Candida spit test
Just what the quack ordered

104

Candida wins the dubious award for being the area of natural health most riddled with misinformation.

So Candida spit test fits in nicely.

Many Candida-related websites tell you about a spit test that you can use to see if you have Candida or not.

It’s a nice trick because almost every one ‘fails’ this test. When people have ‘confirmed’ their Candida overgrowth it’s easy to sell them supplements and cleanses that’s supposed to kill Candida.

We also have a separate page on Candida and acne, in case you are interested to learn whether Candida has any effect on acne – the answer just might surprise you.

The ThreeLac Scam

What those websites don’t tell you that this so-called test was developed by a network marketing company Global Health Trax as a way to sell their ThreeLac probiotic supplements. Read more about the ThreeLac scam here.

The test has absolutely no bearing on Candida. People with Candida can pass it, and people who don’t have Candida overgrowth might fail it. But most people fail it (more on why below) and since the test seems reliable to people who don’t know better it’s easy to sell supplements, herbs and pills to correct this supposed problem.

Why Candida spit test is bogus?

Here’s how Candida spit test works.

First thing in the morning you spit into a glass of water. Then wait up to 60 minutes. If the water remains clear you don’t have Candida. But if you see ‘legs’ dripping down from your saliva and cloudy particles then you have Candida overgrowth.

What this test ‘measures’ is the thickness of your mucus. And that is affected by many more things than just Candida overgrowth. For example:

  • Allergies can cause your body to expel thicker than normal mucus (ever had that thick goo coming out of your throat and mouth?
  • Consumption of dairy products increases mucus production
  • Level of dehydration
  • Elimination of normal bodily waste material. The mouth is one way the body expels some waste material (through mucus), and this material is thicker than water and hence sinks
  • Eating strong spices and other irritants. Ever had a bit too much chilly and soon after your nose started running and mucus coming out of your mouth? That’s your body eliminating the irritants in the chilly. Again this mucus sinks and has nothing to do with Candida
  • Shedding of dead cells from the inside of your mouth. The skin inside your mouth is constantly renewing and dead cells are shed. There’s more of these dead cells in the morning because there hasn’t been any water to wash them out
  • Bacteria in the mouth. There are more bacteria in your mouth in the morning (again because there has been nothing to wash them off). These bacteria can clump together and sink to the bottom of the glass

It’s easy to conclude that the Candida spit test is pure pseudo-science. You might as well flip a coin to see if you have Candida or not. At least that way you would have 50% change of being ‘cured’.

Don’t stress about Candida

I’m on a crusade against Candida spit test because now and then I get one of these emails.

A person tells me they feel fine and their acne is slowly getting better. But they keep failing the spit test. They get stressed because they’ve heard Candida causes acne. They feel their slow progress is because of Candida, and that they should do something about it.

While I agree that Candida can be a concern for some people, I find it hard to believe it’s as widespread as the natural health quack doctors want you to believe.

Tests like this spit test and the Candida questionnaires, that again everybody fails, throws their credibility into doubt.

For the vast majority of Candida ‘sufferers’ their symptoms can most likely be explained with stress, food allergies or other improper dietary choices, and with other factors that have nothing to do with Candida.

In closing, don’t worry even if you ‘fail’ the Candida spit test. It doesn’t mean anything.

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Comments on Candida spit test
Just what the quack ordered Leave a Comment

Carl @ 11:30 pm #

you should be looking also at the facts the humans can not eat any grains, these are toxic to the system and often cause a very wide variety of symptoms that exacerbate candida and also acne as part of the overall cause.
regards

Pav @ 3:42 pm #

Hi
“being very brief”
I think candida can cause so many symptoms its unbelievable, its the toxins that candida produces overtime can lead to such things like IBS, Mood, Depressions problem and many more. i see it like this, when a person has candida albicans or any overgrowth, this yeast is producing many harmful toxins. These toxins stress out immune system causing many holes in the digestive tract which leads to leaky gut, this leads to a cycle of having toxins being removed by your liver again and again. Can cause liver congestion over time, this can lead to insufficient bile being produced to break fats and removal off toxins and many vitamins are produced along side with the bile. When this happens you get undigested food in the tract which is bad causing a toxin digestive system = acne, eczema and many skin problems. The bowels can become very acidic.

Nicole @ 1:36 am #

So is the blood test the most accurate way to diagnose candida? My doctor would never order that for me anyway. Are the in-home tests accurate?

Redbaron @ 4:52 am #

Seppo; I would like to know what evidence or proof you have , other than
what you mentioned , that the spit test is totally unreliable. I have
retaken mine many times and failed the test all three ways in less
than 5 minutes. My wife does it with me the same way and doesn’t
show any signs for at least 20 minutes and then only one sign of some
slight legging down. From what I have read , Blood or stool sample
test issued by Dr.”s are not reliable either and cost a lot of money.
I have been fighting a bad case of foot fungus for many years, and
now prescrition cortisone won’t kill it. Even when it did kill it the
fungus came back worse than before. Thank God , I stumbled
accross some articles about “candida” and am starting on a 3 month
full sprectrum program which I believe will solve a lot of mysterious
symptoms which I have attributed to aging etc. One of which
is a case of ED which is slowly getting worse, and my Dr. says I am
healthy and offers me the big V. NOW THAT is somthing to get
upset about. How many middle aged to elderly men have developed
ED due to possible candida and were told to take a dangerous
pill?? I feel better already..

Redbaron @ 4:57 am #

To All; If it walks like a duck ,quacks like a duck there is a good chance
it could be a duck. Still “Quackery ” seems to keep showing up.

Redbaron @ 5:04 am #

To ALL; OH Ya, I though I was done but I have noticed one thing , whenI
googled “spit test” every ,all ,not just some of the listings that came
up were just trying to get our attention and then sell something.

Tina @ 10:54 pm #

used spit test to diagnose candida overgrowth, tried threelac and felt 95 percent better. Unfortunately this only lasted for about six months, but I really enjoyed life again for about six months. redid the spit test recently and passed to my amazement.

Solomon Rueda @ 1:06 pm #

@carl How can you say that humans can’t eat grains? Is there any study on this?

Michael Cole @ 2:19 pm #

Let me see if I have this correct? You say people that use the “Spit Test” for Candida are quacks. Is that correct?
You say it was developed by a network marketing company Global Health Trax as a way to sell their ThreeLac probiotic supplements. Is that correct?
Why then do you allow these “quacks” to sell their quack stuff on your site?
People that live in glass houses should not throw stones. You sir, are the quack.

Lisa @ 10:39 am #

Well, I just tried the spit test (though it will definitely NOT be the only test I take) and mine didn’t sink… you know those Halloween spiderweb decorations? My spit looked like that IMMEDIATELY as it hit the water. It sank into a huge string of cobwebs. I know I flirt with the dark side of life but I don’t think I’m “GOTH” enough to spit cobwebs and shit bats quite yet.

Anyway, I’ve got autoimmune hypothyroidism and every last one of the symptoms of the candiasis infection. My diet has always been high in carbs- not so much sugars, though. Just pasta, bread and the likes due to convenience and lack of the ability to digest meats.

Lately I have been getting worse- I’m 23 only and yet I have severe muscle aches, dizziness, my eyes have been failing me, I can’t sleep more than a half hour at a time due to pain and/or just random awakenings and if I eat anything that needs digesting (red meat) it comes out smelling like undigested rotting matter.

Here’s the kicker- my boyfriend who I have been intimate with is now itching full-body and has a rash really similar to the one I have. Small red papules on my upper arm- which funny enough he has in the same general area just not as bad by any means.

Anyway- I understand you dislike the “quacks” and the “salesman” but is the spit test truly 100% fail ALL the time? Because when I spit into that glass I saw a result immediately and it was quite alien to me. I move the glass and this webbing just sort of moves- like spiderwebs in the breeze- but it doesn’t change at all. Not to mention bubbles are forming all around the glass as I watch it. I just sort of find it hard to believe this test is complete malarkey- but I can also agree it should not be the ONLY test used to diagnose the overgrowth/disease.

Rudi @ 8:10 am #

@seppo’;you are right! The spit test tells you nothing.we did test with 20 students on our school!18 on 20 have string on the saliva means that they all have candida.no at all! I have also 3 children, 4, 8 and 10 years old. They did also test and they have also strings on there saliva: conclusion! I don’t believe the reliability of the spit test.

ZBB @ 2:13 pm #

What’s the point in writing an article like this when it really is true for many people and really does help many people? If you really are a doctor, you know that any kind of yeast infection can be horrible and doesn’t have to put you in the intensive care unit…this is just pointless information that is bringing less hope to people who finally found some. And all you did was take away. Did you give any alternative? no…you just ranted, stating “facts” that any person who didn’t go to med school could come up with in 5 minutes. Of all the “suspicious” and “quack” things I’ve read, this is at the top. You’re ignorant and not helping anyone. If you truly do believe this is a hoax, and you truly are a doctor, then explain all the symptoms millions of people have that can never be explained. If you can’t do that, don’t condemn someone else for trying. (and of course they are going to try and sell something, as a “doctor” in turn you are trying to sell something everyday. So stop being a hypocrite.)

nicole @ 6:14 pm #

HI,

Interesting forum. I’m grateful to see a place where people can openly discuss their questions and their points of view. I can’t say I am moved by the spit test alone to conclude that candida is present. I do however think that a wide brush stroke has been used to paint all ‘natural healers’ as quacks trying to sell an herbal supplement. The proof is in the pudding and the results. My Naturapath who happens to be an herbalist set me on a dietary regime to ‘clean myself out’ of anything that might support allergies or yeast in my body. To her credit and motto “let food be your medicine” I saw ridiculously night and day results in my everything inside of two months eating differently.

