Candidiasis is one of the most common fungal infections. More common among women, this infection can lead to health conditions if not treated. The qualitative candida antibodies test can help identify a possible yeast growth, and evaluate the chosen treatment plan.
What are Candida Antibodies?
The qualitative candida antibodies test measures the amount of candida in your system. Candida is a kind of fungus. It is one of the major causes of fungal infections in the world. It is normally found in your body, in very small amount: in your mouth, throat, intestines, vagina and on our skin. When candida is found at normal levels, it doesn’t create any problem. However, when this fungus starts growing abnormally, it can lead to Candidiasis.
There are hundreds of Candida species. The most common one is the Candida albicans. When you have Candidiasis
, it could be one of the following three main infections.
- If the infection is in the mouth, throat, or esophagus; it is called thrush or oropharyngeal candidiasis.
- If the infection is in the vagina, it is called yeast infection.
- If the infection entered the bloodstream and is affecting your organs, like the heart, kidneys, and brain, it is referred to as invasive candidiasis.
According to the CDC
, fungal infections are not dangerous to your health, if discovered and treated at the right time. They are infections that can affect anyone, even healthy individuals.
Candida is normally controlled by the healthy bacteria in your system and your immune system. When these bacteria are not in-balance, they trigger Candida overgrowth. Many factors can lead to Candidiasis, such as taking antibiotics, having a diet that is high in sugar and carbs, drinking too much alcohol, being on oral contraceptives, and having a weak immune system. Stress, pregnancy and diabetes can also lead to candida overgrowth. All these factors can affect the acidity and chemistry of the milieu surrounding your bacteria. They will be able to allow yeast to thrive; and, as a result, symptoms start appearing. Symptoms are numerous and are specific to the infected site of the candida infection. These include:
- Mouth or throat thrush, happens especially in elderly and newborn babies. Thrush will look like white bumpy patches in the oral area, that are painful. If left untreated, thrush can spread to the esophagus and cause difficulties in swallowing.
- Candida can lead to nutritional deficiencies (Vitamin B6, Magnesium and essential fatty acids), leading to fatigue and tiredness. Also, when the candida surpasses its normal levels, it usually indicates a weakened immune system. A study indicated that a prolonged candida infection in the gut, for example, may lead to chronic fatigue.
- Genital and urinary tract infections that keep recurring. While it is not very common among men, genital yeast infection affects 75% of women, at least once in a lifetime. Its symptoms comprise redness, swelling, itching, pain during sex, and white vaginal discharge. Candida can also lead to recurring UTIs, that are accompanied by a frequent urge to urinate, having a dark and smelly-colored urine, feeling pressure in the lower abdomen and having a burning sensation when urinating.
- Digestive problems caused by an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria count in the gut. Such problems include constipation, diarrhea, nausea, gas, cramps, and bloating. Some studies associate the Candida overgrowth with ulcerative colitis and crohn’s disease.
- Chronic sinus infections that were shown to be linked to fungal growth. If a sinus infection lasted more than a month, it may be due to Candida.
- Skin and Nail fungal infections, like ringworm, toenail fungus or even athlete’s foot.
Why take the qualitative Candida Antibodies test?
When left untreated, a growth of candida can lead to many health problems. It can go as far as becoming a life-threatening complication. If you have symptoms indicating the presence of a Candida overgrowth, you need this test. Also, if you believe that you are at high risk for being infected, the Candida Antibodies qualitative test can help detect such an abnormal growth without providing specifics. The qualitative test help determine the presence of Candida. It can also assess and evaluate how well the treatment worked, for those who tested abnormal and started a treatment plan.
What can cause abnormal levels of Candida Antibodies?
Taking over-the-counter medications or herbal/nutritional supplements does not have any effect on your test results. You do not need to discontinue them.
What your Candida Antibodies test results mean?
Ordering a qualitative test means that you are testing the overall presence of candida in your body (systemic candidiasis). The results are usually either positive or negative. A negative result indicates the absence of candida in your body. A positive test indicates an infection that is happening now (actively occurring), or one that has happened in the past.