Hi guys!! I FINALLY have a SIBO update for you – I know, I know.. it’s been a while. When I originally started the SIBO Series on my blog, I had planned to give more frequent updates, but I quickly realized that there were no updates to give. (If you’re unfamiliar with SIBO and the diet I have been following, read Post 1, Post 2, and Post 3, before this one).
My holistic nutritionist never made any big changes to my protocol, and nothing much was changing with how I felt physically or mentally, so I just didn’t have anything to say. I’ve been following this SIBO “protocol” (if you even want to call it that) since July, and saying that I’m fed up with it by now would be an understatement.
Over the past few months following SCD (specific carbohydrate diet) the biggest change is that my bloat has decreased a little. I still do get bloated but not as bad as before. I’ve tried a few herbal supplements that my nutritionist suggested, which resulted in my stomach burning and she told me to get off of them. I also tried rifaxmin – the antibiotic for sibo – which I stopped after a few days because I felt like I was DYING. Literally. My nutritionist never prepared me for the side effects, so I was in shock and just stopped taking it. So, for the past few months not much has changed. Still following SCD. Still incorporating some Low FODMAPS, still feeling sick!! Another newer symptom is the extreme fatigue I am feeling. I had dealt with fatigue before but nothing like this. I wake up early in the morning but I don’t feel like I actually wake up until a few hours later – like afternoon time. I feel like I am living in this daze/fog. My body feels completely drained of all energy when I get out of bed, and I don’t know how to kick start it. Exhaustion randomly consumes me at multiple points each day. It’s very weird, and very frustrating.
Since everything with my holistic nutritionist was so stagnant, I decided to stop working with her. She wasn’t helping whatsoever. I felt that I was more knowledgable than her on the subject and each appointment was a total waste of my time. I just needed to find someone new. So, I found a local Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), reached out, and made an appointment as soon as I could.
She has her own podcast where she has interviewed some of my FAVS in the wellness world, has a documentary in the works, spoke at EXPO west on a panel (the natural products expo that I have attended in Baltimore/Cali). Her food philosophy aligns right with mine and I am so so excited to have found her and get to work with her.
I met with her the other day for the first time and it was AMAZING. After just one meeting I am feeling so hopeful that I can actually feel good again. That I won’t have to be so strict on my diet forever. That I won’t always have this strange fatigue going on. It just feels like there is actually a light at the end of this gut health tunnel. She herself has actually dealt with SIBO, and her symptoms resinated with mine – she told me what she did to treat hers, and assured me that we could get me back to feeling good.
So, going forward – HERE’S THE PLAN
- I am sticking to SCD and still incorporating the FODMAPS diet, however she said to “eat what makes you feel good“. Meaning, if I know that something is high fodmap or “illegal” on SCD, but it doesn’t cause me to feel sick or have a reaction – I CAN EAT IT. I am going to still stay away from grains 100% with the exception of rice cakes! If you follow me on Instagram you know that they used to be my obsession. Just plain brown rice cakes (only ingredient = rice) with almond butter or avocado.. YUM
- I am going to start rifaxamin once again – the antibiotic for SIBO. Because I have reactions to SO many things, she says it’s best for me to stay away from herbals as they have may ingredients and we won’t be able to tell what is causing the reaction. She herself used the rifaxamin as well and said it helped a lot. She told me what to expect when taking it. She said die off will be rough for a few weeks – flu like symptoms, severe fatigue, body aches, sever bloating, etc. I experienced this all the last time I started the antibiotic, but since my nutritionist never prepared me for it I was too freaked out to stick with it. This time, I keeping with the plan.
- After antibiotics are done, we are going to start incorporating probiotics again!! Everyone knows that probiotics are super important for a healthy micro biome, but when you have SIBO you already have an overgrowth of bacteria, so you are supposed to stay clear of probiotics. Since the antibiotics will clear my system of ALL bacteria – good and bad – I’ll need to start taking probiotics again, which means I’ll also get to incorporate things like YOGURT into my diet finally!!! (too excited for yogurt bowls).
- Read “Healthy Gut, Healthy You” She suggested this book and told me she stands by every word of what the author suggests, so I will be getting my hands on that ASAP!
- Milk Thistle Tea – to support my liver when taking the antibiotic.
- Natural calm – a magnesium supplement that will help with sleep and other stomach issues
- SLEEP MORE I feel like I thrive off of 6 hours of sleep, but she says I need more like 8-9. Your gut works on repairs while you are sleeping, so lack of sleep can cause a lot of different issues.
- WORKOUT LESS. I have been working out less intensely since starting my original SIBO protocol – no cardio, lots of weight lifting 5-6 days a week. She wants me weight lifting 3 days a week and taking walks on the rest.
- After SIBO… once I am done with antibiotics and we retest
She explained to me that I am sick and that I need to be taking better care of myself – that diet alone was not enough. She made me feel validated. Like I wasn’t some wuwu nutcase who had this all made up in her head. I had never really thought of it has “being sick”, but when she said that I realized how true it was, and how I really need to give myself a break – listen to my body and rest when it feels fatigued, more sleep, change me workout routine, etc. I don’t really think people understand SIBO. They hear that it is a digestive disorder and assume that digestion is all that it impacts. It was good to feel understood. Sometimes I get frustrated with myself for being fatigued and push through it because I tell myself it’s all mental – but she made me feel like it was REAL.
When you have SIBO, you have an unhealthy gut. An unhealthy gut can be linked to depression, mood swings, anxiety, brain fog, autoimmune diseases, fatigue, etc. It’s more than just digestion that it effects – it’s the whole body.
For now, I am going to continue on with this plan. I don’t actually start the antibiotic for another week or two, so I will definitely keep you guys updated on how that goes! Once the antibiotics are done with and I am introducing probiotics, we are going to start focusing on my leaky gut, and also hormonal issues like adrenal fatigue and test my cortisol levels. I am going to do everything in my power to rid SIBO and get my gut healthy. I’m excited to have some hope after having not much at all for the past few months – fingers crossed!!!!