Earlier this week I posted about Candida and how it can affect the body. Candida is a yeast that can easily overgrow in a body that is has a compromised immune system, either from antibiotics, stress, prednisone, birth control, or poor diet. What I really want to do now is talk about how to recover from a systemic Candida infection, but first I have to address the issue of getting tested for this infection. I personally didn't need a test because I decided to just jump right into the diet and antifungals, and within a few weeks I felt 80% better. When I started eating foods that weren't allowed on the diet, I started to get my symptoms back. This was my "test."
But, if you are a busy person, don't have the energy to mess around with a restrictive diet, or just want to be sure, you can have some tests done.
About two years ago I did go to a nutritionist and he tested me for Candida. I had the stool analysis test (not fun at all). It was positive, but Candida is a natural part of a healthy person's inner ecosystem, so it could be found in a stool sample of a healthy person. Alternately, because only a small sample of the stool is taken, it could be that it was a sample without any of the Candida yeast in it, and a person infected with the yeast could turn up with a false negative on the test. The following is a list of popular diagnosis tools for Candida infections.
Candida Questionnaire Most Naturopathic Doctors and Holistic Nutritionists agree that the best way to find out if you have a Systemic Candida Infection is to take Dr. Crook's Candida Questionnaire here. I've also posted a link to this in the sidebar for convenience.
Blood Test This test is accurate because it will test your blood levels of Candida. The way I understand from my reading is that when Candida has moved through the intestinal wall and into your bloodstream, it is then a systemic infection. This is because once it's in your blood, it can go anywhere in your body, including your joints, muscles, brain, and organs and cause symptoms in these areas.
You may need to find a Naturopathic Doctor or a Clinical Nutritionist in your area who will draw the blood and send the test off to the appropriate lab.
The Saliva Test Again, everyone has candida in their digestive tract whether infected systemically or not, so this is not an accurate test.
The Stool Analysis This is not an accurate test as explain above.
Some people may need to have a test done for their own reassurance before they want to deal with the business of changing their diet and taking antifungals. For me, after reading the symptoms of a systemic candida infection and taking the questionnaire, I had to try the diet because I had over half of the symptoms.
Anyway, that was a really quick post on how to get tested, next post is what to do if you suspect candida and a book giveaway!