I did take acidophilous and a multi vitamin to help restore the good flora and overall support for my immune system but it’s amazing how fast the body will heal itself when we give it the tools to do so. What is quackery I find is the modern North American diet. A simple return to organics and natural foods would go a long way. That and discovering and eliminating what is specifically ‘allergic’ to us. Unfortunately I fell back into old habits and lo and behold all my symptoms returned. As I embark a decade later on the same cleansing diet I abandoned all I can say is …I’ll track my results and let you know. For the record….I am not a health care practitioner either…just an individual like you looking for a natural (non-pharmaceutical) way to end my problems.

Cheers to you all.

Jukka @ 12:38 pm #

Thank you for this web site! I was about to be “all-so-serious” about this spit test that they claim to be “quite reliable”, but after seeing this I can be more objectical about it.
(ps. never trust a site, or anything, that has a ying yang as it´s logo)

Lisa @ 11:42 am #

@Seppo:

Actually, I am constantly tested for blood sugar (every single time I go see my endocrinologist she tests it along with my thyroid levels- I have autoimmune hypothyroidism) and my blood sugar levels are constantly fine.

As for food allergies- I’ve been tested for Celiac and it was negative (endoscopy was done for this) so I know it’s not a wheat allergy.

I’ve been having severe weakness/numbness in my hands. It’s like I just can’t feel pressure any longer so I end up dropping things due to unintentional loosening of my grip.

See, she thought it was probably carpal tunnel but after having banged on my wrist (and asked if I felt any numbness in my fingers) and having me “cut off circulation” by bending my wrists in a specific way and having me say “I feel nothing” made her think twice. Apparently the fingertips should have tingled or something. Finally she’s on board with something being amiss and I’m being tested.

She said it might be Psuedotumor Cerebri which could explain hyperreflexia and so she’s sending me to a neurologist. She did, however, say she’d test for Systemic Candida if the neurologist couldn’t find anything.

Funny thing being Psuedotumor Cerebri is also very, very rare.

I have a way of being a “rare case” usually, so I wouldn’t be surprised if what I had was very rare. I’ll probably check back to this board again if I get a candida test just because this is what this board is about- or at least the spit test portion of it. The spit test might be malarkey but it still might be an indicator of something- if even something as simple as dehydration.

Lisa @ 11:55 am #

Oh, I should also mention (since I re-read my first post) that these symptoms flared up immediately when I started my birth control pills.

See, I have PCOS and needed it for the pain/cysts. My vision went dull within two weeks of taking them and I told my gyno, she said stay off of them for about two weeks and see if anything clears up- it didn’t and I went back on the birth control.

I have been doing a TON of research pooling (I never trust just one site, I try to read a couple and then sort of mash the ideas together hoping all of the collective agreeable information is worth something) and it seems to me it still could be Systemic Candidiasis.

Autoimmune conditions make you more susceptible- I have autoimmune hypothyroidism (Meaning my body makes antibodies against my thyroid) so there is an autoimmune side.

Birth control pills can help the overgrowth- my symptoms got worse within 2 weeks of starting “the pill” for my PCOS.

(I also forgot to mention the “SHE” I referred to last was my general practitioner. Take note that she generally will just look at me and never do physical examinations so having her bring out the reflex hammer just baffled me.)

“How does doctor know what examine is?”

Anyway, like I said. I’ll check back if I find it to be candida- it might be an interesting find and might help others. (Interesting as in shitty for me, but great for people with questions. Hah.)

blixa @ 10:19 pm #

Wow!
I have been on a very strict Candida diet for 4 months now, along with an extensive supplement regime (ive spents hundreds and hundreds of dollars on this). Yes, my health has improved drastically… but, why wouldn’t it? I have been eating no sugar and a very healthy diet! I have suppliments to help with my digestive system, which I now suspect that this is where all my issues with my health lie.
I have been relying on the morning spit test all this time to show me if my ‘candida’ is improving and of course it’s the same evry time. However, i have just discovered that if i do the test any other time of the day (after I’ve brushed my teeth for instance) my test comes out perfectly clear.
I have now decided, especially after finding this forum, that i probably don’t have candida and shouldn’t rely on a spit test to tell me i do. I am so shocked to hear that Three Lac started this… it all makes sense now!
I will however continue my healthy diet, but I will now include some FRUIT and have that cup of tea that I’ve been longing for for 4 months!
Thanks!!!!

Lawrence @ 6:58 pm #

It’s interesting the seemingly endless debate about the validity and reliability of the spit test for candida. Ultimately, this comes down to being a scientific issue. Any accepted diagnostic test, to have value and utility, must have a minimum level of both sensitivity and specificity, i.e., sensitivity refers to how many instances of a disease that are known to actually exist can a particular test actually detect. A highly sensitive test is likely to give some false-positive results, but almost no true positives will be overlooked. Specificity refers to how accurately it diagnosis a particular disease, to the exclusion of other conditions and diseases, giving no false-positive results; i.e., if a result is positive, you know for sure you’ve got a particular disease and not something else.

The spit test for candida fails spectacularly on both accounts. There’s lots of anecdotal “evidence” both ways (just from reading people’s experiences, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t! and nothing testable to account for the variances), but there are simply no peer-reviewed published studies to validate the test, which would be easy to do — just compare the spit test results to a gold standard candida immunologic titre test or a histological evaluation in a large enough sample of people, some who have clinical overgrowth, some who don’t.

It’s also interesting that all this debate is seemingly charged with lots of almost emotional insistence by some that it really does work, as well as other fallacies in critical thinking. Personal experiences and anecdotal evidence largely prove nothing without the proper experimental controls and a minimum level of rigorous proof and reproducibility. There’s abundant (and fascinating) research on the topic showing that we often absolutely believe in phenomena that don’t really exist (or vice-versa) for a variety of psychological and perceptual reasons, such as selection bias, post-hoc reasoning, generalizing, the Black Swan effect, etc.

One note to Seppo — one does not necessarily have to have the rare case to which you refer of fulminant, systemic candida infection (sepsis) for candida to be a clinical or even sub-clinical problem since pathologic overgrowth of the organism itself could be essentially enterically limited, i.e., limited to the GI tract without other organ or tissue involvement. These may account for the vast bulk of undiagnosed, sub-clinical cases for which people seek relief, if in fact the condition exists.

Keegan @ 7:37 am #

Hi Seppo

People like you mean well but are way too blinkered and dogmatic about the topic you claim to know much about, to the extent that you mislead people. Systemic Candida, like most other conditions, does not have to be an all or nothing. There are grades of systemic, some of which are extremely subtle and others which are that much more rampant. Very often it is the mild to middle of the road suffereres that don’t find the answers they are looking for because their physician is an all or nothing thinker. How sad. My advice to you people out there who feel that you are on to something and are feeling better is to go for it. Nobody else is going to help you – use your instinct – what better test than testing it on yourself. If you come through feeling much better, to hell with who thinks who is a quack and who is not a quack. You used your common sense (since other people seem to lack it) and now are feeling remarkably better. The time has come for the public to follow their own convictions when they are getting no other decent answers from trained people. The time has also come for trained people (who are blinkered) to take off their blinkers and actually connect with a bit of common sense and stop being an all or nothing thinker. Their is a large grey zone (somewhere between perfect and wrecked) whether you like it or not.

Keegan @ 6:31 pm #

Hi Seppo

What more does mankind need than strategies that work. I am a man in the street without blinkers and lots of common sense.

When objective science and the brains that come with it, is not coming up with the answers, then it is time to shaft it and try a different route. And guess what, it worked for me and for 3 others with whom I am acquainted. Our problems are now solved and we are thriving in our new found wellness. You can look at it and pull it apart as much as you wish, but you are not in my shoes – I repeat, my problems are now solved. I do not need any more convincing. Thank God for common sense. Join your own dots (those of you who suspect systemic candida) – it’s not rocket science – it’s your body, use your own insight. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, move on. Since when did we need the permission or the blessing of a trained person or a blogger like Seppo to follow a simple spit test and, if desired, supplements and an eating pattern. I repeat myself – wake up people. It’s your body.

B @ 12:05 am #

I think the information you provide here is excellent! It is unfortunate that so many people today rely so whole-heartedly on the internet and fail to research their sources. I think it is very “blinkers on” to take a test at face value that cannot be proven.

I completely understand being sick- I was almost on the emergency room due to a Candida outbreak on the skin, which was worsened by anti-biotics that I happened to also be allergic to. It’s been a month now, and the skin rash is almost gone (thankfully- from eyes to thighs!!). I unfortunately didn’t completely dry after a shower- the next time I showered, I shaved- and spread the infection without realizing it. When the outbreak was at it’s worst I was very scared, stressing out, and crying a lot. Every time I get sick (even just a bladder infection which put me in the hospital with ecoli)- it seems to be worst case scenario, and reacquires long recovery. My boyfriend probably said the best thing to me – that in order to get better, I need to believe I will. In order for my body to have a normally functioning immune system, I need to believe I do. In the last week 75% of the rash has cleared.

