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I've had thrush for 4+ months help!

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Ahhhhh I hate this, and can't seem to get rid of it. I've posted about it before on another thread but I'd thought I would see if I could get some more advice.
I'm still nursing my 2 year old but have cut almost completely off for the last month due to the thrush irritation and pain. I'm due to have a baby any day, I'm 41w pregnant, and terrified I'll still have the thrush. My natropath/midwife suggested doing Nystatin as soon as babe is born since nothing else has worked, but then everybody says that it is less effective than anything else.

List of things I have tried include two rounds of expensive pro-biotics, clove of garlic/day, grape seed extract, and topical oil of oregano. I had this before I got really sick and needed to take anti-biotics, the funny thing is that when I took the anti-biotics (along with pro-biotics) it got better for a week, and then it returned to the state it's been at for four freaking months. My natropath said that anti-biotics do that sometimes.

So, after hundred+ dollars and plenty of irritation I STILL have thrush, and I'm scared of what's to come with a newborn. I'm grumpy just thinking about having a new one in my arms that will want to suck on me (insert gaging.) I've never felt this way about nursing, even when things were hard and my son was a newborn. Will I ever be back to normal?

So, I got some advice to try grapefruit seed extract from an IBCLC I know and some one on here posted about Caprylic acid, which I am also going to try this week. What if that doesn't work, then it's Nystatin? Or would GV be better? I will do anything at this point and it would be a weight off my mind to be rid of it before baby comes. I have not been able to cut out white flour and white sugar yet, I guess just too pregnant and grumpy, but I think I'm willing to give it a go this week if you ladies think it will work.

Please help!

post #2 of 25
Along with those things have you been washing your bras/sheets etc so that its not lingering on those things? I know when I got it, I threw all pacis, boiled bottle stuff we used. and made sure my bras, and such were getting washed in hot, I think I may have used vinegar as well. For us, Nystatin worked. But I'm not sure about its use in pregnancy. I took a pill, and DD took it orally.

Good luck, I'm sure you've done everything, sometimes thrush is tricky
post #3 of 25
Over 85+% thrush is resistant to nystatin. The next option should be gentian violet. You should look into Dr Jack Newman's thrush protocol on his website. You should also contact a LLL leader or LC to make sure that this isn't really Staph or nipple eczema because they can mimic thrush. I second all of the things said above...never reuse a towel...wash towels underwear and bras in hot water....paper towels for drying hands. Good luck. With proper treatment you can get this gone.
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Okay I have of course been washing my sheets, under ware, and sheets, but not in any particular way. I always wash my whites in hot, but some of my undies and my sheets are not white. But I only have the irritation on my nipples. Do I really need to use paper towels for my hands could I be transferring it to my nipples some how by using cloth towels in my kitchen? In my bathroom I understand, I usually use a towel several times, do you think I should only use one once?

Nystatin cannot be or should not be used during pregnancy, so that's why my midwife says afterwards I should. But I'm leaning more towards GV. I'll look into Jack Newman's website.

I have already seen an LLL leader who is an IBCLC and asked her about it. She didn't look at my nipples but I was going to ask her to at this months meeting but it got cancelled due to weather. I think I'm going to see if she will see me privately, it's just that I'm so low on cash! I usually can take care of this on my own so that's why I haven't paid to see her as of yet, that and I just finished paying off my midwife. Gosh, good care really costs an arm and a leg. I wonder if my insurance would cover an IBCLC? Anybody know?

Okay thanks for the feedback so far,

post #5 of 25
If this is truly a bad case of thrush, you must use hot water on towels wash clothes and undies(wear white), do not reuse towels... and papertowels are a necessity after bathroom and diaper changes. Change breast pads very frequently. Don't reuse wool pads bc they have to be boiled when you have thrush and enough of that ruins them....cotton pads have to be wahed on hot too. Nystatin again isn't very effective anymore so GV really is best.
post #6 of 25
I agree that you should first try Gentian Violet. It is very effective! If that does not work in the long term it is time to take Diflucan after the baby is born!

There is a special off label way to take Diflucan only a IBCLC MD will prescribe. It is a high loading dose and then a maintenance dose for at least two weeks. It will be all over, killed and done.

It worked like a miracle after I had YEARS of suffering, and doing every know remedy. It has prescribed for babies that have HIV, used for vaginal yeast (only one pill is used in that case) and considered safe while breastfeeding.

Did you cut out all sugar from you diet.
Seriously stop eating refined carbohydrates.

