Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Mucosal Disorders

The causes of mucosal disorders are generally bacteria, viruses or fungi, such as yeast. A weakened immune system, stress or dietary deficiencies can make you more prone to a mucosal disorder.

Mucosal disorders can develop in a variety of ways:

  • Candidiasis is often caused by humid conditions, damaged skin or a depressed immune system.
  • Canker sores are the result of a condition called aphthous stomatitis, and brought on by a weakened immune system, food allergies, viruses, bacteria and poor nutrition.
  • Herpes is spread through skin-to-skin contact such as kissing and sexual intercourse. It can also be passed via a glass or lip balm of someone who has the herpes simplex virus. It can be contagious even when no lesions are present.

Diagnosing mucosal disorders

A diagnosis of a mucosal disorder may begin with a physical exam and a discussion of your symptoms. Tests may include:

  • Blood tests: A sample of your blood may be taken to determine if there’s an underlying condition causing your mucosal disorder.
  • Scraping: A small sample of the tissue affected by thrush or herpes virus is examined under a microscope.
  • Endoscopy: If thrush extends into your esophagus, your physician may use an endoscope (a long, thin, flexible tube with a camera at the end) to view the area or to take a biopsy (tissue sample).
  • Pelvic exam: If you have recurrent vaginal yeast infections, your physician may perform a pelvic exam to examine the vagina and cervix and get a sample of vaginal secretions.

Diagnostic Tests