Oral thrush, nail fungus, and yep...Vaginal yeast infections are all caused by various Candida species, most commonly Candida albicans.
But did you know Candida Albicans is the same yeast that can overgrow in your digestive tract and cause digestive problems?
So what’s the difference between an occasional yeast infection and Candida overgrowth?
Candida is both a yeast and a fungus.
When Candida is in it's yeast stage, it’s just living on the lining of stuff. Think vaginal yeast infection, where it's white and goopy and makes the tissue red and irritated.
Candida can exist in the same yeast form in the gut. But - in the gut, Candida can also go into its fungal stage.
In its fungal stage, Candida can grow “legs” called hyphae. The legs can permeate into the intercellular space, going into the tissue between the cells. It’s like the Candida is taking root in your gut.
This can happen when someone has had a candida overgrowth for many years or has a suppressed immune system. Whatever causes it, once Candida has rooted in, it’s harder to diagnose and to treat.
How To Test For Candida Overgrowth In The Gut
When Candida has reached its fungal form and the hyphae have grown, it won’t necessarily shed in a stool sample. For that reason, I don’t like to rely only on a stool test to look for Candida.
Instead, I look #1 at symptomatology (do you have the symptoms of Candida?).
My #2 tool is a special test called an Organ Acids Urinalysis. Organic acids are just amino acids that are the end stage byproducts of different pathways of our metabolism in the body.
So for example, there's amino acids that show us different levels of how your detox pathways in the liver or working, or how your brain is processing your brain chemistry. But there are also amino acids that can come out in the urine that are only made by Candida.
If I see the urine markers for Candida are elevated, I know that Candida is hiding in the gut.
The Order of Operations For Treating Candida
Once we’ve established you have a Candida overgrowth, we take a deep breath - because you don’t just want to dive into treating Candida.
I call it the order of operations for treating Candida - but it just means I look for underlying and potentially bigger issues (especially parasites) that need to be treated first.
If you focus on treating Candida before clearing issues like parasites, you’ll wind up spinning your wheels with a really stubborn case of Candida that can even snowball into SIBO and other issues.
Does that sound familiar?
It’s not uncommon for me to work with patients who have been trying to treat Candida for 5 or 6 years!
They have to be disciplined about what they eat and the supplements they use to keep symptoms under control - but they never get lasting relief.
It’s always exciting to meet clients who are stuck on this hamster wheel because I know exactly how to get them off :) We find and treat the root causes first, then we can finally get the Candida gone for good. That means they can broaden their diet and enjoy life again.
If you’re on the Candida hamster wheel and you want off, I’d love to support you. Book your FREE breakthrough session and we'll go over your health history and develop a plan to work together.