What is Candida?
Candida is a type of yeast that causes the majority of fungal infections. While many fungi do not harm our body, a disruption of the mucosa or weakening of the immune system can lead to a yeast invasion: an opportunistic invasion. There are one hundred and fifty-four species of candida. Six of them inhabit our skin and mucosal membranes, as part of our normal flora. Candida albicans is the most abundant invading strain that can be offensive to the body, in the presence of predisposing factors.
Our immune system, when facing intruders like bacteria, viruses or other invaders, produces certain kinds of proteins called antibodies. These antibodies are produced as a result of our immune system finding harmful substances called antigens. When the body produces antibodies by mistake, it attacks its own tissues. This is the case of auto-immune diseases.
Antibodies are also referred to as immunoglobulins. When these recognize the invaders, like the antigens, they bolt onto them. They recognize them because antigens have different molecular system on their surface than your body’s cells. As a result of this recognition, antibodies get produced by the B-lymphocytes (white blood cells). There are numerous ways an antibody can act to attack the antigens: neutralizing them by changing their chemical composition, making them immobile by attaching to them, or preventing them from penetrating the body’s cells.
When the body starts producing antibodies, the process of production can continue for several days. It will not stop not until all antigens are successfully removed from your system. Antibodies well then remain circulating for numerous months, to ensure an extended immunity against this particular antigen.
Testing a particular antibody can detect whether there is, or was, an immune reaction towards a specific intruder. When you have a chronic Candida infection, this normally indicates that the yeast has probably colonized your mucosal tissues, or became invasive. As a result, your body will start producing specific antibodies to cleanse itself from the infection. These antibodies come in three different classes: the IgG, IgA and IgM.
: this is the most commonly formed antibody. It is usually released upon a secondary exposure to the antigen. This type of antibody can reflect either an ongoing or a previous infection. It usually comes in a secondary stage. When the body first gets exposed to a certain antigen (primary exposure), it releases another kind of antibodies. When these decrease in number, following a secondary exposure, the body will start releasing IgG. This kind of antibody plays a major role in the phagocytic process that aims at eliminating antigens from our system.
IgG antibodies are predominant immunoglobulins; and, are found everywhere in our fluids: in both intra- and extravascular fluids. When a person becomes infected, these type of antibodies may remain in your system for many years, even after the infection is eradicated.
: this type is normally found in the mucous secretions. It plays a major role in local immunity; and, constitutes 15 to 20% of all human immunoglobulins. It is the major class of antibodies found in our seromucous secretions. When the IgA levels against the candida are high, they reflect high levels of mucosal epithelial, trachea-bronchial, genital and urinary candida infections.
: this type is the first antibody released, following any first-time exposure to a certain antigen. Once formed, it activates the compliment and initiate the phagocytic system to help the body getting rid of invading antigens. IgM are specific to our intravascularly tissues. They are the most predominant immunoglobulins released upon any early infection. If the body gets re-infected with the same pathogen, the IgM levels will no longer be as elevated as in early infections. The body will then release IgG’s antibodies instead.
Why take the Candida IgA, IgM and IgG test?
This test is the most accurate way to check for a candida infection. Measuring all three antibodies can explain more about where the infection is. The IgM antibodies can help identify if you have an active infection. The IgG antibodies will show the presence of a past or ongoing infection. Finally, the IgA antibody levels will indicate if the candida infection is a serious one (reached the outside surfaces of the mucosal milieu in the body) or just a superficial one.
Having an early diagnosis will help address the candida infection and prevent its progress into a more serious health condition. Untreated candida infections will have negative effects on the quality of your life. You will be uncomfortable, with burning and increased discharges. If the overgrowth became invasive, it could lead to possible organ malfunctions. The Candida antibodies blood test can also help follow up the effectiveness of a given treatment. It will help monitor your infection.
What can cause the levels of antibodies to show false results?
The food you are eating has no effect on your test results. So, there is no need to change your diet before taking the blood test. From another angle, it is advisable to stay away from any food that could give you an adverse allergic reaction, from previous experience.
When it comes to medications, immunosuppressive drugs can affect your test results. These include oral and intranasal corticosteroids like prednisone, beclomethasone, and triamcinolone. Tropical cortisone creams and suspensions can also show false results. Check with your doctor as you may need to abstain from these for a few weeks, prior to the test.
What your Candida IgA, IgM and IgG test results mean?
The candida antibodies test results can help you detect an ongoing candida infection and treat it as early as possible. When you test all three antibodies, you are helping your doctor make the most accurate diagnosis.
If your IgG levels are elevated, this might indicate a past or ongoing candida infection. If the IgM levels are elevated; then, your infection is ongoing. However, if the IgM levels are not elevated and your IgG levels are; then, your candida infection is not ongoing.
If the IgA levels are elevated; then, your candida infection is superficial. Keep in mind that you need to see your doctor to have the proper diagnosis and initiate, if necessary, the proper treatment plan. If you were diagnosed with vaginal candidiasis, you may need to take an antifungal medicine (whether administered vaginally or orally). Make sure you understand the proper treatment course. Some medications may be life-threatening if taken the wrong route. For example, a boric acid capsule intended to be taken vaginally can be lethal is administered orally, as explained by Mayo Clinic
. If the infection is systemic, the treatment can be oral or intravenous. Systemic candida infections are the most common infections
caused by a fungus, in the USA.