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Candida And Its Impact on Child’s Behavior

by , 18th Nov 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.


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  •' igor terzic says:

    Surely this disease that affects infants whose immune systems are fragile and vulnerable to various bacteria that lurk on all sides has its basis in the fact that we as parents and adults in general as a people need to be aware of what can happen if we do not pay attention to how we treat children and how we protect them from all the diseases that lurk and every opportunity to attack the weak children’s body.
    Normally we can not be up to date with everything our children do, but we must always be vigilant to preserve what is up to us to ensure that children were safe and free to spend their time occupying and by focusing their attention on what makes them happy and satisfied .
    This disease and our way of reaction to it may not always be alarming enough to scare immediately for detotovo health in general but we have preventative measures in order to prevent the spread of nasty germs in the child’s body , which is not yet sufficiently resistant to all kinds of diseases which may impede the life of youngsters tripartite we adults do not devote enough attention to what is our mission and our mission is to provide adequate growth and development in a smart and responsible people .

  •' william says:

    I agree that it is difficult to manage the treatment of the child. Aside from eliminating sugar from their diet, it will also be difficult to ma ke them take the candida treatment that tastes so bad.

  •' Ger says:

    My son who is three has just been diagnosed with Candida. Just woundering how long will it take to get rid of the fungus. He is on a strict diet and on antifungal for about three weeks now. He is on Nystastin but we had to stop for two weeks as he suffered severe die off. We hope to start on treatment again next week. Anyone out there see good results for there children

  •' Jo says:

    Hi Ger,
    How is your son’s treatment going. Have you had an success?
    What were his symptoms and how did you get him diagnosed?
    I think my son has a Candida issue but can’t get help from any Dr.
    He has had it since he was 2 weeks old and I thought he was allergic to cow milk but negative allergy tests to milk. After an elimination diet he reacted to the sugar eg: white, pure maple, golden syrup etc. Red skin rash on face neck arm creases ears. Now 2 1/2 months later still can’t clear his skin and keeps having flares ups. Any suggestions?
    Can anyone help or recommend who could help in Australia?

    •' Mel says:

      Hi Jo, just wondering what happened with this as your post is a few years old. My niece is just over 1 years old and she has had in tolerances to food since she was born. she in on a prescribed milk formula and can only tolerate cooked chicken (steamed and fresh).

  •' Jo says:

    I should add, he is currently 5 1/2 years old.

  •' Iva says:

    Hi my son has Candida overgrowth. He is two and a half and has almost all symptoms listed above. I think that doctors no nothing about this even though it is alarmingly widespread disease. I was all alone in the dignostic process, and it is scary. My advice alongside listed here use homeopathy. We had a major die off and it was horrible for few days but it is so worth it. He is a different kid!

    • NDFAdmin says:

      Hi Iva,

      Thank you for sharing your experience with us and we are glad he is well now 🙂

      Your NDF Team

    •' Victoria Prentice says:

      I know this is a old post

      How long did it take doing herbs – what herbs did you give

      I’m thinking Oregano oil

      How long on diet

      My little one has Sibo and candidia

  •' Andrijana says:

    Hi Iva,

    What were the changes in your little one? Did he have any developmetnal difficulties? My daughter (10 months) has started to worry me with some autism signs and i read this and researched a lot afterwards. After implementing diet changes there are results and she is more attentive. I am just scared will this last forever and how will she take her vaccine in 2 months..

  •' Linda Williams says:

    Hi seven months into treatment with my son. It’s very tough. He suffers a lot with die off. After about five months we had about ten percent gone. Hope to retest again in another few months. Just woundering anyone found it this hard to shift. Hoping the next ten per cent might go a little quicker. He totally out of the fog. We have a lot of babble now and an odd word. He on strict diet probitioc and supplements. Just woundering did anyone find it this hard to shift

  •' Aimee says:

    My daughter has been suffering from this since birth! So frustrating!

  •' Sam richards says:

    Hi Iva,

    Can you please tell me what you mean by homeopathy? My daughter has had this since she was a and is 3 and a half and still not diagnosed but alls these systems she has but NHS are just pushing me away!

    Any help you can give me would be much appropriate.

    Thanks, sam x

  •' Sam richards says:

    Sorry typing error.

    She has all the symptoms since she was a baby and have took her to the drs and hospital numberous times but never been diagnosed.

