Candida is the name for a genus or family of fungi and each species in the candida family then has a name. For example the most common cause of yeast infections is Candida albicans. There are many different species of candida but most are not pathogenic, i.e they do not cause any health problems for us. However there are a few that are, and Candida tropicalis is one of them.
Candida tropicalis is not a common cause of yeast infections in otherwise healthy individuals. It is more often found in hospitalized patients in critical care including those with diabetes, lymphoma and leukemia. It is the second most common pathogen form the candida genus, and in those at risk patients can cause disseminated candidiasis and septicemia. As well as being part of the natural healthy flora of people it has also been isolated in kefir, soil, feces and shrimp. In animals and humans it tends to reside in the urinary and gastrointestinal tract.
Causes of Candida tropicalis overgrowth
Just as with other candida yeasts it lives in the gastrointestinal tract in small numbers and is harmless. When triggers occur that allow it to overgrow is when candida tropicalis just like candida albicans, becomes pathogenic. If it becomes a systemic infection entering the bloodstream it can affect internal organs. Triggers include;
- poor diet
- hormonal times
- certain medications
Symptoms of a Candida tropicalis infection
- abdominal pain
- food sensitivities / allergies
- respiratory problems
- memory loss
- mood swings
- panic attacks
Treating Candida tropicalis
As mentioned though similar in some ways to Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis differs in that it can cause septicemia, particularly in those with leukemia, lymphoma and diabetes. Treatment depends on where the infection is located and how severe the infection is. For vaginal candida tropicalis, fluconazole and nystatin can be prescribed and in 90% of cases are effective in one dose. For cases of Candida tropicalis where patients are hospitalized are often treated with systemic anti-fungal drugs like caspofungin or amphotericin B. If you are more interested in alternative treatment, bitter orange has been used in the past for candida tropicalis. Research by two Indian homeopathic doctors found that bitter orange leaves from the bitter orange plant, that grows in Morocco, Australia and South Africa is effective.