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How to identify yeast infection in my son?

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I believe my son has a candida yeast infection, and I'm unsure how to identify and diagnose him. Are children really as susceptible to candida as adults?
asked Jul 31, 2013 in Diagnosis by children
recategorized Jul 31, 2013 by AdrianDole

1 Answer

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It’s heartbreaking, but it’s true. Children are just as susceptible to Candida yeast infections as grown adults. As a matter of fact, many adults I treat have symptoms and precursors that date as far back as childhood, leaving us to wonder what quality of life they could have led had their conditions been diagnosed and treated sooner.

Misdiagnosing Yeast Infections in Children

The most noticeable yeast infections in children are the ones that manifest as oral thrush. This is relatively common, especially in babies. Some young children may develop vaginal thrush, but this isn’t as common (and should be reviewed carefully if seen).

The two most common and less obvious symptoms of candida in children are food allergies and behavioral issues, and most of the time they go hand in hand. A lot of the children who come into my practice have been diagnosed as having some sort of behavioral disorder, like ADD or ADHD, or have even been diagnosed with a learning disability. The good news is that treatment of the yeast overgrowth usually results in amazing changes in the child’s behavioral patterns.

Identifying Candida in Children

The real question, however, is how to actually come to the conclusion that a Candida infection exists. As I am interviewing parents and children, I ask a ton of questions, most of which will ultimately point to Candida and subsequent testing. Here are some things to consider if you’re wondering if your child (or a patient) may have a systemic yeast infection.

  1. Did you, as the mother, have a difficult pregnancy? Did you suffer from Candida before or during your pregnancy? Did you have signs of chronic Candida before giving birth?
  2. When was the last time your child had antibiotics? How frequently has he had them? Any use of antibiotics can trigger Candida; but frequent use is a dead giveaway.
  3. Are the parents separated, divorced, or living apart? In these situations, it’s not uncommon for a parent to feel guilty and try to make up for his absence by feeding his child lots of sweets and treats- all foods that fuel Candida growth. Grandparents who love to spoil their grandchildren often do the same thing.
  4. Does your child drink a lot of sugary beverages? I’m not just talking about soda, either, the consumption of which is at an all-time high. I’m also looking to see if a child is routinely drinking orange juice and other fruit juices.
  5. Does your child have belly or other gastrointestinal pains that have gone undiagnosed?
  6. Does your child use steroidal medications, or any other medications? Steroids, especially, like those used in asthma treatments, can trigger Candida.
  7. Does your child have an unnatural craving for sweets? All kids like candy once in a while, but is your child always looking for something sweet – even eating several pieces of high-sugar fruit per day?
  8. Does your child have symptoms of food allergies, especially gluten intolerances or Celiac disease?
  9. Does your child have a bad attitude; difficulty focusing; trouble paying attention in school; depression; anxiety; or other behavioral issues? Did these things suddenly develop or did they develop slowly over time?

Because not all Western/allopathic medical practitioners believe in systemic Candida infections, you’re going to need to do some work to identify some of the signs and symptoms of Candida in your child. You can then approach a naturopath or open-minded doctor for additional help in creating a Candida diet plan for your young one. I can almost guarantee you’ll see huge changes in your child’s behavior and attitude within weeks!

answered Aug 1, 2013 by Melissa Helper (500 points)
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