Candida Albicans, also known as Candida, is a naturally occurring yeast that lives in the body and is generally harmless at normal levels. When the candida begins to grow into abnormally high levels, however, it can cause a condition known as candidiasis and cause an array of health issues.
It’s important to note that a Candida overgrowth isn’t something you catch. The yeast is already in the body; however, there are several factors that may cause the healthy bacteria to become unbalanced and cause the yeast to grow out of control. Some of the things that may trigger a candida overgrowth are:
- Antibiotic use
- Chronic stress
- Eating foods high in refined carbohydrates, sugar, starches or yeast
- Having a compromised immune system
- Experiencing hormonal changes such as menopause
Candida overgrowth can cause a variety of symptoms that may affect different parts of the body depending on where it’s located. These are just a few symptoms that a person may experience. Keep an eye out for:
- Brain fog/lack of concentration
- Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation or diarrhea
- Oral thrush (A white coating on the tongue)
- Recurring sinus infections
- Strong sugar cravings
- and more!
Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? It’s time to get tested!
What to Do
The easiest way to check to see if you have a candida overgrowth is to do a Candida spit test and be seen by a functional medicine nutritionist to run appropriate testing. By doing so, you may be able to get to the bottom of why you have stubborn symptoms that seemingly won’t go away.
The Candida Spit Test
The Candida spit test is an anecdotal test that can be used to determine if Candida is well-established in your body. This is a simple test that anyone of any age can do. Because this is an at-home test, it is important to use at your own discretion. Here are the steps:
- Before brushing your teeth and/ or drinking and eating anything, fill a clear glass with room temperature water.
- Work up your saliva up to the size of a dime and spit into the cup.
- Wait 45 minutes and observe your spit for the following:
- Does your spit “crawl down” into the glass (“String- like” formations)
- Did it sink into the bottom of the cup and look cloudy?
- Did it suspend into the middle of the cup?
A person without Candida should find that their spit remains at the top of the glass. So, if you answered “yes” to any of these questions and are having symptoms, you may want to consider a Candida Overgrowth.
What to Do
If Candida comes out positive, it is important to follow an anti-candida diet. A brief example of this could include the following foods:
Cinnamon is a tasty add-on that can be put on a variety of foods. Not only does it help to regulate blood sugar, but it also has powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help treat Candida. Cinnamon can be added into a variety of dishes and works well in tea.
Oregano is an herb that’s been used for thousands of years to treat all sorts of conditions. It is recommended to use the herb itself rather than the oil, as the latter can be hard on the stomach.
Garlic is a strong anti-fungal that can be used to both treat and prevent the growth of Candida Albicans.’
As featured on Sixty And Me.