Photo courtesy estbleu
Candida albicans is a kind of yeast, or intestinal flora, that normally lives in the gastrointestinal tract. Yeast can reproduce and multiply if the immune system becomes compromised or from eating a diet too high in sugar. As yeast becomes overabundant, an infection can occur in the digestive system as well as other parts of the body, including the mouth and reproductive tract. One of the first signs of a yeast infection is apparent candida discharge in the stool.
Excessive candida may be present in the stool during periods of extreme yeast growth or die-off, also called Herxheimer Syndrome. Die-off occurs when your body is getting rid of excess yeast. Stools with an overabundance of yeast may contain a white, stringy material that is similar to thin pieces of string cheese. This cheesy substance is one of the most common signs of too much candida in a bowel movement. Yeast in the stool has also been compared to cottage cheese. The candida can also look "frothy," similar to yeast in bread mix when it is rising, or candida can look like a mucus-like substance.
Knowing what is and isn't yeast in stool is important as other substances may appear similar to candida but are indicative of different conditions. Gray, pale stools may indicate gall bladder disorders, hepatitis or absorption problems. Green coloured stool may be related to bacteria but is most often caused by food colouring or vegetables and fruit of colour.
An overabundance of candida can be symptomatic of many conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome, behaviour disorders, depression and mood swings, memory problems, joint problems, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic sinus infections.
An increase in candida in the stool may occur with constipation or diarrhoea. However, if yeast-overgrowth increases for weeks at a time or with rectal bleeding, consult your physician for an evaluation as too much mucus could be a symptom of Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis.
If you notice excessive candida in your stool and think the cause is from too much yeast, reducing the amount of bread products in your diet may help. Eating yoghurt and taking probiotics will help balance the candida and other intestinal flora too.
- Photo courtesy estbleu