Assocation Between Celiac Disease and Candida

Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D.
Patient and Doctor

Celiac disease and overgrowth of Candida, often referred to as candidiasis, are two separate health conditions, but may have a few things in common. However, just because two health conditions are associated with each other doesn't mean one causes the other to occur.

Antibody Similarities

Experiencing chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis (CMC), which means you have recurring yeast infections in your skin, nails or mucous membranes, can increase gliadin iGg antibodies in your body. These antibodies are referred to as anti-gliadin antibodies, and they are the same antibodies that your body makes when you have Celiac disease.

Misdiagnosis

This similarity can lead to confusion and, in some cases, misdiagnosis. For example, a study published in 2009 in Acta Paediatrica found that a patient with elevated gliadin IgG antibodies thought to have Celiac disease actually had CMC and Candida esophagitis, which is a yeast infection of the esophagus.

Candida's Effects on Celiac Disease

While genetics likely play a role in whether or not you'll develop Celiac disease, some researchers hypothesize that a type of Candida called Candida albicans, which is yeast that causes genital, nail and oral fungal infections, may trigger the development of Celiac disease. However, a study published in 2012 in PlusOne reports that whether or not Candida causes Celiac disease is speculation, and not backed by scientific evidence.

Similar Side Effects

Side effects you may experience from candidiasis could be similar to side effects that occur when you have Celiac disease. It's normal for Candida yeast to live on your skin and mucous membranes, but an overgrowth of Candida can cause fungal infections and be problematic.

  • Canker sores in your mouth caused by Celiac disease often resemble soreness in your mouth caused by oral candidiasis, also known as thrush.
  • A Candida infection of the skin can cause itchy rashes, similar to rashes you may experience if you have Celiac disease.

Bottom Line

While there is some speculation that candidiasis may trigger Celiac disease or that you're more prone to yeast infections if you have Celiac disease, more research is needed to determine if this is indeed the case. While some symptoms and antibodies are the same with candidiasis and Celiac disease, these two health conditions have very different causes and treatments. Celiac disease requires lifelong elimination of gluten from your diet, while candidiasis can be treated with medication.

Future research studies may determine if there is a stronger correlation between candida and Celiac disease.

Assocation Between Celiac Disease and Candida