I’m not saying positive thinking is all to do with it- or that people don’t have REAL health issues… But at the end of the day, research your illness, and check your sources. Chances are an independent company selling a test without false/positive result rates (if you don’t know what that means-look it up, check your source)!! Chances are, it is unfortunately used as a marketing ploy.

I find the best times I get to know and pay attention to my bodies needs are during illness. Take care of yourself, and don’t deprive your body o what it needs to maintain a healthy balance!! You may cause yourself more harm in the long run.

Lawrence @ 11:51 am #

All this debate centers around: 1) whether a sub-clinical candida overgrowth “Yeast Connection” type syndrome actually exists, 2) whether it’s responsible for a variable and non-specific symptom complex, and 3) whether it can be reliably diagnosed and specifically treated or not.

To be clear, what we’re talking about here is a generally separate and distinct issue (for now) from the various candida or monilial disease forms that are well-established, well-defined, and widely accepted by the mainstream medical community: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yeast_infections.

The first thing is that the big problem in proving whether a sub-clinical disease state or condition actually exists is that, almost by definition, it doesn’t create a clear-cut, readily identifiable, or overt manifestation or well-defined clinical presentation. That’s what makes subclinical sydromes difficult to define and diagnose. Physicians diagnose and treat things presumptively all the time. But it doesn’t mean they’re correct. On top of that, the signs and symptoms that people claim are caused by candida overgrowth are frequently non-specific and are highly variable between individuals; i.e., these symptoms could be caused by a LOT of other factors or combinations of factors.

So here lies the crux of the matter, the contentiousness, and the reason that mainstream medicine is so reluctant to accept the Yeast Connection hypothesis: it’s because the hypothesized cause (candida) not only exists in several shifting forms (ovoid, pseudohyphal, and true hyphae) which seem to have different pathologic potential and symptoms, but the extent of the organism can vary in tissue from minimal to broadly disseminated. Depending on which of these factors are at play and other factors (one’s general health state or existence of other comorbidities), this can translate into anything from normal/totally benign, to lethal (in the case of a fungal sepsis).

This is what creates the scientific difficulty in linking the highly variable states of the organism definitively to the expression of highly variable clinical symptoms! You don’t know if it’s specifically causal, contributory, co-existing, or merely coincidental!

In addition to that, it’s important to distinguish that an organism like candida can be limited to the alimentary tissues which are technically considered to be external tissue, like the skin, or it can invade internally, into the bloodstream or internal organs. When candida is confined to the gut, it seems plausible to me that it could possibly exist in a chronic, overproliferating state of imbalanced dysbiosis since the particular ecology and relatively isolated conditions (the gut is like an ideal incubator in which there are roughly 400-500 different types of microorganisms) that favor overgrowth for an opportunisitic pathogen can be created to be nearly ideal for that organism (i.e., destruction of competing normal flora, excess of carbohydrate fuel substrate, lack of intestinal motility, etc.).

Cognitive science has amply demonstrated that we are hard-wired to find simple cause-effect relationships among phenomena as a way of making sense and meaning of our world, so when a person feels ill we automatically seek simple causes, like a bug infection. We are also over-inclined to believe in simplistic and intuitively graspable “tests” which can capture our imagination such as the candida spit test that has no proven validity no matter how much you think it does. One important point on this — all the descriptions of this test that I have read make absolutely NO provision for the degree or amount of overgrowth (like a standard culture) or virulence state. It seems to give either a positive or a negative result, like a strep test. But we know that candida is commonly present as normal flora, so what does a “positive” test really mean ?? Even a small amount of candida in the pathologic form may pose no harm so the test has NO specificity and NO sensitivity !! I’m shocked at the number of people who believe in this test. It is pure pseudo-science.

We have to remember that yeasts are ubiquitous creatures, being present virtually everywhere. And don’t forget that they are opportunistic organisms. If you do have yeast overgrowth, you’d better first check on the state of your overall health, diet, or certain pre-disposing factors like antibiotics, immune disease or immune suppression/compromise, alcohol or drug abuse, etc. Maybe it’s the poor health causing you to feel bad, and yeast overgrowth is merely a side-effect or by-product of the poor health and not really doing anything in and of itself. You wouldn’t know.

One side thought — tens of thousands of colonoscopies are done daily. Candidiasis or thrush is easy to diagnose clinically when you see it orally or in the esophagus for example — it’s a characteristic thick white coating that’s hard to mistake and frequently you don’t even need to culture it to make the correct diagnosis. You’d think that if candidal overgrowth was as big of an epidemic as the Yeast Connection camp seems to say it is, you’d see it all the time on colonoscopic examination!

So if one practices a yeast diet as well as takes the popular alternative treatments and then feel better or cured, maybe all you accomplished is you simply improved your overall level of health. Again, one has to be very cautious about declaring cause-effect without meeting the proper standards of rigorous proof. Personal experiences and anecdotal evidence don’t mean a lot in the science world, except to help generate hypotheses which can then be tested. You can be correct for the right reasons, or you can be correct for totally the wrong reasons (self-deception).

A person and his friends may feel they have nailed the self-diagnosis, done the treatments and cured themselves, and yet it is possible that they are still totally wrong about what truly happened. It is one thing to have a tentative idea or know that something is a belief, but having this level of certainty without rigorous proof of cause-effect is a scary mental mind-set.

Diagnosing and treating disorders like candidiasis has little to do with following the “common sense” of doing it on your own since most people who are medically or scientifically untrained will tend to see relationships where no true causal relationship exists, choose ineffective and/or unsafe treatments, and misinterpret or misattribute outcomes.

Lawrence @ 8:56 am #

Seppo, sorry if this is a little off-topic, but I can’t resist recommending the following amazing books related to the process of human reasoning, drawing conclusions, perceptions and making judgements, etc. The importance of these popular works cannot be overstated, IMHO. If a person reads and digests these, a person’s critical thinking and intellectual skills will soar by quantum leaps and likely transform previous ways of viewing the world, or at least enhance them.

“How We Know What Isn’t So: The Fallibility of Human Reason In Everyday Life” by Thomas Gilovich

“Fooled by Randomness”, and, “The Black Swan” by Nicholas Nassim Taleb.

Anything by John Allen Paulos (“Innumeracy”, “Beyond Innumeracy”, “A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper”, etc.).

Enjoy.

Georgina @ 7:14 pm #

This is a very interesting string of comment and opinion.

I have recently been told (on a forum) that I should research properly before claiming that I have no issues with Candida.Don’t get me wrong, I have various health issues no doubt – but to be told by someone who doesn’t know me that I haven’t researched enough and if I did I would find it glaringly obvious that I had in fact suffered possibly my entire life with Candida was somewhat startling.

The spit test made no sense to me since it didn’t explain what it was I was seeing and that I seemed able to alter the results by simply doing the test slightly differently suggested that there was a flaw in the process.

Eat a spoonful of yogurt and then muster saliva … omg! Candida! Actually, no … yogurty saliva ;o)

I hope everyone who suffers from the various yeast infections and Candida problems finds a solution that works for them but I do ask that they don’t put their illness on me.

Patrick @ 9:18 am #

@Seppo:

Not completely true, as you can stop using Adsense and just make money by promoting products (looks as if you might be doing that since you commented above?). You can’t blame Google for ads that go contrary to your beliefs and website, you’re the one that chose to invite them in!

Patrick @ 9:27 am #

Seppo @ 3:13 pm

You said:

“Your symptoms sounds somewhat similar to what I had when I was on my crazy raw food, high-fruit diet. At first it was good, but then I started getting all sorts of problems. Joint pains, muscle pain, extreme tiredness, needed to pee frequently. For me it was just a consequence of too high blood sugar levels. I was getting so much sugar from all those fruits I ate that my body just couldn’t deal with it.”

I’d hazard a guess that you were also eating either a very low fat diet (as in just fruit, nothing else) or a high fat, as in too many fatty raw foods like nuts, seeds and avocado. If you don’t get the balance right, particularly if you go the route of the fashionable raw food eaters with lots of ‘gourmet’ dishes you are in a worse situation than eating a normal diet in many respects. It isn’t the sugar from the fruit that is the problem, it is the fats that disrupt the proper functioning of the body.

Patrick @ 10:01 am #

Thanks for this article on the spit test, I was searching to find a contrary view to the generally touted one that the spit test is an easy way to diagnose a candida problem.

The problem with the internet and Google’s search engine is that a rumour can soon become a fact, as each site supports the next and Google invariably ranks highly (because the owners do all the necessary SEO to get on the first page) sites which are set up for the sole purpose of making money, by people with little knowledge or interest in the subject they (or their outsourcers) are writing about – their information is gleaned from other websites and Wikipedia.

Useful to know that the test isn’t based upon any valid experiment.

KimberlyAlyn,Ph.D. @ 4:31 pm #

Seppo: you are misinformed and uneducated about candida. After struggling with intense food and chemical sensitivities, fatigue, depression, and a slew of other symptoms, I went to an ear, nose, and throat doctor who specialized in allergies, thinking that was the problem. He was a traditional medical doctor, NOT a homeopathic doctor. He was just a medical doctor in his 60s who was smart enough to know about candida.

