A yeast overgrowth (or candidiasis) is in reference to a bacterial imbalance down in the gut (or lower intestine). It is actually something that is quite common and easily thrived by the standard American diet and medical prescriptions. Most of the times this yeast unbalance in the intestinal flora arecaused by frequent use of antibiotics and steroids. Some children have the constitution that is susceptible to Candida yeast overgrowth and infections. The children who have a history with baby thrush, diaper rash and cradle cap as babies and continue to have skin rashes and other yeast problems as they grow older.
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The common yeast is known as Candida Albicans and actually exists in the intestinal tract of every human being. It lives with the healthier bacteria and microorganisms called probiotics. Health challenges arise when the bacterial balance is thrown off and the candida growth is not kept in check.
This Candida infection can cause a serious problem when children are affected by it. In fact, children can even display behavioral and learning difficulties. Irritability and depression as a result of their individual reaction to food chemicals and preservatives. That may well be linked to the candida yeast infection. Yeats normally lives on or in the body without causing any harm. It is commonly found on the skin, in the digestive system including the mouth, throat and in the genital area but causes any harm in certain condition only. This can happen when the skin is damaged, when it’s warm and humid, or when a child has a weak immune system. In some very sick children, it can infect deeper tissues or the bloodstream and cause serious illness. Medicine with antibiotics or corticosteroids can also cause the yeast to overgrow. This is because those medicines kill normal bacteria that usually prevent too much yeast to grow.
Symptoms of Candida in children
- Inability to concentrate
- Allergy symptoms (environmental or food-related)
- Frequent ear infections
- Weight gain and/or obesity
- Craving sweets/bread/pasta
- Use of prescribed antibiotics and/or steroids
- frequent infections and/or illness
- Low energy
- Eczema/skin issues
- Food sensitivities
If you’ve found any of these symptoms in your child rush to your doctor immediately. He/ she will give your child a physical examination and may scrape off a skin sample to check in a lab.
Most cases of candidiasis are mild and respond well to medicine. Treatment depends on where the infection is and how severe it is. For example:
- Candidiasis on the skin is treated with ointment.
- Yeast infections in the vagina or anus can be treated with medicated suppositories.
- Thrush may be treated with a medicated mouthwash or lozenges.
- Severe infection or infection in a child with a weak immune system may be treated with oral anti-yeast medicines.
Certainly, an overgrowth of candida is not something that you just wait or hope that it will go away on its own. Candida albicans will only continue to grow out of control if not specifically targeted for a length of time.
We have a specific anti-candida program–put together by a certified nutritionist–which we use with families to help their kids get back in balance. Coincidentally, when the balance of the bacteria is restored, the health symptoms typically subside and go away.An anti-candida nutritional program is not one that you should attempt on your own. It is most effective when someone with experience can walk alongside you and guide you in what to do next.
So, if you have the doubt that your child has candida, go to your doctor as soon as possible.