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Candida Acidophilus and Children

Candida occurs in children quite frequently as a result of antibiotics. This site visitor asks if acidophilus is safe for children. Here’s what Jennifer has to say…

Hi there,
My (almost)4 year old daughter recently stopped taking the prophylactic antibiotics she had been on for over two years for Vesicouretal Reflux. In the two months she has been off the meds she has had recurring vaginal irritation–flame red labia, itching, pain, yellow discharge and an “off” smell. I am assuming it is a yeast infection and have been treating with topical clotrimazole cream which settles it down but it keeps flaring back up. Today I went to the health food store and they recommended a product containing L. rhamnosus (95%) and L. acidophilus (5%). Tonight, as I am doing some research online, I have found an article that states that acidophilus should NEVER be given to a child under 7 years of age. Is this correct? Please share your opinion! I have read your page on candida. My child has always eaten whole grains, very few refined carbs, very little sugar but lots of yogurt (fruit juice sweetened) and dairy so I will change that. She eats whole fruit but rarely drinks fruit juice. I really need some help in dealing with this problem in the here and now in terms of the vaginal problems–please tell me what you think about acidophilus and children and, if it is a problem, what else can I do to alleviate and hopefully eliminate her discomfort? I would be very grateful for some advice. ~Jennifer

Hi Jennifer,

First I would encourage you to take your child to a good doctor who is knowledgeable about Candida, especially since she is so young and her infection sounds quite severe. You can search for one in your area at the Academy of Environmental Medicine, the American Holistic Medical Association or the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. If you have done some reading on Candida, then you probably know that antibiotics is the primary cause of yeast overgrowth.

Anyone who has taken an antibiotic for two years would likely have no healthy bacteria left in their body and have severe Candida overgrowth. Applying some antifungal cream is not likely to address the problem. Although I don’t typically encourage prescription drugs, sometimes a brief round of a prescription antifungal may be needed in extreme cases to get a good start. However, it will then need to be followed up with natural antifungals, diet changes, lifestyle changes etc.etc.

For someone with severe yeast overgrowth, whole grains or carbohydrates in any form will make yeast proliferate. I have over ten pages of information on my site and blog on Candida, so I would encourage you to read all of them and also get the books The Yeast Connection, The Yeast Syndrome and The Missing Diagnosis and my book Candida Secrets. Addressing yeast overgrowth is complex and takes time.

For some immediate relief on the vaginal inflammation, simply inserting acidophilus capsules or yogurt in the vagina works great. I’d take a look at his page on Vaginal Yeast Overgrowth. However, as you have noticed it will keep recurring, because yeast is overgrown in the gastrointestinal tract and perhaps other areas of the body.

I have not heard that children should not take acidophilus. Most natural health physicians recommend acidophilus for children, however the dosage is lower than it is for an adult and there may be strains of acidophilus that are not appropriate for children. There are many different strains and perhaps the article you read saying it shouldn’t be taken by a child under the age of seven was for a particular strain of bacteria designed for adults. The dosage for a child is based on age and weight.

There are a variety of acidophilus products on the market that are created specifically for children and should have instructions for dosage on the bottle. I would make sure I was using one that was designed for a child the age of seven. However, I’m not a medical doctor so I encourage you to discuss this with a knowledgeable Candida physician who deals with young children. Children who take acidophilus are found to have less colds, flu, ear infections, stronger immune systems and less digestive difficulties.

Best Regards
Cynthia

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Sally Klitzke November 23, 2009, 11:15 am

    Hi Jennifer & Cynthia,
    I had to tell someone and I have been surfing the web this morning looking for a place to leave my message. I suffered with Candida for 4 years solid, taking probiotics from the refrigerated section of the healthfood store everyday, twice a day and had a very limited diet. I am thrilled to no end to be able to come to you today and tell you that I am cured! (So far anyway :-) My problem the whole time was hypothyroidism. Please get your daughters thyroid checked and also read up on the thyroid (hyper as well). Since we’re all concerned about health so much (as I am too) I for instance no longer use a lot of salt. I believe my low salt diet (meaning not enough iodine) caused my problem. I realize everyone is different but hypothyroidism causes high chloresterol which in turn causes hardening of the arteries so… a thyroid test is just a blood test and if your daughter is borderline and the doctor ignores it, get a second opinion and make sure ignoring it is the right thing. I don’t believe it is the right thing to do, it may only get worse if it is borderline. I sure hope this info. helps someone else down the road. What a long, hard road that was. God’s blessings to you! Sincerely, Sally

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins November 26, 2009, 11:28 am

    Hi Sally,

    Yes, I am aware that hypothyroidism is common in people with Candida. I have hypothyroidism myself and have been treating it with natural porcine thyroid extract for 21 years. However, that did not correct my Candida problem. The reason so many people with Candida have a problem with the thyroid is because Candida toxins interfere with thyroxin, one of the primary hormones of the thyroid.

    Although addressing hypothyroidism is a crucial component for anyone with Candida, it is extremely rare that it is the only factor involved, as it was in your case.

    In the case of Jennifer’s daughter, I would think it is very unlikely that hypothyroidism is the root of this problem, because of her age and she clearly developed vaginal yeast after antibiotic treatment. She was on antibiotics for two years, there would undoubtedly be Candida. However testing the thyroid at some point probably wouldn’t be a bad idea, but the primary focus at this time would be on getting relief from the vaginal yeast.

    Additionally, blood tests for hypothyroidism are not accurate and reliable. Most people with hypothyroidism have normal blood work. The Barnes basal temperature test should be used for diagnosing as I have described on this page for Hypothyroidism.

    http://www.holistichelp.net/hypothyroidism.html

    All the best.
    Cynthia

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