The most common cause of fungal infections in the bowel is candida. The organism naturally occurs in the mouth, genital tract and intestines and grows out of control when the balance of beneficial bacteria is upset, usually by antibiotic use. At that point an overgrowth of candida may occur, bringing a variety of unpleasant symptoms. People with weakened immune systems or who consume large amounts of sugar are most at risk for having the common yeast infection.
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Common symptoms seen during any yeast infection may be chapped skin, dryness and flakiness, stiffness in shoulders, headaches, sexual problems and joint pain, according to yeastinfectionadvisor.com.
Intestinal symptoms of invasive yeast may be bloating, gasiness, diarrhea, cramping, mucus in the stool and frequent urging for stool. Additional symptoms may be loss of appetite, constipation, bad breath and indigestion, reports yeastinfectionadvisor.com.
Mental and emotional symptoms may also accompany a stomach yeast infection--depression, autistic tendencies, irritability, fatigue and mood swings. There may also be an accompanying vaginal yeast infection in women, according to emedicinehealth.com. Red, sore and itchy skin in patches may occur. A rash may appear in the folds of the skin where moisture is trapped, causing itching and peeling of the skin.
Yeastinfectionadvisor.com also says there may be cravings for a variety of foods, mostly sweet and starchy foods such as breads and pasta.
Systemic yeast infections may occur originating from the bowel in people with weakened immune systems, or those who have been exposed to long-term antibiotic or steroid treatment. Mild systemic infections don't occur; the infection is always severe and may be quite serious, according to LifeExtension.org. Invasive yeast starts in the bowel and spreads through the bloodstream, causing possible fever and shock, elevated heart rate, respiratory problems, decreased blood pressure, skin rashes and organ damage.