Candida And Its Impact on Child's Behavior

by NDFAuthors

  • Nov 18, 2013

Candida (Candida albicans) is a common inhabitant of the human intestinal tract. However, if it gets out of control, it can cause various unpleasant symptoms.

Given that candida symptoms very often resemble symptoms of other diseases, a lot of time can pass until it is determined that a person is affected by this fungal infection. People mostly have problems with candida overgrowth in the intestines, although oral cavity is also suitable for its proliferation. Furthermore, the use of antibiotics in a large number of people leads to disruption of the intestinal flora and overgrowth of this persistent fungus.

Candida - Image courtesy of Ohmega1982

Regarding oral cavity, candida is usually manifested by frequent coughing, bad breath, white coating on tongue… Some other symptoms that may be associated with the presence of an excessive number of these fungi in the body are: lack of concentration, fatigue, skin rash (especially in infants), muscle aches and even depression. Candida infection can cause serious problems when children are affected by it. In fact, children can even display behavioral and learning difficulties, irritability and depression, as a result of their individual reactions to food, chemicals, and preservatives that may well be linked to a candida yeast infection. Therefore it is very difficult for pediatricians to find the root of the problem. A child with candida can be mislabeled hyperactive by a practitioner who does not fully understand or comprehend this yeast infection. In addition, many people are unaware of the presence of candida in the body and they do not link it with a child’s behavior.

What is the real impact of candida on child’s behavior?

Candida - Image courtesy of arztsamui -

There are several ways to detect candida, such as testing throat swab or stool sample. However, more reliable are blood tests (IGg test). Systemic candidiasis can be diagnosed by testing the urine sample in laboratories in Paris and the U.S.A. While the cause of autism and other developmental disorders has not been found, some scientists say that a small but nevertheless significant percentage of today’s children diagnosed as autistic may in fact be victims of a rather severe form of a candida yeast infection. If the candida infection was successfully treated in these cases, the symptoms of autism may well show dramatic improvement. Many studies have shown that children with developmental disabilities have problems with the digestive system too. Some methods that have been recently used link the behavior of children with their food intolerance. Excessive number of fungi in the intestines is followed by gas, nausea, unpleasant abdominal pain, craving for sweets.

In addition, there are doctors who still routinely prescribe antibiotics, despite the fact that not only the malevolent bacteria are destroyed but also the friendly bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, important for the proper absorption of food. Consuming the food, children can not digest in the right way which can lead to behavioral problems. It is not uncommon to find that a child with a behavioral problem was treated routinely with antibiotics in the past, for example an ear infection, a cough or a sore throat – infections that recur frequently. While some doctors think that metabolic problems are linked with developmental disorders, many scientists now claim that these syndromes are results of joint effect of the following factors – genetic predisposition, impaired immunity and problems with digestive system.

In which way is candida associated with children’s behavioral disorders?  The excessive proliferation of candida in the intestines leads to toxic sugar production whose effect on the nervous system is very negative – it blocks centers in the brain responsible for attention and speech.

Anti-candida diet

Anti-candida diet - Image courtesy of Apolonia

A very important part in candida treatment is the diet that will keep candida under control. Every child likes to eat sweets including ice creams and all the sugary and yeast promoting food that are, along with a weakened immune system, considered a prime target for a candida overgrowth. Eliminating this food from child’s diet, candida has nothing to feed on, which leads to its removal from the body. This can present a challenge due to the fact that children are very fond of sweets.

It is possible to change their diet, although it takes time, patience and commitment on your behalf as the parent or caregiver.

There is a lot of food that can substitute sweets. You just need to discover what other things, in addition to sweets, your child likes to eat. You may find more healthy and equally delicious food to replace sweets consumption.

After the diagnosis has been made, doctors usually prescribe an adequate medication. However, it is also important to introduce a special diet, combined with some natural remedies for dealing with candida in a successful way. Since my brother had problems due to excessive proliferation of candida in the intestines, in addition to prescribed medications, my mom gave him propolis liquid extract in drops that helped him eject candida from the body. In treating candida, oregano and garlic can be very helpful (although the doctor should be consulted since it is not recommended to give oregano to children under 3 years old). Every morning, Luka takes his lemon garlic drink for breakfast – these ingredients are important not just for fighting against candida but for strengthening the immune system, both in children and adults. After eliminating white yeast bread from his diet, Luka felt a great relief. Irritability and abdominal pain he suffered from have completely disappeared.

Food to avoid on anti-candida diet:

Anti-Candida diet - Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane

Bread and pasta
It is necessary to avoid yeast, used in the preparation of bread and bakery products, as well as the white flour. Instead use unleavened wholemeal wheat bread and cereals. Pumpkin seeds, oats and barley are also recommended.

Sweets and sweeteners
Sugar contributes to candida growth and therefore it is necessary to throw it out of the diet. You should also avoid honey, maple syrup, chocolate, cakes and artificial sweeteners.

The high sugar content in fruit feeds candida. Therefore, fruit is also undesirable. However, fruits like lemon, grapefruit and blueberries can be added to the menu.

Dairy products
Almost all dairy should be avoided such as milk, cheese and especially ice cream. On the other hand, consumption of yogurt is preferred, since it contains healthy probiotics that help in achieving the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract.

Spices and preservatives
Cinnamon, pepper, soy sauce, vinegar, mayonnaise, ketchup and all products that contain such ingredients should be avoided. Instead of alcohol, you can use apple cider vinegar. Oregano, basil and parsley should be used as well.

Anti-Candida diet - Image courtesy of Toa55 -

Use olive oil instead of butter in cooking. It is very important to use vegetables in the diet. However, potato and other starch rich vegetables should be avoided.

Fish, poultry and game meat are recommended in fighting against candida. You should add eggs to your menu.

In some cases, candida symptoms can become worse two weeks after diet change. This happens due to the fact that toxins are released from the dead candida microorganisms. It is very important to include high-fiber food in your anti-candida diet.

Candida can impact children of all ages and should definitely be considered as you work to diagnose your child’s behavioral and health issues – even anxiety and depression.

Did you have any experience with treating kandida and what did you do to relieve its symptoms? Please share with us your experiences. We’d love to know.