What is Candida and What Can You Do About it?

How to Recognize Candida

20271236_sThe majority of today’s adults, as well as children, have candida.  Many clients ask me to explain what this is and what to do it about it.  All members of my family have experienced various degrees of candida and so I have had a lot of personal experience with bringing candida under control.

Candida occurs when one has insufficient good bacteria and yeast has overgrown.  Candida Albicans is a yeast that normally lives in our intestinal and vaginal tracts, along with friendly or good bacteria.  Yeast helps good bacteria grow, as long as the good bacteria is there in sufficient numbers and has the advantage in numbers.  It’s excessive growth (to at least 60 yeast and fungus type organisms) that creates an imbalance in multiple systems in the body that is called candida.

Frequent use of antibiotics (don’t forget to factor in antibiotics consumed by animals) is considered the #1 contributor to bad bacteria and the weakening of the intestinal wall, subsequently causing candida.  Mothers unknowingly pass candida onto their infants in utero, so often life begins for a baby with their bacteria numbers being out of balance.

Symptoms of candida begin in the intestinal tract and eventually lead to intestinal permeability and allergic reactions.  An overgrowth of candida causes faulty digestion. When there is faulty digestion, nutrients cannot be digested or absorbed by the body.  99% of the time, when there is candida, there are allergies.  Dr. William Crook wrote a wonderful book on the subject called “The Yeast Connection”.  Twenty-five years later, only a few medical doctors know about candida.

Definitive symptoms of candida in children are:

  • Athlete’s foot
  • Excessive earwax
  • Fungus, often in damp areas such as between the toes
  • Genital itchiness or jock itch i.e. yeast infection
  • Itchy ears, nose and anus
  • Oral thrush and white-coated tongue
  • Repeated bladder infections

Other commonly reported symptoms of candida include:

  • Aching joints and muscles
  • Lots of bloating or gas
  • Asthma
  • Cravings for sweets
  • Eczema
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Irritability
  • Poor concentration
  • Psoriasis
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Sugar or bread cravings
  • Brain fog
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Mental confusion
  • Depression or anger without reason
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Phobic/Compulsive behaviours
  • Lethargy
  • Mood swings

These symptoms and the definitive symptoms of candida sound very similiar to the symptoms of food sensitivities and allergies, don’t they?  By bringing candida into balance, you can start to control your child’s symptoms as well as their reactions to food.

Eliminating candida and replenishing good bacteria in children under the age of 10 is not difficult.  Simply follow these steps:

  1. Remove refined carbohydrates and sugar from his or her diet, as refined carbohydrates quickly convert to sugar in the body and sugar feeds yeast.
  2. Eliminate foods with high yeast, mold or fungus content from your child’s diet i.e. cheese, mushrooms, melons
  3. Give your child Probiotics (found at all health food stores)
  4. Change your child out of wet bathing suits quickly and be careful of lengthy stays in pools or hot tubs because yeast proliferates in wet environments

A 10-year old child can have systemic candida, which means that following all of the above steps eliminates candida for only a short time but it always returns.  You see, as yeast or bad bacteria grows, it turns into fungal form and eventually enters the bloodstream through a leaky gut.  From there, it circulates throughout the body, suppressing the immune system.  Candida Albicans produces 80 known toxins that impair the immune system!

Once candida is in the bloodstream, you need to kill the yeast with probiotics and potentially other supplements.  Diet alone does not eliminate it.  The supplement to give your child with systemic candida is Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) in drops or powder form, in addition to following the steps above.

You may notice that your child acquires the symptoms listed above after Halloween or vacations, where a lot of sweets are consumed.  Certainly, you will notice one or more of these symptoms after your child has been given drugs i.e. Children’s Tylenol, Triaminic or antibiotics.  Bringing things back into balance doesn’t need to take long, as long as you can recognize what has happened and follow the steps contained in this post.  My goal is to empower you to improve your child’s health whenever possible.

I love receiving feedback. Please let me know if you have successfully treated Candida and help others learn from your experience!

