Fast, Accurate, Breakthrough Testing
Kudos to pharmacists at Riverside Community Hospital, in California, who have taken advantage of a new blood test that can detect the presence of 5 different species of Candida yeast infections. If you have read my books or watched Know The Cause, you’ll know why this could have such far-reaching implications in understanding why you have the symptoms you do.
Better than this new test being so accurate (99.4% specific and 91.1% Sensitive), is the fact that it is quick! In about 5 hours, your doctor can have the results. This represents a breakthrough for fungal (yeast is a one cell fungus) testing because the usual wait time for fungus test results can be days, or more commonly, weeks.
Tested Quickly, Treated Quickly
Of the 59 patients in their hospital whose need for the yeast blood test was indicated, 6 (10%) showed elevated levels of Candida species in their bloodstream. This is called “candidemia” and this test will finally prove that bloodstream yeast infections are not rare, as most physicians currently believe. But that isn’t the only advantage of this important test.
Quick diagnosis means quick treatment. Within a few hours, your doctor will have results back and if the results are positive, he will have you on antifungals, rather than antibiotics which almost all infected patients get.
Here’s the Bad News – It’s Incomplete
Physicians reading this article will feel vindicated in that they might erroneously believe that only 10% of hospitalized patients might have systemic yeast infections. That thinking is highly flawed.
As I recall, there are over 100 species of Candida yeast, only 5 of which are covered on this test. Not all yeast and fungal species are human pathogens (capable of causing human disease), but many are.
Today, about 75,000 fungal species have been recognized and documented and 300 fungal species are known to be involved in human diseases.
With only 5 of them now being tested, that leaves about 295 other pathogenic yeasts and fungi, untested. My biggest concerns are indoor air fungi (mostly Aspehrgillus and Penicillium) and those found in or on our food supply (many, many). These are not tested using this new technology, yet.
But at very least, this is a start!
If you are in a hospital, have an inserted catheter, have been on antibiotics and your immune system is compromised, my guess is that this test, even as limited as it currently is, can be a lifesaver.
Because it is new, few patients and doctors can benefit from it right away and it will take doctors some time to accurately interpret the test findings, since their education is void of Mycology (the study of fungus).
In The Meantime, Know What Fuels These Infections
Unfortunately, as has been the case for many decades, the vicious cycle of antibiotic after antibiotic will continue. Antibiotics not only contribute to antibiotic and antifungal resistance but also fuel yeast infections! Couple that with their ability to increase the risk of our most common cancers, and you’ve got a problem of epidemic proportions!
BE CAREFUL! Doug