Friday, January 6, 2012
Another Thrush Post...This One Is From Experience
So, the last time I posted some info on thrush, it was from research...not first-hand experience. Now, thanks to my baby's first illness, I speak from experience.
My daughter is 13 months old, and just got over thrush. She's never had a drop of formula in her life. Not one. Other than being breastfed about 30 times a day, she's eating solids and drinking some water from a sippy cup or bottle if she needs it. (I'm just not making milk like I used to, no matter how much I put her on the boob or what else I do, so sometimes she really does need a drink of water.)
Anyways, when she turned up with thrush (Oral candidiasis), my husband started asking me how she "caught" it. I explained to him that they don't "catch" it, and that we ALL have that yeast in our mouths all the time. I told him that when someone's immune system is low, or they're on antibiotics, the natural yeast can go a bit crazy and cause thrush. Our daughter had just been sick for the first time a few weeks ago (we all were), and I'm sure it beat the hell out of her immune system. It was ROUGH, and we all suffered for two weeks with it. (Three adults and three kids all sick at once. Super fun.)
I can't help but laugh at all of the old wives tales I've heard about thrush since Little Miss got it. And I'm here to call bullshit.
Thrush is not caused by bottles. It's not caused by pacifiers. Kids don't catch it from being around other kids who have it. As I said, it's caused by yeast over-growth, and THAT is caused by use of antibiotics, or by a lowered immune system. And it can be passed from baby to your boob, and if your boob isn't washed everyday, or if you re-use the same (contaminated) bra, you and baby can pass it back and forth...for however long it takes for you to realize what's happening!
I found it pretty easy to deal with, compared to how I'd imagined it. Wash those boobs, wear a clean bra everyday and wash the old one in hot water before re-using it, and let those boobies air out. Sunshine kills yeast, and airing those boobies out can kill that yeast pretty easy. You can hang your bra in the sunshine and kill yeast too...(this is also done with cloth diapers to sterilize them, right?). You don't have to just lay in your backyard letting it all hang out (though more power to you if you want to, LOL). You can just sit in a chair in your house located in some sunshine.
Now, that said, the back of my house points at a condo, and the front faces a busy street...so I wasn't about to sit in my kitchen window with the girls hanging out...and we've recently acquired a house guest for the next little while, I did my topless time in the bedroom. No sunshine, but it didn't seem to matter.
I picked up gentian violet at the pharmacy but never used it, and now after reading the below information, I'm glad!
I read this on the "Ask Dr.Sears" website (found HERE):
"Warning - gentian violet has been used for many years to treat thrush. A recent study done in Australia has linked gentian violet to cancer of the mouth. However, many other professionals around the world believe that it is safe, and continue to recommend it. For this reason, we suggest you use this remedy sparingly, and for as little time as possible."
What I ended up doing was taking the advice of one of my readers...I took garlic pills, zinc, and kept up with my Vitamin B & C that I always take daily anyway. Oh, and the 40 gallons of yogurt the baby and I ate! (Not really...but it sure seemed like that much!)
I ALSO gave her the anti-fungal drops 4 times a day for the week, and by the end of that week, the baby was thrush-free. (If she hadn't had such a high fever for so long, I'd never have used the anti-fungal, but because of her age I wasn't going to mess around with it.)
And, as I was discussing on the Facebook wall, I can't say for certain whether or not it could be possible for formula to cause thrush. The truth is that we don't know 100% what is in every single can. It's not uncommon for formula companies to recall it because something is in it that shouldn't be there. What's to say that none of that could possibly cause an overgrowth of natural yeast?
What I CAN say, though, is that without a doubt formula causes thrush to go crazy. It's full of sugars and is milk-based, and everything I've read on thrush is that it feeds on the sugars in dairy...so babies shouldn't be given any dairy products other than yogurt for as long as two weeks after the initial break-out. It only makes sense that thrush would LOOOOVE to feed on the formula that coats the inside of a baby's mouth.
(I had a formula-fed baby [after she was 4 months old], so I'm not hating on you...just pointing something out.)
