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A Candida test will tell you if you have Candidiasis which is a fungal infection due to candida and can happen anywhere on the body. It is caused by an overgrowth of yeast most commonly in warm moist body area such as the genitals, usually in women in the vagina, the intestinal tract and mouth, diaper areas of babies, folds of skin, open cuts and nailbeds. We all have a small amount of the candida living in our mouth and intestines and it works by aiding digestion and the absorption of nutrients from the food we eat.

The problems start when it gets out of control and grows too much in the body. The good bacteria cannot fight it off. The treatment for infection is usually simple however if left untreated the infection can spread through the bloodstream via the intestinal wall and a leaky gut and may cause serious illness. If the infection returns continuously it can be a sign of more serious illnesses in people with compromised immune systems such as leukemia, AIDS or diabetes and even in pregnant women.

So, what is Candida?

Candida is the most common cause of fungal infections. It is a genus of yeast and is sometimes called a yeast infection. The most common species that can cause infections is called candida albicans, also called candidiasis or thrush. Women are more susceptible to genital yeast infections, candida and thrush, however men can also be infected. There are known factors which increase the risk of yeast infections such as prolonged antibiotic use, as well diabetes and/or an impaired immune system.

Candidiasis is also common among people who are taking antibiotics because antibiotics can kill good bacteria allowing the candida to grow. The bacteria has even been linked to depression and digestive problems. If you find you have any of the following symptoms or illnesses, you may have an overgrowth of this yeast.

Candida Symptoms:

  • Sugar and carbohydrate cravings
  • Digestive problems including bloating or constipation/diarrhea
  • Skin and or nail fungal infections
  • Suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia or even just feeling run down
  • Autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis
  • Difficulty concentrating or memory loss
  • Mood disturbances, irritability, anxiety, or depression
  • Vaginal or urinary tract infections
  • Rectal vaginal itching
  • Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears
  • Contributing factors to the increase of this fungus in the system are the following:
  • High alcohol intake
  • Consuming a lot of carbohydrates, refined/processed foods and sugar
  • The oral contraceptive pill
  • A high stress lifestyle

Many believe that eating fermented foods is good for increasing good bacteria which can be true but these foods such as sauerkraut and Kombucha, can also feed bad bacteria so it is good to test for candida before consuming too much of these foods.

The Candida test at home:-

Different ways for testing for candida overgrowth are through the urine, blood or a stool test.

Urine Test

A urine test detects D-Arabinitol which is a waste product of candida yeast overgrowth. High levels of D-Arabinitol indicate an overgrowth of candida, and this test will help find if there is candida in your upper gut or small intestines. D-arabinitol is a sugar found in sweet apples, grapes, and pears so it is best to avoid these fruits and their products 24 hours prior to collecting a urine sample to avoid a false positive test result.

Blood test

A blood test for Candida can see your levels for candida antibodies called IgG, IgA, and IgM. High levels can indicate an overgrowth of candida.

Stool test

The stool test is said to be the most accurate for detecting candida. Once a sample is taken, the lab look for candida overgrowth in your colon or lower intestines, and can also discover the species of yeast thus making the treatment even more effective.

It is also advised to first change your diet to eating low carbohydrates and eliminating sugar in all forms. Only treating candida overgrowth with diet can take some time, usually three to six months so consult a health professional or pharmacist for other pharmaceutical or over the counter treatments as well as a good diet.

Once you have the candida population under control it’s a good idea to take a probiotic regularly to restore the good bacteria in our system. Eliminating refined and sugary foods and eating more nourishing foods that are less inflammatory will aid in digestion and heal your gut to prevent candida entering your bloodstream and keeping you healthy.

Candida

If you have skin problems, nail fungal infections or athlete’s foot, you may have Candida. When overgrown, Candida can disrupt your digestive system causing a leaky gut. If you are experiencing this type of health problem it’s important to start checking your levels of Candida which can be carried out at home or at a clinic. The results provided will give you an indication of what kind of treatment plan you should follow to help alleviate this condition. Don’t worry too much, there are many products on the market for Candida testing. Here are some helpful resources which will give you all the support needed regarding the ins and outs of Candida along with testing.

Products

There’s so much info available online that it can be somewhat difficult to find the right product to suit your particular needs. Here are some guidelines and different platforms from which to monitor your Candida levels.

Home Tests – home Candida test kits provide a general indicator about this condition. A simple saliva test will let you know if you have Candida or not. This test is a sure fire way in showing tell-tale signs of Candida. If you test positive, it’s important to make an appointment with your doctor or health professional. There’s plenty of useful and interesting info here

Physician Tests – doctors as well as health professionals can carry out several tests to see if Candida is present. These can include blood tests, stool analyses and urine tartaric acid tests. here

Resources and Links:

 American Nutrition Association: www.americannutritionassociation.org