The Yeasty Beasties …
Yes, that is what we call them in our house…and yes it really is a thing, although your pediatrician will probably give you a look when you ask about testing your child for it. You may hear some people call it Yeast Overgrowth or Candida is the more scientifically correct term for it, no matter what you call it its a major issue for many kids who are showing signs of mental instability.
Yes, that is what we call them in our house…and yes it really is a thing, although your pediatrician will probably give you a look when you ask about testing your child for it. You may here some people call it Yeast Overgrowth or Candida is the more scientifically correct term for it, no matter what you call it its a major issue for many kids who are showing signs of mental instability.
I remember hearing this term from a friend who was slowly trying to convince me that the Bio-Medical world was the way to go with my children. I also remember thinking she was CRAZY at the time, but I was desperate and at the time holding my child down in a mental institution for the last 12 week and getting nowhere fast. So I think when you hit that level of rock bottom you don’t care how crazy something sounds at the time your going to look into it… I began finally reading the numerous articles she had sent me on yeast overgrowth, bacteria,parasites, PANDAS/PANS and more and I found myself feeling like he fit every symptom list, he looked like he had it all! In reality, we would soon find out he did, he was battling a leaky gut as well as Lyme and PANDAS/PANS and just coming off of constant antibiotic use , acid reflux meds and steroids for his asthma as well as a trial on stimulant ADHD medication, it was a recipe for disaster! Everything that was bad for you
In reality, we would soon find out he did, he was battling a leaky gut as well as Lyme and PANDAS/PANS and just coming off of constant antibiotic use , acid reflux meds and steroids for his asthma as well as a trial on stimulant ADHD medication, it was a recipe for disaster! Everything that was bad for you gutt he was on all at once, so changing his diet was great and removing dyes, gluten and dairy was a start but I had just chipped away at a very large problem and had a long road ahead! In my heart I knew she was right, I myself had just been diagnosed by fluke through my dermatologist with yeast on my skin, and thought nothing of it, until I read article after article about how bad Candida or yeast is for you, and how many of my own ADHD symptoms were linked to it! I had tried an Antifungal wash Diflucan and a two week trial of Diflucan but never was able to get rid of the rash, I learned to just accept it and cover up the huge “Acne-like” rash with makeup as my son was sick and I had bigger things to worry about. I will get into why the treatment my regular doctor gave me never worked more as I go through what yeast overgrowth is!
What is Yeast Overgrowth?
So the first thing I thought of when my doctor said I had yeast on my skin was WHAT but how? I had numerous yeast infections over the years, and though it was just a female problem from having kids or just being prone to them after getting my period. In reality, anyone can have yeast overgrowth, kids, men, and women, it’s not just the dreaded yeast infection women get that makes them want to rip their female organs out by hand. The healthy gut contains both yeast and good bacteria, in balance with each other. Common “good” bacteria, also called beneficial bacteria, are lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium, And don’t panic if you see it on your test, but bacteria like e-Coli exist in the normal gut. Bacteria share space in the intestinal tract with the yeast. There are many strains of yeast that live in the digestive tract including candida, which appears to be the most common. Occasionally, these complex systems get out of balance and overgrowth of bad bugs and yeast becomes an issue . So think about being a young child with overgrowth of yeast in your stomach, and remember how uncomfortable it is for a female to have a yeast infection, now you know one reason we call it the yeasty beasties!
What Do Symptoms of Yeast Overgrowth look like?
Yeast overgrowth manifests itself in behavior and physical signs usually, but remember you don’t have to have physical signs of yeast to have an overgrowth occurring in your stomach!
- Inappropriate laughter
- Sleep disturbances
- Unexplained intermittent crying episodes- Emotional about everything!
- Belly aches
- Bed wetting (Not having the sensation like they have to pee)
- Gas pains
- Anger, aggression
- Increased self-stimulatory behavior
- High-pitched squealing
- Increased sensory defensiveness
- Climbing/jumping off things
- Sugar cravings
- Inability to potty train, or loss of this skill
- Self-limiting foods (Only want carb heavy toddler friendly foods)
- Plateauing in skills
- Chronic Respiratory Infections
- In the mouth, in the form of thrush (white tongue)
- On the skin, via diaper rash or eczema
- Red ring around the anus
- Rash or cracking between the toes or joints
How to see if your child has yeast overgrowth?
