They say 100% of kids with autism have yeast overgrowth, so you better know how to treat it. I would add that most if not all kids with ADHD and other learning disorders also have yeast overgrowth. Almost all overweight people also have yeast overgrowth.
Yeast is a beast that you do not want to meet or feed. It affects behavior, learning, moods, digestion, and overall health. If left untreated, it multiplies and can migrate outside the gut to the lungs, brain, ears, and as all women know, that private area. When it migrates outside the gut you will see symptoms such as vaginal yeast infections, diaper rashes, ear infections, dandruff, asthma, food allergies, unclear thinking/fogginess, ADHD, autism, depression, anxiety, learning disorders, headaches, digestive issues, plus more. When you see these other symptoms, that means the yeast is way out of control already.
It's very difficult to get a handle on yeast in many cases of autism unless you can get your kids on a very strict diet which addresses yeast like the yeast free diet or SCD (Specific Carbs Diet, GAPS, Paleo, etc.) which I mention below. My daughter had too many food allergies (eggs and almonds being a couple so we never tried SCD or GAPS with her). When we see symptoms of yeast, we up our yeast protocol. When we do not see big signs of yeast, we just do maintenance, knowing that it is pretty much always there and to prevent it from getting out of control.
Before starting biomed to treat autism (using diet, supplements, tests, and research to treat conditions), I thought yeast overgrowth had only to do with yeast infections in women. Wrong. Anyone can have yeast overgrowth and many people do and don't realize it. For kids with autism, the problem is magnified because along with yeast overgrowth, these kids have many more medical issues which make it hard to rid yeast for good.
Those being, having an impaired immune system which allows the yeast to grow out of control. In a normally functioning person without an impaired immune system, the body attacks the yeast when it starts to grow out of control. This function is impaired in kids with autism, and the yeast just grow and grow and take over, causing oh so many unwanted symptoms and behaviors.
Kids with autism also often have methylation issues, meaning their bodies have a hard time eliminating harmful toxins. Yeast give off toxins when they are fed (off the foods we eat mostly) and when they die. It's these toxins which cause the issues we see. Normally, our bodies work to rid these toxins as quickly as possible. Kids with autism often cannot rid toxins efficiently, making the presence of yeast worse for them. Many of the supplements (such as B-12 and glutathione gel) and DAN (Defeat Autism Now) doctor protocols help kids detox better.
As a side note, this is why vaccines are so detrimental for some kids. If they already have an impaired immune system and impaired methylation (detoxing ability), adding vaccines is going to be big blow to their already fragile system. Vaccines are a big shot of toxins and viruses. How do we know if our babies are born with an impaired immune system and methylation issues? We don't, especially when they start vaccinating at birth. If you wait a few months to start giving vaccinations, you can watch your baby for signs. Is your baby sick a lot? My daughter was sick from about two weeks on. Every two weeks, she would get sick and she was extremely floppy. No muscle tone. She was later diagnosed with hypotonia (low muscle tone). She was never vaccinated by the way. Had she been, she probably would have severe autism instead of high functioning autism.
You can take some clues from the mother's health and the health of the baby's siblings if there are any. If the mother has any autoimmune disorders, that is one clue. If the mother has food allergies, gets yeast infections a lot, or has an impaired immune system, that often means she herself may have issues with yeast and this often gets passed on to the baby. This is why it's so important for pregnant women to be taking probiotics daily, especially nearing delivery. The baby picks up their only beneficial bacteria to start out their life (or harmful yeast and bacteria) from the birth canal during birth. Make sure they're picking up the good stuff. Read more about how to have an All Natural Pregnancy in my blog post here.
If siblings of the baby have issues, that's another clue. I believe a lot of issues can be eliminated by the mother taking proper care of herself before and during pregnancy. If a sibling has issues, and the mother has done nothing differently in between pregnancies, it's more likely the next baby will have some of the same issues. My first child had ADHD symptoms, second, autism and food allergies, third, seizures and food allergies. With my first two, I ate terribly and didn't take care of myself, just out of ignorance. I didn't know any better. I had not eaten very well my whole life as well. With my third, I had started the Feingold Diet along with my oldest for his ADHD symptoms. So, I was at least avoiding chemicals and toxins in food. My third child was a much calmer baby with few issues, other than seizures which started as soon as we started him on real food and milk at 12 months. His seizures are caused by gluten, dairy, and eggs so we now avoid those.