He diagnosed me by my symptoms and a core issue: having been put on too many antibiotics by another doctor which wiped out the good flora in the intestinal track and allowed yeast (candida) to overgrow and cause some serious problems.

He suggested I cut sugar and alcohol from my diet and yes, basically eat a caveman style diet until the balance in my intestinal track was brought under control. He coupled this with a prescription of Diflucan which kills the yeast internally and he also suggested some lactobacillus acidophilus to replace the good flora.

Again, this is a medical doctor who did not sell any supplements or anything he recommended to me, so there was no conflict of interest. And just so everyone knows, I do not sell anything either!

I followed the treatment plan strictly. He warned me that in the first few weeks I would feel worse due to yeast die off in my system. I felt horrible and nearly quit the treatment. But I stuck with it and within a month I started to feel slightly better. Within 3 months I felt considerably better. After 6 months of treatment and a strict diet, I felt like a different person. I was no longer tired in the middle of the day, the depression was gone, the headaches were gone, the yeast infections were gone, the achy muscles were gone. ALL GONE!

The reason many of these treatment plans don’t work for people is because they do not have the self-discipline to stay away from the foods they need to and stick to the strict plan for at least 6 months and then make a permanent lifestyle change. I know this because I have helped MANY people, both male and female, deal with candida overgrowth. Most of them give up after a few months and go back to their high sugar, high carb diet and then assume it must not have been candida overgrowth because the treatment didn’t work. Then they read blogs like yours and assume it has to be something else. Most people will look for any excuse to NOT have to change their diet on a permanent basis.

It has now been exactly 20 years since I saw that doctor. I don’t keep my diet as strict all the time, and when I make the choice to consume too many carbs, sugars, or alcohols, I pay the price and many of the symptoms return. I then buckle down on my diet, kill the yeast, and get it under control. I don’t take supplements or Diflucan anymore unless I have allowed it to get to a very bad point where I am experiencing severe depression. The point is this: as soon as I change my diet and stop feeding the yeast, the symptoms go away! If it gets bad and I go on Diflucan and acidophilus, the symptoms GO AWAY!

There are now many more medical doctors who recognize what candida is and how to treat it, but most doctors still consider it “quack” stuff as you do because they are not educated in this area. I couldn’t care less about the “spit test,” but don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Candida overgrowth can be diagnosed by symptoms as well as lifestyle choices. If you are a woman who has been on the birth control pill for a long period of time and you have also taken any antibiotics in your adult life or any form of steroid for acne, there is a high chance you have SOME yeast overgrowth. The extent of an individual’s overgrowth is based on the extent of their symptoms which include loss of energy, depression, severe tiredness in the afternoon (and sleep makes you feel worse, not better), achy muscles, chronic sore throats or what appear to be colds, etc. More severe cases include sensitivities to chemicals, like getting a quick headache around bleach or cigarette smoke and feeling sick soon after the exposure. I could go on and on, because I do have 20 years of experience on this topic in both research, personal experience, and the experience of others that I have helped in this area. My best friend is a hospital nurse, and she has researched it as well and would agree 100% with everything I have said.

I do not benefit in any way by spreading CORRECT information on candida other than the benefit of helping others. As I said, I don’t sell anything.

You own blog has an advertisement for “Threelac” which I am sure you did not put there. Just because a website that talks about candida is advertising supplements does not make the information on the website invalid.

Please STOP spreading misinformation. There are a lot of really depressed and sick people out there who feel like they are at the end of their rope. Some are even suicidal, which can be the result of severe candida. I know, because I was there. That doctor saved my life. You could be costing someone theirs by turning them away from looking at candaia overgrowth. The spit test isn’t the issue here. Please stop telling people things you don’t know about candida. It IS much more widespread than you realize. Don’t minimize it. Too many people need help with this area.

Lawrence @ 10:05 pm #

To KimberlyAlyn (Ph.D.):

I’d be careful about glibly accusing Seppo of being misinformed or uneducated. I’d say that he’s a skeptic, as am I (for the record, I do not know Seppo personally nor have I met him). If you want to play the education/academic card or medical experience card, I have a graduate degree in the sciences and have worked in clinical research designing clinical drug studies and evaluating/analyzing medical data continuously for 25+ years. I’m author or co-author on around 35 peer-reviewed publications in a diverse array of highly reputable medical journals. Despite this, I’m not that big a proponent of aggressively using pharmaceutical interventions generally, except as a last resort when other avenues available to us have first been exhausted (e.g., correcting diet and nutrition, proper exercise and rest, removing ourselves from toxic influences, occasional use of certain supplements to correct deficiency states, etc., most of which are inexpensive, frequently effective due to treating root causes and not symptoms, and have few or no side effects).

I’d seriously advise you not to accuse anyone of being uneducated and spreading misinformation when you yourself have provided absolutely NO objective evidence whatsoever for your claim that a candida overgrowth problem was the causative condition underlying your fatigue, depression, and “slew of other symptoms” (which is what you are claiming). To be clear, I have no doubt that you are telling the complete truth of your experience with your good doctor and his prescribed treatment as well as your clinical results; I’m glad you’ve found your solution to your chronic problems.

However, what you offer is 100% subjective testimony only. Based on the information you’ve provided, there’s absolutely NO WAY WHATSOEVER that you can make the claim that candida CAUSED your symptoms (or even probably or presumptively caused your symptoms) and that the treatment eradicated the candida overgrowth, allowing you to feel better. It may have, or it may not have.

This is obviously because, based on your own admission, you followed a strict and healthy diet and reduced or eliminated carbs, alcohol, sugar. Excessive consumption of certain classes of carbs (refined sugar, fruit sugars, flour) and alcohol have been amply shown to wreak havoc on human physiology, CAUSING glycemic overload (unstable blood sugar), systemic inflammation, insulin spikes, induction of detoxification enzymes and pathways (alcohol dehydrogenase, elevated ALT/AST liver enzymes, cyp enzymes, etc.) and certain cytokines/prostaglandin cascades, dehydration, etc., etc. No wonder you were feeling awful !!!

Cleaning up the diet ALONE would make 90% of people feel better and totally resolve that array of non-specific problems/symptoms you describe and that afflict a huge proportion of the population to varying degrees. Many, many things can cause one or all of the symptoms the candida camp complains about and which can be improved or resolved with simple dietary, or lifestyle interventions which you have done. The issue is one of demonstrating cause-effect for your claims and you have not done this.

You don’t know for sure if the Diflucan did anything truly therapeutic. The systemic (oral) antifungals are fairly toxic drugs associated with an array of adverse events. Your feeling worse initially may have been caused by this, and/or it may be caused by withdrawing from alcohol and/or caused by the initial effects of changing your physiology dietarily. The main point is this — you don’t know for sure what’s causing what. All you know for sure is that you feel better when you clean up your diet. So you see, establishing cause-effect is very difficult, this is why rigorously controlled scientific study is mandated in order to provide sufficient and convincing evidence of cause-effect relationships.

To this last point, did your doctor order any lab tests to substantiate the presence of candida overgrowth pre-treatment, and then of overgrowth reduction after a few months? That level of evidence would be much more, though not totally convincing, since even then there are alternative explanations since you still can’t say the change in diet/lifestyle wasn’t responsible for symptom improvement. Even if taking Diflucan reduced an overburden of candida doesn’t necessarily mean it caused you to feel better (and again, we’re not talking about treating candidal sepsis here).

Physicians treat things presumptively and empirically all the time, meaning treating when they’re not totally sure of etiology (cause) of a person’s problems. This doesn’t mean they’re correct, and they’re often aware of this (and sometimes they’re not). Also, please be aware that much research has gone into showing that the overall rate of misdiagnosis by physicians generally is actually quite high, higher than you might suspect. So I’m not at all impressed by one physician’s or patient’s experience on anything without having the quantitative data to evaluate.

And don’t forget, the placebo effect is very much alive and well and has been consistently demonstrated as a robust effect for many decades.
The mind plays tricks on itself in many ways, and jumps to erroneous conclusions constantly. It’s human nature and the point of science is to guard against this as it informs true discovery.

I’m not saying you are wrong, I’m saying that based on your information you still have what are called tenuous beliefs. It is somewhat a flaw of our neurologic hard-wiring that we initially form a belief about something, study after study shows we then go around collecting evidence, trying to find confirmation for our beliefs! This is called a confirmation bias. We want so much to believe.

Based on all the above, I would actually ask YOU to stop spreading misinformation, or more accurately, of spreading your beliefs and guesses as if they were fact when clearly they are not.

Two last, minor points: you would generally give lactobacillus in the hopes of replacing pathogenic (bad) flora, not good flora. And it would be intestinal “tract”, not “track.”

Georgina @ 5:43 pm #

One thing I would add Lawrence’s very reasoned post is this:

Supposing that Candida was at the root of your problems and that cleaning up your diet gave you a “cure”, what are you doing / have you done to deal with the fact that if you alter your diet slightly towards your old eating habits then the symptoms – in your words Candida-caused – return?

Your immune system is meant to take care of you and if you get something under control with diet but that in itself doesn’t prevent a recurrence then I would be concerned about an underlying cause that is preventing your body from keeping the candida in check.

