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…
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
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.