If you have a resistant strain the remedies you mentioned will not work anymore, (BTDT for over six months) if they do work they must be done for at least a month and many need to be done overlapping.
I was in yeast hell for a long time, but not anymore!!!

I still take a high quality probiotics daily and it has been ten years since I got rid of my candida overgrown.

You are dealing with a real problem and I found that until i turned to allopathic medicine I could not get rid of it.

I suffered for a long time, and it caused other diseases in my body and immune system.

BTW, Nystatin is useless!
post #7 of 25
You can add grapefruit seed extract to all your laundry as well. A few drops in every single load of everything. Wash everything you use. Don't rewear shirts or bras without washing, wash your towel after each use, etc.

Cut out all sugars, refined carbs, cut back on even natural sugars, limit the molds you eat (cheese and such), I have even heard in really resistant cases to cut out artificial sugars as well.

Have you been tested to be sure it is thrush?
post #8 of 25
another vote for gentian violet-- if it is thrush as per Jack Newman's work sheet-- a bottle will last your life time- be ware it is basically a dark purple stain that will stain what you own and everything it touches-

I would also get a second opinion to be sure you don't have eczema or something else going on--

I would say air out your nipples as often as possible and maybe a bit of direct sun or atleast a bit of sun through a window- yea I know it is winter-- any how exposure to air and light-- have a clean bra to wear everyday- last rinse with vinegar added to the water (skin should be slightly acidic) so that usually means owning at least 3 bras that fit one to wash, one to wear, one spare -

are you getting enough essential fatty acids? sometimes it can be as simple as changing the type of oils you eat-- for years I had bought organic high LL safflower oil- probably expeller pressed and not only did I have some thrush but eczema on my arms and legs-- switched to extra virgin olive oil and the results were rather amazing for me-- also I could not use any body soap- I just don't have enough skin oil - and no soap on my bras either, fragrances or things that irritated me--
and as I write this I am reminded that although those things worked at the time in the long run I found out I was gluten intolerant and that was probably the source of my problems to begin with always keeping my digestion down and my immune system a bit strained.
take care
post #9 of 25
so mwherbs, today I was reading an herbal primer about stuff for my dd's asthmatic bronchitis, and they mentioned Osha tincture, because it relaxes smooth muscles and is healing to the repiratory tract.

It also mentioned that it is good to take with tough to get rid of yeast, because it disallows the yeast from multiplying...do you know whether it's safe to take during pregnancy?

I know that other, post partum safe things to do are to take oil of cinnamon and oil of oregano, and that following Jack Newman's protocol can be VERY effective (include his ointment as well as the Grapefruit seed extract and the Gentian Violet). Also, if you are at the end of your pregnancy, the Diflucan should be safe now, if I recall correctly, as it has a window of "non-safety" of something like 22-26/28 weeks. Of course check that out with your care provider, but you might be in luck, and be able to use it.

Everything I have read about natural methods is that you have to be VERY consistent, and that it can take an extended period of time to get rid of it that way...which can be frustrating...but keep on keeping on!
post #10 of 25
so Osha maybe -it has aromatics that are like others in that family- celery, carrots, anis, but are stronger and has some other immune support stuff- so if you were to use some not tons probably fine especially in 3rd trimester -- I would most likely apply it topically rather than trying to get enough in via tea, tincture or chewing on a bit of root-- now for cough or pneumonia yes I would use it internally
post #11 of 25
I'm still voting for the caprylic acid to knock this out (I was the one who mentioned it before). I had a friend who was dealing with thrush for around three months and she finally did it and it worked almost that same day. I'm a fan.

Best wishes and good luck!

Talk Birth
post #12 of 25
Is this really thrush? Bacterial infections can look a lot like thrush, and unless there have been fungi identified under the microscope, you can't know for sure.

Oral diflucan works well for resistant thrush, if it is thrush. The dosage I've used is 200mg the first day, then 100mg/day for 7 days. It's not recommended in pregnancy, but in the third trimester I can't see an issue with it.

