Updated on March 11, 2017
Weeding the garden
Hey hey! It’s been awhile since I last checked in. I’ve been back to work and really, there wasn’t anything to update y’all on. It took a few months of testing, but I finally have a diagnosis and treatment plan.
After months of sickness and testing, we finally have some answers. It is not at all what both my Functional Practitioner and I suspected. We both felt strongly it was SIBO. Like, we were shocked that test came back fine. Then she was shocked the extensive wheat & gluten test came back great. Me, not so much. I just knew it wasn’t wheat or gluten. LONG LIVE BREAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
During the testing process, my body increasingly started to react to nearly every food I put into it. Except chicken and white rice. That has been my go – to meal on the worst of days. You’d prolly think I’d be sick of it, but it’s actually my favorite meal because it’s comforting.
Then we did a large intestine test. Probably one of the least glamorous things I’ve done in my whole little life.
However, it was worth it because it gave us the most insight on what’s going on with this broken gut:
- Candida – colon and likely SIFO
- Low beneficial strains in colon
- High number of commensal bacteria
- Possible hydrogen sulfide SIBO – we can’t prove it, but strongly believe it’s there.
Additional issues we are and will be addressing:
- Sluggish liver
- Low HcL
- Food intolerances
I had the Candida diagnosis in November of 2014, at the same time I found out about my food allergies & intolerances. Back then it was a very mild case that I tried to get under control with a huge diet modification. Which for the record I will never do again. I didn’t try antimicrobials, which in hindsight, I should have. Then in April of 2016 I had gallbladder removal surgery and never fully recovered since.
Here is my theory on what I think happened:
I already had a mild yeast overgrowth, then had that traitor gallbladder removed. During surgery they pumped me full of antibiotics, which killed a lot of good gut bacteria. I never fully recovered, partly due to the yeast taking over even more. During this time I was taking probiotics, but I believe they may have been the wrong strain(s).
In September of 2016 I was still working with the IBS Treatment Center, and the doctor increased my probiotics. I was taking 100 billion a day which made me feel even worse. Gah I felt so unwell, with even more gut issues and struggled to make it through the day. My health was spiraling downward at a fast rate. That’s when I stopped working with the IBS TC and went Stanford.
In the beginning of November of 2016, I was on another round of antibiotics for a UTI, and the following week is when my health tanked. Even though I took a probiotic with the antibiotic, I think my gut was just too wrecked from everything else.
Treatment is a lot different this time around. You guys know I’ve been working with a new Functional Practitioner here in Monterey and I love her! She’s also my acupuncturist. Her approach is so refreshing. She explained that because I’ve been sick for so long, we are going to approach treatment like taking out a garden at the end of the season. Instead of dumping Round Up all over it, we’re going to pull weeds & plants one by one.
For someone who suffered greatly on the anti-Candida diet, and is still very sick, this is so refreshing. I feel so optimistic because our plan has baby steps that are broken down. We can deviate from it if something doesn’t work or whatever the case may be, but I have an outline of what lies ahead.
Before I get into how we’re treating my gut issues, please know that this plan & natural herbs are tailored to my specific needs. We did a lot of testing to figure out what works best, so if you have gut issues, please reach out to a Holistic/Chinese Medicine Functional Practitioner. Don’t follow the protocol some chick on the internet is doing.
- First thing is to support the liver. I have a mysterious pressure/slight pain just under my right rib where the gallbladder was. At first I could literally feel it expand when I ate any amount of fat, but now it comes and goes. No one can identify what it is or where it’s coming from. So to be extra cautious, we are supporting the liver by taking Milk Thistle twice a day and taking Sunflower Lecithin with meals that have fat.
- Continue HcL. I take this with meals that have protein and it has been a huge game changer in aiding digestion.
- Antimicrobials. There are two, but we are going to start with introducing 1 at a time. If I tolerate it well, we will add the second. When taken at the same time, they work better together.
- 2-4 weeks after antimicrobials, rebuild beneficial gut bacteria with pre and probiotics.
- We may use biofilm, but we’ll see how everything else goes first.
Last night I started the first antimicrobial using the “low and slow” method. Things went great, so I upped the dose a little this morning. In a few days I’ll introduce the second one and cross my fingers I don’t have a horrible die off reaction. I’ll update the blog as we go along.
Has anyone worked with a Functional or Holistic practitioner? Please share your experiences.
Have you had or have Candida or gut issues? How did you treat it?