    Thank you x

  •' Rajko Radakovic says:

    i Would like to share informations I came across and all of you should consider to help your kids.
    My twins are suffering from behavioural difficulties and possibly have autism spectre disorder problems.
    The problem is that no Dr. or institution is looking in to the cause of that other than very traditional way.
    Often problem is Candida and not only as boys are heaving ongoing problem with digestion an stool.
    Doctors are treating that like common diarrhoea and after some time you can spot behavioural issues which are in fact consequence of body under long influence of the candida and similar toxic living organisms in kids organism and especially in their digestion system.
    Please see this as RED alert and look at your kids yourselves and monitor stool, and be stubborn in to the candida and other micro-organism overgrowth in their digestion system .
    Happy to help and share my discoveries with concerned parents and you are the only person can help your kids in this case…

    •' MUKUND KATTE says:

      Yes please ,very interested.

    •' Renee says:

      I would love to know more! My son is on the spectrum but I had Candida and didn’t cure it until after I had him and before my third child. I think he might have it. How did you do the diet? It was awful for me and my son is only 5 1/2.

  •' Tarnia Nelson says:

    Hi my children and I all have it and I am trying to get ideas for meals as he is at school and my other child will be going to daycare can you please suggest any websites or books that would help. Thank you

  •' Caroline says:

    Are pro biotics such as yakult safe for a 4 year old to help her with candida?

  •' Wendi says:

    My 11 yo son is experiencing many of the symtems indicated by candidas. He has been on a strict gf eggfree dairy free diet for two weeks and is experiencing what I presume is the toxin from the die off. He is unable to eat anything …. bc he does not feel well upon swallowing ….. chicken bone broth has been recommended to help heal the gut – I am hoping this proves to be true. Any recommendations?

  •' Kat says:

    Kefir would be a much better option and please don’t ever give anyone yakult as it’s artificially sweetened and very bad for you.
    Also for candida treatment look for chitosanase

  •' Riana says:

    My daughter refuses the rice, almond, soy or coconutmill. Is goatsmilk a possibility?
    Also…is ostrichmeat acceptable?

  •' May says:

    Hi! How much propolis should I use for a 6 year old girl?

  •' Bryan Toton says:


    I am very interested in where you found the research for this article and any related articles. I am creating a website, and I have found much support for the claims that you are making here and I am in full support. I’d like to have scholarly references if available. Thank you!

    Best regards,

  •' Jackie says:

    Can you guys explain the “die off” process. What happens?

  •' Krish says:

    Hi my 4 year old son is having behavioural issues and he is non verbal and is under assessment for ASD,The OAT test shows Candida overgrowth I personally think gut problems with the Candida overgrowth are the reasons for autistic symptoms I am looking into diet options any leads with regards to diet will be helpful not much help from the doctors regards to this they think different is naturopathy a best option to get rid of candida and I am using kefir yogurt and actimel as a probiotic what do u say guys …?

    •' Renee says:

      Would love an update on your child. My son is on the spectrum and suffers from many behavioral issues. His hurripic was off the charts. Other things too. I don’t know how to do the Candida diet with him because I barely survived when I did it! And he’s only 5! Would love to know more.

  •' Isabel says:

    propolis dosage: years equal to drops, for example if your son is 4 years then 4 drops..
    Yes, Candida is probably causing most of the diseases but doctors don’t want to say it because then their business will not survive so they hide this information..

  •' Pam Prestridge says:

    Hi my 10 year old granddaughter Is having serious behavioral issues that I feel is due to candida in her system. I think our entire family has issues, my 4 year old grandson has autism. My granddaughter has adhd, odd and her behavior has gotten so bad over the past year that we had to place her in a residential cbt facility in Jackson MS. (and she is not doing well) She saw her GI Dr this past Friday and when I should her the snap shot I took of your statement post Nov 18, 2013 about Candida infection can cause serious problems when children are affect by it. In fact, children can display behavioral and learning difficulties, irritability and depression. THat is my granddaughter 100%. The adhd medicine even the Zoloft for anxiety is not working, I believe it’s made her behavior and attention focus, worse. The GI Dr says there’s no real test to test for this but she did blood work that may show inflammation in her body that is an indication of candida. HELP, what do I do to get someone to help me test my granddaughter and even my grandson for candida, our entire family, really. We really needed to be treated for it so we can all feel better. please email me and let me know if you can help me.

