Sarah was a 51-year-old physician who complained of bloating and fatigue, along with alternating constipation and diarrhea that had been going on for 15 years.
She had seen three gastroenterologists, all of whom told her that she was suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. But nothing they prescribed for her made any difference in her symptoms.
Finally, Sarah decided to see what holistic medicine could do for her. Sarah told me that she had taken a lot of antibiotics over the years — for repeated ear and throat infections when she was young, and for acne as an adult. Sarah was also eating a lot of dairy and gluten.
My exam revealed that she had a very tender abdomen and thick, whitish tongue. I asked her to collect a stool sample and send it in to the lab.
While waiting for the test results, I asked Sarah to avoid all dairy products. When she came back three weeks later, she was 50 percent better. In fact she said, “I’m better than I’ve been for years.”
Sarah’s test showed that she had a very small amount of healthy bacteria. Furthermore, she had an overgrowth of yeast (candida) and dysbiotic bacteria (Klebsiella oxytoca).
We reviewed these results and I told Sarah that absolutely had to build up her own healthy bacteria by taking a good probiotic. At the same time, she would need to lower the dysbiotic organisms.
I put Sarah on a short course of an antifungal medication, as well as a brief regimen of an antibiotic to lower her Klebsiella counts.
I also asked her to take oregano oil and grapefruit seed extract as they both have antifungal properties, and help lower dysbiotic bacteria without harming natural bacteria.
Finally, I prescribed a probiotic in order to repopulate her intestines with healthy microorganisms.
Six weeks later, at another checkup, Sarah reported, “I feel like a new person. All of my discomfort is gone and my bowels are moving normally. I can’t understand why they don’t tell doctors how to this in medical school.”
I feel the same way.
Posts by David Brownstein, M.D.
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