What is Candida Albicans?
Often, digestive issues such as an overgrowth of candida albicans, can come hand in hand with headaches, fatigue, low mood and anxiety. The gut in where approximately 75% of our immune cells reside. A disturbance here can raise the alarm which can results in symptoms almost anywhere in the body.
Trillions of microorganisms reside in the human gut and combine to create a complex ecosystem that plays a fundamental role in health. The species rarely vary from individual to individual, but their numbers can differ considerably between people which creates our unique ‘microbial fingerprint’. Ideally, all of these organisms live in perfect and peaceful harmony and keep one another in check. However, in some situations they can proliferate and their numbers can increase leading to an array of symptoms.
Candida Albicans is one of many types of Candida and is commonly found in the mouth, small and large intestine. It is also found on the skin and in the vagina. One way candida can impact our digestive function is through stimulating a type of immune cell called a mast cell. Once these mast cells are stimulated, they will release histamine which may then lead to inflammation, increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut) and further immune activation.
A clearer picture can established through testing (see below). Depending on the results anti-fungal supplements and probiotics are often used to bring this ecosystem back into balance.
Candida Albicans Testing
Candida Albicans overgrowth can be hard to definitely diagnose. However, there are a couple of tests which help to give a clearer idea of what’s driving your symptoms.
- The first is a digestive analysis which is carried out via a stool sample. This looks specifically for candida as well as assessing your microbiome function. The stool test is ordered through the clinic and sent directly to your home for you to complete and return by post to the laboratory.
- A urine test can also give an indication of Candida overgrowth. When levels of a fungal by-product are elevated which indicates increased fungal activity in the digestive tract.
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