Candida Overgrowth : A Gastrointestinal Disorder

1920 Words Jun 4th, 2016 8 Pages
Candida Overgrowth - A Gastrointestinal Disorder

Definition: Candida albicans is an opportunistic fungal infection, part of the yeast family. In a healthy individual, C. albicans lives synergistically within the digestive tract, vaginal tract, and to a lessor extent on the skin. However, when the immune system is weak or beneficial flora is eliminated, C. albicans colonizes, invading healthy mucosal tissues (Berman & Sudbury, 2002, p. 919).

Etiology: Candida is a group of about 150 yeast species with C. albicans accounting for 70-80% of all candida infections. Candida resides on skin and mucous membranes, including the GI tract (Aaron, 2015). In normal circumstances and in healthy individuals, C. albicans is controlled by beneficial flora, the immune defense system and intestinal pH within the digestive system (Lipski, 2012, p. 79). However, when there is an overgrowth and a depressed immune system, the intestinal wall becomes week allowing the body to absorb yeast cells and various toxic bi-products of C. albicans (Pizzorno & Murry, 2013, p. 462). As a result of a C. albicans infection, known as Candidiasis, there are disruptions to the body’s processes and systems. These dysfunctions effect the immune system, hormone balance, as well as cognitive function. As an overgrowth continues to spread, an increase of toxic bi-products are produced contributing to future damage to the intestinal wall. This can lead to leaky gut syndrome and small intestinal overgrowth (Lipski,…
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