The major thing I wanted to get across here is that thrush is not caused by YOU. You didn't do anything wrong. It was NOT from "improperly sterilizing bottles", it's not from Baby finding a pacifier under the couch that has been there for God-knows-how-long, and it's not caused by your boobs. It's caused by the overgrowth of this ever-present yeast. Without a doubt, once infected, it's possible to get into a cycle of re-infection if things aren't cleaned and dried properly, but it's NOT how it STARTED. And that's the main point here.
Also, when my Dr. checked my daughter, he said that thrush does not cause fevers in children. HERE it proves otherwise. Clearly her thrush extended past her esophagus, which is why she had a high fever for 3 days, until she started the anti-fungal. (Have I mentioned my Dr. is an ASS?!)
Here are some articles on thrush:
Ask Dr. Sears: http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/childhood-illnesses/thrush
The Portable Pediatrician: Look under "Oral Thrush"
Medicine Net.com: http://www.medicinenet.com/thrush/article.htm
Breastfeeding Essentials: http://breastfeeding.hypermart.net/thrush.html
The story behind this little thrush thing is...interesting.
We took the baby to the Dr. at 10:30am to get checked out (if she hadn't had a fever for 3 straight days we wouldn't have gone), and the Dr. said she had "tonsillitis and thrush". He said he'd call in a prescription for me right away. That was the last day his office was open before Christmas, and it closed at noon that day.
I went to the pharmacy to pick it up and found he hadn't yet called it in.
An hour later it still had not been called in.
Another half hour later, the pharmacist sent a fax to his office to tell him that the prescription hadn't been called in (because it was 6 minutes after noon, and the phones at the office were turned off).
He never called it in at all. The pharmacy closed at 6pm, so I knew we were out of time, and were running low on options. At 6:30pm my husband drove myself and the baby up to the Emergency Room.
We sat there (in a room) for 2 1/2 hours before we even saw a Dr. She looked in Baby Girl's mouth and said straight out, she does NOT have tonsillitis. She said that babies this age do not even get tonsillitis. She said that the baby had very bad thrush, and that's it. She also was the only one to mention that I would need to treat myself to avoid passing it back and forth with the baby (my own Dr. failed to mention that).
I told the Emergency room Dr. about my family Dr. not calling in a prescription, and told her that he had said that Baby Girl had tonsillitis, and her excuse was that he is "getting older, and is overworked."
Now, call me a bitch if you want to, but I don't give a flying monkey's butt HOW old he is, or HOW "over-worked" he is. If he's practicing medicine, he need to be ON TOP OF HIS GAME, or he needs to stop. NOW. My little one is a BABY and this is not the first time he's done this to one of my kids.
(As soon as I can actually contact him, I'm going to tell him that I want to be referred to another Dr. ASAP, or I will be contacting Health Canada, and whoever else I need to talk to, and put in a report against him.)
So anyways, after what was 3 hours in the hospital, we finally got to go home...after we stopped at the 24-hour pharmacy to pick up the prescription.
I'm somewhat glad that Dr.Ass didn't call in the prescription, really. He'd have given her penicillin for no reason at all, and it would have no doubt given her a bladder infection. (Gotta love antibiotics!)
In closing, thrush is no big deal...normally. If you're getting factual information on it, it helps. LOL And if your Dr. isn't a complete ass, that helps too.
Next time I'll take the all-natural route and skip that shit-show all together. Can you blame me?!
**For the record, I want to say that I don't think that EVERY baby is the same, and that sometimes what works for one, won't work for the next. I'm not a Dr., and don't pretend to be...I'm just a mom. Nothing I write is medical advice, and is only my own experience and/or written from research I've done.
I also don't want to say that there has NEVER in the history of mankind been a baby who got thrush from a dirty bottle, but from everything I've read, it's just not how it happens. If you think that's what caused it in your baby, that's fine. I'll agree to disagree with you. Maybe you're right. Maybe you're not. I'm not going to argue about it.**