Invasive candidiasis is an infection that occurs when a type of fungus or yeast, called Candida, enters the bloodstream. The condition is called systemic candidiasis when only one organ system is involved. It is called disseminated candidiasis if the disease has spread to multiple organ systems. Candida are found naturally in many parts of the human body. When the fungus overgrows or enters other parts of the body, it can be dangerous.
Symptoms tend to vary between cases of invasive candidiasis depending on which organs are infected, but a fever is very common. Red bumps, which look like pimples without the pus, may be present as well. Depending on which organs are affected, blood clots and trouble passing urine are possible symptoms. Invasive candidiasis may also cause sepsis, which can cause damage to or failure of organ systems. In severe cases, invasive candidiasis can lead to blindness or even death. However, once diagnosed, invasive candidiasis can be treated.
Most people who suffer from invasive candidiasis contract it in a hospital, especially if they have a weakened immune system or they are recovering from surgery. Doctors will diagnose invasive candidiasis by testing to see if the yeast is present in places of the body where it is not found in healthy people, often the blood. In individuals with invasive candidiasis, levels of a carbohydrate called beta-glucan are often very high. Doctors may also test how much beta-glucan is present in your system in order to form a diagnosis.
There are multiple antifungal medications that can be prescribed to treat invasive candidiasis. Your doctor should suggest which treatment is right for you because certain types of the fungus respond differently to each medication. If you believe that you have invasive candidiasis, contact your doctor immediately. Support groups are also a good source of information and can help connect you with others affected by invasive candidiasis.