Yeast overgrowth leads to a host of behavioral problems common in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Nystatin and Diflucan are pharmaceutical anti-fungal treatments, they are effective in most children. However many parents are concerned about the long-term effects of these medication. Some children may not tolerate them well long-term due to kidney and liver function.
Not all children will have the same response to each anti-fungal. You may need to collaborate with a trusted doctor to provide an effective yeast protocol for your child. Some children may require several different anti-fungals taken one at a time or concurrently.
Natural Anti Fungals
There are many natural anti-fungal remedies, however the effectiveness may be child specific. See below where you can purchase them;
1. Candidase – these are enzymes that digest the cell walls of fungals. Buy from Back to Basics
2. Candex – same as above, just different brand. You can buy from Dr Erwin
3. Saccharomyces Boulardii – these are good yeast that attacks bad yeast. From Dr Erwin
4. Olive Leaf Extract – Vitakids Singapore
5. Oil of Oregano – very powerful anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. But very strong taste. Vitakids Singapore
6. Garlic extract – Vitakids Singapore
There are many others such as caprylic acid and grape seed extract (GSE) but I’m not sure where to get them.
Apart from choosing the appropriate anti-fungals, there are also other aspects of the treatment to be addressed. When implementing an effective anti-fungal treatment for your child, you should look at it as a whole. Killing the yeast is only one aspect of the yeast protocol. The anti-fungals are only as effective as the other aspects of your child’s treatment as a whole. Even the strongest anti-fungals will only work to a certain point if you don’t stop feeding the yeast. And yeast colonies will continue to thrive and return in certain favourable conditions. And if your body is not flushing out all the toxins released by killing the yeast and dead yeast cells effectively, it will remain in the body causing other behavioral issues. For my daughters, I try to address each aspect of yeast treatment;
1. Kill the yeast
2. Stop feeding the yeast
3. Discourage the yeast from returning
1. Killing The Yeast
This is where anti-fungals come in play, either pharmaceutical such as Nystatin or Diflucan, or natural remedies. Choosing which is best for your child requires some experimentation as well as the help of a trusted doctor. You may need to try several anti-fungals to find which works best for your child. Also, you may need more than just 1 anti-fungal. For some children, a combination works best for them. Again, you will need to experiment which combination works best.
2. Stop Feeding the Yeast
You need to reduce yeast-feeding foods especially sugar. All forms of sugar feeds yeast from honey, organic maple syrup to carbohydrates. It is up to you to decide on managing your child’s diet and which sugars you are willing to allow or reduce. Some children react favorably just by reducing sugary snacks, but some children may have to go so far as reducing fruits or most carbohydrates. Also, a good digestive enzyme to digest carbohydrate helps such as Kirkman’s Enzyme Complete with DPP-IV or TriEnza, you may want to add No Fenol or Phenol Assist as well.
3. Discourage the Yeast from Returning
Yeast colonies thrive in certain conditions, you will need to make your child’s body inhospitable and discourage yeast from growing. An altered PH balance such as an acidic gut environment is ideal for yeast-growth. Replenishing with lots of probiotics also leaves less room for the yeast to grow. A dysfunctional immune system will also contribute to yeast overgrowth. Regulating the immune system acts as a defense mechanism against various pathogens including bacterial, fungal and viral. Zinc and Vitamin C are important supplementation for the immune system.
When killing yeast it releases toxins, you need to ensure that the dead fungal cells and toxins are flushed out of the systtem. Address any constipation issues, daily bowel movement is important to ensure all toxins are removed from the body. Adequate magnesium helps with bowel movement. Epsom Salt baths or magnesium sulfate cream assists in the sulfation pathway, which is an important detoxification pathway in the body.
During die-off periods, our kids may experience headaches or bowel cramps. Which explains the behavioral problems such as hyperness, waking up at night talking and laughing, hyperness, cravings for sugar and carbs, irritability, crankiness and other reactions. For die-off reactions, Epsom Salt baths and activated charcoal will help. Also, reduce the anti-fungal dosage and increase it very slowly.
As some of you may know, we worked very closely with Dr Erwin to address Maya’s recurring yeast infections. We did 1 month course of Diflucan, followed by 3 months on Nystatin, followed by 1 month on Ketaconazole together with Candex 1 capsule in the morning and 2 capsules in the evening. We then added on S.Boulardii 1 capsule 3 times a day. Now, we are doing 1 capsule Candex morning and evening together with S.Boulardii 1 capsule 3 times daily. I am currently reducing the anti-fungals whilst observing for any more recurrent yeast flare ups.
Diet wise, I was not willing to forgo rice or gfcf bread so the Specific Carbohydrate Diet was not practical for us. A GFCF diet without sweet snacks, cakes, biscuits, sugary cereal, no fruit but still drinking very diluted juice was convenient and effective for us. We were on a strict `no cookies, sweets or cakes diet’ for 4 months, then we allowed it to once a month, and we saw yeast-like behavior flaring up again. Eventually the flare-ups has reduced and the girls are now able to tolerate sweet snacks 3 times a week with no problems.
Maya had a highly acidic gut, we were not able to address this because the supplement tasted horrible. But for both girls we give 50 Billion CFUs probiotics daily together with a pre-biotic. And supplement with Vitamin C and zinc for their immune system. We give Epsom Salt baths daily and apply Magnesium Sulfate cream for the sulfation pathway. Apply L-Glutathione lotion to replenish her glutathione levels which are essential for the detoxification pathway, magnesium for better bowel movement and chlorella for detox. It took us 6 months to finally address Maya’s recurrent yeast overgrowth. For now, I would consider Maya to be yeast-free. However for Yasmin, her recent course of antibiotics and recurring gastro issues requires a lot more time and effort to address her yeast overgrowth.