Here is some important information about Candida testing, taken from my Frequently Asked Questions.
Q. Are there tests I can take to see if I have a Candida problem?
A. Testing for Candida albicans antibodies has drawbacks, as the sensitivity, or accuracy, of tests varies from person to person and test to test. False positives may result from various influences, past or present. If blood tests are done prior to the immune system developing a response to Candida infections, then there may be a false-negative test result. If the immune system is suppressed or fatigued from a longstanding infection, then a false-negative test result may also be present. If the immune system has been sensitized, but the infection is no longer present, it may produce a false-positive. While all tests can be useful, it is hard to determine the accuracy from any one test.
Candida DNA by PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing has gained favor due to its rapid, sensitive, and specific results. Its high sensitivity may likewise produce false-positives due to detection of Candida cultures normally present, or due to the lingering presence of dead Candida cells.
An antibody test in conjunction with a stool test, or other tissue cultures, and a history of past antibiotic use will most likely demonstrate Candida. Combining history, lab tests, and symptoms along with a trial of a Candida protocol and observing results can provide the greatest accuracy.
Recommended Candida Tests:
- GI Effects Complete Stool Profile – Stool PCR testing by Metametrix Labs uses DNA analysis to identify microbiota including anaerobes, a previously immeasurable area of the gut environment.
- Urinary D-arabinitol/L-arabinitol ratio – Microbial Organic Acids Test + Yeast Culture w/ Sensitivity Test Combo by Great Plains Labs. The detection of an elevated level of D-arabinitol by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS). D-arabinitol is a specific test for this common metabolite of candida, but the current complexity of GC-MS may discourage use of this test by some labs. D-arabinitol testing of serum, saliva, vaginal fluid, and urine samples by itself is available through various labs. Kidney dysfunction can cause an increase in arabinitol concentrations.
- Candida Immune Complex – By Genova Diagnostics. This test evaluates blood for the immune response to Candida albicans.
Click here for a list of other known tests for Candida.
After years of analyzing the research on Candida albicans, gastroenterology, immunology, microbiology, biology, mycology, and several other related fields, I view the true test for Candida is as simple as this:
If you have ever taken an antibiotic at any time in your life, then you have systemic fungal Candida.
Dr. Jeffrey S. McCombs, DC, is founder of the McCombs Center for Health, the Candida Plan, the Candida Library, and author of Lifeforce, The Everything Candida Book, and The Everything Guide to Autoimmune Diets. Check out our podcast, “The Candida Chronicles” on iTunes and SoundCloud.
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