KimberlyAlyn,Ph.D. @ 11:07 pm #

@Lawrence: I have studied and researched this topic for over 20 years. I shared my personal experience for people who read this blog thinking that candida may be an invalid issue. Not one person coming to this blog for answers has ever read any of your “peer reviewed, published articles,” and they frankly don’t care about your masters degree or my doctorate degree. But I am sure you have impressed so many readers with your long pontifications, your keen ability to detect my typos, and how completely enamored you are with yourself.

Feel to do your homework and research the studies done on Candida as there have been nearly 100 studies conducted on this topic. Antibiotics have been PROVEN to CAUSE candida. Candida has been PROVEN to CAUSE certain symptoms. Most antibiotic prescriptions now state that taking the antibiotic can cause candida overgrowth.

And just so you know, I have too many other important issues to attend to on this subject so I won’t be reading or posting further on this blog.

Lawrence @ 12:32 am #

KimberlyAlyn (Ph.D.) — Unfortunately, you’re apparent research of the topic for over 20 years hasn’t translated into much of a substantial understanding of the topic, otherwise you would have a far clearer understanding of why it’s so difficult to claim a cause-effect relationship, which is what you are making. This is what’s called being a “True Believer” — in your mind you are convinced, but your facts and “evidence” unfortunately do not necessarily bear out your strong beliefs.

Your apparent response to treatment is just as likely to be due to a whole array of other factors which you are overlooking (namely dietary changes or placebo effect), but your mind is automatically grabbing onto only one favorite cause because you had a positive reinforcing event (feeling better) that followed from something a doctor tried, so your mind made an automatic connection. This erroneous thinking is very common and that’s the whole point which you are missing.

What you’re actually doing (at best) is speculating and hypothesizing, but the problem is you’re framing your belief as fact and pushing your beliefs on everyone as if they were true and basically trashing the skeptics among us. There’s a big difference between facts and beliefs and your statements are very misleading to those who seek valid answers.

Of course antibiotic use can set the stage for opportunistic infection, that’s not the issue of this discussion. Don’t forget — the issue is whether enteral candida can evolve into a chronic, non self-limiting, state in an otherwise healthy (i.e., non-immunocompromised) individual. Again, we’re not talking about the other well-established forms of candida infection.

If it’s so clear to you and there’s supposedly abundant literature that a sub-clinical enteral candida overgrowth state exists, why hasn’t medical science easily proven this decades ago and added it as a diagnostic category? Of all the controversial medical conditions that exist, this is one that would be relatively easy to prove! Also, why is it never or rarely seen on routine colonoscopy, thousands of which are performed daily, similar to seeing oral thrush?

Your parting shot that you are going to take all your marbles and go home in order to pre-empt anyone disagreeing with you says volumes that you are strongly emotionally attached to your beliefs and are not here for informative discussion from which you many learn.

Of course no one cares about our degrees or my publications, but you played the academic card (PhD, “a friend who is a hospital nurse” meaningless testimony, he’s a medical doctor, etc., etc.), so I did.

Georgina @ 5:23 am #

Seppo,
there is a video doing the rounds on facebook claiming to show that olive oil is as unhealthy as highly processed fatty foods. It’s carried out by a doctor in a most unscientific way and yet people are lapping it up.

Georgina @ 6:46 am #

There seems to be a desperate need to believe in fantastic things among the population. 100% of people who are born will die therefore birth causes death … it’s that level of connection that people are hanging their hats on in a lot of cases.

Melisa @ 1:32 am #

This is all very interesting and helpful. I have a personal experience that I will throw into the discussion. About 6 months ago I decided that is was “possible” that I had candida based on my symptoms. So, I went on the diet and felt much better. However, I am kind of skeptical of this kind of thing by nature so even though I felt better I had some doubts that it was candida. It did occur to me that it could be that the diet was just better suited to me (I had just finished reading about the blood type diet and I am type O). So, anyway I was feeling better and just happy about that. Then, I went a little crazy on the sugar at Easter after MONTHS of being virtually sugar free and very low carb. The interesting thing is what happened very shortly after that. I am sorry for the details, but I started burping “yeasty” smelling gas and it was coming from both ends. I felt like a bread factory and my husband agreed that it even smelled like yeast. So, there you go…for what it is worth. I went back to the low sugar low carb diet immediately. As for the spit test, it is variable, but then i don’t check it often enough to give an intelligent opinion of how it corresponds to my yeast problem.

Adrian @ 7:16 pm #

As somebody who was diagnosed with ME 10 years ago, has tried numerous therapies, conventional and alternative, and is still waiting to find a definitive diagnosis/cure, I have read your article and comments with great interest.

It is an ongoing annoyance of mind that while medical doctors seem to show a surprising lack of scientific curiousity when it comes to problematic chronic conditions (once they have made their way though their checklist, their curiousity wanes), alternative health practicitioners are more than willing to fill the void with overhyped claims of catch all ailments that can be cured by extreme regimen.

I personally believe that a fair amount of ideas proposed under the banner of alternative health makes a lot of sense. Live in balance with your body rather than letting the external world dictate how you live, eat, etc. But there seems little appetite to separate the hyperbole from the reality, making it very easy to dismiss the whole shebang as nonsense.

And why doesn’t the medical community assist in separating the wheat from the chaff? Where are the balanced articles explaining the strengths/flaws in a given theory? I don’t want websites that rip apart somebody’s beliefs in order to validate their own, but an impartial consideration of the facts. Which ‘facts’ are true, which false and which are simply unsubstantiated.

I don’t know what the US equivalent of NHS Direct is, but it would be great if officially sanctioned information sites, instead of ignoring currently unconventional ideas, made a space to inform people of exactly where science stands on the matter. I would guess that a lot of the time this would be a case of there currently haven’t been enough studies to corroborate or disprove a pet theory. But in the case where there is evidence one way or another, it would be nice to have it presented in an impartial manner.

Georgina @ 5:21 am #

NHS direct is no Oracle

I’m not one for much in the way of conspiracy theories but really the only way the medical world survives is if people are sick. There is no long term monetary reward in curing people.

If it can’t be patented then no-one is going to fund research for or put out a drug that works because if they can’t make money out of it why would they?

Georgina @ 7:14 am #

I didn’t dismiss medicine as only out to make money.

I said drugs are not developed if they can’t make money. It’s only the pharma industry that is questioned on this. Any other business would be expected to do only that which boosted profits and any loss-making product would not be entertained.

Tuberculosis is much more common in the UK these days but thankfully smallpox is only kept in secure labs … I hope!

maria @ 7:36 am #

NOTE TO SELF AND ALL,

The internet is a breeding ground for truth and nutjobs so take everything you read with a grain of salt, and trust your intuition. Debates like this are such a waste of time. If you suspect you have candidas or any form of Celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, read up about it on certified websites or books that are not trying to SELL you on anything but offer symptoms, help, guidance and by all means see a DOCTOR. If you DR. is not interested or cant help you, get a second opinion.. by an autoimmune specialist. Also I have found a Dr. Ann Wigmore who has vast knowledge on such diseases and one of her strong followers C.N. Kimberly Snyder who has a book which talks about Candida and how you can simply eat a certain way for a few weeks to a month to see if your symptoms go away. She doesnt try to sell you on anything. Also if you dont want to buy her book, I would be happy to email anyone a scanned copy of what she says about it. However there are plenty of resources online regarding this issue, Dr.Ann Wigmore/The china Study/C.N. Kimberly Snyder.. I’m not selling squat just offering free advice…. Take what you like and leave the rest behind… Arguing over something is a waste of time… Good luck to you all..

Georgina @ 8:57 am #

It really isn’t a good idea to offer to scan someone’s work and send it to people for free.

If people want to discuss things then that’s fine. If you don’t want to discuss things then that’s fine. I’m not sure why you are so worked up about the discussion tbh

maria @ 10:53 am #

@Georgia,
I didn’t mean scan her whole book…
It is only one-two pages…and of course I wouldnt charge anything for that, or I can offer links to her blogs and whatnot.. I figured people on the internet could figure that out.. I was merely trying to help.

I’m not worked up, and I think healthy debates are great, my point was from reading the majority of the comments it seems that most people are trying to blame or point the finger at someone else, when they could be spending their time using common sense by doing some research and going to see a Doctor…

SAM @ 3:15 pm #

What are your qualifications on this subject? Are you any sort of doctor? I’m just curious. I have been feeling I’ll for 2 years. Just happened out of the blue one day. I was explained that the use of steroids with an antibiotic can end up with the results of candida. I took a blood test and had levels that showed I had overgrowth of candida in the blood. Is there anyway you can prove any of what you are saying or am I just reading another “bible” story?

Lawrence @ 5:21 pm #

In addition to the other books on critical thinking and science I suggested in posts way up above, these two popular works by Michael Shermer are also wonderful and are relevant to our present subject since they discuss the cognitive science of how we come to construct beliefs in the absence of compelling evidence:

Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time.

The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths.

Georgina @ 7:07 am #

I think the interesting thing is the death rate from systemic candida. If it was as prevalent as is suggested in some quarters then there would be a lot more dead people and it would be showing up in post-mortems.

Largely this condition is self diagnosed it seems and I think this is where the problem starts.

