So you've been suffering from unexplained symptoms and your health journey has led you here... This means 2 things are highly likely to be true:
You suspect Candida overgrowth is the culprit behind many of your unexplained symptoms such as fatigue, gas & bloating, brain fog, and skin issues.
- You’ve already looked into a Candida overgrowth test so that you can discover if treating Candida overgrowth might be the solution to your uncomfortable symptoms once and for all.
Fortunately, there are many different testing options for candida overgrowth available. Unfortunately, they can be overwhelming and confusing if you haven’t spent hours researching them. In this article, we aim to walk you through the most popular testing options out there, so you and your healthcare provider can make the right decision about testing to determine if Candida overgrowth is behind your symptoms.
How to Test for Candida
There are many different options to test for Candida overgrowth, depending on where exactly the overgrowth is in (or on) your body. For example, if you’re dealing with an unexplained skin rash, a skin scraping may be a good way to identify if Candida overgrowth is the cause. A swab or culture may be helpful if the overgrowth is located in your genito-urinary tract. While candida tests such as stool tests, blood tests, or urinary organic acid levels would be best suited for gastrointestinal or systemic overgrowth of Candida. Finally, if Candida overgrowth is present in your mouth or throat, a simple “spit test” for Candida overgrowth may be able to confirm this.
Skin Scrape Test for Candida
This test is used as a screening tool to detect an overgrowth of fungi on the skin or nails, but it doesn’t specify what type of fungus is present. Some common fungal infections that affect the skin include ringworm and athlete's foot. Often Candida overgrowth on the skin can cause a red itchy rash and targets folds of skin, like the armpits, groin, edges of the nails, under the breasts, and corners of the mouth.
To perform this test, your healthcare provider will run a dull scalpel over the affected area to sample flaky scrapings of the skin. Once this is collected, the sample is sent to a lab for analysis. The lab technician can confirm or deny the presence of fungal cells using a microscope. You and your healthcare provider are then able to choose the best intervention based on the type of fungi causing your issues.
Candida Swab or Culture Test
The swab/culture test is often used to identify Candida overgrowth of the mouth or genital tract. A swab is used by your healthcare professional to collect fluid and possible fungal cells from the affected area. This collection of fluid and cells is sent to the lab so they can culture or grow the sample and identify what type of fungal or bacterial overgrowth is present.
A Candida overgrowth of the mouth is commonly called thrush and often appears as white creamy-looking plaques on your tongue or inner cheeks. Redness, burning, or soreness can occur in or around the affected areas with or without the white appearance. Candida can also overgrow in the genital tract and is often referred to as a yeast infection. Often this type of overgrowth is accompanied by redness, swelling, and itching of the affected area.
Candida Blood Test – Candida Antibody Test (IgA, IgM, IgG)
Candida antibody test, a common Candida blood test, is a way to measure antibodies to Candida. Our immune system responds to Candida overgrowth (or any other bacterial or viral increase) with proteins called antibodies. A blood test measuring these antibodies against Candida can determine if your immune system is currently reacting to an overgrowth of Candida or if you’ve had Candida overgrowth in the past.
When your healthcare provider interprets this test, he/she will take into account both the results and what you are feeling and experiencing physically. An interpretation by a professional is the best way to rule out false-negative and false-positive results. Sometimes a person without overgrowth can have false positives as small numbers of Candida are considered a normal part of the microbiome flora in your gut.
Candida albicans NAA Test
To get even more specific about the type of Candida your body is harboring, some labs use nucleic acid amplification-based testing (NAA). This is a type of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that can provide high-quality information that can help with Candida overgrowth in your genital tract. Often Candida albicans NAA comes up positive 80-90% of the time and can be treated with short-term antifungals.
There are also other types of Candida that have been isolated in overgrowth besides the typical positive Candida albicans NAA. These more anti-fungal-resistant species of Candida include Candida glabrata, Candida parasilosis, Candida krusei, Candida tropicalis, and Candida lusitaniae. Identification of these usually-rare species can be helpful in treating women with recurrent Candida-overgrowth-caused yeast infections, even when the common Candida albicans NAA isn’t positive.
Candida Test at Home
Urine Organic Acids Test for Candida
This test often comes as a kit that your healthcare provider will send you home with or have directly mailed to your home. Urine organic acids are chemicals produced by your everyday metabolism. These compounds act as a snapshot of what is going on with your internal physiology or metabolism. The collection is easy and provides insight into if your metabolism is functioning well and what your overall health status is.
Once the sample is collected you can mail the sample in the provided kit directly to the lab. The lab will analyze your urine and compare the result to normal values. Testing the urine is valuable as urine has a much higher concentration of acids than what’s present in our blood or serum. This test is helpful in identifying Candida overgrowth in the digestive system.
Candida overgrowth in the digestive tract produces specific organic acids as byproducts of metabolism. These acids get absorbed by the intestines, make it into your bloodstream, and are removed from the body by your kidney then passed through the urine. For example, the organic acids D-arabinitol and arabinose are markers associated with Candida yeast overgrowth.
Stool Testing for Candida
Speaking of Candida overgrowth in the digestive tract, specialized tests such as stool testing for candida microbiology or comprehensive stool analysis tests can be used to detect and identify different types of bacteria and yeast that cause overgrowth. This type of test is the perfect example of a Candida overgrowth test at home.
