Yeast Infections And Children

by Eric Bakker N.D. on February 18, 2012. Updated June 17, 2013

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Small Section from Eric’s Candida Yeast Infection Book

Worried mothers generally have their children in and out of medical clinics and unfortunately there are still plenty of doctors out there who still readily prescribe high potency, broad spectrum antibiotics, despite the fact that not only the malevolent bacteria are destroyed but also the friendly bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus. Children also love to eat sweets, and plenty of them including ice creams and all the sugary and yeast promoting foods and are thus a prime target for a candida overgrowth. Your child may be eating potentially foods laden in sugar more than any time in history. Is it any wonder they go on to develop all manner of allergies?

Recognition of the child candida patient:

The case history will tell you if you are dealing with a child who has candida or not. I have always encouraged naturopathic students to sit in my clinic for observations. One of the first things I like to teach is the sheer importance of case taking. A case well taken is a case half solved. “Tell me what happened to Johnny” is probably one of the most important question you can ask the child’s mother. In the 21st century, often you will see that the child is living with one parent or sharing custody, you may find that every second weekend mum (or dad) may spoil the child considerably, I have seen this on many occasions! Be aware of grandmas or grand dads as well, although meaning well they may be creating a real headache for the parent.

  • Look for the child who has a strong sweet or sugar craving, careful questioning during the case-taking will illicit this crucial information. Whilst it is not true that all children who crave sugar will have candida, it is true that most all children with candida will strongly crave sugary foods or drinks.
  • Don’t just look for a craving or strong desire for candy or sweets, look for the desire to consume orange juice, soda or fizzy drinks, dried fruits like dates, figs, sultanas or chewing gum, biscuits and a host of other foods.
  • Look for the child who eats many pieces of fruit each day. Fruit has plenty of sugar in it.
  • If there has been a history of re-current antibiotic use before the onset of the health problem, you can almost guarantee that there will be candida to some degree.
  • As mentioned above, and at the risk of repeating myself – be on the lookout for children who live with one parent, and then spend every second weekend with the other parent. This is often the case with separated or divorced parents, therefore always ask this question: “Does Johnny live with both parents?” It is surprising how many times I have heard: “Oh, no, in fact he lives with his father half the time”. In cases such as this you may find that the child will be spoilt be one or either parent – and sweets, ice cream or chocolates and visits to the golden arches may be high on the list.
  • Be aware of grandparents. They sometimes feel it is their right to be able to give the child special treats – candy.
  • Abdominal pain which is “undiagnosable” by the bowel specialist. Think about dysbiosis including parasites and/or yeast infections, once you have concluded there is no fecal (stool) loading or constipation. An abdominal x-ray or ultrasound may be necessary to determine any obstruction.
  • A child living in a cold, damp or mouldy environment who is always sick. He will need to be moved to a better environment before you begin work on the candida eradication. In New Zealand, we have all too many children who live in such homes with drafts, a leaky roof and damp bedrooms with condensation on the windows. This is a recipe for a candida yeast infection.

Case History: Johnny, 6yrs

John is a pleasant young boy with a friendly smile. His mother brought him to my clinic after spending over a year trying to ascertain what was wrong with him. He was having recurrent digestive pains and constipation as well as asthma. As a baby, John was breastfed for only six weeks before being placed on an infant formula containing cow’s milk powder. John could not tolerate this formula too well and was then placed on an infant soy formula which was less problematic. He developed colic at around 6 months of age and received his first round of antibiotics a few months later for ear infections. By the time John was three years old, he had received over a dozen rounds of antibiotics for recurring ear, nose and throat infections and now needing an inhaler (Salbutamol) and steroid inhaler as a “preventative” because his paediatrician told his mother he now had “asthma”.

This drug-merry-go-round is unfortunately all too common with children, I have seen it one thousand times at least.

I first set about getting John’s diet right, and placed him on my low-allergy diet which you will find in the book. What typically occurs is that sweet cravings occur after antibiotics, as many beneficial bacteria have been destroyed and yeasts start to multiply rapidly. The yeast wants feeding and their host has no option but to give in to their demands. And so the sugar laden diet begins, whether it is soda drinks, fruit juice, candy or sweets, biscuits, snack bars, or any one of many sweet foods children like. It makes no difference, as long as it contains sugar it will be food for the yeast. Then they thrive and multiply and get to be an increasingly bigger problem over time.

Parents often give in just buy these foods for the child who demands the most. The “squeaky hinge gets the oil” really is true, and being a parent myself with three boys I can tell you, kids can really wear you down until you just give in.

Then we started to use various products and probiotics to get John’s immune and digestive system right. The asthma drugs were the first to go, and I asked John’s mother to avoid ALL antibiotics in the future, unless John suffered from a major bacterial infection such as pneumonia or septicaemia. After four months of treatment, all of John’s digestive symptoms were gone entirely, his bowel is back to normal and all the pains are gone. John’s mother is very grateful, but her doctor is not impressed at all with my recommendations of no asthma drugs or antibiotics. And John? He is in fine health.

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