Walking in to my functional medicine appointment on Thursday, I was excited for my impending graduation to yearly appointments. Though there was a long delay with my candida results, I tracked them down through the Cleveland Clinic lab and I was confident that they were going to be in the normal range. With normal candida levels, we only needed to discuss my elevated mycoplasma levels and diet reintegration. Boom. Easy.
Five minutes into the appointment and there were tears. Lots and lots of frustrated tears. My assumptions were incorrect. My candida levels have increased since February.
Yeah, you read that right. They’ve increased. Despite the strict anti-candida diet. Despite the round of anti-fungal medication. Despite the improvements to my skin. Originally my levels were 255. Now they’re >300. Normal is <101.
So, in trying to keep it together through my frustrated tears, I didn’t take in all that I should have from the appointment with the functional medicine doctor. From what I understand, we are trying one more course of action before we start looking into other reasons as to why my candida levels are so elevated. The most common reason is due to heavy metal toxicity, but I don’t present as someone who would be struggling with heavy metals, so they’re holding off a bit.
Instead, I’m going to go on a stronger anti-fungal medication, and combine it with a functional medicine supplement that is intended to break down biofilm. Apparently, when candida is present for a very long time, it can start growing this protective outer layer called a biofilm, to fend against traditional courses of treatment. The doctor described the first anti-fungal round as a “bomb that wiped out the streets, but didn’t kill people hiding in their houses.” By adding in the supplement, the biofilm should break down, and the stronger anti-fungal should kill off the whole candida population. If it doesn’t, we start testing for other causes.
Even though the candida overgrowth is not related to my diet (since the anti-candida diet clearly did not help), the nutritionist wants me to back off from many of the foods I reintegrated as to still cut off the candida’s food source. Goodbye gluten-free bread, seed-based crackers, beans, etc.
As for the mycoplasma issue, the doctor is limited in her treatment options because many can increase candida levels. They’ve decided to work on wiping out the candida first, and in the meantime, I had a chest x-ray completed (normal result) and will head for a pulmonary function test. I’ll still continue taking the mycoplasma supplement, and will touch base with the functional medicine team as soon as all of the test results are in to determine next steps.
I’m thankful to be working with this group of functional medicine practitioners. I’m grateful that they treat the whole person and that they put up with my tears as we worked through next steps. I’m thankful for my former face full of cystic acne that led me to this journey so we could discover what was actually going on in my body, since accutane certainly would not have helped my candida levels. I’m grateful that I’m only dealing with elevated candida levels at this point, and not something more serious.
I know they will figure it out. Bring on the get-really-sick-because-all-the-candida-must-die die off. Next appointment: October !
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