A Candida overgrowth can cause significant difficulty in your life. An acute infection, like a single vaginal yeast infection or a small case of oral thrush, is often easy to treat. But it’s when the Candida organism thrives within your body and begins to make you feel ill that you can really suffer, and it’s not always easy to identify a recurring or chronic yeast infection in the body – especially when some of the symptoms tend to mimic other common diseases and disorders. If you suspect you might have a Candida overgrowth, there are several tests you can do at home to get a better idea of your condition before talking to a medical expert.
Testing for Itchiness
A lot of people with fungal skin infections have itchy patches on their skin. If you have a Candida overgrowth, though, you don’t actually have to see a visible rash for it to cause itchiness. Most of us aren’t very conscious of how often we reach our hand to scratch an itch throughout the day.
The itch test is pretty simple. Grab a small notebook and make a notation every single time you have an itch. You’re going to become acutely aware of your body throughout this process, and you’ll be surprised at how much itching you’re doing without giving it much thought. Make sure to write down the time and the exact body part you scratched, whether it was your face, ear, back, foot, or even your anal area. The itching will be noticeable anywhere, but is particularly common in places that are generally covered with clothing and kept warm.
Testing for Body Odor
Let’s face it. We all have body odor from time to time. But there are groups of people who have a particular, consistent body odor that simply doesn’t go away no matter how clean their clothes or how long they’ve been out of the shower. This is because certain imbalances within the body can have a huge impact on the way your sweat smells.
With Candida, there is a lot of fermentation happening in the digestive system. Excess heat or high body temperatures and different odors are a byproduct of the changes your body is going through thanks to the Candida albicans organism. This can cause a different type of odor, and a much stronger than usual odor, around the armpits or feet. All of the sweat glands are impacted and a lot of people even report having especially bad breath.
Grab that same notebook and make note of the times you notice your own body odor or, unfortunately, the times other people make comments. Note whether or not it’s a “normal” odor or if it’s particularly strong. Note the type of mood you’re in, too. If you are under a lot of stress, the release of toxins will actually be worse!
Monitoring Your Food Cravings
The craving test is also something you can do very easily. A lot of us know exactly what foods we enjoy eating regularly. We all have cravings for carbohydrates or for something sweet once in a while. But those with Candida tend to crave sweet foods and reach for them unconsciously – they feel like they need them – and they actually do need them to feed the overgrowth in the body.
To test your food cravings, you need to avoid any and all sugar for up to three days. This means sugar in any form, including fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, pancakes, bread, syrup, candy, cakes, pastries, ice cream, or even honey. It doesn’t matter if the source of sugar is a processed food or something you consider natural. Don’t eat it. During this time you should focus on fresh veggies, meats, and whole grains like quinoa. Drink as much water as you can, too.
A lot of people who withdraw from sugar feel a little icky, but those with Candida tend to feel absolutely horrible. The worse you feel, the worse your Candida overgrowth has become. You feel terrible because the Candida organisms in your body absolutely thrive on sugar and they’re starving, causing tons of die-off and toxic reactions in your body.
What Color is Your Tongue?
A healthy tongue is pink. A tongue that’s coated with a white or yellowish coating, especially when accompanied by bad breath, is one that’s being impacted by some sort of bacterial infection or yeast overgrowth. Some people complain of their breath being so bad it almost smells like fecal matter.
Having a discolored tongue or bad breath could simply be an indicator of gum disease or gingivitis. The further back on your tongue the discoloration, the more likely it is to be associated with your digestive system, where most overgrowths begin.
Keep a weekly log of the way your tongue looks. You should see changes over the course of time as you treat your overgrowth. Your initial findings may be that your tongue’s discoloration or coating becomes worse, but it should improve after the first few weeks.
The CanDia-5 Home Blood Test
The CanDia-5 Home test is a kit you can order on the internet. The test doesn’t look for the Candida albicans organism but instead tests your blood for the antibodies your body creates in response to an infection. This test, which involves a simple finger prick, is a great way to determine whether or not you have a Candida infection at the start, and it is something you can re-do every couple of months to monitor your progress. It is probably the most effective test here.
Monitoring Your Results and Progress
With the exception of the blood test, you should give yourself a result score for each test. The scores range from 0 to 3, with 0 being no problem, 1 representing mild, 2 representing moderate, and 3 representing major symptoms. Each week, test yourself again and write your score in your log book (you can use partial points as well, like 2.5). Over time, if you follow a strong Candida protocol, you should see significant improvement.
Home testing doesn’t replace good medical advice. Make sure you talk to a doctor or naturopath about your symptoms so that you can start a treatment protocol that’s right for your personal needs as soon as possible.