When my kids started GFCF (after my third child started having seizures), I started GFCF as well and noticed big improvements in myself. No more stomach pains, no more constipation, no more headaches and migraines which I had been suffering from relentlessly since I was 8. We started doing biomed as well and I learned a LOT. Read my post on "Why We Started the GFCF Diet" here.
By my fourth child, I implemented everything I had learned about health and nutrition and what caused autism. I had started taking supplements and probiotics and eating grass fed meat and organic chicken, and less processed and fast foods. My fourth child has been by far my healthiest child, and at age 2 and half now, she talks in full sentences, and has been for a while. No real issues yet, knock on wood. I keep her GFCF as well though since my other kids have food allergies, just to be safe. She does seem to react to gluten and dairy negatively, but I see that more being from the way dairy and wheat/gluten are processed. They are not in their natural, God-made state.
Since it's nearly impossible to get all raw dairy products (that have not been pasteurized, which kills the enzymes which help us digest the lactose in dairy products), we just avoid them. And gluten isn't really a food. It's added to wheat and other products. True natural wheat without gluten added is closer to spelt bread. This is what they were eating in the Bible, which is nothing like the typical wheat bread we have today.
Kids with autism also often have bodies that are very acidic instead of alkaline. This allows yeast to thrive. When the body is alkaline, the yeast don't want to stay. Foods that are alkaline are of course vegetables, which most kids don't like. Acidic foods are sugary, starchy foods, many fruits such as strawberries, oranges, etc. and meats. This balance between acidic and alkaline is called the PH of the body. They test this when you are pregnant through a urine sample. It's very easy to test at home too. They sell test strips. When the body is acidic, you are going to crave more acidic foods. When the body is alkaline, you will crave alkaline foods and your acidic/sugar cravings dissipate. My daughter used to take a supplement called PH Basic by Enzymedica. It helped bring her PH levels back to normal which will help rid yeast.
What are some common symptoms of yeast overgrowth? There are lots! But, there are certain ones that many in the biomed world know immediately are signs of yeast. Of course, some of these symptoms can be caused by other things, but in kids with autism, these symptoms are often signs of yeast because when we treat them for yeast, their symptoms improve. When they eat too much sugar or yeast feeding foods, these symptoms return.
Inappropriate laughter, sometimes even in their sleep. We've had this. Along with laughter, is just an overall inappropriate silliness. Everything is funny. They act like they are drunk almost. And technically, they kind of are. The toxins that yeast excrete are similar to alcohol, causing symptoms that cause their host (your child) to act almost drunk. Now of course it's not to the degree of how a real drunk person would act but sometimes it's pretty similar.
Inability to concentrate and focus. Here's where ADHD comes into play. When you treat yeast (adding supplements helps too and of course the Feingold Diet), often focus and concentration improve. Children also may go from scribbling pictures all the time, to suddenly drawing clear and precise pictures. I've seen this. In Early Childhood (at age 4 and a half), my daughter had a weekend journal where they were supposed to draw a picture of what they did that weekend. Every week, she just scribbled. Never once did she draw a picture. After starting the GFCF diet and biomed and treating for yeast, she drew a picture, and it was good! She drew a picture of a sunflower, a sun, grass, and everything was even appropriately colored. I was shocked!
Meltdowns/Moodiness - screams yeast! Crabby, whiny, crying? Yeast. Angered easily? Yeast. Spinning in circles? Yeast. Walking on tip toes? Yeast. OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)? Yeast. Anxiety and depression? Sometimes yeast. Can be other things as well such as food additives and vitamin deficiencies.
Handwriting is also a big indication of yeast. Handwriting can go from awful to very clear and legible once yeast is under control.
Sugar and carb cravings? Yeast. Especially if your kid has a major meltdown over not getting sugar. I always know my son has a yeast issue when he starts crying and whining over wanting a sugary food and I say no. Other times, he's OK with it.