Until next time,

Meredith

30 thoughts on “What is Candida and What Can You Do About it?

  1. Greetings,
    I am currently presenting with symptoms of candida. Given I have recently embarked upon a diet plan and supplements, I would like your advice on the potential impact of candida on fertility, pregnancy and the unborn child. Also what assessments and treatments are available to newborns if presenting with candida albicans? My partner and I are planning pregnancy from July onwards and committed to give our child the best start in life.
    Thank you,
    Sarah

    • Hi Sarah,

      The majority of women in North America have candida. Many of them are becoming pregnant however a balanced organism always has a better opportunity to fertilize. Two of the main reasons for sickness in pregnancy are candida and hypoglycemia so that is incentive alone to try to get things into balance before becoming pregnant. But if your child is born with candida, they will have symptoms i.e. colic, eczema, reactions to the food you eat or to formula just to name a few, so I believe that it is really important to bring things into balance before conceiving. This is why I always recommend that expectant parents work on their own health, before they even embark on raising a family, whenever possible. Babies presenting with candida need to be given a good quality acidophilus, in addition to the good bacteria they receive in breastmilk – possibly for a very long time. However, being born without candida is the ideal scenario for each newborn.

      Meredith

  2. Hi Meredith,
    I believe my 3 month old has a candida problem. Shortly after his birth I had multiple infections that required antibiotics and he has had stomach problems for the last 6 weeks (have seen drs but no real concern as he is gaining weight). We have both been on probiotics but can you recommend a good brand or type to take? Also I’ve read some negative things about grapefruit seed extract or whatever else is in it. Is it safe for me to take it while breastfeeding? And I should give him some?

    Thanks!

    • Hello Jill,

      Yes, antibiotics are the biggest culprits for candida. You are right to be correcting the matter with Probiotics. Try taking DDS Plus yourself and giving him DDS Original. You can find both at Nature’s Emporium. The Original is also at the Superstore. If that doesn’t fix him up, please contact me for a consultation; this is exactly what I help families with. Thank you for writing!
      Meredith

  3. Pingback: Yeast Infections With Mirena

  4. hi,
    if anti biotics are responsible for causing candida then why is it that whenever some one suffers from it, the treatment is always antibiotics. is the treatment with antibiotics correcting the problem or just making it worse?

    thanks

  5. Hi Meredith,
    I’ve been suffering from a Candida lung infection symptoms for 11 months now. I have no tests that confirm this is what it is, but from my symptom list alone my alternative doctor diagnosed it as Candida. My symtoms vary from my lungs feeling like they have glue in them and wheezing if I move a certain way, achy achy upper body, feeling weak and flu like, burning hot lungs, repeated bladder/bacteria infections. I went on a strict diet of only meat and certain vegetables for 5 months, while trying GSE, garlic, colloidal silver, diflucan, food grade hydrogen peroxide etc. It didn’t go away.

    I was curious to know if you have any advice for very severe cases, ones occurring in the lungs. Is it possible that I have been getting it over and over again from my partner? (this all came about the same time I met her)

    thanks

    • My guess is that you have caught a virus from your partner; the same thing happened to me. The fact that you went on that diet for that long and there was no improvement points to a virus. With everything you have done, you should have improved, even though you were still with your partner. Where are you located?

      Meredith

    • Hi Maria, Removing those food groups can help if not eliminate both conditions but there are other factors to look at as well. I have worked with a number of children to heal their guts and the results have been astounding. The younger the children are, the more substantial the results have been. Age 5 is an ideal age to make the changes.
      Meredith

  6. Hi
    We have 2 daughters aged 2.10months and 1 year. I have been breastfeeding them until two weeks ago. I had to go away on business for 5 days. When I returned my youngest had developed a nappy rash for the first time in her life. Then my eldest became very ill with high fever and sores in her mouth and also a nappy rash and white spots in her poo. She was given antibiotics. I started to breastfeed my 1 year old again and she became extremely ill with the nappy rash just exploding. The cortison cream I was given did not work at all. Then her mouth became full of white sores. And she is so very weak. Vomiting after eating high fever for several days. Only drinking breastmilk. My fingers on the tip of my right hand is peeling . Can all this be connected ? With candida. I received an antibiotic for her chest and a pro biotic from the doctor but she is still so sick. My heart breaks for her.