Typically once the sample is sent to the lab, the lab will perform a Candida culture and microscopy to analyze if Candida overgrowth is present. Once Candia is detected, tests will be performed to determine microbial susceptibility to determine the most effective options to treat and manage your Candida overgrowth.
Having both microscopy and culture included in stool testing enhances the detection of yeast overgrowth. Having only one of these aspects of stool testing can lead to inaccurate conclusions. For example, with microscopic examination you may see a significant amount of yeast present, but the culture comes back as “no growth”. In addition to putting the testing results together, it’s important for healthcare providers to view these results in the context of what you are feeling. High to moderate amounts of yeast present often needs treatment, as compared to low amounts of yeast which are often normal.
"Spit Test" for Candida
The Spit Test for Candida is a Candida overgrowth test at home. This at-home test is an anecdotal way to see if further Candida tests are warranted. Here are the steps to perform this Candida spit test:
There are a few things that need to be done in advance to rule out it being dehydration or a dairy sensitivity. To establish that it is in fact yeast that is causing the saliva to test positive for Candida, it would be useful to eliminate all dairy for 10 days before the test. And make sure you are not dehydrated – a good rule is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water – this would be a good measure of water intake all the time and definitely for the 10 days prior to doing the spit test for Candida.
Once you have eliminated dairy and have properly hydrated for 10 days, you may follow the steps for the “spit test” for Candida overgrowth as follows:
First thing in the morning, before you eat, brush your teeth, or drink anything:
- Fill a clear drinking glass with room temperature water
- Work up a dime-sized amount of saliva in your mouth, and spit it gently into the glass of water
- Leave the saliva for 45 minutes and then check it for one of the following:
- “String-like” formations coming down from the saliva at the top of the water
- Cloudy saliva sitting at the bottom of the cup
- Opaque specks of saliva in the middle of the cup
Any of these 3 signs indicate that there is most likely Candida overgrowth. When the candida goes away the spit changes. Although there is no hard scientific research behind this test, often when it's followed up by a blood test the results are positive.
Best Candida Cleanse Supplements
Once you determine that Candida overgrowth is behind your symptoms, there are many supplements available that can support you on your journey to restoring a healthy gut microbiome. Supplements for bringing Candida overgrowth back into balance include many different solutions ranging from beneficial yeasts that compete with Candida for food, to probiotic bacteria that crowd out overgrowth by competing with Candida for living space. Binding agents such as activated charcoal and even various types of clay may help bind toxins and reduce Candida die-off symptoms as well.
Keep reading for our recommendation for the very best supplements for balancing Candida overgrowth.
Saccharomyces Boulardii for Candida Overgrowth
Saccharomyces boulardii is a beneficial yeast-based probiotic that can help to keep Candida overgrowth in check. This helpful microbe is able to survive your stomach acid without being digested and makes it down to your gut where it works to support a healthy microbiome. Saccharomyces secretes a chemical called capric acid, which inhibits the overgrowth of Candida as well as prevents its adhesion to the gut. It can also prevent Candida from producing a biofilm, a special protective layer Candida uses to avoid your immune system. (1)
Additionally, Saccharomyces B. competes with Candida overgrowth for food so that it cannot thrive.
Pure TheraPro Rx®’s Saccharomyces 10B delivers a minimum of 10 billion CFUs (colony-forming units) of beneficial probiotic microorganisms per serving. Formulated with Lynside® PRO SCB Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Boulardii (unique patented strain CNCM I-3799), it survives stomach acid and temporarily colonizes the large intestine where it supports gut motility, a healthy bowel pattern, robust immune function, and optimal digestion while Candida overgrowth is dealt with. This makes it one of the very best supplements for balancing Candida overgrowth.
Probiotics for Candida Overgrowth
The best probiotics to manage Candida overgrowth include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These strains are the most studied and found to be clinically effective in restoring balance to your digestive tract. (2)
Strains of beneficial probiotics such as Lactobacillus have been clinically shown to balance the flora of the microbiome and help to inhibit and “crowd out” Candida overgrowth. These probiotic strains proliferate in your digestive tract and don’t allow the Candida yeast to overgrow alongside it. It does this by providing a physical barrier to Candida growth. Lactobacillus also consumes Candida’s food source and has also been shown to stimulate the immune system to help get rid of Candida overgrowth.
Pure TheraPro Rx’s Power Probiotic 100B™ provides 100 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) including two strains of Lactobacillus probiotic as well as 2 strains of beneficial Biffidobacterum:
- HOWARU® Bifido (Bifidobacterium lactis HN019)
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Bifidobacterium longum
These strains are key to promoting a healthy microbiome by inhibiting or offsetting Candida growth.
We hope that this article sheds some light on how to test for Candida overgrowth and what you can do about managing Candida using the highest quality dietary supplements.
If you're searching for even more information on what Candida overgrowth feels like and how to manage “die-off” when treating Candida overgrowth check out this article right away.
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- Murzyn A, Krasowska A, Stefanowicz P, Dziadkowiec D, Łukaszewicz M. Capric acid secreted by S. boulardii inhibits C. albicans filamentous growth, adhesion and biofilm formation. PLoS One. 2010;5(8):e12050. Published 2010 Aug 10. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012050
- Ribeiro FC, Rossoni RD, de Barros PP, et al. Action mechanisms of probiotics on Candida spp. and candidiasis prevention: an update. J Appl Microbiol. 2020;129(2):175-185. doi:10.1111/jam.14511