Other signs of yeast - fungal outbreaks on the skin. Rashes, ring worm, itchy skin. Red ring around the mouth that makes your kids look like a clown. We had this. It looked so funny and I didn't learn what it was from till later. My daughter would like the skin around her mouth too so I just thought it was from her licking it. Nope - yeast. Itchy bottoms or a ring around the anus - yeast. An itchy bottom can also mean parasites but if it's accompanied by other signs of yeast and you treat for yeast and it goes away, then it was probably yeast. Parasite issues will also get worse around the full moon. If it's not full moon, it's more likely to be yeast but not always.
Dry skin, especially when you see white patches of dry skin like on your hands/fingers or feet. Whenever I eat too much sugar my legs itch in the exact same spot - on my shins. I have itched them so hard, I've bled - and I'm an adult! I know not to itch but it itches so darn bad. If you have a kid that is itching that bad, it is likely yeast. I also get really bad dry skin at the top of my palms by the bottom of my fingers. Coconut oil can be helpful as it kills yeast but I've found coconut oil is not as aggressive as other things like tea tree oil. See next paragraph.
Dry, chapped lips, sometimes bleeding. White debris in ears - that's yeast coming out the ears. Dandruff, itchy scalp, or greasy hair? That's yeast. We treat yeast on the skin (rashes, ringworm, etc.) with tea tree oil. Dilute a couple drops on a cotton ball with some coconut oil to dillute and apply. Tea tree oil kills yeast and fungus on contact. You will have to do something about the internal yeast too though to keep the skin fungus issues from returning.
Vitamin deficiencies can also be caused by yeast, parasites, and bacterial overgrowth. Instead of the vitamins being used and absorbed by the body, the yeast and gut bugs are absorbing them in order to thrive, leaving their host deficient. Get rid of the yeast and bacteria and parasites and you will start to absorb vitamins better and be in better health. I won't go into parasites here because we haven't done any parasite cleanses so I'm no expert. Plus it's just gross. :)
Tourette's/ tics? Often yeast. In our house, sugar and high salycilate fruits (stage two of Feingold) cause tics. The same fruits that are high salycilates are also yeast feeding fruits. So, staying stage one Feingold ends up helping with tics. Just eliminating sal's does not always eliminate tics here. If my kids are also eating a lot of sugar, they will still tic even if we are doing strictly stage one. We also have to implement a yeast protocol at the same time. Tics we've seen in our house due to yeast and stage two fruits: chewing on shirt collars, coughing incessantly, clearing the throat, snorting, tapping a pencil, shoulder shrugging, sticking tongue out, opening mouth really wide constantly, blinking really hard constantly, etc. As soon as I see these signs, we cut back on the sals and sugar and increase our yeast protocol and symptoms dissappear or greatly subside (depending on how well we stay away from these foods which is sometimes hard). (Read my blog post on "Tics, Tourette's, and the Feingold Diet" here.)
Other people have noticed tics from certain foods like gluten. We are already gluten free, so for us, they are not caused by gluten. Our tics come and go like a faucet. Eat high sal foods and sugar, tics appear. Stop eating sals and sugar and treat for yeast (and sometimes I don't even have to treat for yeast, just remove sals), and tics stop instantly. Keep a diet diary and watch for when tics appear and dissappear if your child has tics. Also start treating for yeast.
Treating for yeast alone does not solve our tic dilemma. My kids also have to avoid the fruits and sugar. They can handle small amounts of stage two fruits but when I start to see tics, we just cut back.
Eliminating sugar and yeast feeding foods such as fruits will help as you will not be feeding the yeast anymore. Doing a strict yeast free diet is best but very difficult, and if you are not following the diet completely, you will not see the yeast die off completely. You have to starve the yeast so there's no cheating. A yeast free diet (look up Dr. William Crook) eliminates most carbs and dairy as well. That is why the SCD (Specific Carb Diet) or GAPS (Gut and Pyschology Syndrome) diets can be very helpful for kids with autism, because they eliminate sugar and many yeast feeding carbs, therefore eliminating yeast overgrowth, which is one of the main causes of autistic symptoms.