    Our house is leaking rather badly this winter and there is allot of damp problems with stuff growing on the ceilings. My husband is concerned about our health in the house. It drips right by our head and huge mushrooms have grown above our heads on the ceiling. We are launching our own business and our finance is very limited.
    We dont have medical aid. I would prefer to treat this with grapeseed and dieet as you suggested but I just want to make sure it is candida before I purchase products
    We Live in South Africa.

    • Hello. This is obviously a horrible situation. There is no way that living in that home is going to be healthy for any of you. This is a mold issue as well as a lack of bacteria issue. My recommendation is to look for an alternate living arrangement and begin giving your girls acidophilus. Continuing with the breastfeeding will help all matters.
      Meredith

  7. Hi,
    My son was given antibiotics for 10 days almost right away after he was born (he had pneumonia). When they stopped the antibiotics, he became extremely fussy. I know some fussy babies, but my son was just crying in pain all day long. Sometimes he wouldn’t even breastfeed because he was crying so much. I went to see doctors but because he was growing very well, they just said he had gas. Unfortunately, his behaviour never really improved… He is 2 years old now, and everyone can tell (his dad, grandma, his nannies, etc…) that there is something peculiar about him. It’s not just the terrible twos, it’s the way he moves and speak and touch things. It’s just extreme. Think ADHD x 100 + fog-like wall that stops him from listening or reasoning. The strange thing is that all these symptoms can go away one day and come back the next. It’s not what he does that changes, it’s the way he does it. He doesn’t walk the same way, he doesn’t play the same way. It’s like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 😉 One day last month, he had a sudden fever with no other symptoms. After that, for almost a whole months (with normal “good” days and “bad” days) he was just a typical very-active little 2 years old. He could understand, look at me in the eyes, speak with a normal voice, reacted in ways that were somehow understandable. He was still stubborn and prone to tantrums like any little boy his age, but his constant agitation/fidgeting/intensity was just gone. Just like that. Everyone notices right away. Some days, he would still wake up with that ‘crazyness’ (like throwing his head on the wall like if he was super nervous) and I would know right away, just by hearing his voice.
    Now he is back being out of control and angry.
    We checked for patterns in his diet but nothing strikes us. We tried almond milk instead of cow milk, we tried no junk food, no sugar, but it didn’t follow any pattern. He would eat exactly the same thing and be super calm (“released”) and the next day, full on ADHD-like.
    Could it be he has candida?
    Could candida go away after an episode of fever? And then come back?
    Can you pass candida through saliva? I am myself apathetic since birth, ahah, could it be it?

    • Hello! You have a challenging time; there is no doubt. I would need to glean a lot more information from you in order to properly help your son. I am able to answer your questions though. It is very likely that he has candida – the antibiotics alone would have been the biggest contributor to that. The candida cannot go away after a fever and then come back. Candida cannot be passed through saliva. If you would like to have a consultation, we will likely be able to narrow down what we can do to help him.
      Meredith

  8. Hi Meredith,

    i’ve been suffering from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis for more than 20 years.
    I’ve tried lots of different treatments, with no results.
    Recently, i’ve came a crossed some “Candida” information, and realized i have lots and lots of those symptoms above.
    I’m afraid i might have some severe Candida infection.
    How can i know for sure if i do have Candida problem? Can i test it?
    My son also as had above symptoms since he was born. He can’t sleep properly, he had lots of colic, diarrhea, constipation, cravings for sweets, hyperactivity,and lately is frequently complaining about aching joints and muscles.
    How can we know for sure if we have a serious Candida problem?
    We live in Portugal, and Doctors here don’t advise about food at all, they just give some prescription, and try to fix the symptom.
    During this living hell dealing with so much tiredness and ache, and so many other symptoms, none of the many doctors i went ever told me about Candida, or made some relation with it.
    Can you please help me clarifying this possibility?

