I'm at somewhat of a crossroad and need help in deciding how best to proceed.
I've been working with two functional medicine practitioners over the past several months. Each has recommended a gut healing protocol. I am trying now to decide which option makes most sense.
A little background about myself: I'm 27 years old and have been dealing with cystic acne, to varying degrees, for over 10 years now. From 2008 to roughly 2012, I was on a variety of antibiotics, including Doxycycline, Bactrim, and Solodyn. In recent years, I have also dealt with dry eyes. My eyes were always somewhat dry but it wasn't until several months after I had LASIK that they became much worse. The cystic acne, dry eyes, and fatigue are the worst of my symptoms, but I also experience cold hands and feet, oily and dry skin, dark circles under my eyes, irritable bowel, brain fog, social anxiety, etc.
This past summer I had several tests done, including the BH 401H (GI Pathogens Screen), which uncovered a light growth of aspergillus and citrobacter. The first practitioner I worked with (who advised option 1) was not aware of this, as I had this test done at a later time through the other practitioner.
My goal in essentially implementing a 4R/gut healing program is to address my test results as well as to counter years of antibiotic overuse. While option 2 adds things like liver and adrenal support and seems to be the more comprehensive protocol, my biggest problem with this is that it's $2,400 over three months, which just seems sort of insane. I want to heal myself but at the same time I want to make sure that I'm being very careful with my money.
Is anyone familiar with any of these products? Biocidin seems to be the gold standard among the functional medicine community for pathogen eradication but it has been difficult to find any information on these products outside of the manufacturer's website. Some things I'm wondering: Are these products safe? Can they used for three or more months? Can taking natural antibiocitcs, especially after years of using harsh prescription antibiotics, cause more damage to the gut? I have tried to include in parenthesis the intended use of each supplement, if known.
Metagenics Candibactin BR (Antimicrobial)
Numedica Gluten Support Tri-Flora Plus (Probiotic)
Azeopangen Extra Strength (Digestive Enzymes)
Numedica B-Replete (Vitamin B Supplement)
Numedica Dual Detox DPO (Detoxing Agent)
Numedica Magnesium Citrate (Detoxing Agent)
Numedica Gluten Sensitivity GI Support
Metagenics Glutagenics Powder
BioMatrix Adapt Align (Adrenal Support)
BioMatrix Licorice Root Extract (Adrenal Support)
Gaia Energy Vitality (Adrenal Support)
BioMatrix Support Digestion (Digestive Enzymes)
BioMatrix Support Liver (Liver Support)
Gaia Liver Health (Liver Support)
BioMatrix Support Mucosa (Mucosal Barrier Repair)
OMP Glutashield (Mucosal Barrier Repair)
OMP Ortho Biotic (Probiotic)
OMP Candicid Forte (Pathogen Eradication)
Biocidin Liquid (Biofilm Dissolver)
Biocidin Capsules (Biofilm Dissolver)
Biotonic (Pathogen Eradication)
Olivirex (Anti-Microbial Agent)
G.I. Detox (Pathogen Eradication)
Any help is very appreciated.
It is a lot of stuff to take; however, at least for the second option, I would titrate or slowly introduce supplements one at a time over a period of a few weeks. The idea is that this would allow my body to acclimate to a detox protocol rather than diving into it full force all at once.
I know supplements can be a source of heavy metals but is there any reason to believe that this would also be the case with the brands I listed? This is what Biocidin lists on its website:
Our products are formulated by and are designed for health professionals. All botanicals used in our formulations are of the highest USP grade quality, are tested for purity, and come with Certificates of Analysis. There are no synthetic fillers or additives used, and all products are hypo-allergenic and are free of artificial flavors and colorings. Vegi-caps are used rather than gelatin capsules in manufacturing all encapsulated products. Our manufacturing facilities are federally and state licensed to produce nutritional supplements and are certified to follow Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP’s).
Product testing using American Association of Analytical Chemists (AOAC) methods are standard operating procedure. Independent laboratories are used to test for effectiveness and all products are tested in clinical usage by physicians before being added to our product line.
While that all sounds nice, I wonder if any of their product testing is available for public consumption.
Have you ever read "Clean Gut" by Dr. Alejandro Hunger? It's on the most basic and popular gut healing programs. This is essentially what I want to do. To heal my gut, tackling it from multiple angles.