Gilly Williamson @ 9:59 am #

Is this forum not about helping people with Acne? I find it interesting that Acne has been only mentioned a few times in the debate….just made me chuckle!

Holly @ 4:12 pm #

@Lisa: @Lisa, I too was negative for celiacs. But am very intolerant to wheat. My hands break out terribly, I have anxiety, depression, achy joints, bloating…when I eat wheat. When I stop eating wheat it takes about a week for ALL these symptoms to disappear. When I “go off the wagon” and eat wheat again, they come right back. Just something to think about.

Nancy @ 12:14 am #

I have alot of the symptions you all are discribing I’m now being checked for Porphyria a problem dr’s are not awear of .look that up an see if they match your symptions .Sometimes i can not even walk ,Joints hurt ,upset stomache,
back and neck problems and pain most of the time .Will know something this week .My R foot swells bad I.ve had this 30 years .I also did the spit test in water and it looked like a small tornado going down the glass and it happned right away .

Robyn @ 3:49 pm #

just wondering than based on all the reviews here, should I take threelac or not? statred taking a pack a day now since last thurs, because just took antibodics, for suppossedly a bactrieal stomach flu, course the antibiodics than made me sick, now still haveing ( not too be gross ) diarrhea from the threelac not sure or die off sypmtoms? now not sure what to believe about their products , anyone have any ideas? thank you robyn

Margarita @ 6:03 pm #

@Michael Cole:
The spit test was developed by Doctor Crook his website is on the internet, I have his book and being a Doctor presdribes a drug for Candida. I am an Advamnced Nutrionist and own a health shop, also I have had Candida myself whcih I have managed to get rid of after batlling with for many years, after having a very bad accident, and very high dose anti-biotics, which are the biggest cause of systemic candida, and yes I beleive in the spit test it has worked for me. I watched it shrink from a very thick cloudy glass to lots of strings and now my spit floats on the top of the glass.

The reason so many people have Candida is the anti-biotics, and high sugar diet of today.

Lawrence @ 8:38 am #

Hi Michael — Unfortunately the spit test has never been scientifically validated to be a reliable indicator of underlying systemic candida infection. A simple microbiological culture and/or an antibody test, combined with a clinical examination is the accepted medical standard. Even the existence of a sub-clinical, enteral, candida infection, as opposed to true invasive candidal septicemia which is a medically recognized condition, is controversial and has not received wide scientific acceptance. Saliva changing in a glass of water can reflect many irrelevant and extraneous variables, so no reliable conclusions can be drawn from that. Yes, it’s well established that a course of antibiotics can alter gut ecology, however the evidence is weak and inconclusive that this leads to a chronic condition of candidal overgrowth in the gut and an associated complex of broad, variable, and frequently non-specific symptoms.

Christine @ 3:54 pm #

Lawrence made a comment in an earlier post “Don’t forget — the issue is whether enteral candida can evolve into a chronic, non self-limiting, state in an otherwise healthy (i.e., non-immunocompromised) individual.”
This statement makes the assumption that the majority of individuals experiencing what they believe are Candida symptoms are “healthy”, non-immunocompromised.
The problems here are that we are dealing with medical issues that are not well understood by the medical community. Autoimmune disorders are on the rise, significantly, and conventional medicine really has no detailed picture of how these autoimmune disorders affect the body as a whole.
Also, there are many conditions that they are now finding are autoimmune disorders. I was recently diagnosed with narcolepsy, now believed to be an autoimmune disorder. I also have fibromyalgia and have a history of RA.
Would Lawrence consider me “healthy” with no autoimmune dysfunction?
Many of the Candida believers I have read about also have a history of AI issues, many have stress issues, as we all know lowers the immune system, so it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that they do have an overgrowth of Candida as a result.
For the record, I don’t know if I have Candida. I agree that the spit test is nonsense, but Candida overgrowth due to medications, stress, dietary and environmental factors makes sense.

Lawrence @ 9:06 am #

Hi Christine — Thanks for your comment to my post. The reason why I qualified that the discussion should be limited to non-immunocompromised individuals is that most people who are considering candida as a possible culprit for the various maladies they’re suffering from presumably already know that they’re not suffering from a far more serious underlying disorder of the immune system which would in fact be associated with candidal overgrowth, such as undiagnosed advanced HIV infection. I believe, but I’m not totally sure, that most major proponents of the candida theory for chronic fatigue, etc., (eg, most notably William Crook, “The Yeast Connection”) are similarly assuming or advising that primary disorders of the immune system have been ruled out. In other words, they’re talking about a distinct form of candida infection that excludes the recognized forms of localized limited infection (monilial, thrush, etc.), candidal multi-organ invasive sepsis (the type that puts you in the hospital on intravenous antifungals), and/or candida infection that results from primary immunocompromise such as from HIV. Autoimmune disorders are associated with overactivation or overresponse of the immune system, or loss of host-recognition (eg, disruption of normal functioning of the major histocompatibility complexes), rather than underactivity of the immune system. Autoimmune-based disorders, such as lupus, RA, or plaque psoriasis are frequently treated with immunosupressant therapy which knocks down the immune system, such as etanercept, ustekinumab, etc. The current thinking of a proposed link between autiommune disorder and candida is that immune system response specifically to a candida infection leads to the immune system going haywire. I have difficulty believing this, however, since it’s well established that C. albicans is part of the normal flora of the mucous membranes of the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and female genital tracts and is therefore no stranger to the immune system. Since you have disorders which may be suggestive of autoimmune disease, I’m not sure why you say you have no autoimmune dysfunction. Has this been ruled out? Many autoimmune diseases are diagnosed with serological assays to detect the presence of and the titer of autoantibodies.

Jasmine @ 11:36 pm #

Hello,

I have itching problem in the bottom for more than one year. Medical doctors give fluconazole, it helps for one week and itching returns. Sometimes itching is very irritating, but sometimes I don’t feel it. This itching also spreads to other closer areas time to time. I use topical anti-fungal creams, but I am not sure whether they work or not. They just give short-term relief. Interestingly, doctors don’t perform any test to see the actual source of the itching. Only one of them checked and said that I had fissure in anus. She gave me an anal tablet containing corticosteroids and local anesthetic. But it has worsened my situation and spreaded the itching, since it melted and spreaded the liquid to other areas. After that, she gave me itriconazle tablets. Today I began to use itriconazle 100 mg capsules. I will take 2 times a day, totally for three days. But I am hopeless about this issue. It will stay with me until I die.

I checked many websites, especially constructed to yeast infections. They suggest not to eat carbohydrate containing foods during the first month of the treatment, even bread since it contains carbohydrate amount and yeast. The yeast in it must have died, isn’t it? Also they suggest eating only certain vegetables, eggs and meats -if the animals weren’t treated with anti-biotics. You must be rich to be able to buy organic foods! I can understand that raw-sugar should be avoided, and I am keen on not eating sugary things, bakery products etc anymore. However, not consuming carbohydrates doesn’t look healthy to me, as well. I am so afraid that I just try to eat vegetables, eggs and yoghurt now, but I am starving! Should I cut them totally? I mean all cereals, whole grain wheat products, oat, rye? I try to eat yoghurt because it is recommended. I make my unsweetened yoghurt mixing the powder kits with water and incubate it in hot water. The package claims powder contains live culture. Do you think that’s okay? But I eat lots of yoghurt for years, but it doesn’t help me. I really appreciate any advices that you can give me. Not being able to get rid of this problem is really depressing!

Wayne D. Perkins @ 10:29 am #

As the author of this forum rightly pointed out, there are indeed many factors and conditions that can produce false-positive results with the so-called saliva test (a.k.a. “spittle test”, “spit test”) but I cringed at his suggestion that the average individual has only an even chance of being candida-free or cured based on this test. Not only was his use of the coin-toss analogy here totally inappropriate, it also betrayed a level of arrogance that deserves no place in the health profession.

The usefulness of any diagnostic procedure is always limited to a specific range of results, within which it may be considered reliable and outside of which further testing is necessary. In the case of the free spittle test, the range of its validity is clearly represented by any negative results, which would unequivocally verify the ABSENCE of such a condition. Now, who will deny that there would be great value in that – particularly for the great many who do not know the luxury of having medical insurance? Positive results would simply mean that a definitive result would require more testing, simply that. As with any medical test, the results are only as good as their interpretation.

Independent verification of any test result is also valuable, for which reason I wish to mention a free candida questionnaire first published by Dr. William Crook (I guess he should at least be thankful his last name wasn’t “Quack”) back in the early 1980’s. I for one read his highly controversial works with great interest and this forum is a clear testimony to the fact that, some 30 years later now, the controversy lives on. At the very least, though, Dr. Crook and the controversy surrounding him raised public awareness of the fact that not all bacteria is bad and that without a healthy bacterial “flora” (indiscriminately destroyed by antiseptic soaps and antibiotics), your body can be left with little or no protection against fungal infection. Just as with bacteria, not all fungi are unhealthy in controlled levels but some can, in fact, prove quite deadly in quantity – overgrowth – and particularly in the wrong places – the bloodstream, for example. Unfortunately, I feel the need to point out that a premise of Dr. Crook’s now famous questionnaire would appear to be flawed, whereas he neglected to include negative scores for remedial measures that would clearly mitigate or even cure an actual fungal condition. Clearly, Dr. Crook compiled this questionnaire based on the assumption that no such advice had been previously available or followed. Now, while that may or may not have been a valid premise when he compiled his candida questionnaire, he certainly invalidated it by his own life’s work. For example, I recently revisited the questionnaire again and scored quite high but totally negative on the spittle test – why? Actually, I would have to credit my being candida-free to Dr. Crook! For, although being in a high-risk category, I have carefully followed his advice through the years.

