What is SIBO in the cliff notes version? It’s an overgrowth of the bacteria in your small intestines. In most cases, think of it as too much of a good thing. The overgrowth is causing numerous nasty side-effects you don’t want and by the end of the day you could bloat out to look 6 months pregnant just from eating one of your favorite foods. It hurts and causes issues with your bowels. In all, you don’t want this stuff. And it can be hard to treat.
Now you test. It takes you three hours to collect samples after drinking this super sweet liquid. You’re done with the collection, now what?
You have just put all these little tubes of your breath in the mail and now you wait. And wait. While waiting you decide WebMD and Google are great time passers. First search, what can’t I eat with SIBO. Wait. Wait. Wait. I’m going to stop you right there. First, what is wrong with what you just typed in? If you said, the CAN’T and the Negative you’d be correct.
You don’t want to start off any diagnosis or possible diagnosis with a list of restrictions. This will surely make whatever result that comes back that much more emotional and hard to handle. The simple fact is there are so many things you can find if you search for, SIBO friendly meals or Foods. Why not start your quest on a positive note.
My journey… without the list of symptoms and crap. Because around here we like to talk about the shiny turds, not just the stinkers.
Elemental Diet for SIBO
This was before we sent in the little tube of SIBO breath, we went on a guessing mission. Throwing darts at what it could be. During this time I also found parasites, high cortisol, and messed up hormones. But that’s another blog. Please remember, not all bodies are the same and this is my story and how it reacted to my body. I still feel this might be an amazing treatment for some bodies, just wasn’t for mine. And if your body can handle this treatment, I would say start here if your doctor recommends. Work with a health care professional to find the right treatment for you!
I started this and quickly disliked the taste, but was willing to do this to feel better. My bloat went away in the first few days, but I stopped having a bowel movement and felt a hard spot on my stomach. By day 7 my lower back was killing me and by a doctor and I became worried so I had to pack myself in my car for a little adventure for more instant tests. Let’s just say, did you see the picture of me in the ER in July? Here is where this leads me. It wasn’t completely that elemental diets fault, I had a lot of other things going on in my body, including a UTI.
I made the best of this trip, keeping a smile on my face. Celebrating wins, like I didn’t pee myself when I did a test. And when it came back with a UTI diagnosis I was relieved it wasn’t all in my head. The doctors in the ER actually looked at my tests from my Functional MD and wanted to learn more. They also wanted to come to visit and dance with cones because I wasn’t wallowing in the pain and fear. I was cracking jokes with them! Again the flip the switch.
We started an AIP meal plan. This was before we decided to test for SIBO. This backfired and again I felt sick and bloated all the time.
Low FODMAP for SIBO
Next, we started a Low FODMAP diet while waiting for the tests. The nausea stopped within days, but bloating and gas held in my chest didn’t for another week or two. But, I still kept packing on the pounds. I was tracking, watching everything I ate, having to navigate eating out, buying cookbooks, and basically making my disordered eating way worse. I tend to hyper-focus on foods when it comes to dieting and tracking. I also became a label Nazi and found a company that does Low FODMAP condiments and seasoning. This made life a little easier, but still, the struggle was real. I did the one day prep of boiled chicken and white rice and blew in tubes for three hours (get your mind out of the gutter people!) Still I came back with POSITIVE SIBO (Both).
FODY products for 10% OFF: Low FODMAP Condiments and Seasonings.
This Low FODMAP diet is amazing for managing symptoms! I mean wonderful! I had been nauseous for over two years and struggled with IBS symptoms since I was in my early teens. This was a miracle “diet’, but I say “diet” because long-term even though I was feeling better, I felt so restricted that I knew I would “cheat” again. If you are having worse symptoms that you are not willing to deal with this might be easier for you, but for me, I wasn’t ready to “give-up” that many things forever and I don’t feel you need to. I think this is also a wonderful way to Reset your system, then test foods for allergies and intolerances. It’s a great elimination diet to get you on track and eating the way your body wants too. I know my clients have had great results with this method of using it as a cleanse and primer for testing foods.
But now what for my overgrowth of friendly bugs? I’ve drunk something for a week that I thought tasted like moldy cake batter, I restricted my diet to lack of enjoyment of food, and I still have issues.
Didn’t help, now antibodies
You don’t want to be full up keeping these little buggers at bay. I mean you are killing everything in your gut, after all, you don’t want them hiding in their nice warm beds hydrating. You want them hungry and looking for food. This is why when you are treating with antibiotics, it might be best to go on something a little less restrictive for them to wake up and be active.
Where did I get this information? I was speaking with an R.D. named Diana Rogers at the 1440 Multiuniversity in Scotts Valley, CA. I recently have been diagnosed with SIBO (both). I know lucky me right?!?! Another F’ing diagnosis. If you want more about SIBO search for Chris Kresser/SIBO. I was telling her that I was about to go on my journey of 14-28 days of Xifaxan, 3 times a day and I was doing FODMAP. She looked at me and asked why, after saying “YOU NEED TO KILL THEM, ASAP!”
She began to explain to me about the SIBO and Low FODMAP with antibodies treatment. She said although the Low FODMAP is great for keeping your symptoms down it also calms you SIBO enough where it can hide. You want them to be active so they can be killed. She sent me to research Chris Kresser and another doctor in my area. I have to admit that this leads me down a few hour rabbit hole of research. Research, I am glad I did. My conclusion, while you are trying to kill these jerk bugs that have overgrown in your system you want them to be active and looking to eat. This doesn’t mean eat all the things an feel like crap the entire time, but it does mean to add back some of those healthy foods you removed that still allow you to function in your everyday life. For me, this solution was a Paleo diet. It feeds them a little bit, but also kept the majority of the debilitation symptoms of SIBO at bay.
KILL THE BUGS, ASAP!
This is where my journey is today. I’ve shifted back to Paleo and will continue for a few days. On Tuesday, I’ll start taking the Xifaxan and eating Paleo. I promise to keep you posted, but wanted to share the research and guidance that I have received so far. It might help you with questions or concerns when working with your doctor on SIBO and how to kill the overgrowth.
If getting another diagnosis has you down or you are struggling with letting symptoms get in your way of really enjoying life, I have a free resource for you! It’s call Diagnosed Freedom because you deserve to be diagnosed with freedom from your chronic crap, so you can live the life you love. Stop dragging it through your life and start living it, fully charged and thriving, despite having a chronic condition