  •' Sarah says:

    Pam Pesteidge and everyone else in this thread look into the GAPS diet by Dr. Natasha McBride it is a healing protocol that helps reverse autism, kills yeast by balancing gut bacteria. It is 6 stages and I’m not going to lie it it hard, but my one year old has improved from sensory issues, histamine issues, food sensitivities, sleep trouble. The protocol consists of meat stocks l, fermented foods, supplements, organic veggies cooked really well. Absolutely no grains, no dairy until you reach that stage and it should be fermented homemade yogurt, kefir. There are also GAPS practitioners that can help guide you through the process. It is intimidating at first so finding support is crucial. Stick with it, pray and watch your children awaken from whatever is holding them back. Blessings and prayers to your children and you. We have the sickest generation of children and it’s all for profit! Empower yourselves GAPS diet??

  •' Lindsay E M says:

    My seven year old is constantly experiencing red circle of inflamed painful skin around his anus
    I have tried nystantat powder
    Still considering strep like pandas
    His behavior is horrid
    I think it could b yeast
    I have had him on gutpro probiotics
    For a long time
    He has multiple symptoms
    Hes already diagnosed adhd asd aspy
    I like the natural treatment what can I do
    He is gf low dairy
    And his diet is pretty good loves weekend French fries though

  •' Natalie says:

    My 10 year old son was diagnosed with candida by a naturopath dr. We saw several other doctors including a pediatric GI but the naturopath was the only one who would test for it. He had to do a 3 day stool test. He is now on his 3rd round of Nystatin & probiotics. Unfortunately he is so picky that the required diet is really holding him back. The candida has been cut in half from the treatment but it doesn’t seem to be completely eliminating it.
    If anyone has any tips or recipes to help picky kids with the diet, I’d very much appreciate it!

  •' Samia says:

    Hi Natalie what is the candida elimination diet for children? Thanks ?

  •' Brittany Davis says:

    This article is super helpful, as I have been on a year long journey researching to find a cause for symptoms among myself and my two daughters. I have found that candida overgrowth is almost nonexistent in many health settings, and many times my list of concerns are pinpointed to one major, and the diagnosis makes no since at all much less helps. I’m now beginning to research home remedies and treatment that I can use at home, since many doctor’s visits have resulted to be no help at all, and my.oldest daughter is showing signs of learning disabilities that have affected her retention to information.

  •' Sunday Lovelyn says:

    Please what is the best medicine to treat yeast Candida infection

  •' Laura says:

    I am using olive leaf on my son from mountain meadow herbs. I’ve been using for a few days. His behavior is horrid lately and it’s probably die-off. He’s only 14 months. He’s been struggling with digestive issues since birth: reflux, constipation, vomiting, and right now is hyperactive.

  •' Angi O'Leary-Wyatt says:

    Use coconut oil, A probiotic, & put a chlorine filter on your water that comes into your house. I too suffer from Candida overgrowth and if I use water with chlorine in it, I immediately start itching all over my body. I develop psoriasis in my scalp and I get a yeast infection if I do not take a probiotic and rub coconut oil on the site of the infection.

  •' Ashley Pacheco says:

    Son is 2 years old alternates constipation/ diarrhea . Is starting to be delayed. Very picky eater. Giggles for no reason. I’m concerned that he has a yeast overgrowth but the dr says all kids have yeast and she won’t do a stool sample

  •' Karen Kellaghan says:

    My son is 12 severe rash all over his abdomen for most of his life. I have used many creams etc but feel that it is coming from inside rather than an external irritant. I started working with a homeopathic routine but got fed up with the work and long period of time for results. So hard to avoid fruit sugar and yeast in today’s diet. Can you make recommendations please? Should I avoid medical interventions? Or stick to the homeopathic route? Also what is dying off period mean and how do I recognise this?

  •' leanne says:

    Mix half a capsule of oil of oregano with a probiotic and a clean plant milk, no emulsifiers etc go for ORGANIC. Every other day, strip the diet right back and if breastfeeding do the same too.

    AVOID SOY MILK. YEAST. SUGAR. DAIRY. MEAT – go plant based. Drink lots of fluids, clean water.

    Wholemeal grains, soups, sour dough,.

    Check out ZachBushMD on youtube, he is an absolute wizard about gut health, microbiome. So much content and its free.

    My LO has fluctuated with it from birth. Sleep deprivation lead me to study further, she is 2.5 and slept an 8hour stretch once in her life! But i’m not concerned about her development, just some behaviours like screaming and restless a lot – itll be the candida mixed in with sleep deprevation.

    Get outside and get the feet on the ground, to “ground” go out in different parts of nature from beach to forest etc to diversify the microbiome in the air, which gets inhaled through the lungs.

    She is a totally different child outdoors.

    She has had a complete plant based diet since birth, i’ve eliminated lots of food from a food intolerance test – but following a recent virus its flared the candida up in her gut!

    Good luck everyone 🙂

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