Bed wetting or day wetting? Often yeast. Can also be a food allergy. Many stage two fruits caused wetting here, but they are also yeast feeding fruits as well as high oxalate foods. Having high oxalates in the body is often linked to having yeast overgrowth, and both yeast overgrowth and high oxalates play a role in many kids with autism. (Read my post on "The Low Oxalate Diet" here.)
Most if not all of the symptoms above are things that the Feingold Diet claims to and does help with. Removing chemicals/dyes which are toxins, is a major improvement and help for many kids, and dyes certainly do cause hyperactivity in many kids. But what about all these symptoms that we know are caused by yeast? Is it just a coincidence that many are the same symptoms that Feingold (stage one) addresses?
When starting the Feingold Diet, you start out at stage one for six weeks. Many members end up staying stage one because they notice too many unwanted behaviors from stage two foods. I believe this is because of yeast. Most of the stage two foods (the fruits mainly) are yeast feeders. For the kids that can tolerate stage two foods, I think it may be due to the fact that they do not have yeast overgrowth issues. This is merely my assumption but I have to hold to the truth that God created our bodies to be able to eat all the foods he created, including fruits. I think treating for yeast and watching the sugar intake is a great addition to just doing the Feingold Diet. Yeast is not addressed by the Feingold Diet at all.
Now, I do think we overindulge in fruits a little too much due to our ability to ship fruits all over the world year round, instead of eating them only in season as was the norm hundreds of years ago and eating a higher volume of vegetables as well. But, I think there has to be a reason why our bodies are rejecting these God-given natural foods. When kids truly heal their guts, rid the body of yeast and bacteria and other toxins, they are then able to eat any foods without any problems. This is my goal! It takes a lot to get there as the world we are forced to live in is so extremely toxic and polluted, and our food supply has been altered so drastically because of GMO's and farming and food manufacturing practices.
Some people find they have to do chelation (removal of heavy metals such as mercury) before they truly saw full healing in their kids. We have not done chelation. Others see big improvements with HBOT (hyperbaric oxygen therapy) or infrared saunas (we just got one last year at Autism One! I love it!). So, there's a lot that can be done. It's all expensive and some is trial and error, so it takes time to heal our kids. Be patient and do what you can today.
Now, on to our yeast protocol! Obviously, if you are fighting yeast, you also want to avoid yeast feeding foods as much as possible to be even more effective in your fight. Vinegar (like that in ketchup and pickles) feeds yeast. I have to wonder if it's the vinegar in ketchup that causes issues for kids, not just the salycilates. Tomatoes are also yeast feeding, so it's a double whammy.
While vinegar feeds yeast, apple cider vinegar kills yeast. Sugar feeds yeast. Dairy feeds yeast. Carbs, including rice and potatoes feed yeast. We definitely need to reduce our intake of sugar and carbs in our house. I'm looking into the SCD and GAPS diets for the near future.
Most stage two fruits feed yeast, however raspberries and blueberries do not feed yeast. However, they are high oxalates (and high sal) and if you have yeast overgrowth, you may also have oxalate issues. You can do a trial of these fruits to help find out. We tried following a yeast free diet for a while, and the entire time we were doing the berries, my daughter had accidents, after being fully potty trained for a few months.
Once we pulled the berries, the accidents stopped. We had to implement the Low Oxalate Diet as well as doing Feingold stage one to control this. We also tried doing a very loose version of the SCD diet for about a month. I did notice a big improvement in my daughter's mood during this time. Almost no meltdowns and she was much more clear-headed, but because of circumstances, we could not continue with the diet at the time.
Supplement-wise, below if what we do to fight yeast. I'll start off with the ones we use most often, then add ones that we have used in the past, and sometimes use if needed. Different people use different yeast protocols. Some kids do better with one supplement than others, so some of it will be trial and error. See what works for your child. Probiotics are the only must for every child. Which one you use and works best for your child can vary.
