ZocdocAnswersIs systemic/gastrointestinal candiasis real?

Question

Is systemic/gastrointestinal candiasis real?

Many alternative and natural doctors and their patients assert that this "yeast overgrowth" problem of the bowels is real and causes other problems including, nail fungus. IBS. emotional and cognitive problems, and blocks the absorption of medications and nutrients. I think it's a fake condition.

Answer

Candida is a type of yeast or fungus. This is found throughout the world and resides on our skin as well. Many people also have it in there bladder or in there gastro-intestinal system. This can cause infection -- but often is just normal. Overall, while there can be problems caused by candidiasis -- this rarely is a cause. There are real infections cause by candida. For example, candida in the blood is a severe and life-threatening situation that requires treatment urgently. However, most conditions are simply "colonization" which is not an infection but just the presence of the yeast. Often the yeast is just there -- not causing any problem. There are many people who try and treat these colonizations -- but they don't work. Numerous studies have shown that cleaning out the yeast doesn't make a difference. Because there is a difference between infection and colonization -- it is difficult to say all the conditions are 'fake' -- but you are right in that some alternative practitioners try to treat this without data to support it. Candida is not at all related to emotional or cognitive problems. IBS not due to candida. Treating it does not help. Please talk to your doctor for more information!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.