Today we explore what causes a white coating on the tongue, in this question from a blog visitor.
I am 30 years old and I have had thrush consistently since 2001 or earlier. I have only been aware of what thrush is since October 2011 when in the morning it was enough to feel weird when I swallowed. For years I simply used a tongue scraper to remove some of the white material, but of course only a small amount is removed, and the tongue largely remains white.
After becoming aware of what thrush and candidiasis is, I saw my school doctor (not a naturopath). He gave me three days of Fluconazole which almost immediately made my shoulders and neck pain free for the first time in a few years. This is my worst symptom, my muscles especially neck and upper back are inhumanly tight despite yoga, massages, ART, stretching, and magnesium supplements. This benefit was short lived and the thrush came right back, as did my neck and back pain.
For ongoing care I sought out a naturopath in Chicago who tested me for candida antibodies (IgG, IgM,IgA) and they were all negative. Despite testing negative for the candida antibodies, when I drink a few beers in the evening or perhaps have a sweet fruit such as banana, I wake up with a bright white tongue. I have been eating strict paleo for the past year as well. I can get the front of my tongue to mostly clear up for a few days at a time. After a solid decade with a white tongue I would really like knock this thing out with a week or two of Fluconazole and get on with my life, but because the aforementioned test came back negative, my Naturopath would not prescribe them to me. Without getting into every detail, I take GSE (10-15 drops/ day) and 3-4 capsules of Oregano Oil/ day. This is in addition to other vitamin & mineral supplements.
Could you elaborate on the limitations of Candida testing? Also any suggestions for someone who has literally had thrush for over 10 years (not realizing it for all but the last year or so)? I appreciate your blog and have learned a lot from it. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. ~Jon
There is really only one thing that causes this kind of a white coating on the tongue — yeast overgrowth.
So, regardless of what tests say, if one continues to have a white tongue, there is only one thing we can conclude.
If the white tongue increases after consuming beer and fruit, two substances that will make Candida proliferate, then again, as I see it there is only possible conclusion. You know, if it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck…
Yes indeed, in my opinion, all tests for Candida are notoriously unreliable. They may or may not locate overgrowth of yeast, and often don’t, when it truly does exist. They are pretty much a waste of time and money, except for the written questionnaire created by Dr. William Crook, which can be found in the Yeast Connection book. His questionnaire uses symptoms to make a diagnosis, which is the best way to assess.
Please read my Candida Test page for a more thorough discussion on the limits of testing.
Unfortunately, a lot of practitioners do not understand this issue about test unreliability, which results in many being unwilling to treat and a lot of people with Candida being left hung out to dry.
When health care practitioners do not take the steps we need them to take, then we must take matters into our hands.
It is rare that one dose of Fluconazole (Diflucan) is going to address the problem. Your experience is pretty typical, it helps immensely at first, but then symptoms return. Even if you were able to convince your practitioner to give you another round, it is not likely that will fix the problem either.
Fluconazole does not kill yeast that is in the gut, which is its primary place of residence. It only addresses the blood stream, so it must be accompanied by antifungals that target the gut like Nystatin, Amphotericin B, or a variety of the natural ones. So, it makes people feel good when they are taking it because it lowers their level of overgrowth. However, once they stop taking it, all the yeast in their gut is still present.
Additionally, Candida gets resistant to Fluconazole rather quickly and other steps must be taken simultaneously.
There must be a comprehensive approach when addressing yeast overgrowth. This includes a strict paleo diet, antifungals, probiotics, addressing deficiencies in nutrients, cleansing the colon, possible heavy metal assessment and a variety of other possible secondary factors. You may want to take a look at my book on Candida or browse the many pages on my site for a more thorough discussion on this top.
This is especially true for someone who has had thrush for more than ten years. The longer one has Candida, the more deeply engrained it becomes in the body.
The most important fact to be aware of is that Candida mutates and gets resistant to antifungals. In order to prevent that, one must rotate antifungals each week. If one takes grapefruit seed extract and oregano oil consistently for a long period of time, then it won’t be long before it becomes ineffective. Other options include using substances that Candida is less likely to get resistant to, like food grade hydrogen peroxide.
Until overgrowth is reduced, hydrogen peroxide can also be used to manage white coating on the tongue by brushing the tongue with the hydrogen peroxide. Just put a little on the toothbrush and brush the tongue each morning. Regular store bought peroxide can be used, but be sure not to swallow as it has some additives. Food grade is purer and stronger.