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Chronic intestinal candidiasis as a possible etiological factor in the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

  [ 43 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • June 5, 1996

The chronic candidiasis syndrome, also known as the Candida-related
complex, putatively caused by the overgrowth of Candida
albicans in the gastrointestinal tract and secondarily in the
genital organs, is briefly described. Patients with this
disorder have many of the same symptoms as those with the
chronic fatigue syndrome, except for the recurrent flu-like
symptoms of the latter disorder. The positive response of a
large number of patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome
(CFS) to an oral antifungal agent and a diet for intestinal
candidiasis has been described by another clinician. There is
evidence that Candida albicans infection of the mucous
membranes depresses T cell and natural killer (NK) cell
function. Similar abnormalities of immune function are found
in the CFS. The function of cytotoxic T cells, T helper cells,
and NK cells is important in preventing reactivation of
infections from Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and other
herpesviruses. Reactivation of one or more of these viruses
could lead to the expression of the flu-like symptoms in the
CFS. Yet the immune dysfunction found in this disorder has
been considered the primary underlying causal factor. It is
proposed that chronic intestinal candidiasis may be an agent
which leads to immune depression in many CFS patients and
therefore that it could be a causal factor in CFS.

Cater RE 2nd

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