The fungus among us: Candida Albicans

By Dr. Paul Mach, DN

Talk about shocked. I was overwhelmed with the response received after my Thursday radio show on Candida. Seems like more than a few people aren’t feeling the way they know they should and had some major “red flags” go off when I started reading off questions from the candida questionnaire that I quite frequently use for patients. It is the silent “often undiagnosed, there’s something not quite right with me,” problem. For yourself, or for those who must tolerate you, take a few moments to answer this abridged questionnaire.

  1. Have you ever used antibiotics? (N=0, Y=5 points per course) How long of courses? (N=0, Y= 15 if course was more than a month) If more than 3 times in a year add 25 points per time.
  2. Have you ever used any cortisone type drugs (i.e. prednisone or decadron)? (N=0, Y=15)
  3. Have you ever had any problems affecting your reproductive organs? (N=0, Y=25)
  4. Have you ever been pregnant? (N=0, Y = 3 points per time.)
  5. Have you ever taken birth control pills? (N= 0, Y = 5 points per year)
  6. Does exposure to perfume, insecticides or chemicals bother you? (N=0, Y=20)
  7.  Does dampness, mold, or muggy days worsen symptoms? (N=0, Y=20)
  8. Have you had, or do you have athlete’s foot, candida/yeast infections, jock itch or nail fungus? (N=0, Y=10 to 30 depending on severity)
  9. Do you crave sugar? (Y=10)
  10. Do you crave breads? (Y = 10)
  11. Do you crave alcohol? (Y= 10)
  12. Does tobacco smoke really bother you? (Y=10)

Do you suffer from: (mild = 1 point, moderate = 2 points, severe = 3 points)

  1. Drowsiness?
  2. Irritability or jittery?
  3. Incoordination?
  4. Inability to concentrate?
  5. Headaches?
  6. Frequent mood swings?
  7. Dizziness/loss of balance?
  8. Itching, on body or at orifices?
  9. Rashes?
  10. Indigestion?
  11. Heartburn?
  12. Belching or intestinal gas?
  13. Hemorrhoids?
  14. Mucous in stool?
  15. Blisters or rashes in mouth?
  16. Joint swelling or arthritis?
  17. Bad breath?
  18. Dry mouth?
  19. Persistent cough?
  20. Nasal congestion or drip?
  21. Nasal drip?
  22. Sore or dry throat?
  23. Urinary urgency or frequency?

For each of these symptoms: (mild=3 points, frequent=6 points, severe =10 points)

  1. Fatigue or lethargy?
  2. Feeling of being drained?
  3. Poor memory?
  4. Spacey?
  5. Depression?
  6. Numbness, burning or tingling?
  7. Muscle aches?
  8. Muscle weakness or paralysis?
  9. Pain or swelling in joints?
  10. Constipation?
  11. Diarrhea?
  12. Vaginal discharge?
  13. Vaginal burn or itch?
  14. Menstrual irregularities or severe cramping?
  15. PMS?
  16. Loss of sexual desire?
  17. Prostatitis?
  18. Impotence?
  19. Spots in front of eyes?
  20. Erratic vision?

ANSWER: If your score is greater than 60 your symptoms are probably yeast or candida connected. If your total score is over 120 your symptoms are almost certainly related to candida. The higher your score the higher your probability of these little yeast-cake critters frolicking around in your body and messing with your life. Remember this is only a questionnaire and not a medical test, so you may want to consult a professional trained in candida diagnosis to determine if your problem is truly candida or related to something else. Diagnosis may include cultures, questionnaires or a live blood cell analysis so you can look at these little guys face to yeast bud. Remember no health condition is an isolated incident. There is always more than one metabolic malfunction that is occurring that throws your body out of balance. All these factors need to be addressed.
Candida Albicans is a cell wall deficient bacterial life form that lives within each and every one of us. The problem occurs when this non-beneficial bacterium is allowed to grow unregulated systemically. This growth may occur partially due to antibiotic usage that throws the bodies normal flora and fauna off balance, or partially due to lifestyle and high consumption of simple carbohydrate and sugar diets. Candida is not fun! Go figure! If left unchecked it will only exacerbate your symptoms. The most important first step is to eliminate the simple carbohydrates (i.e. white flour and processed foods and all sugars) that people so massively consume. Secondly there are medications that help eliminate candida, but need to be combined with acidophilus (your good bacteria), detoxification and immune system strengthening. Many homeopathics and herbs have also been shown to be quite effective. So, let the force be with you to eliminate the fungus among us