How can you tell if you suffer from candida albicans? Many illnesses, particularly multiple allergies, giardiasis, and Epstein Barr virus, can masquerade as candida problems. As Dr Davies says, "When all you've got is a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail."
By TestBiolab in London has developed a gut fermentation test which measures whether you ferment ethyl alcohol after consuming glucose, as often happens with yeast overgrowth. They have refined their test to distinguish yeast from bacterial overgrowth. Doctors can either refer patients to Biolab or write to the laboratory for a free technical write up of how to perform the test. (Biolab, The Stone House, 9 Weymouth Street, London Wl Tel: 071 636 5959). Other tests described in The Yeast Connection study blood antibodies, and the amount of candida in blood cells. (LIVCELL). For North American readers there is the Candida Enzyme Immuno-Assay (CEIA) from Cerodex Laboratories in Norman, Oklahoma, which Marjorie Crandall says has been tested successfully in a double blind scientific trial.
By Exclusion Diet
Dr Mansfield believes that the single most useful diagnostic tool, besides clinical history, is an exclusion diet, often called the cave man diet, which only allows a very restricted number of foods to be eaten so that food intolerances can be identified. If a patient gets completely better on the diet, it's likely the problem was allergies; if not, the problem may be candida. If he improves but doesn't get completely well, the problem is probably a mix of the two.
By Clinical History
Trowbridge suggests you check off any symptoms you've had. Four or five circled means you might have the problem, six or seven, you probably have, and eight or more, you almost certainly need medical treatment, possibly for candida or an allergy.
You suffer from:
* Frequent infections, constant skin problems or have taken antibiotics or cortisone medications for long periods.
* Feeling tired or drowsiness, particularly on damp, muggy days or in mouldy places.
* Feeling anxious, irritable and cannot sleep or crave sugary foods, breads or alcohol.
* Various food sensitivities, allergic reactions or digestive problems bloating heartburn, constipation, bad breath.
* Feeling "spacy" have trouble concentrating or feel worse near perfume.
* Poor coordination, muscle weakness or painful or swollen joints.
* Mood swings, depression or loss of sexual feelings.
* Dry mouth or throat, catarrh, pressure above or behind the eyes or ears, frequent headaches.
* Pains in the chest, shortness of breath, dizziness, easy bruising.
* Vaginal burning or itching, discharge, infections, urinary problems.
* Difficulty getting pregnant, have been pregnant two or more times, or have taken the contraceptive pill.
* Premenstrual symptoms or irregular cycles or other menstrual or sexual problems.
* Frequent infections, particularly of the ears, tonsils, bronchitis, history of frequent diaper rash.
* Continuous stuffy or runny nose.
* Dark circles under the eyes.
* Hyperactivity or poor attention span.