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Candidiasis, men

If you have a weakened immune system there is a risk that the candida fungus will spread into your blood. This is known as invasive candidiasis.

If you have a weakened immune system, there is a risk that the candida fungus will spread into your blood.

This is known as invasive candidiasis.

Invasive candidiasis

The infection can then spread quickly throughout your body, affecting many of your organs. Known risk factors for invasive candidiasis include:

  • having HIV
  • having type 1 or type 2 diabetes
  • taking immunosuppressants – a type of medication used to stop the body rejecting newly-donated organs
  • undergoing high-dose chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • having a central venous catheter (CVC) – a tube directly implanted into your chest and used to administer medication; they are often used to avoid repeated painful injections during a long-term course of medication
  • having dialysis – a type of treatment where a machine is used to replicate the functions of the kidney, and is commonly used to treat kidney failure

Symptoms of invasive candidiasis can be wide-ranging, depending on what part of the body is affected by infection. However, initial symptoms can include:

  • a high temperature (fever) of or above 38C (101.4F)
  • shivering
  • nausea
  • headache

Get medical help immediately if you have thrush and any of the risk factors listed above, or you develop any of the above symptoms over a short period of time.

Invasive candidiasis is a medical emergency that requires immediate admission to an intensive care unit (ICU). In an ICU, functions of the body can be supported while the underlying infection is treated with anti-fungal medications.

If you are thought to be particularly vulnerable to invasive candidiasis – for example, you have diabetes and are on dialysis, your GP may recommend that you are admitted to hospital as a precaution if you develop a thrush infection.

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