Candida Diagnosis


candida yeast infection medicationComing to an accurate candida albicans diagnosis has been surrounded by a lot of controversy.

Candidiasis, an infection caused by a fungus known as candida species is, from a doctor's perspective, mostly a disease of hospitalized patients.

And it's no wonder, considering that candida accounts for 15% of all hospital-acquired infections and between 8% and 15% of all hospital-based blood infections.

The reality is, however, that anyone can become harmfully infected by candida. Those particularly at risk women on birth control pills, those taking steroids, cancer and HIV patients and those taking antibiotics frequently.

Individuals with a poor diet, those who eat meat raised on antibiotics and, likely, those whose only risk factor is exposure to environmental toxins are also at risk. Stress, too, is an important risk factor to consider.

Doctors, in particular, resort to checking cultures of the blood for the presence of candida. This test is almost exclusively confined to the evaluation of hospitalized patients. Even this test has its limitations.

Only 50% of patients with documented candida infections show a positive blood culture. While it is a very specific yeast infection test for candida, it isn't always very useful as many candida-infected patients go undetected.

The Allopathic vs. Pleomorphic Perspective

Understanding the real underlying cause of candida helps frame this discussion on comming to an accurate candida albicans diagnosis. Looking from the perspective of allopathic medicine an accurate candida diagnosis is crucial in deciding on a treatment plan.

From a pleomorphic point of view, candida is the natural consequense of intestinal dysbiosis and healing will require treating the underlying imbalance instead of focusing on candida alone. Symptoms associated with candida overlap and are similar to all degenerative diseases with an underlying condition of intestinal dysbiosis.

Taking the candida questionaire, even though it does not diagnose Pathogenic candida perse, will confirm whether your candida symptoms are congruent with those associated with intestinal dysbiosis.

The Challenge of an Accurate Diagnosis

Historically, an accurate and reliable candida albicans diagnosis has been somewhat elusive. Since candida in its healthy form is part of our normal body flora, the mere presence of candida on, for example, a stool sample may or may not indicate an active infection.

More recently, however, practical and accurate candida tests have been developed to help healthcare providers come to an accurate and reliable candida albicans diagnosis.

Any candida albicans diagnosis always begins with a careful screening history of the candida symptoms. Some symptoms in patients with significant candida infections include abdominal pain with bloating, diarrhea or constipation, allergic symptoms and fatigue.

Even patients with autoimmune disorders like lupus or thyroid disease can be related to an infection caused by candida. The multi-symptomic nature of candida is one of the reasons why conventional medicine has such a hard time coming to an accurate candida albicans diagnosis is so challenging.

The Difference Between Benign and Pathogenic candida

Several good yeast infection tests have been developed to help healthcare providers come to an accurate candida albicans diagnosis. A candida test looks to see wether its presence is of the safe type and amount or if the candida has become overgrown and has undergone what is called a "dimorphic change".

This happens when the candida organisms develops tiny spikes called filamentous forms that invade and damage the tissues of the gut and allow the gut to become "leaky".

When candida undergoes this change, it becomes an unhealthy infective organism. Again it is important to understand that candida only undergoes this change when somebody is suffering from intestinal dysbiosis.

In other words a positive candida diagnosis confirms that the intestinal flora is out of balance being ultimantely the real cause for pathogenic candida.

Patient, Know Thy Approach!

One yeast infection test is based on the fact that candida is a fermenting organism, releasing alcohol as one of its byproducts. The test measures a baseline blood alcohol level and, following that, the patient is given a heavy dose of sugar which promotes fermentation if enough candida is present in the gut.

The level of alcohol in the blood is measured after fermentation has had a chance to take place. While it is likely that candida is the cause of an increase in alcohol after ingesting sugar, there are some bacteria that ferment to alcohol also, so the results aren't always very specific.

Another method of making a candida albicans diagnosis is through a yeast infection test developed by Michael Biamonte CNN. He uses a stool and urine sample to evaluate the degree of candida invasion. A stool culture under special conditions is performed and can even tell the difference between the different types of candida species.

The urine test measures organic acid metabolites present in the urine. Humans excrete organic acids as a normal part of our metabolism but the organic acids we produce are different from those that candida species excrete.

Finding candida byproducts to a high degree in the urine is consistent with candida overgrowth providing a relatively accurate candida albicans diagnosis.

The "Elisa" Test

An expensive but highly specific method of coming to a candida albicans diagnosis is through a yeast infection test called the candida Saliva ELISA Test. This candida test relies on the fact that once candida becomes an infection, your body secretes antibodies to the organism in response to the infection.

The type of antibodies in the saliva, known as IgA antibodies, is highly specific for an active candida infection. This yeast infection test involves chemically-coating a plastic plate with candida and then adding a patient's saliva on top of that.

The IgA antibodies bind only to the candida on the plate and, after adding other reagents, a color change is produced on the plate, the degree of which can be accurately measured. A stronger color reveals a greater degree of infection with candida leading to a positive candida albicans diagnosis.

Saliva Sample Study

One simple yeast infection test involves looking at a swab of the mouth under the microscope and looking for the specific filamentous form found in invasive infections. While the test is simple, it may not reveal the extent of the infection.

Limitations of Allopathic Approach

Treatment which focuses on candida instead of supporting healthy intestinal environment will miss the mark and actually worsen the situation. Conventional candida medication tends to have an acidifying effect on the body and destroys healthy pro-biotics in the process.

The important thing to understand is how conventional candida medicine is based on diagnosing a specific condition before it can treat it.

Regardless of how effective this approach is when faced with an emergency and a critical time span when treating a patient, it falls short in dealing with conditions which are the result of systemic imbalances such as candida.

Treating any degenerative condition such as candida without addressing the underlying imbalance will result in symptom management at best.