Candida Test – Keeping an Eye on Your Microbiome
Candida, like so many other microorganisms, is an integral part of a healthy gut. Its occurrence is perfectly natural, with healthy levels contributing to digestion, proper nutrient absorption, and warding off other infections. However, the microbiome of the gut is sensitive, with a myriad of microorganisms creating a careful, if competitive, balance. Should one of these competitors gain too much influence over the ecosystem, it can lead to problems. [Source: BMJ]
This fact rings true for Candida. Low quantities are fine, healthy even, but if allowed to grow too much, health may suffer. This is known as a Candida overgrowth, and can come in a variety of forms, each with its own implications. Depending on the Candida overgrowth in question, it can lead to disruptive, and often severe, health conditions like IBS. [Source: NCBI]
This brings us to the main question – how can we monitor our gut microbiome to ensure it is kept in balance? The answer is, thankfully, quite simple. We can employ the services of a Candida test.
What is a Candida test?
Candida overgrowths will elicit different responses from person to person, with the experiences differing further depending on the area of the body. If you suspect you might be suffering from a Candida overgrowth, it is important to visit a specialist. Though there are some self-testing kits available, it is notoriously difficult to effectively pinpoint a high concentration of Candida, especially without a professional eye.
Are there different tests available?
As there are different types of Candida overgrowth, different tests exist to detect them. For example, a superficial Candida imbalance, one that affects the skin or mucous lining, will require a different procedure to an invasive imbalance, one that has entered the bloodstream. Depending on the suspected type of Candida overgrowth, and the suspected location, there is a range of tests available.
A Candida stool analysis is one of several lab tests. For this test, you will collect the samples which are then returned to the lab.
Once at the lab, the samples will be analysed, with the presence of several things closely looked at. Most importantly is the presence and concentration of Candida, specifically Candida Albicans, though the presence of other microorganisms is also of note. It’s important to also look for any indication of inflammation, as this provides an insight into the overall health of the gut.
Certain labs also offer a sensitivity test. This offers information, if candida is found, into which herbal or pharmaceutical antifungals may be most appropriate. [Source: GDX]
A stool analysis is not only an effective way of detecting Candida overgrowths, but it also provides excellent insight into the overall health of your gut and digestive system. While the results of such a test can, of course, help with treating Candida overgrowth should it be detected, it can also help in other ways. Should the test show a lack of beneficial bacteria, or shine a light on a different cause for your health problems, you will be better equipped to take the necessary action to remedy the situation.
Candida blood test
A blood test is one of the key tests for diagnosing invasive Candidiasis. It can be taken as a test administered in a lab, as well as in a self-test format. A Candida blood test involves a very simple process; you will supply a few drops of blood, then wait for the analysis to take place. The results arrive quickly, typically taking only a few minutes.
Not only can a Candida blood test detect the presence of Candida Albicans, but it can detect other common species too. This includes Candida Glabrata, Candida Tropicalis, and Candida Parapsilosis. The test will look for the presence of Candida antibodies in your blood, leading to an accurate, though a bit less than a stool analysis, set of results. Generally speaking, this test is done alongside a stool analysis, as the blood test offers quick results that offer a good first look at the state of your gut health. [Source: NCBI]
Candida saliva self-test
This test is a simple one that can be accomplished from the comfort of your own home, though one that sacrifices a lot of reliability in exchange. This being the case, it can be a good first step, but if you truly suspect that a Candida overgrowth is impacting your health, it should be swiftly followed by a visit to a specialist.
The test is simple to carry out. Fill a glass with bottled water once you get up in the morning. Before doing anything else at all, then spit gently into it. Any food or drink will contaminate the sample, making the test completely useless. The same goes for brushing your teeth. Once you have your sample, you must check back with it every twenty minutes over the course of an hour. On each checkup, you will be looking for “indications” of Candida. These indications are strings of saliva coming from the surface. A misty substance resting at the bottom of the glass, or specks of saliva dotted throughout the water.
To be clear, the presence of any of these indicators does not mean you have a Candida overgrowth. While this test can be an early warning for such issues, it simply shows the thickness of your mucous. Early in the morning, your mucous is likely to be fairly thick, given the lack of water. Because of this, a Candida saliva test is likely to display a false positive, rather than provide a reliable means of testing for signs of Candida overgrowth. For this reason this is not a test that we would suggest.
Testing organic acids
Candida can make its presence known in a number of ways, one of which being in your natural waste products, urine, for example. This test will examine samples of urine, specifically looking for certain products created by Candida. Without the presence of an overgrowth, it is highly unlikely that your urine would contain certain organic substances, indicating the presence of a Candida overgrowth should any be found. [Source: Pubmed]
Similar to the stool sample, an organic acids test can show the cause behind your health issues. Even if Candida isn’t detected as the root of the problem. Many health issues can be reflected in our bodily excretions. From neurological disorders to physical health problems, or simply just a poor diet. When certain substances or concentrations of substances are found, effective treatments can be much easier to identify.
Candida overgrowths can often be the cause of several negative health conditions. Therefore, it is important to test for the presence of an overgrowth as soon as you suspect one exists. Before it can develop any further. [Source: NCBI]
Through the variety of available tests, a Candida overgrowth is likely to be detected. With early detection leading to simpler and more effective treatments. In the event an overgrowth is not the cause of your ailments, Candida tests can still be an effective means of identifying other problems too. If you suspect a Candida overgrowth is behind your health issues, consider booking one today.