Testing for candida is accomplished by participating in either a saliva test, blood test, vaginal swabs or stool samples, according to the Cambridge Nutritional Sciences Ltd. The Candida Support organization also offers information about home self-tests that can be performed to provide a "best estimate" to whether or not a person has candida. However, the Candida Support organization is not licensed by doctors or other health care professionals and is instead created by natural health enthusiasts who have experienced candida themselves.
Candida is a fungus similar to yeast that is typically in the body in small amounts, but it can grow in abundance in areas such as the digestive area, vagina or urinary tract. When there is an overgrowth of candida, the spores advance to mycelium and begin to irritate the tissue in the body, notes Cambridge Nutritional Sciences Ltd. If a blood or saliva test for candida is positive, treatment must begin. Treatment includes avoiding foods with yeast or sugar, eating more foods that can help to power the immune system, taking probiotics, and taking natural anti-fungal supplements.
Some of the more common symptoms of candida include heavy bloating, anal itching, tiredness, poor memory and depression. They can also include muscle pain, headache, sore mouth, white coated tongue and cravings for sweets. Other symptoms are sensitivity to foods with yeast and sensitivity to damp weather, reports the Cambridge Nutritional Sciences Ltd.
There are many risk factors that can make it more likely that a person will develop candida. These include antibiotic use, steroid drug use, combined contraceptive pill use and pregnancy hormones. They also include a diet low in protein but high in sugar, endocrine imbalances, and anemia.