In short, while I totally disagree with those who off-handedly dismiss this information as junk- or pseudo-medicine, I have to interject that much of the controversy that has ensued could easily have been avoided.

Wayne D. Perkins @ 9:46 am #

Forgive me for suggesting that the spittle test is simply a crude yet affordable kitchen table-top version of a Petri dish culture test. If you can acknowledge that, its usefulness will largely depend upon two factors: 1) how the test is performed and 2) how well the results can be interpreted, neither of which can be controlled or quantified in any form that you will ever be likely to find published in any medical journal. Consequently, many will swear by the anecdotal results while many others will swear that it has no ‘proven’ scientific value.

Truthfully, BOTH positions are well-justifiable. There is indeed NO proven science behind any of this – neither FOR nor AGAINST, mind you. Having said that, though, the absence of any serious study here means that any evidence presented – again, FOR or AGAINST – can only be anecdotal. Furthermore, the jury will be out on this controversy until someone actually puts their money where their mouth is and conducts a serious study of the efficacy of the spittle test worthy of publication (I can’t believe I just said that). Until then, though, everyone is quite entitled to their own opinion but, with all due respect, that’s all it is – an opinion, not a statement of fact. Cross that boundary, as we are all too prone to do, and you’ve just left medical science behind and wandered into the realm of politics and religion.

Jay @ 9:10 pm #

Hi Seppo, good work on calling this BS out. I immediately suspected something was fishy with the whole candida self diagnosis when I saw the list of symptoms which is a wide enough net to catch almost anyone who has had any kind of illness. Keep up your good work and good to see you promoting common sense.

Kris @ 6:32 am #

Talking about critical thinking, I’m noticing two in those who are the main proponents of it. One is the logical fallacy that lack of evidence makes something false. It just means lack of evidence as currently be discerned; something could still be true. The reason is that there is still so much science doesn’t know (this is critical thinking error number two). Any real scientist would tell you that. We know more than we did 100 years ago; we will know much more in 100 years. Aristotelian logic has nothing to do with truth, just how well an argument is constructed for rhetorical purposes. You can have the “best” arguments in the world and still be dead-wrong!

The better approach is to discuss alternative possibile causes as many have done, but without the snide, oh-so-superior comments about “human nature,” as well as other tests (how about white strings in the stool?). Folks then have more information in hand to do their individual investigations, since everybody and every BODY is different. In addition, I don’t really care what clinical trials say about what works for a certain percentage of folks (and I do care very much about the adverse side effects of medication). I just care about what works for me. It may be medication; it may be quality supplements; it definitely is diet. My choice. I just want to have as much info to consider and weigh against my own personal situation as possible, and that’s why I appreciate these forums.

Lawrence @ 9:49 am #

To say that this issue all boils down to opinion I think is incorrect. For a skeptic to point out to a candida syndrome/spit test believer that they have not adequately supported their claims that they had candida, that it was shown by the spit test, and that treatment X (probiotics, diet, etc.) cured it, is not opinion, that’s a fact. Skeptics use facts to challenge true believers. I think the real crux of matter, and my main objection, is that many of the candida crowd do not apparently understand or differentiate between beliefs and opinions vs. theory or fact. To say that you believe that walking under a ladder or crossing the path of a black cat brings you bad luck and that others might want to test out this hunch is fine, as long as you don’t hold it as universal fact and tell others that it’s true for them as well, which is EXACTLY what many in the candida crowd are doing. Just read their language carefully. And I agree with Seppo, no one here has said that lack of evidence proves the negative case. Having said that, there seems to be ample inferential and circumstantial reasons, especially by now, to “believe” that the spit test holds little validity.

Apologies if this gets too much off topic, but I would also like to point out through an example the level of rigor that is required in order to claim that something is a medical fact or settled science. Virtually all of the mainstream medical establishment accepts the cholesterol “theory” of heart disease, yet it is still formally classified by medical science as “The Lipid Hypothesis” (and not even a theory!) since the precise mechanisms by which elevated lipids, even in concert with other well-known risk factors, supposedly “cause” atherosclerosis have STILL not been fully elucidated, despite decades of intense research and many billions of dollars spent.

As for the “snide comments” about “human nature”, a jab which I’m guessing was aimed at my earlier posts, I would reiterate again that it’s been extremely well experimentally established by neuroscientists and psychologists that humans have an array of well-described innate biases in perception and reasoning (e.g., see post-hoc reasoning, confirmation bias, belief bias, etc.) that seem hard wired into our brains and which lead us to make repetitive mistakes in attributing cause and effect, among other things, and which are well evident in this discussion. I wouldn’t trivialize the role of these biases in scientific discussions since being aware of them is absolutely crucial to doing good science.

Sean @ 4:48 am #

I agree on alot in here, mostly selling a product to those who are sick to get money and how antibiotics can cause an imbalance! I find both to be true in a sense. Is Candida overnamed on the net and alot of misinformation? YES, but those who say they have the only cure and are selling a product as well should be a raise of caution! Believe me I have been through this and only felt worse over the years. Look at what you are eating and drinking first! I chose to think a pill or a magic solution would fix this, but honestly I have not gotten any better over the course of years trying this and that cure and the next thing!

I met an Indian guy who told me live simple and laughs at all of this! I said Candida and he looks? I said parasites and he said well Garlic each day and Cinnamon and thats it! Simple and cheap. He said live by Garlic, Tulsi plant, Ginger root, Lemon in water, Turmeric and Olive Oil, he sells nothing and you can get these anywhere! The best things are from people who are not selling a thing but have a traditional use for them, no sales or big market! Maybe thats why they don’t promote these cures? They can’t make money off of them? Sleep problem? Honey at night before bed or some Tulsi tea too, thats it. I am beginning to see the hoax now on the net and misinformation for sales, most use it and have a million things to sell for this and that (But you can only buy so much or try so much right? I mean where does it end?).

I am Convinced the net has done alot of bad for people as well as good, infact that has had many even more messed up mentally as you have message boards and none are cured (From CUREZONE etc.) but try this and that all the time grasping at straws, a way of thinking? The way they think causing this? A hoax? Is Candida real? Yeah I think it is, but to what extend? Rarely systemic as some have said or else you would be nearly dead, but thats the sale point as I learned. I get bad die offs from things I take, but is that a parasite or another virus I need to fight off or the way I eat or drink? God knows, but if it were simple I would be cured now.

Do your research and follow your body, if you add this or that and it works keep at it slowly, no over night cures for your health nor a magic pill out there will cure you overnight as said. Diet is key yes, Herbs can be added but go slowly and don’t expect it overnight, things take time as it took you time to get sick. Add simple things that are cheap and see if they can go far, peace.

Sean.

CALVIN RALLS @ 1:50 am #

@Redbaron: Hey Redbaron, I also had problems with yeast infections, jock itch, and athletes foot, but if you have them, it can easily cause, and did cause continuous bladder infections for me and my wife. Anyway, recently we discovered Curecandidafast.com, we downloaded their program, and felt better in days, our yeast infections are gone, and we are feeling better everyday, with no more signs of bladder infections. The best way to get rid of jock itch, or athletes foot, is to apply unsweetened yogurt and leave it on for an hour, and then wash it off. You will feel the itching going away immediately. However the program list many natural cures and treatments. Now even though he does not recommended boric acid as a treatment, many doctors do, and we found out that if we soak in a warm bath with 1 tablespoon of boric acid it was less messy and actually worked better. The program has cures as well as how to prevent candida. None of our doctors could cure or explain why my wife and I kept getting reoccurring bladder infections, candida was the cause.

Jason @ 4:08 am #

@Lawrence and Seppo:

There is no more dangerous entity that roams the earth, than a true believer. Both of your arguments are against the spit test are spledid and I hope that enough people that come to this blog realize what you both have eloquently stated.

I have recently come off of a run of Flagyl and Vanco for a undetermined C.Diff infection that led to a VERY elevated WBC count (31.1) and developed Trush and a candida overgrowth in the gut due to prolonged use of HEAVY antibiotics. I would not change this course for anything considering the alternative could have been severe (death). I had full blood cultures drawn and they were negative, which in my book is good. I am currently on a run of Diflucan (not happy about that one) and Nystatin (Don’t really have an opinion).

I was a lab tech for some time and have seen cultures positive for candida overgrowth and seen the results first hand, and the mortality rate previously mentioned is too true. Of the 6 patients that were diagnosed 5 died of sepsis.

We are all too drawn to simple answers and hate to be told that there are none. Dietary changes can make or break a person, and I know far too many people that prove that. I fear that there are too many “sheeple” out there that will attach to a semi-reasonable explanation for their ailment, that will not seek medical attention that could possibly be life saving. If there is a underlying candida infection or overgrowth, there are empirical tests that can prove or disprove the diagnoses.

