Is Thrush Contagious?

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I really hate thrush, also known as yeast. I first started to have to learn about it with my son, due to his kidney anomaly, he was on antibiotics for the first full year of his life. We have been fighting yeast ever since.

Yeast, on the skin, such a baby’s butt, appears as a salmon colored rash with small dots. In the baby’s mouth, you will see white patches that do not come off. On the nipples, there will be redness, and sensitivity, and a burning pain that may go very deep if the yeast actually goes into the ducts of the breast. Mom may have symptoms of yeast, but the baby may not, it can be in the baby’s throat and not visible.

Yes, thrush is contagious! When one person is treated, the other should be as well, to avoid passing the yeast back and forth. There have been reports of whole families having yeast that is passed around, one was a family that would put the baby’s pacifier into their mouth to clean it off. Baby and mom were being treated, but the older siblings and father all had it as well from this practice. It is not at all unknown for a husband to have yeast that he passes to mom during sex and while playing with the breasts. Another way it is passed around is if excellent handwashing techniques are not used after touching affected skin. BUT¬†not¬†antibacterial soaps, these actually kill off the bacteria that keep the yeast under control and are probably contributing to the new superbugs that antibiotics are not able to keep under control.

Nystatin Did Not Work For Me!

We started with using Nystatin cream and suspension. It did not work for us, we used it for months. Finally, I planted myself at the pediatrician’s office and told them to give me something that was going to work, they told me that there is this treatment that is available over the counter, but that it is messy and a pain to use. I was giving my son the suspension several times a day, and putting the cream on his butt several different times a day, I figured that it could not be worse than that, and if it worked, then it would be worth it, my poor baby was miserable and scheduled for oral surgery very soon, and the yeast must be in control.

Gentian Violet Worked!

So, they told me to go find some gentian violet (see it here). Apply it to a cotton swab and put it in his mouth, on my nipples, and on his butt once a day for 3 days. Oh, and it would stain anything it came into contact with. It was a lifesaver, and 3 days later we looked odd with a purple butt and mouth and purple nipples, but we were pain-free for the first time in months.

I had to use it a few more times, for recurring infections, but within 3 days all was quite well.

I’ve Even Had Yeast In My Milk Ducts

I was not prepared for my daughter’s yeast infection that showed up while we were still in the hospital, and did not realize what it was for a while. By the time I did, the yeast had gone into my milk ducts. My daughter’s treatment worked quickly and very well for her, she was cleared up in a matter of days. My treatment, however, was not so easy. First, my doctor did not give me the correct dose, then after I got the right dose, it took time for it to work, and I was in pain the whole time. That time, I needed Diflucan, and my daughter was put on Diflucan to prevent me from reinfecting her.

Chronic Yeast

Now, we are treating my son for a systemic, chronic yeast imbalance. I am following Pat Gima’s treatment plan for the next 6 months, weaning him off of cow’s milk and putting him back on breastmilk. He has chronic, severe constipation, and these recurring yeast infections that we see on his butt.

The antibiotics that he was on during his early infancy probably are the cause, while I was breastfeeding him, the breastmilk would help to re-colonize his gut somewhat, and that is why he was fine until he was weaned and that is when it all started to fall down around our ears. I have now put him on Pat Gima’s program to get the good bacteria, that will keep the yeast under control in his gut, to grow where they should. It is not an easy thing to do, and it will take several months, maybe a whole year, but it should work, and once it does, it will take care of both the recurring thrush infections and constipation.

Off Of Cow’s Milk!

One thing that I am doing is to take him off of all cow’s milk (there may be an underlying allergy going on, breastmilk will make a child’s gut less permeable and will help to heal the gut, but, once taken off of the breastmilk, this effect stops, the allergy may have always been there, but the breastmilk that he was on kept his symptoms under control) and put him back on breastmilk. This means that I am pumping 20-30 oz of milk a day and feeding an infant full time. I figure that I should have my girlish figure back very quickly (just kidding). I am trying to gradually wean him off of the cow’s milk and increase my supply to be able to handle feeding both of them, and get him used to drinking the, very different from cow’s milk (that he is used to) breastmilk. I have a goal to have him on to breastmilk and off of all cow’s milk by the time my daughter is 6 months old and starts eating solids. I guess it is a good thing my supply is high (I fought against a too high supply when I was nursing my son). It is not easy, but we will do it and in the whole scheme of things, one year is not that long (I am sure that when he is graduating from high school, it will seem like a very short time indeed).¬†

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