Candida spit test?

Dear Alice,

What is the candida spit test and how does it work? Is it valid?

Dear Reader,

The candida spit test is an at-home way that some naturopaths and health care providers claim you can check your candida or yeast levels. The pros of the test are that it’s easy, does not require any equipment, and can even be a fun way to check and see what is growing in your body. The cons are that it may not be the most accurate way to tell if you have high levels of yeast.

Most of the time, strains of yeast like Candida albicans live a well-domesticated life in places like the mouth, vagina, and gastrointestinal tract. Occasionally, the balance tips, and the organisms grow out of control. This can lead to a yeast infection (affecting the genitals), thrush (oral yeast infection), and, more rarely, invasive candidiasis (when the yeast infection spreads to the blood stream and internal organs). Usually, there are ample symptoms of candidiasis, such as a cottage cheese-like discharge in women, for example. However, some health care providers claim that symptoms like dizziness, fatigue, gas, bloating, and even irritability could be caused by elevated yeast levels.

To do the spit test, grab a clear glass of water first thing in the morning, and before rinsing, spitting, or putting anything in your mouth, spit into the glass. Wait for about 15 minutes. If, after that time, you see stringy, wisp-like projections (those are the yeast colonies holding themselves together) floating downward into the glass, that’s a positive sign for yeast overgrowth.

Although the at-home spit test can check for the presence of yeast in your mouth, it is not 100 percent reliable and may not be able to tell you if you have a yeast infection or if your candida levels are imbalanced. The most accurate way to test for candida overpopulation is by making a visit to your health care provider. Proper diagnosis can be done in a lab: the clinician will take a sample of any discharge, or a scraping of the affected skin. Looking at the sample under a microscope or growing a culture are two scientific ways of arriving at a diagnosis.

Because the spit test doesn’t hold the same diagnostic weight that a lab result would, it’s probably worth getting a second opinion from a health care provider you trust if you think your yeast levels may be high. But just because the spit test isn’t 100 percent reliable doesn’t mean you can’t try it. You may find evidence that your yeast levels change or shift with time. So if you’re curious, spit away!


Originally published Nov 07, 2014

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