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Yeast and Fungal infections including Candida

What is it?

Yeast and fungal infection is remarkably common and often overlooked. A number of varied symptoms and conditions can be caused by yeasts especially by the common yeast Candida  – especially Candida albicans. These fungi are found almost everywhere in the environment and live in our intestine and skin and thrive in ‘moist’ areas of the body such as the vaginal vault & skin creases (the groin, armpit and under the breasts).

Most live harmlessly along with the abundant “native” species of bacteria, yeasts and fungii that normally colonize these areas and are known as commensals (organisms that live with us but cause no harm) and symbionts (those that live on and in us but also provide us with benefits such as protecting us from ‘bad’ bugs) . Usually, Candida is kept under control by these normal organisms and by the body’s immune defences but if the balance is changed then the yeasts can flourish.

This change most often occurs following bowel bacteria alteration due to poor diet, or antibiotics or due to immune suppression through bad life-style habits or infection.  Diets full of refined sugars encourage yeasts to grow and these adhere to surfaces inside and outside the body.

Yeasts produce waste material to which we react, they multiply causing immune responses and we can become allergic to both their toxins and their cell surfaces. This means that even very small amounts can trigger considerable reactions.

Conventional medicine is not swift to consider Candida infections as being a cause of symptoms in healthy people and usually considers yeast an issue if a person’s immune system is weakened by illness (especially AIDS or diabetes), malnutrition, or certain medications (corticosteroids or anticancer drugs) but all yeasts and fungi can cause symptoms more frequently.

Candidiasis can affect many parts of the body, causing localized infections or more intense illness often depending on the individual and his or her general health.

There are several ways to detect the presence of Candida and yeasts/fungi generally as these can cause many different problems in many different parts of the body.

The best test is rather dependent upon what the problem is.

Recommended Home Tests

** All test costs are inclusive of any nursing charges for sample collection, postage/courier and Doctors written report

Oral, vagina or skin infection

Candida is best tested through a swab (£102)

Bowel problems thought to be associated with yeast

The presence of candida and other yeasts are often associated with a loss of good bowel bacteria. Both these issues can be tested in the following ways:

  • Yeast identification and testing through a stool sample. This test includes testing to see what natural and drug therapies may kill the infection (£152).
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (Home kit Breath Test sample – £213) is a test dependent on the fermenting activity of yeasts and abnormal bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine.
  • Comprehensive stool analysis including yeast/fungal/parasite and several markers of bowel function (3 consecutive stool samples £335).

Bowel problems thought to be associated with yeast

If Candida is recognised by the body’s immune system as a potential invading organism, then it will produce a white cell response releasing antibodies. These can be measured.

Saliva Candida antibodies (£135)

Clinic based Testing

Blood Candida antibodies – a more sensitive test (£170)

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