Updated: Dec 30, 2022
Biofilms are slimy, glue-like substances that form when of one or more types of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, parasites, virus) attach to a surface or area of the body and create a colony. In fact, more than 80% of microbial infections are caused by biofilms! Examples of biofilms include dental plaque and the slime that forms in your pet's water bowl. Biofilms thrive on moist or wet surfaces including the skin, teeth, and mucosa of the nose, mouth, lungs, stomach, vagina, colon, etc. Bacteria, fungi, toxins, parasites, heavy metals, mold and candida all form biofilms, and unless these biofilms are broken down, the infection persists. Because these infections are often hidden and trapped in biofilms, your infection markers (lymphocytes, monocytes, basophils, eosinophils) may look "normal" on your lab work. Only when these biofilms are released will your labs show evidence of infection.
The type of infections caused by biofilms are often chronic and reoccurring, making them difficult to treat and resistant to antibiotics. Common conditions caused by biofilms include: chronic sinusitis, ear infections, urinary tract infections, GI infections, Lyme disease, yeast infections and candida. Symptoms of biofilms include:
joint or muscle pain
pain behind the eyes
shortness of breath
sores on scalp
chills or sweating
While biofilms are mostly problematic, not all biofilms are bad; they can actually help to maintain the healthy bacteria in our gut and on our skin. To naturally prevent the formation of "bad" biofilms while enhancing "good" biofilms, add the following to your diet:
If you are suffering with chronic infections or chronic health issues that may be caused by hidden infections, it is essential to address biofilms. When dealing with more advanced biofilms and chronic infections, specific supplements may be recommended by your functional medicine practitioner. These "biofilm busters" are recommended based on your unique presentation and may include: cistus tea, monolaurin, Japanese knotweed, ALA, bismuth subnitrate, or black cumin seed. With all functional medicine patients, we begin the process of detoxification by breaking down biofilms using physician-grade natural supplements to ensure an effective treatment and help you to heal from chronic parasitic, bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.