The similarities between the symptoms of Candida and gluten intolerance, also known as Coeliac Disease, are very similar.
Candida is a yeast that lives in the body naturally in the stomach, intestines and other places in the body. While most doctors don’t recognize Candida as a legitimate health problem, it is believed by many that the overgrowth of Candida is caused by the overuse of antibiotics. These antibiotics kill off too much of the bodies beneficial bacteria that exists in all of us and Candida grows in its place. Too much Candida is believed to cause a whole host of health problems such as:
o Problems in the digestive tract like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, cramps, and other symptoms that may seem similar to irritable bowel syndrome.
o Chronic fatigue, which seems to worsen immediately after eating.
o Allergies and sensitivities to food where there was none before.
o An increase in skin problems, such as rashes, itching and a worsening case of athlete’s foot.
o For women, problems with the vagina, including itching or an increase in infections.
o A cold or flu that won’t go away or frequent bouts of sickness, also an increase in headaches, dizziness or an inability to concentrate.
Gluten Intolerance, on the other hand, comes from the bodies aversion to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in most grain, including wheat, rye, barley and oats. When gluten is eaten by someone who has intolerance, an enzyme in the body reacts in an abnormal way and causes the walls of the intestine to thicken so that they don’t absorb nutrients in food in the proper way. The symptoms of Gluten intolerance are:
Chronic and voluminous diarrhoea, weight loss, stunted growth in children and constant fatigue, abdominal pain, cramping, bloatedness and distension. An increase in canker sores, also known as mouth ulcers, are common, as well. In extreme cases, lactose intolerance and constipation have been known to appear.
Both gluten intolerance and Candida are difficult to diagnose, since they both have such a wide range of symptoms. For Gluten intolerance, blood tests are the first step in a successful diagnosis. They have proven to be 98% effective in detecting antibodies in the blood, therefore letting doctors know that an intolerance to gluten may be present.
A second procedure, called a biopsy is also used to check on the health of the intestine. A doctor will remove a few cells from the intestine and test them to see if they have been damaged. These two procedures together are an almost failsafe way to test for gluten intolerance.
As for Candida, there doesn’t appear to be a consensus on how to test properly for it. A stool sample sent to the proper lab is a common recommendation, but the accuracy isn’t 100%.
Many people simply stumble upon their Candida diagnosis by, over time, ruling out every other possible illness. Since most mainstream doctors won’t test for Candida because it’s thought that unless you have a seriously compromised immune system due to AIDS or chemotherapy, you can’t have it, it may be up to the sufferer to do a self-diagnosis.