Nutritional and Natural Health Diaries Part 2
Written by Rob Staunton
We continue this series with our focus on gut health and more specifically Candida with how to do home testing which could be quite timely given the current climate and a lack of access to functional diagnostic kits.
The following DIY tests, so to speak, aren’t scientifically backed and are more anecdotal, however, they have been proven to be quite effective and accurate in the past. You could use the general rule of 3’s as a guideline to see if there is a underlying Candida infection e.g., If you had a recent round of antibiotics and you have gut issues and a white tongue. There is a good chance you have Candida.
There is still debate about this test, however I have seen this work with some of the clients I have treated over the years. This test is carried first thing in the morning before having eaten or drunk anything. Fill a glass of still water and spit into it. If it’s still floating an hour later, then the chances are you do not have a Candida infection. If however, after an hour the spit is floating but it has strands coming down from it, or It sinks to the middle or bottom, these are positive signs you have a Candida infection. If the spit causes the water to cloud, this is also not a good sign
Sugar Craving Test
Candida loves sugar in all its forms. This is it’s fuel that it survives on and the more sugar they get, the more they want it. There could have been a recent factor that has tipped the delicate balance of your microflora to enable Candida to grow which could cause unusual or higher than normal sugar cravings. A simple test would be to try and cut out all sugars for 3 to 4 days. If this is something you are having difficulty with, then chances there is an underlying digestive upset. If you can last 4 days, you may start getting withdrawal symptoms from the Candida being starved of sugar which is called a die off reaction. If you can continue without the sugar and start seeing improvements in general health, this is a good indicator of a Candida infection.
The most obvious one here is excess flatulence. This is a very common symptom with Candida sufferers. I am not talking the normal one to two a day release of gas, but continual excess flatulence that can have a putrid rotten smell to it. If this has come on recently after an aggravating factor, this is one of the easiest give away sign of Candida.
With an underling digestive or Candida infection, there can often be associated unpleasant body odours which can come from different body regions. An increase smell from the feet accompanying athletes foot is a tell-tale sign. Increased underarm sweating or from the genital region becomes also quite apparent. What needs to be remembered is Candida can also be local to a region and having a fungal infection of the foot doesn’t necessarily mean you have a gut infection, although if you have accompanying digestive complaints, chances are there is an infection.
Another classic sign is bad breath. Even when people are brushing and flossing daily and correctly, bad breath can be a sign of gut fermentation caused by a yeast infection. It can be very apparent and quite pungent if it gets chronic and no a nice thing you want to tell your partner, friend or family member.
A good clean tongue is the sign of a good healthy gut. If you have ever been to see a Naturopath a Nutritional therapist, chances are they will ask to see your tongue. If you go to see an Acupuncturist, you would definitely be asked to show your tongue. In Chinese Medicine, your tongue is the gateway to your body and a good healthy tongue is a good indicator of both general health and digestive equilibrium. What you are looking for if you think you have a Candida infection is a tongue which has a thick white coating. If you see a brown or yellow shade, this is also an indicator of digestive imbalance, but the white coating is definitely more common. The front of the tongue is representative of the upper part of the digestive tract and the back part of the tongue as the colon. Although you can have issues in both digestive parts, the back part of the tongue relating to the colon is more common.
Conventional medical perspective to Candida
The conventional medical establishment’s perspective is that only patients with a severely compromised immune system can get Candida. What I mean by this is that they will look at patients who are HIV/Aids patients as typical Candida sufferers. As its not recognised by the majority of GP’s as an actual medical condition, testing is often substandard or non-existent which means getting a diagnosis is difficult with conventional methods. This is not a criticism as such, but just the reality. Conventional medicine was designed to treat acute illness and Candida doesn’t fall into this bucket, although some GP’s are definitely more receptive to its treatment these days than others. There are a number of alternative and natural ways which are more pretty powerful and science backed ways to get rid of Candida (More on the conventional and natural ways to treat Candida in a further post).
Having suffered from Candida myself, I definitely don’t agree that its severely immunocompromised individuals that can suffer from Candida. Candida is a natural resident in our GI tract and with today’s modern lifestyle, there are a number of factors (previously mentioned) that can tip the balance towards an overgrowth of Candida.
Having been through both systems, I can say you will get a better outcome using a Nutritional Therapist, Naturopath or a Functional Medical Practitioner who are all trained in how to deal with Candida infections.
Rob Staunton has over 20 years’ experience as a researcher, writer and is attending the College of Naturopathic Medicine, as well as an ex Candida sufferer. For more information on Candida, you can visit www.thecandidaguide.com or email email@example.com