Causes

The Candida fungus, which is not pathologic under normal conditions, is found normally on the skin and in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the mouth, and the vagina. Candida causes infection when a body change permits its sudden proliferation. The most common factor remains the side effects caused by the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Changes that contribute to susceptibility to candidiasis include rising glucose levels caused by diabetes mellitus, and lowered resistance caused by a disease such as carcinoma, an immunosuppressive drug such as corticosteroids, or radiation therapy. Approximately 14% of patients with immunocompromising illnesses develop systemic candidiasis.

Other associated factors include aging, irritation from dentures, instrumentation (urinary or intravenous catheters, indwelling foreign bodies), surgery, peritoneal dialysis, or the use of oral contraceptives.

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