What is candidiasis?

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Eva B. Cwynar, MD
Internal Medicine
When there is an imbalance of bacteria in the digestive tract, an overgrowth of yeast, or the presence of viruses or parasites in the intestines, they are described as being in a state of dysbiosis. One specific form of dysbiosis is candidiasis, the overgrowth of a yeastlike fungus that may thrive in the intestinal tract, mouth, skin, and vagina. There are a wide variety of symptoms that may include fatigue, "brain fog," and skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Candida albicans and other species of yeast are normally found in the body but become a problem when there is an overgrowth. The normal balance of organisms in the intestinal tract is thrown off and there are too many of one kind of organism and not enough of another living on top of each other in the same area. It's like poor urban planning: too many buildings and not enough parks.

In some cases, the candida overgrowth in the intestines can penetrate the intestinal wall, causing the yeast and other unwanted particles to be absorbed into the body. This is thought to activate the immune system, resulting in fatigue, headache, mood swings, poor memory and concentration, and cravings for sweets.
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Candidiasis is an infection, commonly called a yeast infection, caused by an overgrowth of a fungus called Candida, usually the species Candida albicans. This fungus occurs naturally in the body and is usually kept in check by healthy bacteria. Various parts of the body can be affected, including the skin, mouth, esophagus, or vagina.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.