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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Candidiasis Not From Lactose Intolerance

Here's another of the more unusual questions I've received over the years.

Does Lactose Intolerance set up the stage for systemic Candidiasis to develop? My 13 year old daughter has been recently diagnosed with Lactose Intolerance, although our recollections support the notion that she's probably been suffering with it for years. She is currently being treated for oral thrush (Candidiasis) and had a similar epsisode last year. For all of the normal reasons someone gets Candidiasis, she is negative, and I wondered if Lactose Intolerance could be the culprit?

I responded:
I know of no good medical evidence that this is true. There are some people who believe that in LI undigested lactose reaches the colon (true) and gets fermented by the bacteria that normally live there (true) and that undigested lactose can preferentially change the composition of the bacteria that live there (true). They then make the leap that this sets up favorable conditions for the candida yeast to grow. I don't know if this is true and I have certainly never seen a single medical journal article that says this.

Even if there is any truth to this, it would seem a simple matter to use lactase pills to digest any lactose that might be part of your daughter's diet and so remove the undigested lactose that is the basis for this theory. In fact, whether there is any truth to this or not, my first advice to anyone who is LI is to take lactase with every and any bite of food that contains any dairy product. Doing so greatly relieves symptoms and is an inexpensive and sensible thing to do.

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