Candida is a type of yeast that causes the majority of fungal infections. While many fungi do not harm our body, a disruption of the mucosa or weakening of the immune system can lead to a yeast invasion: an opportunistic invasion. There are one hundred and fifty-four species of candida. Six of them inhabit our skin and mucosal membranes, as part of our normal flora. Candida albicans is the most abundant invading strain that can be offensive to the body, in the presence of predisposing factors.
Our immune system, when facing intruders like bacteria, viruses or other invaders, produces certain kinds of proteins called antibodies. These antibodies are produced as a result of our immune system finding harmful substances called antigens. When the body produces antibodies by mistake, it attacks its own tissues. This is the case of auto-immune diseases.
Antibodies are also referred to as immunoglobulins. When these recognize the invaders, like the antigens, they bolt onto them. They recognize them because antigens have different molecular system on their surface than your body’s cells. As a result of this recognition, antibodies get produced by the B-lymphocytes (white blood cells). There are numerous ways an antibody can act to attack the antigens: neutralizing them by changing their chemical composition, making them immobile by attaching to them, or preventing them from penetrating the body’s cells.
When the body starts producing antibodies, the process of production can continue for several days. It will not stop not until all antigens are successfully removed from your system. Antibodies well then remain circulating for numerous months, to ensure an extended immunity against this particular antigen.
Testing a particular antibody can detect whether there is, or was, an immune reaction towards a specific intruder. When you have a chronic Candida infection, this normally indicates that the yeast has probably colonized your mucosal tissues, or became invasive. As a result, your body will start producing specific antibodies to cleanse itself from the infection. These antibodies come in three different classes: the IgG, IgA and IgM.
IgG Antibodies: this is the most commonly formed antibody. It is usually released upon a secondary exposure to the antigen. This type of antibody can reflect either an ongoing or a previous infection. It usually comes in a secondary stage. When the body first gets exposed to a certain antigen (primary exposure), it releases another kind of antibodies. When these decrease in number, following a secondary exposure, the body will start releasing IgG. This kind of antibody plays a major role in the phagocytic process that aims at eliminating antigens from our system.
IgG antibodies are predominant immunoglobulins; and, are found everywhere in our fluids: in both intra- and extravascular fluids. When a person becomes infected, these type of antibodies may remain in your system for many years, even after the infection is eradicated.
When you test all three antibodies, you are helping your doctor make the most accurate diagnosis.
How to interpret your three results (IgG, IgM, IgA)
If your IgG levels are elevated, this might indicate a past or ongoing candida infection.
If the IgM levels are elevated; then, your infection is ongoing. However, if the IgM levels are not elevated and your IgG levels are; then, your candida infection is not ongoing.
If the IgA levels are elevated; then, your candida infection is superficial.
Important note: Keep in mind that you need to see your doctor to have the proper diagnosis and initiate, if necessary, the proper treatment plan. If you were diagnosed with vaginal candidiasis, you may need to take an antifungal medicine (whether administered vaginally or orally).
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