I (and I gather neither are either of you) am not saying that the possibility such overgrowth scenarios simply doesn’t exist, but it would be far in the back of left field for a non-immunodeficient person to have a candida overgrowth that would cause the bevy of symptoms that are described without showing signs in real lab tests. I agree that the spit test is “snake oil” and in my opinion should be severely scrutinized by all.

Thank you far a great read, it is good to see the logical mind at work.

Jason

MsC @ 9:35 pm #

@ZBB: It is actually most important that @Seppo informs people about his point of view. I have a really bad case of candida myself, and i’m freaking out over it, leading me to desperation. I was just spitting in the glass with my friend 5 minutes ago, and heard myself say out loud, when my friend got way more strings than two days ago; “Omg, you know, alot of people have these infections without knowing about it..” So I sat down on the computer to google the accuracy of the test. I too noticed that most people talking about it was trying to sell something. I am so scared not to get back my sexlife, that i literally go insane from time to time, taking more than the doctor says of my medicine, stuff like that. So. What i need you to know is first of all:

Seppo is -not- saying that nothing you buy from health stores or whatever will work. He is saying that if you are not having candida, it is a waste of time, money, and then probably wont.

Why this is an important point to make:
What if you have a problem in your system because you have cancer? People say that cancer don’t give symptoms, but it does. It can just easily pass for something else. A headache that don’t go away, a pain in your stomach that don’t go away, that you’re tired or irritated all the time for no reason… actually alot of the things that’s on the alternative sites, as candida symptoms. pain in the ear.. all kinds of stuff. But! Don’t worry about these things if they go away. If they don’t, see a doctor and demand an answer that cures you, or a really, really good exponation for why he can’t cure you. If you get cancer today, (and the government don’t decide that you don’t have enough money to live), you are actually waaaay more likely to live and be just fine, than to die. As the actress who used to play in “The nanny” said on oprah the other day: “Take it by arrival, 95% survival”.
So. If you don’t see where i’m going with this already, i’ll explain it to you.

What if you have a very, very serious decease, that could have been cured easily if you went to the doctor and really got checked for everything, or someone pointed you in that direction. But you don’t do that. You’re thinking “it’s just a headache, i’m gonna google it.” Then you find the spit thing, get’s amazed of how well it works, and by all the vitamins and stuff that might actually be really good for your body, but never the less let’s your real problem grow larger and larger. And then, because of this, you end up having to go trough really heavy treatments, or actually die? I am sure this has happend to people. So thank you Seppo, for bringing it out there. We can’t let ourself be so miserable about our situation that we become stupid.

Koo @ 12:22 pm #

Seppo,

Candida is truly more prevalent the Western Medicine acknowledges due to their lack of attention to this condition. I have been diagnosed with Tinea Versicolor which is medical condition caused by yeast. I get red or light-brown, slightly raised, patches on the back of my upper arm, upper back, and chest. It was diagnosed by more than a few doctors over the years. The pencil-eraser-tip-sized patches glow in the dark under ultraviolet light as one doctor used this method. I was prescribed Nystatin shampoo to use all over my body and Diflucan, orally.
I also have Alopetia Areata, which is a balding condition in small patches. I get it on my head and I have to get cortisone shots by my dermitologist. I asked the doctor if it may be caused by yeast overgrowth on my scalp. She said that it is an auto-immune condition, but is sometimes caused by fungal overgrowth, but she doubted it was cause by yeast. Well, each time I get Alopetia, I get these yeast patches on my skin on or about the same exact timeframe – coincidence?
I have Candida, verified by doctors, and they all treat it as no big deal. Well, each time I take Diflucan and use Nystatin, it goes away for about a year and a half, and then it comes back. I’ve had it recur four times so far. The doctors think that just taking Diflucan and using Nystatin will cure it and they think no further. Well, the fact that it keeps recurring says to me that the doctors just don’t give it much thought. My guess is that Candida and micro-organisms are just not taught much as a topic of caused for disease. Microbiologist learn about micro-organisms and study them, but they are not the doctors who treat us.
Western diets with lots of carbs and sugars are more favorable to causing Candida so I tend to believe that people in the West would show more symptoms of yeast even if they don’t have full-blown Candida Albican infection. Everyone has yeast in their bodies, as it is a normal part of the human body. They are nomally located in the intestines in their benign form, controlled by the body’s healthy flora and fauna (good microbes) that also live in your mouth and intestines. A spit test may show signs of yeast for most Westerners even if they don’t have a yeast infection problem, mainly because of their diets, but their immune system most likely are keeping the yeast in check. The spit test is bogus for most people as there are so many more reasons that your split will sink or be cloudy other than because of yeast, but as spit test that looks like what 23 year old, Lisa described above, probably is dues to Candida Albican infection. Any spit test that looks that horrid combined with the skin patches that she describes sounds exactly like yeast.
I’m not saying that Threelac and all these other expensive products (expensive over the lifetime of the regimen – cumulative) can do anything against Candida, but I do believe that the medical community does not give enough credit to micro-organisms as the cause of many diseases. Why, the medical establishmen is more and more discovering that diseases such as many forms of cancer are cause by micro-organisms when in the past, they attributed nothing to them. Many cervical, penile, vaginal, anal, and oral cancers have finally been realized to be caused by HPV virus. The virus that cause warts. So medical establishment has recently realized that microbes can cause cancer, where just 40 years ago, you would have never heard of such a thing from the medical establishment. They’ve also discovered within the last half-century than certain bacteria cause likely more than 80% of all stomach ulcers.
I know where I got my Candida condition from. Many years ago, I had bronchitis, which I believe today, was viral and not bacterial. My, then doctor, prescribed Amoxycillin, which is a broad spectrum, synthetic antibiotic. Broad spectrum means that it is not discerning and is designed to kill a vast number of different bacteria forms in the body. Synthetic means it is man-made and so is probably designed to be very potent. After not getting better, the doctor prescribed a second regimen of Amoxycillin right after the first. Well, wouldn’t you know that the official usage directions for the antibiotic strongly advises against back-to-back regimen of this antibiotic – probably because is wipes out almost all bacterial in the body, including your good flora and fauna which keeps yeast in check.
My point is that the medical establishment just is not taking Candida seriously and other microbial causes for diseases. Just because the medical establishment does not back up certain conditions as causes does not mean they are right. They’re always discovering an learning and they don’t know everything. When it comes to microbial causes for diseases, the practicing medical establishment is in the dark ages in my opinion. The medical research industry is probably more advanced by they are not who the average Joe deals with or hears from. The micro-biological research sector is probably even more advanced, but again, they are not who the average Joe deals with. Remember, not much longer before Louis Pasteur, nothing was attributed to bacteria for infections. Public medicine has a long way to go in the microbial arena.
Just to give you a range of symptoms that I get due to Candida, I get those skin patches that I described above. When it’s really bad, I get thick white cotton-ball-like foam when I wake up in the mornings with a very sour taste in the very back of my throat, and a very soar throat. I have extreme fatigue during episodes when I’m diagnosed with a recurrence of Candida (Unfortunately, the doctors keep thinking that it will be the last occurrence as they don’t take it seriously enough – they don’t seem give Candida the tenacious reputation that it deserves). I get so fatigued that I almost pass out to sleep every day during the day and I certainly pass out to sleep in the early evenings when I get home from work. My memory becomes foggy and I get headaches. I also get painful stinging sensation in my eye. I get slightly bloated and very gassy. After each diagnosis and treatment with Diflucan and Nystatin, I get the die-off and feel immediately better shortly after with lots more enery. This very last bout, I’m following the Candida diet suggestions and will probably stay on them for a year or two.

Wayne D. Perkins @ 6:24 pm #

I quote you: “They treated [Candidas] successfully with antibiotics.”

Let’s pray that no one takes that statement seriously, Seppo, as treating Candidas with antibiotics could prove fatal! Diflucan and Nystatin that Koo was prescribed are “ANTIFUNGALS”, not antibiotics.

I have to agree with Koo in stating that practitioners generally do not take Candidas seriously enough, minimizing low-grade infections and off-handedly treating the symptoms rather than the disease. Also, long-term prescription of antifungals is ill-advised if not outright irresponsible, as it simply cultivates resistant strains, similar to long-term use of antibiotics.

Lawrence @ 6:44 am #

Actually, that definition of antibiotics — as acting against only bacteria is outmoded. Antibiotics can indeed encompass antifungals. Not to mention that treatment with antibiotics (the old definition) can also result in adverse events and fatalities, as with virtually any class of drug.

From Wikipedia:

“…with increased knowledge of the causative agents of various infectious diseases, antibiotic(s) has come to denote a broader range of antimicrobial compounds, including antifungal and other compounds.”

joel @ 11:37 am #

Since we’re having an open discussion here, i have a question for Seppo or whoever runs the site. Do you advertise your own plan to get rid of acne? Because if you do, i would think that would lend you to discredit other possible solutions in favor of yours especially if yours seems less “intensive” or drastic as the other diets or drugs for candida seem.

Georgina @ 8:09 am #

Somewhat at a tangent … Ascaris is suddenly getting a lot of press and parasite cleanses are being touted about. Is this another blanket infestation that will push Candida off the top spot amongst the new-age health brigade or is this a real situation that is wide spread.

I live in the UK and understood Ascaris to be a parasite from warmer climes.

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