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You Can Get a Yeast Infection in Your Heart, and Here’s What You Should Know About It

When we hear about yeast infections we typically tend to think of them as being the common vaginal condition caused by changes in the balance of bacteria and yeast. A vaginal yeast infection can be easily treated, and in most cases is resolved within a few days. But there is another type of yeast infection that many of us do not realize exists, and that is a yeast infection in the heart.

Endocarditis is an infection of the endocardium, the inner lining of the heart chambers and valves. This happens when common bacteria or fungi in your mouth, skin, or another part of your body, gets into your bloodstream and can affect the heart. It is a very serious condition if not detected and treated quickly, Mayo Clinic notes. But it was prosthetic valve endocarditis, which happens when a prosthetic heart valve becomes infected, that was recently brought to everyone’s addition after the condition led to complications that claimed the life of a 76-year-old man with a history of congestive heart failure.

In this particular individual, blood tests revealed that he had a type of yeast infection called Candida parapsilosis in his heart, and according to Health, the yeast infection had blocked his heart valve — according to Open Access Journals, prosthetic valve endocarditis is rare although serious complication “of cardiac valve replacement surgery and is associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality.”

The individual had first gone into hospital reporting shortness of breath and fever, doctors found that the patient had “a large vegetation causing substantial obstruction” of the valve. Health notes that although shortness of breath can be related to a number of different things, and the symptom was unique to this patient because of his prosthetic valve, his rare case should highlight how important it is for shortness of breath to be checked out as soon as possible.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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