Our Yeast Protocol
Daily probiotics are a must. Get a good one. Since dairy feeds yeast, and many kids with autism have issues with dairy anyway, I like to stick to one that is dairy free. A good probiotic is going to be one that is refrigerated. We do use Pearls probiotics sometimes though just for convenience because they are easier to swallow. (They look like pearls.) You can take the Pearls with or without food. I get the 5 billion one. Most of theirs are 1 billion which is very low. I prefer using Floragen 3 because you get more for your money but my oldest only drinks water so I have nothing to hide supplements in.
Currently, we are using Klaire's Detox Support for my daughter with autism, which is a 50 billion (very high dose). They have many different ones at different amounts. We also use one that is 25 billion. You can only order it by calling their 800 #. Tell them you heard of them through Dr. McCandless's book and you will receive a 20% discount every time you order. You don't want to start with this though. I can also order this one through my holistic doctor for slightly cheaper. His web site is www.johnhicksmd.com. (Dr. John Hicks)
I also have Floragen 3 which I got from our local health food store in the refrigerated section. This one is a 15 billion. I take this one and my 6 year old takes half of one capsule.
My 2-year-old takes Klaire's Infant probiotics which is 10 billion, though when that is gone, I plan to start her on Floragen 3. I just dump it in her juice.
When you start with probiotics, start slow and work up - like around 2-3 billion or so and increase every few days. You don't want to experience yeast die off effects (like headache, upset stomach, etc.) by going too fast. I think around 10-15 billion is a good number for most older kids and adults without any issues. If you do have issues, you can go higher. Talk with a holistic doctor. I take Klaire's for Women which is 25 billion. I have kids with issues so I know I have yeast.
I don't recommend ThreeLac as Jenny McCarthy does in her books. It contains a strep strain which can cause some kids to get strep throat. My son did. The body mistakes it for the real strep virus and it will develop strep antibodies to try to fight it off, and they will get strep throat. This doesn't happen with all kids, but it does happen to some. The same is true of some yogurts like So Delicious Coconut yogurts. Nearly 100% of all autistic kids have yeast overgrowth, so probiotics are the base supplement that they are going to need every day. But, it's necessary for everyone. ASD kids just need a higher amount to help fight off the massive yeast overgrowth they have.
Natren is another good brand that my holistic doctor recommends.
Coconut kefir/water is also a good option for getting probiotics in your kids and it's cheap. I ordered this "kit" to make it but haven't gotten around to making it yet. My holistic doctor recommends cultured veggies/fermented foods to fight yeast. I think this is the best way, but the dilemma is getting your kids to eat cultured veggies. The coconut water would be easy. I've seen some recipes for coconut water soda even. With the coconut water, you start out with just a very small amount at first and work up (I think it was like 1 teaspoon a day maybe?).
Probiotics only last in the body for about 24 hours which is why you need to take them daily. I plan to take them for the rest of my life in one form or another. However, fermented foods contain live probiotics that stay in your body and actually reproduce.
My holistic doctor also recommended Indian Fire Tree Bark tea. You make the tea and then freeze them in ice cubes. They take 1/4 of a tsp a day and work up. We have not tried it yet but that would be an economical way to treat yeast as well. My holistic doctor sells it.
How to Take:
Taking probiotics at night before bed is best. You want to take it about 2 hours away from food and supplements, on an empty stomach. If taken with a snack, that's OK. You can take it with food, but then it will go to work helping to digest the food instead of working on yeast. Some people take with food for that reason, but if you are taking it to help fight yeast and repopulate the gut with the good bacteria, try to take on an empty stomach as much as possible.
You can also take in the morning before breakfast (at least a half an hour before). If you are on antibiotics, double the amount of your probiotics while you are taking the antibiotics and continue to double up for 10 days after taking antibiotics. We take one in the morning, and one at night. The antibiotics are going to kill off all bacteria, including the good ones, so you want to repopulate them. This is why so many people develop a yeast overgrowth in the first place. All the good bacteria have been eradicated, and now the yeast thrive having no good bacteria to fight them off. If you've taken antibiotics just once in your life, you have wiped out all of the good bacteria in your body. The only way to get them back is to add them back in through food or supplements.
2. GSE (Nutribitic brand Grapefruit Seed Extract)
This is my go-to yeast fighter of choice because it's very effective and so easy to administer (and cheap). Just add a drop to your kid's juice or smoothie. My only problem is, I got my daughter to stop drinking lemonade. Now she only drinks water so I have nothing to put her supplements in! Sometimes we do smoothies or fresh juice though.
