Most of us are familiar with Candida in the form of a vaginal yeast infection. However, Candida has many more facets to it. It could easily provide many health obstacles, but if you are properly informed, you could test and treat it yourself. But how exactly do you do that?
In this post, we will be covering the topic of “how to do the Candida spit test”. Be sure to read till the end where you can save and share an awesome infographic that is very useful as a “spit test” cheat sheet.
Hi, I’m Jackson and I am happy to share this guide on Candida overgrowth. While the symptoms and effects of Candida overgrowth are overwhelming, I wanted to share the effective ways to test and treat it. In this way, you can get a better grasp of this common issue and handle it with confidence.
This post is the second in the series on Candida overgrowth which was made with the help of my good friend Maya.
To read her interview where we talk about her story battling Candida click here.
To see her tips and meal plan for the Candida diet check it out here.
What Is A Candida Overgrowth?
So before we dive into talking about tests, let’s break down the basics of this condition.
Candida is, essentially, a type of fungus and a form of yeast. Now, it seems unnatural to think that this is a part of our natural body. You are probably wondering why our immune systems do not try to attack and eliminate this bacteria from our body.
The fact of the matter is that it is actually quite normal and healthy to have amounts of Candida in the body. And at its lowest levels, it is virtually harmless. It is actually one of the millions and trillions of microscopic yeasts and bacteria that reside in your body. So, technically, it is meant to be there.
However, there are some instances where there can be an overgrowth of Candida in your body. If, for some reason, your body’s immune system or healthy bacteria levels are compromised, Candida can begin to overproduce. In turn, it can lead to the development of a wide range of health issues.
What Causes a Candida Overgrowth?
There are many factors that contribute to Candida overgrowth, some of which may surprise you.
Here are some of the factors that can lead to the Candida population growing out of control:
- If you have another infection, you are prescribed antibiotics to counteract the illness. However, antibiotics can actually kill too many of the good bacteria in your body. The very same can be said about other immunosuppressants and oral contraceptives.
- A study discovered that patients with cancer had invasive candidiasis. Turns out the chemotherapy and radiation used to kill tumors and cancerous cells also kills off good bacteria, which leads to an over-development of Candida.
- If you eat a lot of processed food, full of refined sugars and carbs, and drink excessive amounts of alcohol, you are definitely at risk of a Candida overgrowth.
- In addition to highly processed foods, fermented foods can also cause a Candida overgrowth. So if you happen to really enjoy things like pickles or kombucha, moderation is your best friend.
- Individuals with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes tend to have more sugar in their mucous membranes and in their mouths than people without diabetes. Candida is a type of yeast that will feed on the sugar, making people with diabetes more prone to overgrowth.
- It probably goes without saying that stress takes a toll on so many aspects of your life. In this context, stress can weaken your immune system and shut down your digestive system. In turn, the Candida bacteria is given an opportunity to thrive.
What Areas of the Body Are Most Affected By Candida Overgrowth?
Candida lives in multiple niches of the body. You can find Candida on your skin, in your digestive tract, mouth, and genital area.
Now, there are about 20 types of Candida that can lead to an infection. The most common one we experience is called Candida albicans and causes infections in your digestive tract, mouth and genitals.
In general, areas that are warm, moist or sweaty are the ideal locations for Candida to flourish. So in addition to your mouth, genitals and digestive tract, a Candida overgrowth can also cause infections in your armpits, the skin between your fingers and toes, and the skin under your breasts.
Common Health Issues Caused By A Candida Overgrowth
Despite Candida being a virtually harmless fungus in your body, an overgrowth can lead to a range of infections that can infect everything from your digestion to your mental health.
Let’s explore some of the most common Candida infections. Just a heads-up, you might find some of these infections quite familiar.
