Your tummy is not just your tummy. It’s home to billions upon billions of tiny living things we call microbes. Collectively, these microbes are called the gut microbiome. But we also have microbiomes on our skin, in our hair and even our private parts! One kind of microbe that grows both on and inside our body is fungi.
Most fungi live with us in a commensal relationship, which means they don’t normally cause us any harm. But some yeast (a type of fungi), such as Candida (a type of yeast), can become a problem when the balance of our microbiome shifts. For example, yeast infections can sometimes happen after taking antibiotics.
A study found that 1 in 4 people with unexplained tummy troubles had too many Candida and other yeasts growing in their small bowel. They called this small intestinal fungal overgrowth (SIFO). The main symptoms people with SIFO experienced were bloating, belching, indigestion, and nausea.
Unfortunately, the problem with yeast overgrowth is a lack of tests available to diagnose it. Stool microbiome tests, which look at what kind of microbes are in your poo, are not so helpful. This is because almost 1 in 2 of us have Candida and other yeast in our poo, so it’s totally normal to spot them.
If you suspect that yeast is wreaking havoc in your stomach, then speak to your doctor. Remember, there are many other causes of
tummy troubles that can be more easily detected before you considering Candida or SIFO.
Click here to go deeper into the science of Candida and yeast.