In Part 1 of this series, I explained the western vs. functional medicine approach to HPV. Read Part 1 here.
Even though HPV is a very common infection, treating it requires a completely individualized approach.
Quick recap: For the vast majority of people, the immune system is able to clear HPV on it’s own.
For the people who get HPV and can’t clear it, there can be numerous factors at play. As your functional medicine practitioner, my job is to not only identify these factors, but help you implement an affordable, manageable plan to address them.
In real life, I break this into two steps. Let’s look at them both.
Step 1: The Foundation
It sounds too simple… but for the majority of people who struggle with HPV, it is changing the basics that makes the biggest impact.
Getting good sleep – 7-9 hours per night, in a dark room, with the same sleep and wake time on average every day.
Healthy diet – removing foods that are troublesome for you, increasing whole foods, decreasing processed and inflammatory foods.
Exercise you enjoy – adding in exercise if you’re sedentary, and cutting back if you’re overdoing it at the gym, since over-exercise can suppress immune function.
Stress management – this varies person to person. It can be as simple as adding a meditation practice or as life-changing as quitting your job or moving.
Finding happiness and joy – not just reducing stress, but actively adding in things that you love and fill you with joy.
Spending time outside – camping, hiking, even a walk in the park. It’s all about re-connecting with nature.
Many people find that just making these changes not only ramps up their immune function (helping them clear HPV) but that it transforms their entire life.
To give proper attention to how important this step of the healing process is, I’ve teamed up with 2 health coaches who specialize in helping people make enjoyable, sustainable lifestyle changes for better health.
>>> Learn more about our health coaches here
Step 2: Specific Immune Support
Step 2 is the part where my specialty comes in – creating customized supplement protocols. While every client’s treatment plan is unique, here are some of my go-tos for HPV treatment:
Green Tea – Epigallocatechin gallate, a compound in green tea, has been evaluated on the cells of the cervix and has been shown to inhibit HPV and induce cell death of abnormal cells. In a case study of patients with CIN-2, those treated with green tea had a greater response than those given other treatments.
Coriolus versicolor – Also known as turkey tail, research has shown that in women with abnormal pap smear results, using a vaginal cream containing this mushroom led to significantly higher numbers of normal pap smears 3 and 6 months later.
Indole-3-carbinol – This substance is found in cruciferous veggies. A case study looked at the effects of indole-3-carbinol on high-grade lesions. Subjects were given 400mg of indole-3-carbinol per day. None of the placebo group showed complete regression, but 4 of the 9 who took the indole-3-carbinol showed complete regression after 12 weeks.
Beta glucan – This well-known immune modulator has been shown to have anti-cervical cancer properties.
In addition to these supplements, I like to use green tea, curcumin, probiotic and vitamin E suppositories. I also use a Chinese herbal liquid extract based on formula used in women’s gynecology for thousands of years, “Yin Care,” applied as a vaginal rinse in the morning.
Finally, I find that there is almost always a lack of adequate folate in my clients with HPV concerns. This can be due to poor absorption, a lack of folate in the diet, folate-depleting medications (commonly the birth control pill), or genetic SNPs that make keeping an adequate folate status more difficult. Rather than just prescribe a folate supplement, I recommend testing first. Not everyone needs more folate, and there is such a thing as overmethylation.
Case Study: A Real Life HPV Success Story
Now that you know what my treatment basics are, let’s look at how this works in real life. I want to tell you about a patient of mine who recently cleared her HPV and reversed her abnormal cells.
My client went in for a routine pap smear only to be told her results were abnormal and she was positive for HPV. A follow-up colposcopy showed she had CIN-1 and CIN-2-3 cells.
Her doctor recommended a LEEP, but my client was hesitant due to the potential side effects. Instead, she decided to turn to me. We had already had great results working together on her adrenal function, chronic Epstein-Barr virus, and food sensitivities.
Because she had already addressed the majority of foundations discussed above, the only lifestyle change we made was eliminating sugar. From there, we went straight into step 2, treating her immune system and the infection systemically.
We started with a 60-day customized plan that included:
- Coriolus extract
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Antiviral herbs (both western and Chinese)
- Green tea suppositories
- Probiotics both orally and vaginally
After 60 days on this protocol, she went for a repeat colposcopy… and the abnormal cells were gone! This was a huge success.
There were still signs of cervicitis (inflammation of cervix), but with reparative change, meaning things were getting better.
But even with these good results, her doctor still recommended a LEEP. We didn’t let that deter us, though, and continued with the 2nd phase of treatment. We added:
- High dose vitamin C
- Switched up the antiviral herbs
- Added the Chinese herbal formula Xiao Fu Zhu Yu Tang which has been shown to reduce cervicitis
- Added curcumin extract caps vaginally and Vitamin E suppositories
- Added a Chinese herbal liquid extract as a vaginal rinse, based on the “Yin Care” formula used in women’s gynecology for thousands of years
After 6 weeks on this protocol, she then had a repeat pap smear and… (drum roll please….)
She was negative for all dysplasia and negative for HPV!
We then moved into the final phase of her treatment: ongoing antiviral support and new suppositories to focus on repairing any remaining cervicitis: calendula, vitamin E, vitamin A, and DHEA.
Become An HPV Success Story Yourself
This client’s experience isn’t an unusual one – with the right support, it is to be expected that your body can heal HPV and the abnormal cells it causes long before it ever progresses to cancer.
If you’re dealing with HPV or abnormal cells, I’d love to chat with you about a customized protocol that could help you have similarly fantastic results.
The first step is to book a free intro call with my team. These calls are totally free and no-obligation. It’s like a first coffee date: low stakes, but it could lead to something amazing!
If you like what you hear, we’ll help you build a customized treatment plan tailored to your needs, lifestyle, and budget.
>>> Book a free intro call here
PS – Already had a LEEP? Just found out you have HPV? Wherever you are on the journey – and no matter what treatment choices you’ve already made – I would be honored to help you find the path forward toward healing. Book a free call to learn how.