us to be middle-aged graduate students pursuing a writing life instead of responsible grown-ups with real jobs. But I’m afraid saying that sounds ungrateful, when really it’s just that we were already so very grateful that we didn’t want to ask for more. If I weren’t making an effort not to be pretentious, I’d say something about cups that are running over here.)

We want to thank our community of fellow writers/readers/editors. I think folk who don’t write imagine that it’s something we do alone in quiet rooms–maybe with a cup of tea, maybe with a glass of whiskey–and that we succeed or fail solely on our own merits. That’s not even a little bit true. (Well, sometimes I do have a cup of tea.) Most of being a writer is something that we do in community with one another: introducing the work of writers we admire to our friends, acting as readers for drafts of work by friends, reading for literary journals, and (particularly at this time of year) inviting one another to give AWP panels/readings/interviews. Writers and editors both got us off the ground and put us over the top on this project. Some of them are friends, some of them strangers I admire, two are crazy famous and sometimes at night I sit up in bed and say to Dominik, “Holy crap, Authors X and Y backed our Kickstarter. Is this really our life?”

“Yep,” he says. And then we both go back to sleep.

And finally, we are grateful to our friends who supported us in this and in so many other our harebrained schemes. We promise to be equally supportive of your next crackpot idea.

(Here, too, past attempts to write this have stalled. I’m sure I’m leaving someone out, and I don’t want to do that. We will be thanking each of you individually both when the Kickstarter is officially over and then, over and over again, for years. Really. Maybe enough that you’ll tell us to please, for the love of God, give it a rest. And probably some more after that.)

Here is the truth of it: we both wake up almost every morning amazed and grateful at the life we get to lead together. (Obviously, some mornings we just wake up grumpy about the papers we have to grade or worried about someone we love or angry over something we heard on the news before we fell asleep. We are grateful, but also human.) We stop in the middle of other conversations to say to one another, “I can’t believe we get to actually do the summer tour. I can’t believe that these amazing writers have agreed to be part of it. I can’t believe how generous and supportive our family and friends have been.” (Also, sometimes, “I can’t believe Brock Lesnar broke the Undertaker’s 21 year winning streak. Brock Lesnar? That’s just not right.” But that’s a whole other kettle of fish, and not related at all to what I was talking about.) We are reeling, in the best possible way, from the support and generosity you’ve shown to us.

(And now, when I know the whole thing is full-on pretentious and that I haven’t thanked anybody adequately, I usually hit delete. I want to do a better job than this. I know that, as a writer, I’m supposed to revise until I’m satisfied but I don’t think that’s ever going to happen, and I know that it’s more important to say “thank you” now than it is to screw around with craft issues in this blog post until I think I made pretty words. So, flaws and all, I’m going to hit send. Right after I say “thank you” this one last time.)

On Being a Fat Food Blogger

When Dominik and I decided to start Writers for Dinner, I was afraid it was a terrible idea. Not because so many folks who set out to blog do so without thinking about how much work it is. I knew that it would be work, but it’s work we both love. Not because I thought we couldn’t get great writer-guests. I’m a PhD student in Creative Writing at Ohio University… I know lots of great writers, and many of them are also broke graduate students, so I imagined it would not be that hard to get them to agree to let us feed them dinner. Not even because I was afraid nobody would read our blog. I knew that the great writing of our guests would bring an audience and it has. (Thank you, readers!)

No, I was scared because I’m a fat woman and, in spite of having worked pretty much my whole life to overcome my internalized fat prejudice, I still have a tiny voice inside me that says fat women shouldn’t eat in public… and food blogging seemed like eating in public taken to a new level.

A photograph from the early twentieth century of the head and shoulders of an older woman in a black dress. The photograph makes it obvious the woman is a person of size.
My great-great grandmother, Sheva Baila Polan ran a nobleman’s dairy on an estate in Lithuania.

First, let me say that, like our Summer Tour guest Laura Bogart, I acknowledge that I choose to be fat. Unlike Laura, my fat is not armor or tied in any way to unhappiness… my fat is half genetic predisposition and half a love of the voluptuary pleasures of great food. My fat is perhaps the most transgressive kind… it’s the joyful fat of taking pleasuring in, rather than disciplining, the body. It’s the fat of saying yes to second helpings and no to spending more hours than my body needs me to spend in order to be healthy trying to negate the calories of those second helpings at the gym. It’s the fat of my great-great grandmother Sheva Baila, of my great-grandmother Bertha, of soft-bodied women everywhere who spend their time and energies on things other than being thin.

I am most comfortable with my body at just about exactly 200 lbs. When I get above that weight (as I am right now… I’ve gained 15 lbs during this joyous first year of marriage, which I understand it actually a thing), I work to bring myself back to it, but when I get there, I stop. I know that I can get to 200 lbs by getting about 50 minutes worth of brisk exercise five times a week and eating sensibly. If I want to get below 200 lbs, I have to make losing weight one of my jobs. It takes a couple hours at the gym every day and the kind of obsessive food-tracking that, frankly, takes too much time away from my other work for me to be willing to do it. I want to be a good writer, a good professor, and a better-than-good partner. That takes a lot of time and effort and I’m not willing to cut back on the work I do in any of those areas in order to also be thin. It just doesn’t matter that much to me.

Dominik and Sarah sharing a piece of wedding cake. In the photo it is obvious that Sarah is a person of size and Dominik is not.

fat-and-happy-bride
The groom and the (fat and happy) bride share a piece of wedding cake.

But although I am comfortable at 200 lbs., the world is not comfortable with me at that weight. Last year, a colleague took a sweater-capey thing I keep in my office for chilly days and used it to costume her “Fat Sarah” performance in the hallway outside the main office of our department. I happened to catch her in the act, and she was so comfortable with the idea that fat-shaming is okay, she never even apologized. She just said, “I took this (the cape) because I was cold,” and then went right back to the conversation she had been having. During our recent trip to Austria, my husband’s aunt–after feeding us a lovely dinner–gave me a diet book written in German (which I don’t read) because she assumed I was unhappy about being fat and wanted to be helpful. I love Aunt Elizabeth very much, but I was heart-broken that she would feed me and then suggest I shouldn’t eat the very food she’d just served. These sorts of casual reminders that the world thinks I should care more about my size than I do are omni-present. Facebook constantly bombards me with diet ads. Friends often compliment me by telling me an outfit is “slimming,” which isn’t actually a compliment because it means that I look good because I’ve managed to find clothes which hide the reality of my body. It gets tiresome.

And so, when Dominik and I decided to launch a food blog, it took me a while to get comfortable with the idea that I was going to be public–as a fat woman–about my love of food. I’m lucky to have a partner who is supportive when I need to put in the effort to get back to the weight I want to be, but who isn’t invested in my being anyone or anything other than who I am. Who is okay with the fact that I am a person of size. It helps me to remember that I am also okay with it, and that it’s the result of choices I make and of which I am not ashamed.

So, won’t you come over and join us for dinner? Because I love food even more when it’s shared with good friends.