What is candidiasis?

Candidiasis, commonly called a yeast infection, is an infection caused by a fungal microorganism, most often the fungus Candida albicans. Candidiasis is also known as candida and thrush. It can cause yeast infections in many areas of the body including:

The fungus that causes most cases of candidiasis, Candida albicans, normally lives in the mouth, vagina, and other places in the body. It exists in a certain balance with other microorganisms, including bacteria. However, some factors or conditions may cause an overgrowth of Candida albicans resulting in candidiasis. Candidiasis can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her child during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Candidiasis is treatable in generally healthy people. However, candidiasis is more likely to occur and can be more difficult to treat in people with weakened immune systems due to such conditions as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, or taking steroid medications or chemotherapy. In these cases, complications of candidiasis may become life threatening.

Recurring candidiasis infections can also be a symptom of a serious, undiagnosed underlying disease, such as HIV/AIDS or diabetes. Seek prompt medical care for recurring candidiasis infections including vaginal yeast infections or oral thrush.

SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of candidiasis?

Symptoms of candidiasis differ depending on the severity of the infection and the area of the body affected.

Candidiasis symptoms that affect the mouth (oral thrush) include:

CAUSES

What causes candidiasis?

Candidiasis most often occurs when there is an overgrowth of Candida albicans in places in the body where it normally lives, such as the mouth and vagina. When Candida albicans grows unchecked, it throws off the normal balance of other microorganisms that normally live in the body.

Certain factors or conditions can result in an overgrowth of Candida albicans. ... Read more about candidiasis informationcauses

TREATMENTS

How is candidiasis treated?

Treatment of candidiasis begins with seeking regular medical care throughout your life. This allows your health care professional to assess your risks of developing candidiasis and promptly order diagnostic testing for candidiasis and underlying conditions as needed. These measures greatly increase the chances of diagnosing and treating underlying causes of candidiasis in their earliest stages.... Read more about candidiasis informationtreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 9, 2013 Copyright: © 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.