Although most people have not heard of the pathogen Rhodotorula it seems that in the near future we will be hearing a lot more. The organism is a yeast much in the same vein as Candida in that it can disrupt the essential microflora community within the human digestive system. Another common feature shared by these two yeasts are that Rhodotorula, like Candida, is now known to be ‘opportunistic’ which makes it particularly dangerous to those already suffering from conditions where the immune system is impaired.
There are 8 species of Rhodotorula and several are specific to humans including R. glutinis, R. minuta, and R. mucilaginosa. It can be found almost everywhere from air and fruit through to soil and, although its existence has long been known, it is only very recently that it has been established as a pathogen emerging as a causation of disease in the last 2 decades.
Most cases of illness relating to this particular yeast actually have their foundation in the modern world because this organism has an affinity for the modern creation, plastic, and which is possibly why it did not emerge as being problematic previously. Overgrowths of Rhodotorula are now found to occur most often in patients where invasive procedures have been used particularly involving venous catheters. In other cases it would seem, yet again that antibiotics and corticosteriods have left patients open to infection by this opportunistic yeast in much the same way as happens with Candida.
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Signs and Symptoms of Rhodotorula
Because the findings relating to infections caused by Rhodotorula are, for the moment at least, limited to patients who are already suffering from another form of disease, any symptoms which arise usually appear in a hospital setting which is also known as a nosocomial illness. The problems which Rhodotorula cause are related to either localized infections or what is known as fungemia. Fungemia means an infection of the blood which has been caused by the yeast organism. Because of the nature of the condition diagnosis is usually specialized and provided by the clinicians in charge of the patient when symptoms specific to either aspect of the condition arise.
Causes of Rhodotorula
It is becoming clearer that most cases of Rhodotorula are contracted within a hospital setting. The reasons for this are related to the issues of patients with already immunocompromised conditions, invasive medical practices, contemporary drugs which leave the body open to this pathogenic organism, and the use of plastic in hospital settings whether they be involved in clinical procedures or the general environment including shower curtains and toothbrushes – all of which are conducive to this opportunistic yeast. The combination of these factors appears to be assisting the pathogen to cause additional illnesses in patients and are direct causations of a rise in incidences of the condition.
Risk Factors for Rhodotorula
What is known at the moment is that this organism is able to cause disease primarily in a nosocomial setting. Often this is due to the parasites affinity for plastic and this can affect those undergoing a variety of treatments including catheterization and even dialysis. Infections that are acquired by patients already undergoing treatment should then be considered for having acquired this opportunistic parasite.
However what is currently unknown, quite likely because the organism has only recently been identified as being pathogenic, is how many people are affected with ailments of the digestive tract caused by this yeast. We know that it can be found in a variety of foods including, peanuts, cheese, fruit juice, sausages and numerous other products but so far no research has been undertaken investigating possible causation of illness.
There were very few cases of disease recorded relating to Rhodotorula prior to 1985, however now they are increasing in number. Scientists are suggesting that further research is undertaken to investigate if the fungi can be transferred directly from the digestive tract to the bloodstream which would cause fungemia that is normally, as we currently understand it, passed directly into the bloodstream via venous catheters.
Cases of skin infections in other species have been recorded but they are few. They include dermatitis in a cat, skin lesions in sea-lions and chickens which suffered skin problems. To date no cases have been reported in humans.
We also know that some sea water can contain this organism. However what is not certain is whether this is naturally occurring or if the water became contaminated via household waste carrying the parasite.
At the moment susceptibility is the major risk factor when it comes to contracting this parasite. This may be through medical equipment or being in an environment contaminated with the organism when the immune system is compromised.
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Treatment for Rhodotorula
Because nearly all cases of infection caused by Rhodotorula are currently identified in a hospital setting, treatment is normally provided by conventional means and includes antifungals.
Although the infection is currently considered rare outside a hospital setting and would be more readily identified in those suffering from conditions where the immune system is impaired, many naturopaths and clinicians suggest that the treatment should also include natural elements which are similar to those used to clear Candida infections. This means that eliminating sugars, including dairy, alcohol and junk foods are essential. The only dairy which should be consumed is a daily probiotic and this can be supported by a natural supplement such as Canxida Remove after consultation with your clinician.
Shannon Crandall says
I have been battling what I thought was a candida problem for years now…..was tested in 2013 and was found to have SIBO and was treated with antibiotics for that. Some of the symptoms I have come and go, but others are constant. I am on a paleo diet low-carb and eat really healthy….I exercise and sleep 8-10 hours. I don’t drink alcohol! I have been having major digestion problems for the last several years and the brain fog as well as joint pain, fatigue, IBS and stomach pain and bloating are keeping me from living my life in a manner that I would like. It interfers with work and my social life. I have Hashimotos as well as a hiatal hernia and slow emptying of my stomach and rashes on my hands and feet that look like dyshydrotic ezcema. I just read your article about Rhodotorola and that is what they found in 2012 when they did a stool test on me. I have taken lauricidin and other natural herbal remedies to get rid of yeast and it works for a short period of time but comes back. HELP! I have spent thousands of dollars on supplements, doctors including naturopaths, osteopaths, gastroenterologist, endocrinologists and the list goes on and on!
Joan Waters, ND says
Don’t give up. Gut issues are often complex. If you SIBO symptoms came back then perhaps it wasnt treated properly or youhavean underlying motility issue that hasnt been addressed. Test for SIBO again then read Dr Allison Siebecker’s website (www.siboinfo.com). Dr Siebecker is brilliant and a super sweet person besides. Find a good naturopathic doctor or functional medicine MD who really knows the gut.
Joan D Waters, ND
Do you know if Rhodotorula can infect the sinuses or the skin? My child had a strong reaction (IgG, IgM, or IgA) on the ELISA ACT to Rhodotorula. His stool test (month before ELISA, came back negative). His deficiencies are chromium, glutathione, serine, & B2. I should also mention that he eats an autoimmune paleo (& now low-histamine) diet. I’ve read that Rhodotorula can be found in coconut water, and he drank at least two coconut juices a day for the last few years. Since the time of the test, he has been experiencing fatigue, headaches (nasal passages look inflamed, but no discharge), histamine intolerance, itchy scalp, and what looks like acne on his face, back, chest, and shoulders. He also has pitting on some of his fingernails. I read somewhere that what looks like acne can actually be yeast/fungus. I am planning to take him to a dermatologist and an ENT, but I am worried they will misdiagnose (it seems that’s what usually happens). Unfortunately, there is not an ND or FMD in my area, but I will travel if necessary. Thank you.
I found some pink spots in my hummus and we had it tested and it came back as Rhodotorula glutinis. I have no idea where that would come from or how it started to grow. should I be concerned for my health if I ate the hummus that had no pink showing. Also how does this start to grow?
I have been tested and have rhodorutula how can I get rid of it
Try canxida remove
It is treated with a combination of anti fungals. I’m going to be taking flucytosine and posaconazole for three weeks.