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Genital Yeast Infections
- Foot Yeast Infections or Athlete’s foot
- Recurring Sinus Infections
- Seasonal Allergies
- Chronic Inflammation
- Oral Thrush
- Mucocutaneous Candidiasis
Candida Overgrowth’s Impact On Digestive Tract
One of the more major effects of a Candida infection is what it can potentially do to your digestive tract. When it is in your intestines, Candida is supposed to assist in nutrient absorption and digestion. However, when there is an overgrowth of Candida, it can impede how your stomach digests fibers and starches. This, in turn, causes a variety of digestion issues, such as:
Moreover, Candida overgrowths have also been associated with several major lifelong diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease.
Candida’s Effects on Mental Health
As if the physical health aspects were not enough, candida can also impact on your mental and emotional health.
Here is what an overgrowth of Candida can do to your brain:
- Lack of Concentration
- High Anxiety
- Mood Swings
- Poor Memory
- Headaches & Migraines
- Brain Fogs
I know this list looks intimidating. However, you should think of this list and think of Candida more of a factor in these issues than a direct cause. It should be noted that scientists agree the subject still needs to be explored more.
Candida & Autoimmune Illnesses
When there is a Candida overgrowth, your immune system takes a major hit. You see, Candida overpopulation can actually eat away at the intestinal lining. Once it breaks through, it causes a leaky gut. This means toxic byproducts can pass into your bloodstream.
Then, this triggers an inflammatory response from your immune system. Immediately, it will try to beat back this “infection”, until it gets tired, weakened, and unable to efficiently respond.
With your immune system weakened, it is easy for your own body’s tissues to end up targets of its own immune system. Given time, this could breed long-term autoimmune diseases in your body.
Here are some of them:
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Multiple sclerosis
Candida Test & Why It Is Important To Do A Candida Spit Test?
Now that we have addressed the health issues of a potential Candida overgrowth, let’s talk about testing for it.
If you start experiencing some of the symptoms or illnesses we mentioned above, it is important to pinpoint whether or not a Candida overgrowth is the issue. It is also important because tests can measure the severity of the overgrowth. In this way, you or your physician determine the right course of treatment.
There are several tests out there that can determine if you have a Candida overgrowth.
The first type of tests are lab tests:
- Comprehensive Organic Acids Test
- Digestive Health Panel
- Great Plains Food Sensitivity Test
These tests tend to be commonly used because they are comprehensive, accurate, and are backed by professional studies.
However, let’s say you want something a little more accessible at home. Fortunately, there are some at-home Candida overgrowth tests you can use.
The first method is to use a Candida Questionnaire, which essentially asks you to rate your experience of certain Candida risk factors.
The second method is the Candida Spit test, which is the main test we are interested in today. It is easy to do and requires little time and effort for a fairly immediate result. Just as its name suggests, the only thing this test reads is your saliva. I know that sounds a little unbelievable, but let’s talk about how it works.
Like we said before, one of the primary places Candida thrives is in your digestive tract. Given time, Candida or yeast can coat the membranes of the digestive tract into the stomach. From the stomach, it travels up your esophagus into the mouth in the form of saliva. If the yeast is thick enough, you will be able to see it coat your mouth and tongue in a white film. This is called oral thrush, which, if you remember, is one of the common results of a Candida overgrowth. In the spit test, you are testing the thickness of the saliva because the yeast can mix with the saliva and change its weight.
We’ll break down how this test works next.
Check out other Candida tests here.
How To Do An At-Home Candida Spit Test
The Candida spit test is one of the simplest and quickest tests you can do at home. It requires little equipment: your saliva and a glass of clear water. This test should be done first thing in the morning before anything goes into your mouth.
Gather up some spit in your mouth and spit it into the glass. You may have a Candida overgrowth if the spit or saliva shows any of the following characteristics:
- It looks cloudy and floats to the bottom of the glass.
- Stays at the top of the water with thin strands extending down into the water.
- Stays at the top with floating little specs.
