A simple test that is sometimes mentioned as a way to find out if candida overgrowth is an issue for you is The Spit Test. The instructions are that when you wake up in the morning you spit in a fresh glass of water and watch to see stringy saliva in the water, cloudy saliva that sinks, specks throughout the water. Most people who have reported doing this test have witnessed these apparent signs of candida. Although it would not be completely unfeasible that a large proportion of people have candida, but I don’t believe this test is reliable. If your mucus, and therefore your saliva, is thick then you would get this kind of result from spitting into a glass of water. You mucus can be think if you have allergies, intolerances, are unwell or dehydrated.
Testing for Candida
Stool Test (GI Effects): There are more comprehensive ways to test for candida. There is a stool test which will reach for the presence of candida and other yeasts over three stool samples. This test would also give you information about digestion, inflammation in the gut and other bacteria. It will show if candida really is the problem or if gut symbiosis is really the issue. Gut dysbiosis occurs when the less-beneficial bacteria and yeasts are able to crowd out the good bacteria in the gut. A stool test will give you a snapshot of the kind of bacteria that are thriving in your gut as identifying candida if present. This is a good choice if you suffer predominantly with digestive symptoms such as bloating.
Organic Acid Test: An organic acid test (OAT) is conducted using a urine sample. The lab identify metabolites in the urine that indicate that candida is problematic. However, the OAT test is more comprehensive and include markers of gut bacteria overgrowth, oxalates, B vitamin markers, some neurotransmitter markers and mitochondrial function. This test is the better choice if you are struggling with low mood, anxiety or depression along with your usual candida symptoms. It is also the right choice if collecting three stool samples might be problematic.
Take a look at this brief questionnaire to determine whether candida might be an issue for you.
- Do you crave sweet food?
- Do you struggle with bloating after sweet food or fruit.?
- Do you get an itching or burning sensation of the vagina, groin or rectum?
- Are you sensitive to chemicals (perfumes, petrol, cleaning products)?
- Have you used antibiotics recently or had multiple courses in the past?
- Have you used steroid medication or creams?
- Do you have itchy skin or scalp?
- Are you intolerant to alcohol?
- Have you ever had ringworm?
- Do you have a history of vaginal, oral or rectal thrush?
- Do you get an off-white vaginal discharge?
- Do you have a history of inflammatory bowel disease?
- Do you consume lots of fruit sugars (juices, dried fruits, etc.)?
Answering yes, to 3 or more of these questions may indicate an issue with candida overgrowth.