The Connection Between Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Candida
Candida albicans is the most common type of yeast infection. It is generally found in the mouth and intestines, though it may affect the skin and other mucous membranes as well. Every person has small quantities of Candida within their mouth and intestines, as it can be helpful in improving digestion and the absorption of nutrients.
If your immune system is functioning properly, then a candida infection is seldom severe. However, if your immune system is not functioning properly, then this type of yeast infection can spread to other areas of your body – releasing toxins and triggering severe candida symptoms.
Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and candida – What’s the connection?
Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and candida share a common origin – inflammation. One of the main reasons why candida is associated with more than 100 medical conditions and diseases is because of its ability to trigger chronic inflammation within the body.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are both autoimmune diseases. When you have an autoimmune disease, this generally indicates that your immune cells are baffled and they have begun to attack your own tissue. The attack itself is always accompanied by inflammation. In Crohn’s disease, the most common area where the autoimmune attack takes place is somewhere towards the end of the small intestine or the beginning of the large intestine. In ulcerative colitis, the autoimmune attack occurs in more specific areas of the gastrointestinal tract, such as only the small intestine or only the large intestine.
Evidence continues to present itself
Studies continue to show that there is a relationship between candida and conditions such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel disease, gastritis, indigestion, and other digestive tract imbalances. Such imbalances within the gastrointestinal tract can then extend to other areas within the body. One of the inflammatory pathways associated with candida is the pro-inflammatory IL-17 cytokine pathway. This pathway is also associated with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and other imbalances. Other proinflammatory pathways identified to be associated with the presence of candida include II-1 and TNF-a.
The ability of the candida infection to linger for years after using antibiotics plays a role in creating chronic health issues both inside and outside of the gastrointestinal tract.
How candida overgrowth can trigger IBD development
The presence of candida in its fungal form has been known to help balance pro and anti-inflammatory responses within the gastrointestinal tract. However, if candida persists, the imbalances within the bacterial flora can trigger chronic inflammation and rapid deterioration. Since patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are colonized by fungal candida on a regular basis, it is believed that the candida infection triggers the development of these inflammatory bowel diseases. Several researchers agree with this notion.
Read on to understand more about how candida can trigger development of IBD.