So I did the first thing most mothers do when they see their child has almost every symptom of yeast overgrowth, I called my Pediatrician! Like I said she looked at me like I had five heads, I even told her how my dermatologist was treating me for yeast issues on my skin, and still she said, “Ummm I don’t think that yeast could be causing behavior so bad that he had to be admitted to the hospital,and his blood work looked fine.” I remember my blood work always looking fine as well, the only reason my dermatologist got lucky and found the yeast was through a biopsy of one of my bumps to rule out a staph infection, or I would have never even known that was what the rash was (In essence I got lucky). So once again frustrated with my pediatrician I decided my son had a way to many of the symptoms to ignore and I could treat naturally on my own so it was worth a shot if he got better then I knew I was right! The issue with that was I was going in blind, and while he did have yeast and I did help combat some of it, I began this vicious cycle of self-doubt every time the behavior would get worse or come back and I would stop the treatment. So I recommend getting an integrative doctor, MAPS doctor or do one of the tests below that you can order yourself online to get a big picture of what is going on.
According to best practices, yeast levels are best measured via a stool (poop) test
Genova Diagnostics offers a stool test called the CDSA (Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis) A test such as the CDSA tells you the types and amounts of yeast and bacteria (both good and bad) that are present in your child’s stool, and offers you information about which pharmaceutical and homeopathic treatments might be the most effective to treat your child’s issues.
Urinary Organic Acid Tests (OAT) may measure levels of fungal metabolites (yeast waste products) in the urine. Several labs offer this test including:
Once you receive your test back, places like Great Plains Laboratory has great resources to help you determine if yeast or bacteria is an issue based on specific markers. Below is a sample of what your test would look like and as you can clearly see, it specifically shows you yeast markers on the test!
How to treat your yeasty beasties?
Treatment, where do I begin, so this was one of the hardest parts of dealing with yeast for us, and honestly I am still battling it in myself and in my son as our overgrowth was extremely high. If you are seeing an integrative doctor they will have a treatment plan that they use with their patients all the time, usually it is a more natural approach using herbs, digestive enzymes, and probiotics. Some doctors also may practice both integrative medicine and functional medicine and prescribe things like Nystatin, Diflucan, and other antifungals to help treat the yeast overgrowth, and really there is no treatment option that is better than another, each person is different. If you are self-treating for yeast based on clinical symptoms and even test results that you had ordered some natural options for treatment are as followed.
As long as you feed your child too many carbs, the yeast will keep coming back. Over and over and over. You must cut off its food supply, boost the immune system, and heal the gut to stop it. Many people choose to go on a Candida Diet while doing treatment!
Homeopathic treatments include:
- HBOT (anecdotally)
- Grapefruit seed extract (GSE)
- Olive leaf extract
- Oil of oregano
- Garlic extract
- Pau d’Arco
- Uva ursi
- Sugar-eating enzymes like No-Fenol
- Caprylic acid
- MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) oil
What Treatment worked for my family…
My major problem with both my son and myself was that we never cut out carbs, he was a picky eater and I just could not bring myself to do it. Every time, I would try he would not eat for days, and many of the medicines we tried would give him an upset stomach without eating, so I would cave and give him a gluten free carb item just so he would eat, and in reality, all I was doing was causing constant die-off reactions and restarting the yeast killing cycle. So my first word of advice is As long as you feed your child too many carbs, the yeast will keep coming back. Over and over and over. You must cut off its food supply, boost the immune system, and heal the gut to stop it. So do some research, get yourself good and prepared for the diet, prep food, get some recipes from online and make sure you know the diet inside out so you don’t feel overwhelmed and cave on the diet due to frustration.