It should be said that this test should not be taken as the last word on diagnosing a Candida overgrowth problem. This test can have unreliable results, which is due to a lot of unchecked factors.
For example, you have to do this test in the morning because you ideally do not want anything to have been in your mouth. However, your spit in the morning tends to be thicker because you haven’t been drinking all night. This could easily throw off your judgment of its Candida levels. Other conflicting factors you have to take into account are allergies, congestion, weather changes, and dairy products. Any of these things can make your spit test results inconsistent.
This is not to say that you should completely throw this test out. You just shouldn’t use it as your only basis of judgment. Think of it as a supplemental test to figure out if you need a lab test and to decide your potential treatment plans.
Below you can check a quick demonstration of how to do the test in video form.
Limit Candida Growth By Changing Your Diet
Okay. So let’s say you did the spit test and you discovered you do have a Candida overgrowth. Fortunately, there are many ways to curb Candida growth.
The first method is by changing your diet. Ideally, you want to create a diet that is yeast-free. However, before we delve into what specific foods you need, you should do a Candida cleanse. This is so you can flush out your digestive tract of any excessive levels of candida.
You can do one of two different cleanses. One is a strictly liquid cleanse. The other option is a gentler cleanse that uses solid foods.
If you go with the liquid option, you need to make a boiled broth of garlic, kale, onions, celery, pure water, and sea salt. Yes, I am aware of how delicious this sounds. You will need to drink the liquid cleanse over the course of 1-2 days.
The next cleanse uses steamed vegetables as the basis of its cleansing. Over the course of 3-5 days, you need to eliminate sugars, fruits, starches, alcohol, and grains and focus on consuming fresh, organic, steamed vegetables. What vegetables you pick is up to you, but you should definitely avoid starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots. Leafy greens are preferred.
Here’s a fun tip: try to use these two cleanse ideas together. Do the liquid cleanse first as a way to jumpstart your system and prepare it for the more long-term effects of the steamed vegetables cleanse.
Once you have cleansed you can transition into the yeast-free diet. The first step is to eliminate problem foods. These are foods that actually feed the creation of yeast and Candida in your body.
Here are the foods you should avoid:
- Flour-based products
The great thing about eliminating this particular mix of food is that you immediately cancel out many processed foods, which is great because they have little nutritional value anyways.
The main thing to remember is to avoid sugar.
Here is what you can eat:
- Gluten-free grains
- Non-starchy vegetables
- High-quality protein
So here’s the thing about a Candida diet, there is no real meal planning. It can take anywhere from a week to a few months, depending on the severity of your Candida and how strict you are with your diet.
Since you do not have to stick to the Candida diet for a specific amount of time, you can stop whenever the symptoms go away. You can also transition back into eating your normal food but make sure to reintroduce those foods slowly. Otherwise, you might just trigger a flare-up.
To read more about the effects of a Candida cleanse, check out this article.
Limit Candida Growth By Using Natural Remedies
Although anti-fungal medication is a common treatment for Candida, an overgrowth can sometimes become resistant to it. In these circumstances, natural remedies are a saving grace.
Here are some of the natural remedies that can tackle Candida growth:
- Coconut oil contains many antimicrobial properties that can kill off Candida through topical application and consumption.
- Clove oil, oil of oregano and myrrh oil are also effective in killing off varieties of fungi. You can even throw lavender oil into the mix because it can be used to limit the spread of candida.
- Vitamin C is vital to killing off Candida growth because it boosts your immune system.
- Milk thistle supplements are useful for flushing your liver of prescription medicines that can cause Candida growth, like antibiotics and birth control. It can also flush your body of pollutants from the environment.
Conclusion So there you have it! Candida is nothing to ashamed about because everyone has it almost everyone deals with an overgrowth. If you happen to have it or develop it in the future, hopefully, this “how to do the candida spit test” guide has shown you the importance of testing for it and how you can easily treat it at home. If you have any comments and questions, please share them!