Start out with one drop in the morning. After about 3 days, increase to one drop in the morning, and one drop in the afternoon. After about a week, increase to 2 drops in the morning, and one drop in the afternoon. Then increase to 2 drops twice a day. You get the picture. We went up to 4 drops twice a day for a while. If you get up to that point and stop doing GSE and then need to start again, you don't need to increase the number of drops as slowly. We still use GSE almost every day for two of my kids. If I see tics, the first thing I do is give them GSE and it helps. You can get it online or from your local health food store and probably Whole Foods.
We still use biotin every day for two of my kids. I get the Country Life brand 5,000 mcg capsules because they are very small and you can open them up and dump them in juice. It dissolves well. You only need to start with 500 mcg so you will only need a small amount from the capsule. Add an additional 500 mcg about every week. You can increase at a quicker pace once you reach 1,500 mcg or so. My daughter was taking about 15,000-20,000 mcg a day for a while. She took a 5,000 mcg capsule at every meal. Biotin is a B vitamin that helps eliminate yeast. It's a very mild yeast fighter (in terms of aggressiveness) but still works pretty well. It also helps provide healthy hair and nails. Bonus. I order online because it's cheapest online (www.iherb.com or www.vitacost.com, or Amazon, etc.) but your local health food store and Whole Foods carries this too.
4. Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes are going to help break down the cell walls of the yeast, allowing the body to kill the yeast more effectively. We take different enzymes depending on what we are eating and what issues each of us has.
No Fenol is one enzyme that is known to be effective at fighting yeast specifically. No Fenol is by Houston Enzymes. It is supposed to help you digest high salycilate foods. Interesting that No Fenol not only helps with digesting phenols (almost the same thing as salycilates), but it also helps eliminate yeast. There again is that kill the yeast/address salycilate sensitivity correlation. All of the Houston Enzyme products, I have only ordered directly through them. I just call and order.
For us, No Fenol did not allow us to eat sal's without a problem but for some, it apparently helps or they wouldn't sell so many of them. They have a chewable. Call and they'll send you free samples. Some Feingold members give their kids No Fenol if they have an infraction (eat off diet) and they report that it helps with reactions from dyes and other foods. This is not any justification to eat dyes however. :)
Most any digestive enzymes are good for fighting yeast because yeast will feed off of undigested food in the gut. We use Digest Gold (this is the stronger version) or Digest for a broad digestive enzyme. All Enzymedica supplements I order online because it is cheaper (I always get free shipping too) but these can be found at Whole Foods or your local health food store. We go to Fruitful Yield here in the Chicago area.
AFP or Trienza by Houston Enzymes for gluten and dairy ingestion.
I take LypoGold for fat digestion (good if you have no gallbladder or gallstone issues). I take when eating meat or dairy or other high fat meals.
Zyme Prime is for the digestion of carbs. This is the only chewable that my kids actually like. I force them to take the AFP if they ever eat gluten and dairy but they don't really like it. They changed their formula and now it doesn't taste as good but some kids like it. Just call and get a sample first. No one here liked the Trienza chewable. I didn't either.
Allerase is good for the digestion of fruits and vegetables. My DAN doctor also recommended it for my daughter for her cat hair and seasonal allergies (she's allergic to Birch trees). He said to have her take an Allerase before being around any cats.
Digestive enzymes should be taken with/before meals to aide in digestion. If taken between meals, it will help break down the cell walls of yeast and help clean up the gut. It will also do this when taken with meals, but just not as much. Always take enzymes 20 minutes before a meal though as it takes this long for the capsules to dissolve in your stomach. If taking a chewable, this doesn't apply. They say you can still take the enzymes up to 45 minutes after eating though. It just won't be as effective at digesting the food.
This is an enzyme that is made specifically for the purpose of killing yeast. The enzymes break down the yeast cell's walls and kill the yeast. This one says it will not cause die off. We used this for a while and I am currently taking it now thanks to a wonderful yeast infection due to antibiotics I took for strep. If you want to know how to treat a yeast infection naturally, email me.
