For several years, I’d been experiencing increasingly severe auto-immune symptoms: I have had Raynaud’s syndrome for years, but it was worse than ever, I broke out in hives for seemingly no reason (there was a period of two weeks when I could only eat white rice and drink water, because anything else made me break out), I was constantly exhausted, and my migraines were getting more and more frequent. Every doctor I went to in Houston – supposedly some of the best rheumatologists, gastro-intestinal specialists, and endocrinologists in the world – looked at lab tests they performed on me, told me my blood tests were fine, and sent me home.
I was at my wit’s end. I was in grad school, and my parents and I were seriously discussing whether I would be able to hold down a job after graduation (and whether I was going to be able to graduate, which I thankfully did, partly because of my professors’ generosity and understanding). While searching the internet, I found Dr. McManus’s information, and decided to make an appointment. When I told my OB-GYN, she looked at me skeptically and warned me against going to “quacks.” (She was one of the many doctors who told me my blood tests were fine and implied that it was all in my head. She’s no longer my OB-GYN, of course).
I met with one of Dr. McManus’s providers who immediately diagnosed me with a candida infection. I’d heard of candida infections (essentially, a fungal infection of the gut, typically the result of over-use of antibiotics and a starchy diet), and my brother-in-law had done some research and suggested that candida might be my problem. Two weeks later, I started treatment for the candida infection.
After 6 weeks of treatment (a combination of diet and prescription anti-fungals, with some nutritional supplements and probiotics), I was 100% better. Before treatment, I’d have been lucky to be able to walk 1/2 mile without having to stop for rest. I had an unhealthy pallor – when I didn’t have hives – and was exhausted by sitting up for too long. A couple of weeks ago, I clocked my most recent walk: 4 miles. I CAN WALK FOUR MILES, NOW! That might not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but for me, it’s a huge victory.
Treatment for my infection officially ended in April, but I still follow the dietary and nutritional protocol Dr. McManus prescribed – I don’t want to get candida again! Unlike most modern doctors, Dr. McManus doesn’t just look at one part of your body – the digestive system, or the immune system – but at how all of those systems work together as a whole. She understands that anything you eat and drink is going to have an effect on the way ALL of your body’s systems perform because your body’s systems are intrinsically interconnected. Dr. McManus’s staff is incredibly helpful and caring – I had multiple email check-ups each week with my consulting nurse to monitor things like my hormone levels (which were erratic because of the trauma my body had undergone from the infection), my appetite, and my energy level. If something wasn’t improving – like my B12 levels and my energy – ZIP! out came a package of B12 drops I could take throughout the day to supplement my diet.
A side note: Dr. McManus doesn’t process insurance, but I was able to file with my insurance company and get some of the payments back. I was fortunate in that I had some student loans and some VERY generous and concerned parents who helped me out, because the treatment wasn’t cheap. It was totally worth it, though, as I’d spent more than the cost of treatment with Dr. McManus going to “traditional” doctors who kept telling me nothing was wrong with me.