Candida, or Candida albicans, is a naturally occurring yeast that resides in the body’s mucous membranes (such as the mouth and digestive tract). In small amounts, it is a normal part of our gut flora and can help assist with digestion and absorption of nutrients. However, under certain conditions it can become overgrown and result in a host of different health issues. Some causes of Candida overgrowth include frequent rounds of antibiotics or steroids, use of oral contraceptives, an eating pattern high in sugar, refined carbohydrates and/or alcohol and chronic stress. Symptoms that may be connected to Candida overgrowth are brain fog and difficulty concentrating, cravings for sugar and sweets, food sensitivities, digestive issues, frequent yeast infections, irritability and mood swings, to name a few. However, these symptoms may overlap with other conditions, so if you suspect you may be suffering from Candida overgrowth, it would be best to test in order to diagnose and treat the overgrowth accordingly. Immuno Laboratories has a blood test available known as the Candida albicans Assay, which can accurately diagnose this condition. Diagnosing and treating Candida overgrowth is an essential step in healing the gut and working towards achieving optimum health. Remember, it is always best to test, don’t guess!