Another supplement that kills yeast and claims to have no die off effects as it eats up the yeast, instead of just killing the yeast. My holistic doctor recommended this one. It seemed to work well though it's expensive. It's about $46 a bottle.
7. Biofilm Defense
Kirkman's sells this for $46. My friend just told me about this one. This one breaks down biofilm that houses yeast and bacteria so that the body can get at the yeast to kill it. Many kids with autism can take yeast-fighting supplements without success because the yeast are protected by biofilm. You must first break down the biofilm to release the yeast so that they can be killed. Biofilm is that same plaque/film that forms in your mouth while you sleep. Apple cider vinegar also effectively breaks down biofilm (but isn't so tasty). Dr. Usman in Napeville, IL is big on biofilm protocols. I first heard about this when she spoke at an Autism One conference. Biofilm can house parasites and all kinds of nasty stuff. I have not given this to my daughter yet as I would like to do so under the guidance of a holistic doctor. I'm thinking if you release all those yeast and toxins, you need to have a strong yeast and parasite protocol in place to handle all the stuff that is going to be set free. But, I'm interested to learn more about biofilm. I'm hoping they have a speaker on it at the Autism One conference this year in Chicago. Has anyone used this with success?
8. Oil of Oregano
We use the North American "Oreganol" Wild Mediterranean P73 brand. It's about $20 but cheaper than a doctor co-pay. This will help fight yeast and bacteria. I often use it like I would antibiotics (though not for strep. See my post on treating strep here). The capsules are small gel caps that are easy for even my 6-year old to swallow. If there's a bad flu or strep going around at school, I'll give them OoO for a few days. I also give them OoO at the first sign of an illness.
You can also get the drops instead of the capsules. You can put a few drops on the bottoms of your kids' feet and it will absorb through the skin. I use the drops to put on the skin sometimes for bacterial infections. We used it when my daughter's warts got infected. Worked like a charm when antibiotics did not.
While OoO is my go-to for bacterial infections, some people use OoO to fight yeast. Take before a meal or you will be belching some nasty burps.
9. Foods that help fight yeast: Raw garlic, coconut oil, onions, and I'm sure any green, high nutrient vegetable. Kale chips are a favorite here. Some people eat about a tablespoon of coconut oil a day to fight yeast. I used to add it smoothies, though when it gets cold, it hardens. I'm sure there are more yeast-fighting foods, but these are the ones that come to mind.
I use coconut oil in baking sometimes. We use it to make homemade popcorn (with a Whirly Pop type popper). I should use it more for cooking, but I like to use olive oil a lot. My daughter loves onions. We add onions to hamburgers, omelets, pizza, etc.
There are more things you can do to fight yeast, but this is what we do. Some people take prescription yeast fighters like Nystatin. We have not done that. It seems that the yeast tends to just come back after the rounds of the prescription, and die off can be higher than going with these other supplements, so I'd rather do something that is a daily thing to keep yeast under control.
With any yeast protocol, watch for die off. With die off, you may see an increase in unwanted symptoms at first. That is because as the yeast die, they are emitting the same toxins that they emit when they feed. Die off is only temporary. Ideally, you want to see some negative signs and some improvements. That means the yeast are dying off and that's what you want. Some people don't see any die off but the most common is headache, followed by stomach upset. If your child is throwing up, and especially if it's white, that's yeast. I know someone who's daughter used to throw up very morning, just white stuff. I didn't know it back then, but that is yeast.
If you go slow though, you shouldn't see much die off and some people see none, only improvements. We've not seen much die off over the years. Occassionally, we'd see a slight headache. Avoiding too much sugar at this time is very helpful until you get established on a yeast protocol. Otherwise, you are just feeding the yeast and then killing them, creating more die off.
For die off, you may just see more of the same symptoms that you are trying to eliminate. If symptoms are too severe, just cut back on your yeast protocol and go slower. Some kids are more sensitive than others.
Start one yeast protocol at a time, then you can add the others as needed. We do probiotics, biotin, and GSE every day currently, with some digestive enzymes.
