How to "crush" thrush?

rsp Member Posts: 103 Member

My husband is 14 weeks post radiation and chemo for SCC and continues to battle with terrible thrush.  He uses Nystatin 3 times a day, brushes his tongue, and yet the thrush is winning...

I read one member on here purchased over 100 toothbrushes as the thrush can breed on your toothbrush.  I also read that others use coconut oil.  Are any of these things helping? 

Any other ideas that worked would be greatly appreciated!

Also, does anyone know if thrush in your throat could cause one to have a queezy stomach?  My husband had 3 fantastic days, then he went downhill fast.  The last 2 days were filled with excessive coughing and an upset stomach... Ugh... 


  • AnotherSurvivor
    AnotherSurvivor Member Posts: 383 Member
    edited May 2017 #2
    I am the owner of the many

    I am the owner of the many toothbrushes, and right now my Thrush is being held in check (but not leaving).  I am not surprised that Nystatin is not working, it didn't for mine as well.  Neither has coconut oil, or probiotics, or apple cider vinegar, or salt water rinses.  Diflucan has had mild impact, but it tends to wipe out your gut bacteria which causes the Candida yeast in your intestine to run amuck and go fungal on your tongue.  It is also contributing to the emergence of super-microbes that nothing can kill, plus it has other side-effects, none desireable.

    There are many web sites with advice, indeed you will find vast industries with products and recommendations.  I have found one of the most intelligent is the search function at, where this topic is a recurring subject.

    My going forward reasoning is based on this:  my son (an emergency med doc) informs me that acidic liquid things will eventually kill thrush.  He is somewhat vague on when.  Thus my regression into high school cemestry lab, exploring the world for non-fatal acidic liquids. I  have gotten quite proficient with litmus paper and measuring the degree to which things are acid or base.  In fact, I now also own a middle tier acid tester, and a bunch of buffers to calibrate it.  You can probably get by with just litmus paper (per my wife), but I was just sitting around recovering anyway, and it's been educational.

    Tap water should be neutral  (pH value of 7),  but I live in the mountain west, and ours is slightly alkaline, which probably contributes to the problem.  I am considering going to distilled water for drinking.  

    Salt and SODA rinse, which your husband may still be using, is very alkaline (9 or 10 depending on soda content), while salt water only is faintly acidic (my wife, who stayed awake in that class, informs me salt should end up neutral).  

    Vinegar of any form is incredibly acidic (2 or 3), but not something you want to drink all day.  Saurkraut, which marinates in vinegar, is also highly acidic.  With a fungal tongue it doesn't have as strong a taste, and Costco currently has a rather good one that contributes to rather nice ruben sandwiches.  You can substitue vinegarette for the dressing.  That may be a step too far for people recently out of treatment, I'm just starting five months post.

    There is a controlled study by a hospital in Baltimore that found that Biotene Dry Mouth is a cheaper alternative to Nystatin, and yet still somewhat effective (it is also faintly acidic).  It also has the virtue of not creating immune bacteria (it kills things chemically).

    Soda water, a.k.a San Pelligrino, starts out mildly acidic, but can be augmented with lemon juice (or apple vinegar) to increase acidity.

    Coconut oil is faintly acidic, but tends to distort taste (IMHO).  Also, it seems to supress appitite, so maybe not cook his eggs and hashbrowns in it (I stopped this morning and feel somewhat better).  

    I plan to refill my diflucan prescription, email my oncol (who has evolved into my primary care), marinate my tongue periodically in Biotene, drink an occasional diliuted apple vingar cup, and concentrate on building up my entire immune and digestive system.  There doesn't seem to be an alternative.  Oh, and I've spent the last four days feeling like crap, but today was better, so ever onward and upward.

  • rsp
    rsp Member Posts: 103 Member
    edited May 2017 #3

    I knew you were the one with all of the toothbrushes... remember, you gave me a good laugh when I originally read about your toothbrushes, just at I time I needed to smile.  I was wondering how they were working, but I see you have gone beyond the toothbrushes in your battle with thrush.  Very impressive!

    Interesting you mention Difulcan; my husband just went to his PCP for the first time since this whole roller coaster ride started, and she could not believe the cancer dr. had not prescribed Difulcan.  So, he took his first pill today.

    I will heed your words as well as go back and do a search on "thrush" on this site.  You are right about finding out the BEST information right here... from those who were in the trenches.  

    Please let me know if you find that "secret" thrush crusher!


  • AnotherSurvivor
    AnotherSurvivor Member Posts: 383 Member
    Ultimately the solution is

    Ultimately the solution is going to have to be a smooth functioning "system".  We either fix digestion, or we revisit this thread.  Based on some of the previous threads, it's possible to do that cycle 5 or 6 times. Obviously, there are timing issues with achieving that, my guess is two more months of steady work.  I'm forcing myself to expand my diet, and no, it ain't fun.  I know I have not been consuming enough green vegetables, and have been locked in a few easily microwavable items.  "The only people staying on this beach are the dead or those going to die",  so I need to just suck it up and do it.

    Again, be rigorous in cleanliness.  The toothbrush goes in the trash after use.  I clean the tip of my waterbottle before each use.  I am washing a great many water glasses.  But look for the unobvious as well.  I was running a mist vaporizer at night to help with drymouth.  I THOUGHT I was keeping it clean until I disassembled it and submerged it in a bleach/water solution and discovered I had a huge buildup in green algae.

    I am more than skeptical about some of the home remedies, especially when I can find no controlled clinical studies.  There are oceans of graduate students in the world, looking for research topics.  Yet the probiotic industry does not seem to sponsor much controlled clinical research.  A bit odd that.