How To Test Yourself For Candida
by Christine H. Farlow, D.C.
Some healthcare professionals believe that candida infects 89% of the US population. Many Americans don’t realize that candidiasis is caused by the overuse and abuse of antibiotics, steroids, NSAIDs and poor dietary habits. By simply following the standard of healthcare in our society and eating the standard American diet, you may be putting yourself at risk of recurrent candida yeast infections.
Candida overgrowth, in my professional opinion, is a result of the choices that our parents or we made regarding food and healthcare. Because of the “pop-a-pill for every symptom” approach to healthcare, fast food, processed food and high sugar diets in our culture, it has created the perfect opportunity for candida overgrowth. Unfortunately, once you’ve experienced a bout with the feisty yeast-like fungus, you are likely to continue to have many periodic infections if you continue the same habits that caused it in the first place.
Are You Bewildered by Your Symptoms?
Most people are aware of the most common manifestations of candida as yeast infection, jock itch, thrush, athlete’s foot and ringworm. But what is not commonly known are all the other seemingly unrelated symptoms that are caused by candida, like chronic fatigue, food allergies, digestive problems, sexual dysfunction, constipation, headaches and the list goes on and on.
It’s important to realize that candida albicans is an important part of the normal flora in the intestinal tract. It’s only when it becomes overabundant due to dietary indiscretions, use of prescription and non-prescription drugs or other situations that disturb the normal balance that it becomes a problem.
You may already have an idea whether you have a candida yeast infection, but to be sure you may want to be tested. Candida testing through your doctor is a complicated process. Here are two tests you can do at home yourself and get a pretty accurate idea as to whether you are experiencing a problem with candida overgrowth.
A Simple Test You Can Do at Home
First thing in the morning, before you put ANYTHING in your mouth, get a clear glass and fill with water. Work up a bit of saliva, then spit it into the glass of water. Check the water after a moment or within 2-3 minutes, then within every 15 minutes.
If you have a candida yeast infection, you will see strings, like cloudy legs, traveling down into the water from the saliva floating on the top, or “cloudy” saliva will sink to the bottom of the glass, or cloudy specks will seem to be suspended in the water. If there are no strings, the water is as clear as it was before you spit in the glass and the saliva is still floating after at least one hour, you are probably candida yeast free. The more strings and cloudiness there is and the faster it develops, the greater the overgrowth.
The Candida Questionnaire
Answer the following questions in each of the three sections listed below to determine if you are likely to have candida overgrowth in your body. (This test is designed for adults.)
SECTION 1 – HEALTH HISTORY
For each yes answer, score yourself the number of points indicated to the left of each question.
25 – Have you taken tetracycline or other antibiotics for acne for one month or more?
20 – Have you taken broad-spectrum antibiotics for any infection for two months or longer, or shorter courses in a one-year period?
25 – Have you ever been bothered by persistent prostatitis, vaginitis or other problems affecting your reproductive organs?
3 – Have you been pregnant one time only?
5 – Have you been pregnant two or more times?
15 – Have you taken birth control pills two or more years?
8 – Have you taken birth control pills less than two years?
6 – Have you taken Prednisone or other cortisone-type drug for less than two weeks?
15 – Have you taken Prednisone or other cortisone-type drug for more than two weeks?
5 – Does exposure to fragrances, mall odors or chemicals provoke mild allergic symptoms?
20 – Does exposure to fragrances, mall odors or chemicals provoke moderate to severe allergic symptoms?
20 – Are these symptoms worse on damp, muggy days or in moldy places?
10 – Have you had athlete’s foot, jock itch, ring worm, or chronic fungus infection of skin or nails? Mild to moderate?
20 – Have you had athlete’s foot, jock itch, ring worm, or chronic fungus infection of skin or nails? Severe to persistent?
10 – Do you crave sugar?
10 – Do you crave bread?
10 – Do you crave alcoholic beverages?
10 – Does tobacco smoke bother you?
Total your points for HEALTH HISTORY
Rate the following symptoms:
3 points – Occasional or mild
6 points – Frequent and/or moderately severe
9 points – Severe and/or disabling
Fatigue or “feeling drained
Poor memory; feeling spacey or “unreal”
Numbness, burning or tingling
Muscle aches, weakness or paralysis
Pain and/or swelling joints
Bloating, constipation or diarrhea
Persistent vaginal burning/itching
Troublesome vaginal discharge
Impotence or loss of sexual desire
Endometriosis, PMS, menstrual irregularities, or other reproductive organ concerns
Spots in front of the eyes; erratic vision
Total your points for SECTION 2
Rate these symptoms:
1 point – Occasional or mild
2 points – Frequent and/or moderately severe
Frequent irritability and/or jitteriness
Frequent lack of coordination
Frequent inability to concentrate
Frequent mood swings (ups & downs)
Frequent dizziness/loss of balance
Feeling of head swelling & tingling
Frequent itching anywhere on body
Frequent or persistent rashes
Frequent heartburn and/or indigestion
Belching, burping & intestinal gas
Mucus in stools
Frequent dry mouth
Rash or blisters in/around mouth
Joint swelling or arthritis
Nasal congestion, itching or discharge
Frequent sore or dry throat
Frequent unexplained cough
Pain or tightness in chest
Wheezing or shortness of breath
Urinary urgency or frequency
Burning on urination
Noticeably failing vision
Recurrent infections or fluid in ears
Ear pain or deafness
Total your points for SECTION 3
ADD YOUR SCORES FOR ALL 3 SECTIONS
Your total score can help you determine if your health concerns are yeast related.
Women above 180 – Men above 140: almost certainly yeast related.
Women 121 to 180 – Men 91 to 140: probably yeast related.
Women: 60 to 120 – Men 40 to 90: possibly yeast related.
Below 60 for women and 40 for men probably not yeast related
Do these two tests at home and you will have a good indication as to whether you have a candida yeast/fungal overgrowth problem.
Although candida is difficult to manage and eliminate there are effective alternative treatments that restore the normal flora balance and rid the body of the overgrowth of candida albicans. But beware. There are numerous products on the market and many are ineffective or marginally effective and most only work with a strict and difficult-to-follow diet. The typical candida diet consists mostly of organic meat, poultry, fish and vegetables. Carbohydrates, starches and sugars feed the yeast and cause them to multiply, as well as foods that contain high content of yeast or mold, like alcoholic beverages, aged cheeses, mushrooms, vinegar and breads.
Whilst these tests are not conclusive, they are designed to suggest the likelihood of Candid Overgrowth.
If you think this applies to you, please don’t hesitate to contact me – Jeremy
And thanks to Christine H. Farlow for this test…