With die off, you will absolutely have sugar cravings (and probably carb cravings). As the yeast are dying off, they are sending signals to the body to go get them sugar so they can live. Don't give in! If it's really bad, try eating some fruit to ease the discomfort and keep you from jumping off the wagon completely and caving to all your sugar cravings.
Keeping a full tummy helps (with good foods). You will probably also be hungrier for the same reasons. Those yeast want to be fed so they are sending out signals that say, "Feed me!" Yeast are nasty little critters that can cause headaches, extreme fatigue, etc. trying to get you to eat. Another big sign of yeast is constant hunger, especially ravishing hunger. As yeast gets under control, that should dissipate, as will the sugar cravings.
Some people use activated charcoal to deal with die off. The charcoal cleans up all the toxins in the body and carries them out. We tried it once for my son but it caused him severe stomach cramps so I've steered clear of it since. But some people use it without any problems. I think in cases where kids are constipated, charcoal is not a good idea because the charcoal is carrying out toxins and needs to get out. If the pathway out is blocked, that will cause cramping and possible vomiting.
To help with die off, you should drink lots of water and liquids and anything else that will help you eliminate faster like veggies, taking magnesium, vitamin C, juicing with non-yeast feeding fruits and veggies, aloe vera juice, exercise, etc. Get more rest to aide your body in the work it is doing inside to rid these toxins.
Also, in order to fight yeast, you need to avoid constipation. Being constipated provides a breeding ground for yeast. I think of it this way - if you were driving through a bad part of a big city at night in a nice car, you would not want to stop or even slow down here would you? What would happen if you just stopped? Some bad people would suddenly come out and surround your car and likely attack and take what they wanted. You want to drive through that place as quickly as possible so as not to give any invaders a chance of getting at you.
This is how I think of yeast! Don't let anything in your digestive tract slow down. The yeast and bacteria will come out and feast on your vitamins, minerals, etc. and they will just grow more and more. This is why I think going gluten free is often very helpful for autistic kids. It helps with the constipation, which in turn helps with the yeast and bacteria problem.
Gluten is highly constipating. The problem is, dairy often causes loose stools, so if you eat both gluten and dairy, you may not see the problems that both are causing. Often kids on the spectrum go back and forth between loose stools and constipation. Digestive enzymes can help with both of these problems.
Can You Test for Yeast?
Yes. An easy at home test is to spit into a glass of water first thing in the morning, before you even get up. If there are strings that develop and start to make their way downward and/or the glass becomes cloudy, you have yeast overgrowth. The faster and more strings you see, the worse your case of yeast.
You can also take some online quizzes/tests or just look at the symptoms your child has. I can easily tell when my kids have yeast by looking at their tongues too. If it's covered in white, they have yeast.
I suggest doing a more thorough test though through a holistic doctor. The OAT (organic acids test) test is a very good one, as is the ones my holistic doctor runs.
Great Plains Laboratory's OAT test
It's a urine test and fairly inexpensive as far as tests go - a little over $100. My insurance did pay for half of it but call yours and ask. Never mention the word "holistic." If your doctor is an M.D. they cannot use that excuse but they will try if you mention it.
The OAT test will tell you a lot more than yeast. The stool test is probably the best but not always easy to get, depending on the age of your child. At 4 it was pretty easy. At 9 - "You're crazy mom - get away from me!"
You need a doctor to sign off on a form to order the test online. My Dr. - Dr. John Hicks (www.johnhicksmd.com) does Skype and is really good. His number is 262-740-3000. The lab will send the results to the doctor, then the doctor mails them to you.
Happy yeast fighting. As Gaston from Beauty and the Beast would say, "Kill the beast!"
Here are some good articles and resources on yeast:
"Is Hidden Fungus Making You Ill?"
"Enzymes and Bacteria, Yeast, and Parasites"
"The Yeast Problem and Bacteria By-Products"
The Truth About Dandruff. What Causes An Itchy Scalp?
Disclaimer: I'm not giving medical advice. Please see your doctor before starting any supplement or diet regimen. I'm sharing what has worked well for us. This may or may not work well for you.
Labels: Biomed, Feingold Diet Info, Treating Yeast Overgrowth;Probiotics