Are candida tests accurate enough?

Hi there, here’s a question from Katherine Smith in Wellington, New Zealand.

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Katherine’s asking me, Eric, are Candida tests accurate?

They are Katherine. They are accurate, but it depends really what test we’re talking about and how the test was performed and under what conditions the test was performed. You can get false results with testing, whether it’s a blood test, a urine test, or a stool test. There are a few things that you need to take into account to make sure that test results are going to be accurate.

There are many gray areas when it comes to testing; and many practitioners, unfortunately, just treat off test results. They’ll see a result and they’ll treat off it. They actually forget they’ve got a real living patient in front of them. And I call that paralysis from analysis. They tend to overanalyze bits of paper and forget that the person in front of them is actually a real living, kicking, breathing patient. I learned those things quite early on in practice. The results may actually be wrong and what then? You’re going to get a wrong result because you’re treating a patient with the wrong piece of paper in front of you.

So how can tests be deemed accurate or inaccurate? Well, to begin with, if a person’s been taking many pharmaceutical drugs like antibiotics right up until they test, it’s not a very good idea. If a person’s going to perform an allergy test and they’ve been on a very strong exclusion diet right up to the point of doing the test, it’s not a good idea. If a person’s been taking lots of probiotics and antifungal products right up until they do a stool test, it’s not a good idea. You need to really talk with someone who’s quite experienced with functional medicine testing to make sure that your test results are going to be accurate. The results are going to be accurate if the test is performed correctly, and if the sample is taken correctly, and if the test results are interpreted correctly.

So there are a lot of different loopholes when it comes to testing and areas where it could go wrong. The sample may be handled incorrectly. It may not be placed in the container properly. It may take too long to get to the lab. So you need to be careful when it comes to a test.

And the other thing with testing is never just look at the results; look at the patient; look at the totality of signs and symptoms and try and correlate the test results you’ve got there preferably with other tests. And for that reason, I’ve devised a whole set of home tests you can read in my book, Candida Crusher, Chapter 3. So you can read all about them. I hope that answers you question.

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Thank you.

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