    Thanks a lot for your help, your knowledge and for sharing.
    Kindest regards,
    H. Gonçalves

    • It certainly sounds as though both of you could have Candida. Doctors are generally not aware of Candida although more and more are hearing about it and at least promoting probiotics to replenish the body with good bacteria. I help families all over the world via the telephone or skype, provided they speak English 🙂 and can call me, if a telephone appointment is desired. Please let me know if you would like to set up a consultation. My email address is meredith@theresourcefulmother.com PS My mother lived in Madeira, Portugal for 9 years and some of my best memories come from visiting her there!
      Meredith

  9. Hi.
    I have just come across this candida & am now really worried, my 19 month old daughter has just been diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis! We are awaiting a date for her cortisone joint injections but the more i research, the more im convinced that its a candida overgrowth infection & therefore surely the auto-immune drugs & steroid injections that will destroy her immune system will make this worse no?? As far as i can tell, shes only shown symptoms since june (stiff, swollen, deformed joints) however after looking at the symptoms, im convinced ive had it for about 3 years & must have passed it on through pregnaacy!! 🙁 the main & mystery symptom being a chronically itchy vagina & bowel issues that the doctors could not find an answer to!!!
    Please help as now i am seriously worried about her treatment about to start.

    • Emman,
      You are absolutely right. Please let me know if you would like to set up a phone consultation – I would be pleased to help you and your family understand it all better and avoid going down that road!
      Meredith

  10. Dear Meredith
    I think I have had candida for almost 10/15 years. Presenting as vaginal candida and itchy bum, fungal toe infections and host of other immune failing symptoms- sinus, exczema etc.
    I went on a strict no sugar, no carbs diet and lumped up on green leafy vegs and vitamins, probitiotcs – fell pregnant and had leukorreah through out pregnancy but no candida symptoms till my 8th month after a binge of sugar, caffeine and carbs. Now I have a bit of vaginal candida and am concerned about the healthy of my baby, implications of giving birth naturally while having candida and signs to look out for if my newborns immune system is not developing or compromised. Could you please offer some advice or books to self manage this situation. I assume the candida is still alive and kicking in my gut much to my dismay and hope to get intouch with a homeopath in London to help resolve this. Many thanks!

    • Hi Manisha,

      Your best bet is to take a strong probiotic for the rest of your pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Also avoid sugar, cheese, mushrooms and vinegar. It is still ideal to have a natural birth as your baby will have the benefit of receiving your good bacteria from your vaginal tract. Then once your baby is born, putting infant probiotics on your nipples while breastfeeding should bring the candida into balance within your baby. I don’t know of a book to recommend on this topic; I am sorry!

      Meredith

  11. Can you give a 2.5year old and 5 year old grapefruit seed extract. They both have confirmed Candidia like myself. They are on a very strong probiotic and they did take Aloe Vera juice for some time. When taking treatment they have developed chronic coughing/nightime asthmatic like coughing which keeps coming and going with the treatment. Does this mean the Candidia is in the lungs???

    • Yes, GSE is generally safe for children. It sounds to me as though the candida is leaving your children’s bodies through their lungs. In other words, they are having a healing crisis in their lungs. This should pass within a month if the kids are staying away from the foods that feed candida. You can give the kids Vitamin C to reduce the inflammation in the body and hasten healing – the powder is more powerful than the chewables. Please feel free to call me if you have further questions.

      Meredith

  12. Hi

    Me again!!!! As my children have been fighting Candidia since birth yet only discovered what it was 6 months ago and now they are 2.5 and 4.5. You mentioned as long as they are avoiding foods which feed Candidia. We did do the STRICT diet for a month in September but they still only have Brown rice pasta, almond milk etc,,,, but some yogurt and low sugar biscuits etc… So can they get rid of it with supplements and staying fairly strict on the diet????