We're seeing a lot of CA-MRSA on nipples around here lately.
post #13 of 25
Originally Posted by maxmama View Post
Is this really thrush? Bacterial infections can look a lot like thrush, and unless there have been fungi identified under the microscope, you can't know for sure.-----skip a bit--------

We're seeing a lot of CA-MRSA on nipples around here lately.
yep, and there are a few other things besides what i have mentioned- an opinion of someone with a microscope
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 


Okay I called the IBCLC and asked if I should make an appointment so see her. She said no. Directed me to do a natural anti-fungal (either oil of oregano or grape fruit seed extract) coupled with a good pro biotic again. Also NO SUGAR NO WHITE ANYTHING. I asked if she thinks it's something else but she said she doesn't think so and that by trying the method she suggests, it is the best way to find out if it's thrush or not. I asked if there is any for sure way to check and see if it's thrush and she said no. She also said GV is currently being linked to cancer of the mouth, but works good when it has to be used.

I also so my natropath/midwife about it today and she agreed with the above plan. She also agreed it couldn't be tested to find out if it is for sure thrush, so I'm completely confused about the microscope suggestion.

Maybe sometimes it can but there are false/negatives or something? Is this like when a mother knows shes leaking amniotic fluid but the paper test says she isn't? She doesn't think the difflican, nystatin, or GV should be used until after baby is born, they could, but would be better if I think I can wait. I can if I just know something will work and I won't be suffering with a newborn for a long period of time. She also thinks the caprylic acid might work, but that I should wait to do that until after baby is born as well. She didn't say why, and I didn't ask, but we were talking about a million things today and I think I side tracked us. Nice going me eh?

Okay so tomorrow I'm starting full blast on my plan described above. I'll let you know how it goes.

post #15 of 25
Originally Posted by maxmama View Post
Oral diflucan works well for resistant thrush, if it is thrush. The dosage I've used is 200mg the first day, then 100mg/day for 7 days. It's not recommended in pregnancy, but in the third trimester I can't see an issue with it.
This is the ONLY thing that worked for me when I had thrush. I took a pill, and the baby had liquid diflucan. It was a life saver. I was ready to quit nursing the pain was so bad. Good luck to you mama!
post #16 of 25
KOH is potassium hydroxide and you use it with a microscope to see fungus... yes there are some studies that show hard to find in MILK but we are talking about skin swab/sample here
Laboratory Studies

* KOH preparation is the easiest and most cost-effective method for diagnosing CCC, but its use is not sufficient in the absence of other supporting clinical evidence.
* Culture from an intact pustule, skin biopsy tissue, or desquamated skin can help to support the diagnosis.
* Microscopic examination of skin scrapings prepared with calcofluor white stain is a simple way of detecting yeasts and pseudohyphae of C albicans. C albicans binds nonspecifically to polysaccharides found in fungal cell walls and produces a distinct bright color in a pattern characteristic for the organism when viewed under a fluorescence microscope.
* When a greenish hyponychial fluid accumulates, material may be obtained by heating a pin and painlessly puncturing the intact overlying nail. The fluid release provides symptomatic relief to the patient, and fluid may demonstrate multiple yeast organisms when viewed using KOH preparation.

Histologic Findings

A skin biopsy specimen stained with a periodic acid-Schiff stain reveals nonseptated hyphae. The presence of nonseptated hyphae allows cutaneous candidiasis to be distinguished from tinea.
post #17 of 25
Originally Posted by maxmama View Post
Oral diflucan works well for resistant thrush, if it is thrush.
Originally Posted by Manessa View Post
This is the ONLY thing that worked for me when I had thrush. I took a pill, and the baby had liquid diflucan. It was a life saver. I was ready to quit nursing the pain was so bad. Good luck to you mama!
Diflucan was the only thing that worked for me too. NOTHING natural worked, and I tried everything my midwife recommended including GV. Diflucan was like a miracle. I took one front-loading dose, some giant dose of it - then I think just a few more smaller doses? It was a long time ago... But within a day of that first dose, I could tell it was improving. It was amazing. And it felt like being stabbed with a knife every time she nursed before.

I am really anti-meds in general - but in that case, I would have kissed full on the mouth the person who invented Diflucan!
post #18 of 25
I find that I am really wondering if you DO have yeast/thrush--because of your report that it is only on your nipples, no breast pain or other. My daughter suffers from thrush--and I've had a few clients with it too--and it generally, over time, does become more 'set in' with symptoms inside the breast and so forth. Of course, maybe all your treatments have kept it in check somewhat--which could be a very wonderful thing because believe me the pain of thrush on the INSIDE is far worse than the itch and irritation on the outside.

I will say that if you've taken antibiotics in the last several months, then to me that does point to thrush. I work hard to keep clients away from abx if at all possible because every one that has used abx has ended up dealing with thrush (not that there are many who used abx in pregnancy or much before getting pregnant--but even with a small population, if every single one has the same result that does speak pretty loudly to me).

