Now this one tends to raise the eyebrows of GP’s and mainstream medical professions! Any mother who brought up the idea of candida as a problem for her child would have been very quickly poo -pooped by her physician. However, I think that we are making some progress here thanks to the incredible work of many talented functional medicine doctors who have shone their light on the issue of candida and chronic health conditions. If you have done any google searches on alternative approaches to your child’s health you have likely come across some articles on candida. Again, we are not going to dissect this in great detail, but just give you the basics so you have a general understanding of how this may be affecting your child’s health. As always if you want more dirty details you can check out the digging deeper section and fill your boots.
Candida is a yeast, a fungi, and it lives in all of us. It is what is referred to as an opportunistic microbial species that is normally kept in check by our more beneficial species. It lives in our guts primarily but it can colonize other tissues as well. These opportunistic critters have been given exactly the window of opportunity they needed to begin growing their numbers, increasing in strength and crowding out our beneficial microbes. Over use of antibiotics and steroids, birth control pills and processed food diets.
How do they undermine health?
- Compromise gut cell integrity by putting roots into the intestinal wall contributing to leaky gut.
- Contributes to chronic inflammation.
- Considered an autoimmune trigger.
- Like all pathogenic or opportunistic gut microbes they produce toxins through their metabolic processes. Alcohol and acetaldehyde are two of them and when they are being produced day in and day out you can imagine the health consequences…the burden on the liver and other organs of detoxification!
The standard American diet favors these critters. They just love processed foods, carbohydrates, sugar and lactose. The main stays of most children’s diets these days! The more they get of these foods the more they proliferate and wreck their havoc on the body. According to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of the GAPS diet, candida is connected to almost every chronic health condition we know including arthritis, digestive problems, MS, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, neurological disorders like autism and ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, autoimmunity, PANDAS and even things like asthma and eczema. It is not something we want to overlook in our efforts to help our kids.
There are a list of common signs and symptoms of candida overgrowth including bad breath, bloating and gas, diarrhea, constipation, brain fog, irritability, difficulty concentrating and others. However, even if you child doesn’t have any of these you should consider it a possibility if they have any chronic health condition. My son has virtually none of these symptoms…yet lab tests have shown he had a definite yeast overgrowth.
Dietary changes are needed to overcome a candida overgrowth as well as gut healing protocols to help bring the microbiome back into proper balance to it can hold these nasty opportunists in check. There are many dietary approaches to dealing with candida in my experience a Paleo/GAPS style approach has been most effective and is less restrictive than other approaches.
If you would like help in dealing with candida The Kids Gut Health Boot-camp will walk you through the process and I will personally support you all the way.
*Candida is just one species of opportunistic bacteria. There is almost always others present when there is a microflora imbalance.
Hopefully this information has given you a little glimpse into the areas considered by holistic approaches when looking to treat chronic illnesses. It can be overwhelming when you read all of this, but the good news is that you as parent have amazing power to influence these factors.
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