The following is our Yeast protocol from our Integrative doctor…
1.Diet- Start with Candida Diet – You will see your child start to want more healthy food as the yeast dies off, or they will crave carbs even more because you are starving them out. Do this part first for a good week before you introduce and medicine.
2. Probiotic- Make sure you have a good probiotic that you are giving at night, this is key because as you are killing bad bacteria and yeast you need to replace it with good bacteria and yeast. My family tried many probiotics and the one that works the best for us due to leaky gut issues and PANDAS/PANS diagnosis is GutPro. It does not have any strep-strains or D-Lactate forming strains that can cause neurotoxic build up. It is a very strong concentrated probiotic and will last you for a very long time, but you have to start off small because it can cause Die-off symptoms on its own.
3. Digestive Enzymes and Sugar eating enzymes, we give these with all meals to help the digestive system break down food. Sadly many people with yeast overgrowth issues have a leaky gut, and due to this, their systems have suppressed the natural enzymes the stomach needs to break down food. We use a greatEnzyme called Digestive Spectrum and it has enzymes for carbs, gluten, phenols and more! Another Enzyme we give in conjunction when taking our herbal medicine for yeast is No Fenol, as I learned the hard way that many natural remedies while they are great, are high in phenols. For example Grapeseed Extract, Oil of Oregano is just examples of some high phenol supplements. So we sadly saw some increased hyper behavior and red ears when we would give these supplements and it too me awhile to realize that we needed to give something to help counteract the phenols in these herbs!
4. Killing the Yeast! So for both my son and myself we are using Biocidin: A combination of herbs to eradicate yeast and parasites and increase immune function. It comes in a liquid form and is even good in treating EBV as it has many powerful antivirals in it. Dosage instructions are on the back, and this is high in phenols, so make sure you are using no fenol if you are sensitive to phenols. Some other supplements we have tried that worked good and are not so costly was Oil of Oregano , Paul D’Arco, and GrapeSeed Extract. Many mothers swear by these three supplements for treating yeast either in conjunction or separately. I always suggest trying one supplement at a time to see if you or your child can tolerate them.
Die-Off and Hiexmer Reactions…
When yeast cells are rapidly killed, a die-off (or Herxheimer reaction) occurs and metabolic by-products are released into the body. The Candida yeast cells actually release 79 different toxins when they die, including ethanol and acetaldehyde.Acetaldehyde in particular has a whole host of detrimental effects on your health and wellbeing. It can impair your brain function and even kill brain cells. Your endocrine, immune and respiratory systems can all be affected, and it also damages the membranes of your red blood cells, reducing their ability to carry oxygen around the body. Again this directly affects your brain, so you can see how acetaldehyde is linked to Candida symptoms like brain fog and fatigue. These by-products also cause allergic reactions and inflammation that lead to an array of undesirable symptoms. So just when you thought you were getting to the bottom of your child’s crazy behavior don’t be surprised if at any point of treating yeast you start to see die-off symptoms or increased behavior issues.
Here is a list of some of the symptoms you might experience during a die-off (otherwise known as a Herxheimer reaction).
- A headache, fatigue, dizziness
- Swollen glands
- Bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea
- Increased joint or muscle pain
- Elevated heart rate
- Chills, cold feeling in your extremities
- Body itchiness, hives or rashes
- Skin breakouts
- Recurring vaginal, prostate and sinus infections
- Take a supplement like Candidate, Molybdenum, Milk Thistle or Vitamin C to help your liver expel the toxins.
Molybdenum, in particular, is very useful for those suffering from Die-Off. It converts the neurotoxin acetaldehyde into acetic acid, which is then expelled by your body or even converted into helpful digestive enzymes.
- Cut back or temporarily discontinue antifungal supplements.
- Increase water intake to flush out the toxins faster.
- Try some alternative detox methods like skin brushing, saunas, detox baths, activated charcoal and burbur detox.
If you made it to the end of this blog post I applaud you, it is a lot of information, but I wanted to try to give as much helpful advice as possible that I have learned along the way. Also, make sure to check out our resource page specifically on yeast overgrowth and our Pinterest board below !