In a normal gut, healthy bacteria, yeast, and bad bacteria coexist in balance with each other. Antibiotic use, immune system disfunction, and GI issues can all cause imbalances in gut flora. This may be no bacteria present, overgrowth of bad bacteria, or overgrowth of yeast. In patients with ASD, the comorbid immune and GI issues mean increase the likelihood of immune disfunction and decrease the likelihood of regular bowel movements. Because of this, ASD patients are especially susceptible to yeast overgrowth.
There are a number of symptoms that may indicate yeast overgrowth: oral thrush; breath that smells like alcohol; frequent tantrums or meltdowns; craving carbs; dark under eye circles; red rashes in skin folds; gas and bloating; constipation; ear infections; sinus issues; abdominal pain or digestive issues; skin problems; brain fog; hyperactivity; obsessive behaviors; headaches; foul smelling stools; floating stools; acting inappropriately silly or giddy; and itchy genitals/anus. These symptoms may indicate other issues, so I typically recommend that my clients wait to treat yeast overgrowth until after they have positively diagnosed this condition through diagnostic testing.
The best way to test for yeast overgrowth is through a stool test called the Comprehensive Stool Analysis with Parasitology. True Health Labs offers the Doctors’ Data CSAP test that I highly recommend. Part of the reason that I love this test is that it analyzes strains of yeast and bad bacteria to determine which prescription and natural anti-microbials they’ll be susceptible to.
Treatment for yeast overgrowth usually involves the following components:
1. Choke out the yeast — Use a therapeutic dose of a probiotic supplement to choke yeast out with healthy bacteria. I often recommend using a loading dose for two weeks then continuing with a supplement for an extended period of time.
2. Starve the yeast — Yeast thrive on carbohydrates, so decreasing starches and sugars can help to starve the yeast.
3. Kill the yeast — There are many natural anti-fungals such as grapefruit seed extract, oil of oregano, and Pau D’Arco, which can be used to kill yeast.
4. Boost the immune system — Many patients with yeast overgrowth have low secretory IgA in the digestive tract, so it may be a good idea to use a colostrum-based product to increase SIgA and/or a glutamine product to coat the intestines and prevent leaky gut.
5. Reduce die off — ASD patients often have slower detox pathways, so they may not be able to keep up with the yeast being killed off, which can lead to a mild Herxheimer reaction, which will temporarily increase yeast symptoms. Adding a binder (away from other supplements) can help to decrease this die off reaction.
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The views expressed in this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition and should not be substituted for medical or nutritional advice.