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What is Candida and What Can You Do About it?
How to Recognize Candida
The 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
- Cravings for sweets
- Headaches or migraines
- Irregular heartbeat
- Poor concentration
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Sugar or bread cravings
- Brain fog
- Memory loss
- Mental confusion
- Depression or anger without reason
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Inability to concentrate
- Phobic/Compulsive behaviours
- 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:
- Remove refined carbohydrates and sugar from his or her diet, as refined carbohydrates quickly convert to sugar in the body and sugar feeds yeast.
- Eliminate foods with high yeast, mold or fungus content from your child’s diet i.e. cheese, mushrooms, melons
- Give your child Probiotics (found at all health food stores)
- 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,