In any event....just to emphasize this point....yeast just LOVES sugar/refined carbs. You just absolutely MUST avoid those for a time. To this day, 2yrs later, my daughter just has to be very careful of sweets because her thrush gets stirred up pretty easily (still nursing her 28mo tot). She agrees by the way that nystatin is just not much use--she got a lot more help from grapefruit seed, gv, all those things.

If you can get it in hand, then you won't have to be doing so much laundering/paper towels, all that forever. But I do believe that all that helps quite a bit in the short run. Also, are you treating dh and ds for yeast? Might be a very good idea! Try to get it (whatever IT is) out of your home and family altogether.
post #19 of 25
Can you clarify your symptoms.
Is it internal in your breast the pain? If it's not inside the breast go see a dermatologist, who can diagnose what is on your breast!

If what you have is only external do not take Diflucan or all that stuff for yeast (thrush) and go rule out some other bacterial infection!

Usually when you have breast yeast it's painful internally in the breast, a stinging burning sensation inside.

P.S. The mouth studies linking GV to cancer were done on mice, the study is as old as me and so deeply flawed it is a joke!
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 

Symptoms clarified

Wow so much information ladies thanks.

To clarify my symptoms and story a little.....

I started having the pain about four months ago. It was just irritation for my nipples when my son latched at first, and I thought he was perhaps latching wrong. By irritation I mean discomfort and the feeling like I could feel every suckle and movement of his mouth. I also noticed they were a bit uncomfortable (painful) when I laid down on them stomach down. This was odd for me since he was almost two and as a lactating mom for that long you know when something changes. It was not in my breast at all and didn't seem to get worse within those first two much, just felt a little "wrong." This exact scene had happened twice before for us since birth (my son is now 26 months old) and I treated it topically with oil of oregano both times, within 1 day the symptoms faded both times. So, logically I assumed it was thrush and started with the oil of oregano again. It never would really go away and I figured I just wasn't being diligent enough since it was so easy to get rid of before I must just be slacking on treatment.

Around two months into the nipple pain I got a really bad cold and sinus infection that turned into bronchitis. At that time my nipple symptoms flared up. The nipples got more pink/red and the pain spread into the breast tissue. I had shooting pains but I think I remember them shooting down towards the nipple not up, if that has any significance or makes any sense. Also, the pain both in the breast and the nipple was so bad I did not allow my son to latch at all during that few days. I took antibiotics along with a probiotic my natropath said would not be destroyed by the antibiotic. Things then got better and my nipples were 100% back to normal for about a week. Then, they became irritated like before again. Pain only in the nipple, mostly with the latch, with a bit of risidual stinging after nursing. The symtoms were slightly elevated compaired to before I got the cold.

These symptoms have persisted until today, two months after the antibiotics and more treatments of overlapping topical oil of oregano, oral garlic cloves, more probiotcs, and oral grape fruit extract (not grape fruit seed extract.) My symptoms described above are perhaps slightly elevated, and my biggest complaints are that I can "feel" every movement of his mouth, it is mostly irritating and only slightly painful, his latch and unlatch are painful, and my nipples sting after he is done. Only external pain.

Son does not appear to have thrush in his month, but as of late does have some kind of rash around his mouth and on his cheeks off and on. (Rashes are normal for DS because he has issues with cows milk that tend to flair up from time to time. Also, I think he may be allergic to something else in his diet that I cannot pinpoint since he gets little bumps all over his body once in a while.) Perhaps son does have it on his face, but the strange part is that since I've decreased his feeding sessions (sometimes he will only nurse one time in a period of two weeks) the rash has gotten worse. His skin is sensitive and gets irritated by the wind and dry weather as well, so I don't know.

DH has no symptoms. Both my midwife and IBCLC think I shouldn't worry about using paper towels, washing a certain way, or reusing my towel and bra's.

mwherbs- So, the milk sample misses thrush sometimes but the skin samples are more reliable? Neither of my care providers mentioned that. Perhaps they think my symptoms are not bad enough to justify the expense of that kind of a test. I would have to agree that although my symptoms are not really "bad" but that mentally I'm being tormented. I had PPD with my last sons birth and I foresee that hating feedings could possibly lead to problems. I also admit that throughout this whole 4 months I have not cut out the sugar. I am a sugar addict and this could be why I cannot get rid of it this time.

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