Hello all. What follows is my doctor’s recommended treatment plan for what he is diagnosing as “bacterial overgrowth” in conjunction with “severe constipation”. I’m posting it here in the hopes of getting some feedback on how successful this might be as well as how I could make modifications to make treatment more successful long-term. I have been reading the forums for some time but this is my first post – I hope to be blessed with many replies! Thank you in advance for reading my post and sharing your knowledge.
First, I will over my most prominent symptoms: general fatigue, low blood pressure, low heart rate, constantly cold, muscle soreness/weakness, weak digestion, oral thrush, constipation, and receding gums. I am a male in my early 30’s and am very thin, always have been, although I have lost additional weight recently. I have known for about one year that I have Candida overgrowth. I have had symptoms for years but they have become more pronounced in the past year. I assumed some additional responsibilities in the past year, which has resulted in an increase in stress levels, which I know has contributed to my health problems. I have tried to address the Candida over the past year by cleaning up my diet and also undertaking practices to improve digestion and improve transit time though the bowels. I have also experimented with bowel cleansing. My results to date have been disappointing. I have found that certain protocols have helped me manage my symptoms but any lasting progress is hard to come by. All of my bowel cleansing attempts have been for the large part been unsuccessful. I have attempted several different protocols. My main stumbling block has been that once I stop eating solid food for the cleanse (as most cleanses specify) I stop having bowel movements and it becomes difficult to get anything moving even when drinking copious amounts of water and following all of the directions of the cleanse - it’s clear that I am very backed up inside.
Along with my symptoms my doctor’s diagnosis is primarily based on slow bowel transit which was observed during a recent small bowel follow-though that he ordered. It took the barium two to three times longer to pass though me compared to a normal person. I’ll note that no other abnormalities were noted during the test. My doctor’s diagnosis is also based on the results of a hydrogen breath test in which I drank of cup of water with fructose and blew into a series of bags for several hours. My results showed extremely high methane levels (10-15x normal) even before I drank the Sugar drink. The elevated methane as well as my symptoms point to severe constipation according to my doc.
Now, on to recommended treatment. First, he wants me to go through a colonoscopy prep which will serve to completely clean out my bowels. The protocol includes taking laxatives, fasting, and at the end flushing out the bowels by drinking a quart of prescribed liquid which will course through the bowels and flush any remaining material (similar to a salt water flush). After this has been done he wants to put me on a cycle of metronidazole (strong antibiotic) for one week while also taking milk of magnesia throughout the week to keep things moving. After the week is up he suggests that I hit the probiotics hard to replenish beneficial gut flora since the metronidazole will supposedly “wipe the slate clean”. He has supposedly had patients in the past show very positive results from this treatment regimen.
I’m strongly considering giving this a shot even though I am adverse to the idea of going on Antibiotics . Antibiotics are often what allows Candida overgrowth to start after all!
One thing I am also concerned about is the possible presence of parasites. I’m considering the possibility of undergoing some sort of parasite cleanse or general Colon Cleanse the same week I take the metronidazole. With the milk of magnesia keeping things moving along I’m thinking that a cleanse this week might be more successful than my past attempts. Additionally, after the metronidazole cycle I’m thinking of fasting for several days and only taking green juices, Vitamineral Green powder, and probiotics in an effort to starve any remaining Candida and also populate my colon with a large infusion of probiotics. I’ve read that a cycle of metronidazole can be quite taxing on the system so I’m not sure how realistic doing a parasite/colon cleanse in conjunction with it would be. A liver cleanse is something I’m interested in doing after the metronidazole cycle. The only thing that my comprehensive blood test showed was elevated liver activity. Nothing extreme but it does appear that my liver is working harder than it should – which can be expected with Candida.
That’s pretty much sums it up. I’m really in need of some guidance and am looking forward to your replies!