Candida Infections of the Urinary Tract

Candida infections of the urinary tract or candiduria has been well docmuneted since 1890, when Schmorl first discovered the presence of candida in a patient with typhoid fever. Kidney lesions have been found in a large number of people in post mortem autopses. However, this type of infection can present diagnostic difficulties in individual cases.

Some hospital studies have revealed infection rates upwards of 60% but 10% seems to be the normal infection rate of candida in the urine. Candida albicans is the usual infectious agent but candida glabrata has also been found in some cases.

Just because you may have candida in your urine does not mean that you actually have a full blown candida urinary infection. It is a generally established rule of thumb that if the amount exceeds 10 to the 5th power ml-1 it is pathogenic. However, Haley discovered that 30% of 500 urinary samples contained yeasts but not all of these patients had any kind of candida urinary infection. Other scientists have said these levels are cause for alarm.

Candiduria patients do of course tend to have higher anti-candida agglutinins in their serum, but only 2 of 62 confirmed systemic cases of candida caused death when candiduria was present.

Another study done on 638 patients by Kozinn, Goldberg, and Wise found that candida concentrations of 10,000 to 15,000 yeasts ml-1 coincided with autopsy proven candiduria.

Hospital catheters are the greatest risk factor in candida urinary infections. Females have a greater risk than males, and middle aged and older are the most at risk. Diabetes is also an underlying risk factor as it almost always is with chronic candida infections.

Candida Infections of the Kidney

These candida urinary infections are commonly obstructive with fungal balls collecting in the renal pelvis. Sometimes lesions can be seen and cancer has been present, although it has not be proven that the candida caused the cancer.

In 1/3 of the cases fever is commonly present at the onset of the infection and in 17% it was proven that the patient had candida infections of other organs or candida in the blood stream. 80% of the time the species responsible is candida albicans but candida albicans only accounts for rougly 55% of the yeasts found in urine without the kidney infection.

Babies with renal candidia are usually the result of premature birth and complications in the urinary tract, and mortality rates run as high as 31% in these neonatal conditions.

Most renal candida infections are a result of candida being found in the bloodstream and the candida infects the host as the blood passes through the kidneys to be cleaned. If not diagnosed early enough so it can be treated with azole drugs, the candida usually shuts down the kidneys causing death.

Candida can also infect the bladder although it is somewhat rare. Lower urinary tract infections are more frequent and the common symptoms are itching and a scanty discharge. It is much more frequent in women than men because of the obvious differences in sexual organs and prevelance of vaginal yeast infections.

Prostatitis can also be caused by candida and can reduce sperm motility and cause agglutination of the spermatozoa, which suggests it can cause sterility. Sex with a woman that has a vaginal yeast infection and catheters are a risk factor for these infections. However, prostate glands infected by yeast is extremely rare.

Treatment Options for Candiduria and Urinary Candida Infections

Usually systemic chemotherapy with antifungal drugs and in some cases surgery is the most successful treatment for these types of infections. The single most effective drug seems to be flucytosine with a better than 90% success rate although you run the risk of the candida building resistance to the drug. Another azole drug that looks promising is fluconazole since it is secreted in the urine like flucytosine. The best method would probably be a rotation of the two drugs at sufficient doses, to little is worse than not enough. No treatment at all resulted in an 87% death rate.

Natural treatments would consist of Candidate, Pau d'arco teaSf722, GSE and Organic Oregano Oil in very high doses. However, it might be best to see a qualified doctor and use the azole drugs for candiduria and candida urinary infections since it is so life threatening.

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