thoughtful help for healing the body and family.

Let’s talk about… Yeast!

Many experts in the medical community question if yeast is a real issue in children.  My clinical experience shows that it definitely is a serious problem!  Many children with a history of multiple antibiotic exposures, immune deficiency demonstrated in blood work, or chronic constipation indeed do have yeast overgrowth.  This overgrowth can be demonstrated by looking at the stool for yeast under the microscope or submitting it for a fungal culture (fungus is another name for yeast).

 

Symptoms of yeast overgrowth include many, many manifestations:

  • • sugar craving
  • • giddy behavior
  • • climbing
  • • preference for hanging upside down
  • • cloudy thinking
  • • loss of language
  • • drunken gait
  • • chewing on everything (including their shirts)
  • • covering ears with hands
  • • bloated bellies
  • • eczema (even on scalp)
  • • bed wetting

 

 

Ways to decrease yeast:

 

Probiotics: These are healthy bacteria that help make the gut less favorable for fungal growth.  They may help by alleviating chronic inflammation and minimizing the growth of unfavorable organisms.   There are several outstanding brands of probiotics, we usually recommend Kartzinel Health Probiotics at the clinic.

 

Natural antifungals: Caprylic acid, monolaurin, oregano, and olive leaf extract are examples of excellent antifungal agents found in nature. The only problem with the natural antifungal agents is that they generally don’t have a taste that our kids can appreciate!  However, they can create an environment that makes it hard for yeast to grow.

 

Diet: Beside the low sugar diet, some children have greatly benefitted from the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.  This diet totally eliminates grains as well as corn, rice, and potatoes.

 

I think one of the best ways that we can limit the growth of yeast is by removing its food supply. Yeast typically grows at the end of the digestive tube called the colon.  Since it grows at the end of the digestive tube, it is dependent on food to come to it. Thus, we need to aid digestion so that much of the food your child ingests is actually absorbed by the small intestine, way before it gets dumped into the colon.  This way, whatever ends up in the colon has a very low nutritive value.   The idea is to prevent yeast from thriving because it is not getting enough food.  There are many diets for “yeast” and the specific carbohydrate diet is one of them.  In a “nutshell”, all the grains are removed from the diet.  Carbohydrates for these kids are made from flours derived primarily from nuts. When grains are removed from the diet, some children respond terrifically.  Like any other diet, some children do not respond well, and if so, this diet can be stopped.  Yeast is a terrific survivor and our kids can have some very peculiar immune deficiencies that allow it to grow.  In some rare cases, I have had to place some kids on a fruit free diet, which I hate to do, but the sugar in the fruit (which was not being absorbed, such as in fructase deficiency) was feeding the yeast.  This option should only be exercised if your physician recommends it.

 

The key approach to removing yeast, using any diet, from your child’s body is to limit sugars.  Now yeast does not really care about the sugar source: honey, juice, carbohydrates like rice and potatoes, and of course, SUGAR.  All of these foods will have to be limited.  Also, it is very important to work on any constipation issues to further remove anything that may encourage the yeast to grow.

 

Antifungals: These prescription drugs are great ways to decrease the yeast in the body. Fluconazole is often my first choice because children tolerate it well and has minimal side effects.  It does require a physician’s involvement and prescription.  The other “azoles” such as Ketoconazole and Itraconazole work well. These medicines are systemic antifungals which are distributed throughout the body, not just the intestines.  The length of use of these antifungals depends on clinical response.  Some children improve with a 10 to 14 day dose, although in certain children it will take many more days before seeing positive results.  Non-systemic antifungals include Nystatin and Amphotericin.  These antifungals just stay in the digestive tube and are very safe.

 

Here are some suggestions that your physician can consider:

 

  • •      Fluconazole 5mg/kg/day x 14-30 day
  • •      Ketoconazole 5mg/kg/day x 14-30 days
  • •      Itraconazole 5mg/kg/day x 14-30 days
  • •      Nystatin compounded 1-2 million unit 2-3 times daily
  • •      Amphotericin B 250mg – 500mg four times daily
  • •      Check Liver Function Tests every 8 weeks if on “azoles” for longer periods
  • •      Bicarbonate/alkalinized water may play a role
  • •      Assure daily stooling

 

  • •      Monolaurin ¼  to ½ tsp twice daily
  • •      Oregano 0.2 ml twice daily
  • •      Olive leaf extract varies with preparation
  • •      Caprylic acid 500-1000mg with meals
  • •      Berberine (very bitter)
  • •      Garlic 1-2 pills per day
  • •      Nano particle  silver ½ tsp twice daily

 

 

And that’s my approach to the management of yeast.

 

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