  13. My 2 year old has “minor” symptoms of candida now, more so when she was younger. I had antibiotics during delivery or right after (I can’t remember exactly when they administered them in the IV). She was a very colicky baby, persistent diaper rash, lots of spit up, etc.
    Now, 2 years later, she had some tooth decay even though we ate a fairly clean diet. So we got more careful. Following a WAPF/Cure tooth decay diet, without dairy (so… maybe Paleo?) The minor eczema she had disappeared with the removal of dairy & grains. But she still has her cradle cap, it never really went away but never got worse since she was a baby. And she has slightly dark circles under her eyes still, and maybe (??) excessive ear wax, and irregular bowel movements (she will go every 3-5 days). Other than those things she seems ridiculously healthy, robust, and happy- except she doesn’t sleep well.
    We seem to have her tooth decay halted, or at least seriously slowed down! Which is fantastic. This new paleo/cure tooth decay diet has helped with her teeth & her eczema. But the fact that she STILL has somewhat irregular bowel movements and cradle cap makes me wonder if something is still out of whack? I am wondering if Candida played a part in her early colic/spit up/diaper rash, her recent tooth decay/eczema, and her current “persistent” (but not “recurring” because we haven’t really tried to get rid of it) cradle cap. Either something is still out of whack and she still has an imbalance or candida, or it just hasn’t totally cleared up these external symptoms.
    She is grain free, dairy free (Except butter), sugar free (not even honey barely), rarely eats fruit. She takes supplements: probiotic, magnesium spray, trace minerals, cell salts, food based vitamin C, fermented cod liver oil & high vitamin butter oil & skate oil.
    I am still nursing. And I do eat popcorn, occasional sourdough or sprouted bread, & honey but otherwise we are pretty similar in our diets.

    Do you think candida could be the cause of these issues, past & present? Do you think it could still be present with all the above things we are doing (it’s been 2-3 months)? Can it take awhile for it to clear up all the issues externally, (for instance the eczema & teeth have gotten better but the cradle cap & GI irregular bowel movements are still present)? Anything we should change from our cure tooth decay paleo diet protocol/supplements to help with candida?

    • Hi Hannah, I sent a response to you a while back but I am being told that it was not received. Candida could certainly be the culprit for these symptoms. Please email me directly if you would like to set up a time to talk. If we talk for less than 15 minutes, there is no charge. Thank you for writing and I am very sorry for my delay!
      Meredith

  14. My 16 month old daughter seems to be a healthy and happy girl over all. But around 6 months old (against my better judgment) I very reluctantly gave her antibiotics for a bad cough. She had had a little bid of ring worm on her back before the appt but the ped forgot to check that out. A few days after she took the antibiotics she broke out all over with ring worm. And I knew for a fact that by giving her the antibiotics it weakened her immune system and her body didn’t know how to fight it off. Fast forward to 12 months old. She has had ring worm off and on since then. (I treat it with colloidal silver) But since it has been summer and her playing clothe-less outside it has gotten much better, who knows why? –Since that first bad cough everytime she gets sick it always turns into a nasty cough (I never mention this to the ped 🙁 ) no more antibiotics!! My MIL always says how croupy she sounds, The cough lasts about 2 weeks everytime. She has not had ring worm for a couple of months now but often has dry patches on her midsection. I just realized this morning after doing some ‘google’ research that she has athletes foot on her right foot. I feel so bad for my sweet girl. Just imagining her having to grow up struggling with fugal problems. I have never had any type of fungal problems ever, thank heavens. But my husband does suffer from it often. I think that’s how she get the ring worm while taking a shower with him from an early age. Could that be why? After reading about Candida’s I wonder if that is my husbands problem, and now my daughters. Is there anyway to heal my daughters body completely so she will never have to suffer form this as a kid, teenager, adult. Also why is it that I have not caught something for either my husband or daughter? Why am I so lucky? (Knock on wood)

    • Hi Lynsie,

      Yes, your theories make sense. Please let me know if you want to have a phone appointment to go over everything and learn how to heal your daughter and your husband. Thank you for writing 🙂

      Yours in health,
      Meredith

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