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Thread: Help! I've had chronic thrush and am so close to giving up...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Help! I've had chronic thrush and am so close to giving up...

    I was first diagnosed with thrush by an LC back in September when DS was 2 months old. It was causing itchy, red nipples, white blebs on my nipples and backed up milk ducts. First, it was the left breast. Then, the right breast got affected as well. We tried Lotrimin for a while - didn't work. Then we went to gentian violet. Also didn't work. Then I got mastitis from a particularly nasty plugged duct. After that, my OB prescribed an antibiotic and Diflucan.

    The LC also had me start taking vitamin C and omega-3 supplements, as well as probiotics. We have held off on the lecithin because we thought DS might be sensitive to soy.

    We thought it went away, but we didn't treat DS, so a month later, we had thrush again. We had to do the Diflucan treatment again, this time with DS on Nystatin.

    After that, I continued to get plugged ducts (sometimes related, sometimes unrelated to the blebs that I still had) on average once a week on either breast. By then, I knew the drill - warm compresses, saline soaks, massage, using a washcloth to rub the bleb, ibuprofen for the inflammation. But sometimes the bleb was lodged so deep into the nipple skin that I couldn't break it open and I just had to wait until that particular milk duct was so full that it would "burst" it open.

    Christmastime at the ILs was pretty stressful and by the time we returned home, I had thrush again. And frequent plugged ducts. At least this time, it is only my right breast. My left breast seems fine. I visited both the LC and my OB again. I'm taking antibiotics and Diflucan again. But there is one bleb that is lodged deep into the nipple tissue that refuses to become dislodged. Sometimes it will open up just a little bit and eke out a teeny tiny stream of milk and then it will close up again and the milk starts to back up. I do warm compresses and soaks even after it opens up to try to prevent this, but I am so sick and tired of it all! God forbid I decide I'd like to go one day without a compress sticking out of my bra - bam! I'm plugged up again.

    DS is six months now and had a little bit of formula when he was around 2 months, but refused it after that. He won't even drink frozen BM - not that I have a stash or anything. And I don't want to wean yet. The thought of it makes me sad, but I just can't keep doing this.

    How the heck do I get this plugged duct to open up for good? I feel like I've done everything in the book. Somewhere, there must be a doctor or an LC with the exact answer, and I just am grasping at all the temporary solutions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Help! I've had chronic thrush and am so close to giving up...

    Dear NewYorkGirl,
    I'm sorry that I can't say I have the perfect solution, and I didn't have the problem as long as you, but I did want to give you a word of encouragement. My son and I had a terrible time getting started--painful cracked and bleeding nipples, then just as that was clearing up, I got mastitis and went on antibiotics. Then, just as it seemed everything was finally going better, not painful or anything, my breasts starting hurting again, and I had a yeast infection. So I treated myself and the pediatrician had me treat the baby, just in case, for 4-6 weeks (I think--I don't remember for sure now.) Then, a week after we thought it cleared up, it was back. I was SOOOO frustrated. We finally got rid of it, and, here we are, he's almost 16 months, and still nursing (at bedtime). It sounds like you're doing all the right things. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Help! I've had chronic thrush and am so close to giving up...

    Oh, I am so sorry you have been dealing with this. I have been there! My dd and I began our first bout with thrush almost immediately after I spent 5 days working on her latch post-birth. I can remember the toe-curling pain...We began with Nystatin for both of us. Cleared up and came back. Then we went to Gentian Violet-fun! And then Diflucan. I remember it being important to always treat both of us, and also when using Diflucan, remember to treat your nipples with whatever anti-fungal you have been using. The Diflucan takes longer to work, and the yeast can grow back in a matter of an hour (I read anyway). Have you been prescribed a higher dosage of Diflucan? I had problems still when my doc wanted me to go 200mg the first day and 100 mg for 14 days. I read on Dr. Jack Newman's website that it is more effective to go 400mg the first day, and 200mg each day (100mg/2xday) for at least a WEEK after symptoms have disappeared. This could be longer than 14 days total!

    I also know I am very "yeasty" as are my girls now, and whenever we have eaten too many sweets or refined sugars, I make sure and add an Acidophilus supplement to our diets. This seems to help. In addition, I have always taken a supplement of Acidophilus if I know I (or the girls) are going to be on an antibiotic. This has helped ward off yeast infections.

    I also know one mom who kept getting it cleared up only to be reinfected by her husband (it is sexually transmitted). She got a prescription for him for Diflucan as well. This cleared it up in days for her.

    Sounds like you are doing so many things right! A couple other ointments I have heard people use are Dr. Jack Newman's APNO (all purpose nipple ointment) and Bactroban. You might check up on these as well. A couple other things I heard: for plugged ducts, watch your calcium intake-no more than 1,000mg/24 hours, and use of grapefruit seed extract for yeast-on nipples and/or orally.

    HTH-<<<<<<<hugs>>>>>>to you for all you have been through!

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