You, the reader, must be careful in allowing yourself and your doctor to begin a Candida regimen before it is documented that you have C. Albicans and not some other pathogen. Any disturbance in your intestinal flora can allow the above mentioned pathogens to begin their dirty work. C. Albicans is not the only opportunist who is waiting for you to use broad spectrum antibiotics. Dont go by symptoms alone!
Unfortunately, most tests being used by well-meaning practitioners have drawbacks and require more interpretation than might be currently realized. Stool cultures and rectal mucus swabs have been found of no diagnostic value.(4) That is a rather strong statement bound to offend many people. However, consider these facts. "C. Albicans organisms do not distribute homogeneously throughout the G.I. tract, rather they are found on plaques in the mucosal surfaces and streak scattered throughout the fecal material."(4) In application, this datum means consistent contact with the over-colonization of C. Albicans by fecal matter is not guaranteed due to the nature of growth of C. Albicans. It does not evenly spread itself throughout the bowel. This makes it a matter of chance whether the fecal matter or rectal swab will contact an area which contains C. Albicans. It is true that C. Albicans inhabits the mucosal surface, but in plaques. It is a matter of judgement by the practitioner !
whether the fecal or rectal swab reading is indicative of over-colonization, since everyone does have some Candida Albicans in their bowel. Good practitioners knowing this will want several consecutive negative readings before pronouncing the patient clear of Candida. Also, the amount that qualifies as a true overgrowth in the stool can be a controversy. The true value of a stool culture is in determining the amounts of friendly bacteria relative to unfriendly bacteria, and to discover the presence of harmful bacteria which can weaken the friendly flora, allowing yeast to grow and live.
The practitioner who takes into account response to therapy, other biochemical tests which would reveal immune response and mineral absorption in addition to the stool or rectal swab stands a better chance of understanding the patients status. A popular test for detection of antibodies against Candida also has drawbacks. First, a decrease in the antibodies may not mean the patient is doing better, it could mean a decreased immune response. Other biochemical tests are needed to interpret this. An increase in the antibodies may indicate an increase in immune response and not a worsening of the patients health. Many times these antibodies will increase when immune status indicators improve, showing an increase in immune response. So this test also needs to be carefully interpreted.
A new test that shows great promise, as it has none of the previously mentioned drawbacks, is the Candisphere Enzyme Immuno Assay. The main difference between this test and other blood studies for C. Albicans is that it is not influenced by the "external" antigens of C. Albicans that are harmless, produced constantly by small "normal" colonies of C. Albicans. Only large numbers of colonies producing a hidden cytoplasmic antigen are reported. This hidden antigen must make its presence known to the bodys immune defenses in order to produce many of the typical symptoms. An overgrowth cannot be missed as with stool or mucus swabs. A blind control treatment study for the FDA revealed a 92% correlation between therapeutic response and test response. The test is now available in the New York City area. I hope this data can be used to clear up some of the confusion both holistic and orthodox practitioners have on this subject.
Michael Biamonte holds a Doctorate of Nutripathy, a Degree in Natural Healing, and a Masters in Clinical Nutrition. He is affiliated with the International Academy of Clinical Nutritionists and the International Academy of Nutrition and Preventive Medicine. He is listed in "The Directory of Distinguished Americans" for his research in Nutrition and Physiology.
For more info also see: Does Candida Albicans Trigger the Onset of Celiac Disease?
- The Merk Manual, 14th Edition, pages 1625-1626.
- Miles Mr, Olsen L. Roger A. Recurrent Vaginal Candidiasis, JAMA 238, Pages 1836-1837; 1977.
- Great Smokies Lab Medical Lab Parasite/Pathogen Primer.
- Progress in diagnosing. Candida related complex. David Bauman, Ph.D.
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