Candida (Candida albicans) is a yeast that is a normal part of our digestive flora (the bacteria that lives in our digestive tract) and in the vaginal region in women. Under certain circumstances the candida yeast can grow excessively and lead to symptoms that negatively impact our health.
What Are the Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth
Candida overgrowth (also known as chronic candidiasis, systemic candidiasis or chronic yeast infection) affects multiple systems of the body, resulting in diverse symptoms. All of the following symptoms have been attributed to candida overgrowth:
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How Do I Know if Candida is A Problem for Me?
Candida overgrowth is best diagnosed by a qualified health care professional who is knowledgable about candida. A comprehensive digestive stool analysis (CDSA) may be recommended to determine levels of candida in your digestive tract. A good screening test for candida overgrowth is the Candida Quiz. This questionnaire has been found to correlate well with clinical symptoms of candida and is the first step in determining if candida may be contributing to your health concerns. A longer form candida questionnaire is available from your Naturopathic Doctor, or may be downloaded as a pdf here: Candida Questionnaire
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How is Candida Overgrowth Treated?
The approach to treating candida overgrowth is individualized and often includes a multi-faceted approach. For example, a person may be given an Anti-Candida diet to follow, a probiotic supplement to provide healthy bacteria, a botanical (herbal) formula to kill the yeast and a fiber supplement to support proper digestion and elimination of the bacteria. This protocol should be individualized to each person – focusing on their overall health, specific symptoms, and quantity of candida overgrowth. It is recommended that you seek care of a Naturopathic Doctor rather than try to treat candida on your own.
The advice provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed health care provider. Consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.