the other commenter may have a point, i havent used bitters extensively so i wouldnt know about them.
and i have also found digestive enzymes to not make a huge difference, though i still take them. however, i have found nothing more useful than betaine HCL in alleiviating my symptoms and even beginning the cure to leaky gut and food sensitivity.
digestive enzymes can be taken before during or after meals...i take them during..and betaine can be taken during or after. betaine capsules dissolve immediately so you dont want to take them before you have sufficient protien and bulk in your stomach to occupy it...or else it will occupy itself with digesting your stomach walls. i usually take one mid meal, and then one- or however many i need- directly after
betaine is safe if used as directed and it is for therapeutic use, not long term dependency...in this way it will induce the stomach to produce suffiecient acidity upon demand (when eating) and will not replace the body's natural desire to produce HCL. two things strongly stimulate acid production-PROTEIN and STOMACH ACID...so taking Betaine HCL stimulates the body to produce MORE ACID...not to stop producing. always get betaine HCL with pepsin
to take betaine HCL therapuetically: begin with one 324mg capsule per meal (never take with salad or fruit only full meals) and raise by one per meal until you feel heat...this could get up to 19 pills or 6156 mg's (or 10 600 mg pills) without being too much neccissarily...so sometimes you may think it is too much but go by what your body feels
when you feel heat/gas/discomfort/excess bile decrease by one for next meal...then continue at that dose until you feel heat again.. decrease by one for next meal..wait of heat...continue until you are taking no betaine at all...this could be 3 weeks max... then if you are on a safe low Sugar
candida diet/ and taking fiber and Bentonite
supplements every morning noon and night...you may not have a relapse of low HCL...but most likely you will... then you will repeat the program and probably not get to as many pills and it wont take as long...but again do it on how your stomach feels.
i personally no longer use betaine, though when i was taking it i had low hcl relapses 3 or four times...every time i repeated and it got better, and now i do not need them.
digestive enzymes like papain or bromelain are useful in stopping excess acidity. if you get too much heat you can either eat more bulk food -protein, for the hcl to work on(beans rice meat)- or take a dose of digestive enzymes and you will feel better-water genereally does nothing.
you should also avoid foods that you are intolerant or allergic to or foods that irritate you while you are treating...
hcl will get you on your way to regularity and no constipation...but bentonite clay and fiber supplements are crucial to creating a fast moving, clean, well functioning digestive tract where an highly acid stomach bolus can become alkaline in the small intestine and then slightly acid again in the colon. constipation causes many of the candida symptoms.
lots of veggies raw and cooked at every meal are crucial to good health/ healing acidosis.
fermented foods and probiotics (NO VINEGAR) such as saurkraut, yogurt or keifer may help regulate your ph if you are not intolerant to dairy.
good diet, betaine, fiber/bentonite, veggies, and probiotics
are the five best things you can do on a anti candida program in my opinion. they have drastically improved my quality of life with dysbiosis.
therapeutic short term antifungal use i also suggest.
a complete plan and approach to treating dysbiosis/candida is paramount to getting better..rather than any one miracle cure.