Among the many types of flora that normally reside in different parts of the body, is one species of fungi known as Candida albicans. This article helps you understand what it means when Candida appears in stool.
Besides being present in controlled numbers in other body parts, Candida albicans is also a normal part of the intestinal flora. Now a layman may think that having something as fungi in the stomach may not good for health. But as I said, the population of this species remains in check, and this is done by the Lactobacillus bacteria. However, under certain conditions, Candida albicans can reproduce and multiply excessively thus, causing infection known as intestinal candidiasis.
The most common cause of disrupting the balance of the fungi and the friendly bacteria thus, causing the former to take over, is prolonged use of antibiotics. Other causes include, uncontrolled diabetes, a diet too high in sugary products, and impaired immune system. Symptoms of the infection include lethargy, headache, mood swings, poor memory, increased craving for sweets, and stomach pain to name a few. Besides all these symptoms, the nature of the stool also helps to diagnose the affected person with intestinal candidiasis.
Meaning of Candida in Stool
When the infection remains untreated, extreme growths of the fungi may occur, and the same may also die-off in large numbers. When these microorganisms become abundant in number, the body tries to eliminate it through bowel movement. Presence of Candida in feces may be indicated by mucous having a milky or cream-like appearance.
The stool may also appear to contain thin pieces similar to the ones of string cheese. The same may also appear like a gel that is clear, glistening and slimy. Since the infection also causes diarrhea, the watery stools may contain a film like covering on its surface. This may look like oil floating on water. The stool may also look frothy, or having a texture similar to cottage cheese.
Diagnosis and Treatment
One of the diagnosis method, after determining the symptoms, is a Candida stool test. However, this test confirms the diagnosis only when the number of fungi are abnormally high. This is because, in some people, despite having a Candida overgrowth, they show a normal amount of yeast in the stool test. Doctors also carry out additional tests to determine the number of the friendly bowel bacteria.
Treatment is usually carried out with the help of antifungal medication. However, there are a few natural treatment methods that may come in handy. These include:
- Eating yogurt to restore the number of the beneficial bacteria acidophilus. These bacteria produce acid that keeps the growth of Candida under check.
- Increasing fiber in the diet also helps in the treatment. Mix fiber containing psyllium husks, flaxseeds, in 8 ounces of water, and drink two times a day on an empty stomach.
- Taking one garlic-capsule twice a day also produces significant improvement in the symptoms of the infection.
To conclude, avoid foods such as sugar, corn syrup, honey, molasses, fruit juice, and dried fruits. Yeast products like bread, crackers, and bagels must also be avoided. Food allergens, and unless absolutely required, medications such as antibiotics, birth control pills, steroid, and immune suppressing drugs, must also be avoided.