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Candida Test: Everything You Need To Know About Candidasis Testing

By 7th April 2023IBS
human gut microbiome

Candida is a type of yeast, like so many other microorganisms, it 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 balance of the microbiome of the gut is sensitive, with a myriad of microorganisms (bacteria, yeasts, archaea) creating a careful, if competitive, balance. Should one of these competitors gain too much influence over the ecosystem, it can lead to problems and symptoms. [Source: BMJ]

This fact rings true for Candida. Low quantities of this yeast 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 and symptoms. Depending on the Candida or yeast overgrowth in question, it can lead to disruptive imbalances in the gut flora and contribute to health conditions like IBS [Source: NCBI] and a test may be required to identify the issue.

Candida infections and issues with yeasts have also been linked to leaky gut (intestinal permeability) [Source: Pubmed]

This brings us to the main question – how can we test 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.

Are there different types of Candida?

There are different types of candida issues which can affect different areas of the body. Each may require a different type of test.

  • Thrush: This is common in infants as well as children. It can also be common in those with a weakened immune system which is not strong enough to keep the candida under control.
  • Vaginal yeast infection: This can also be present in those with a weakened immune system. It is also commonly seen in those who are pregnant. As well as this, those on medications such as antibiotics or hormonal contraception (OCP) can experience these symptoms more often.
  • Invasive candidiasis: This may be the most severe form of candida and is seen in those with a far weakened immune system. For example, those in a hospital using catheters or with a weak or suppressed immune system. [Source: Cleveland Clinic]

How do you test for Candida?

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 Candida overgrowth, it is important to visit a doctor or a specialist who may consider a test for candida.

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.

There are also other possible causes of IBS. Read more on our blog here: Can IBS be Cured?

Are there different tests available?

As there are different types of Candida overgrowth, different tests in the UK exist to detect them. For example, a superficial Candida imbalance, one that affects the skin or mucous lining such as in the mouth. This will require a different test procedure to an invasive imbalance, which is one that has entered the bloodstream.

It is also possible to test for candida in the gut. Depending on the suspected type of Candida overgrowth, and the suspected location, there is a range of testing options available.

These test kits include:

  • Candida stool test
  • Candida blood test
  • Candida urine test

Candida Stool Test & Testing for Candida

A Candida stool test 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 test samples will be analysed, with the presence of several things closely looked at. Most important 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 insight into the overall health of the gut bacteria and yeast.

A stool test may also test for the pH of the stool. Due to candida preferring an alkaline environment to grow, understanding the pH of the gut flora and the gut bacteria can help to direct treatment and another type of test may also be considered. [Source CDN]

Certain labs also offer a sensitivity test.  This offers information if candida is found, into which herbal or pharmaceutical antifungals may be required to treat the candida. [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, and then wait for the analysis of the test to take place. The results arrive quickly, typically taking only a few minutes.


Blood Test

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.

Candida Urine Test

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.

What does a candida test mean?

If you have tested positive for candida or yeast and doctor may suggest an anti-fungal treatment. There are also natural options to address and support imbalances in the gut microbiome and gut flora.

These include yeast probiotics such as saccharomyces boulardii and natural anti-fungal agents such as garlic and neem. These are herbs that can reduce levels of candida and yeast [Source: NCBI, Pubmed, Pubmed].

What does a positive candida test mean?

Depending on the symptoms and type of test kit used to test for candida albicans this can mean different things. This can also mean a different treatment may be required.

In some, there may be a low level of candida imbalance in the gut microbiome (the balance of bacteria and yeasts). However, for others, there may be a more severe candida infection such as invasive candidiasis which is often found via blood tests or from collecting a sample from the area affected.

For invasive candidiasis, an appointment with a doctor may be required or the patient may already be receiving medical treatment for another issue.

For imbalances in the gut microbiome (yeast, viruses, archaea, bacteria) natural support options are available to address these yeast issues and to address the root cause of symptoms.

Booking an appointment for a candida test

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.