My Experience with Functional Medicine (Part 3)

This series will probably be among my most controversial…

… it is also among my most personal


Read part 1 here and part 2 here.


Earlier this week I met with another integrative health practice that my doctor referred me to. My doctor’s primary focus right now is healing my gallbladder/liver and detoxification pathways, but she wants me to work with someone with more experience with gut dysbiosis to help me with my own imbalances.

From what I’ve gathered talking with both my doctor and the new practitioner…

… I’m a confusing case.

Not exactly what you want to hear when you’re searching for answers and trying to get better.

However, she does think that there is a high chance that I have candidiasis – a systemic overgrowth of Candida albicans. Candida normally resides in and on the body. In a healthy person, the body’s good bacteria keep it in check. However, if the balance is altered then it can turn aggressive and the fungus can migrate beyond its normal boundaries.

Some of the things that can cause or exacerbate candidiasis (and which apply to me) are:

  • antibiotic use
  • chronic stress
  • low immunity
  • food allergies
  • hormonal imbalance
  • use of synthetic hormones
  • poor digestion

Candidiasis is normally treated using some variation of starvekillreplace.

STARVE the candida but taking away its food sources – refined or concentrated sugars, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, and peanuts (due to mold). Some may even need to eliminate fruit, mushrooms, gluten, yeasted breads, and vinegar. I know of several people who eat very low carb, essentially ketogenic, in order to weaken the candida even more quickly. I have already been eating like this for several weeks now, thanks to the elimination diet I am following.

KILL the fungus but using anti-candida remedies like antimicrobials/antifungals in a rotation. Rotation is important so that the candida is not given time to become resistant to the remedies you are using. For this step, I will be rotating between two formulations of natural antimicrobials, including essential oils like thyme, oregano, sage, and lemon, as well as Chinese herbs and berberine.

REINOCULATE with beneficial bacteria from probiotics.

So, all in all, we’re starting minimally and not doing any additional testing. My diet is already pretty restricted with the elimination diet and not having been able to reintroduce much of anything since I reacted to basically everything. The major change I will be making outside of the anti=candida supplements are increasing how much/often I take Betaine HCl (increases stomach acid to aid in digestion – I struggle with low stomach acid which results in reflux) and taking my Natural Calm magnesium supplement more regularly to assist in more regular elimination.

I am following up with that GI practitioner in a few weeks via e-mail and in-person in about 6 weeks. I will also probably be following up with my doctor shortly after that to do some retesting – but that may need to be delayed because of the holidays and traveling. I can’t wait to see where all this work is getting us!

To be continued…


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