Rebecca Coomes The Healthy Gut Getting my SIBO breath test results

Last week I shared with you why I was re-testing for SIBO, three years after my original diagnosis.  It was quite a strange feeling, going through the prep diet when I thought I'd never have to do it again.  I felt nothing as I did the test, which perhaps gave me a false sense of security, as when I originally did it, I was quite gassy and had diarrhoea by the end of the 3-hour window.

I tried not to think about the impending results too much, but the inevitable day came where my Naturopath told me the results were in.

The Results

And the verdict is.... my SIBO has returned.

A little part of me felt really sad.  I've done so much work on my health over these past 3 years that I had hoped I would be able to keep it away.  But my sensible brain quickly took over, reminding me that my abdominal cavity is full of adhesions, and my ileocecal valve is caught up in them.  It would actually be a miracle if I didn't have SIBO return.  Instead, what I have had is 3 years of amazing health.  I've been healthier and felt better these past 3 years than I've ever felt before in my life.  So all is not wasted.

I know you'll be eager to hear what my results were.  I have hydrogen dominant SIBO.  I have no methane SIBO whatsoever, which I find interesting because I do veer towards constipation rather than diarrhoea.  But I've never really fit the mould, so why should I start now?  (Hydrogen dominant SIBO is generally categorised by diarrhoea in patients).  My numbers also peaked higher than they did on the original test.  I am intrigued by this because this bought of SIBO has been around for less time than the original critters.

My Treatment Plan

My naturopath has put me on the following supplements.  But before I share them with you, I want to remind you that what works for me won't necessarily work for you, so do seek the advice of a qualified practitioner who has experience treating SIBO to work out which protocol is best for you. The SIBO Test website is a great place to find a SIBO practitioner if you need help finding one.

MotilPro - this prokinetic worked well for me last time and will help support me to get my small intestine flushing food and waste through it

Berberine and Bactrex - These two pocket rockets are commonly used to treat hydrogen SIBO.  I will be alternating them so that my body doesn't get used to either of them.  I'll do 4-5 days on one, then swap to the other.  I also have to start out at a low dosage, as I can be quite sensitive to the herbs.  I will slowly increase the dosage over several days until I'm confident I can tolerate the full strength dosage.

Candibactren - Due to my intense sugar cravings after eating sugar at Christmas, my naturopath suspects SIFO (small intestinal fungal overgrowth) might be at play. I will take this once I'm established on the SIBO protocol and any die-off has occurred. I will monitor how I feel (if I have SIFO I should feel clearer in the head and my sugar cravings should disappear). If I feel markedly improved, then this will tell us there's a fungal component too and we'll treat that as well.

Zinc - My uBiome Explorer results indicated hydrogen sulphide SIBO might be at play. Zinc binds to hydrogen sulphide so if I do have critters who are producing it, this will help.  If not, zinc is good for overall health so won't harm me.

What's Next?

I will re-test in 4-6 weeks to see if the treatment has been effective at lowering my hydrogen numbers. Last time I went through my SIBO treatment, I was rigid with my diet, following the SIBO Bi Phasic Diet to the letter.  This time, I'm being more relaxed as I don't want to end up fearing food like I did last time.  I'm working with Dr Jason Hawrelak on the health of my broader microbiome and am aiming for 40+ plant-based foods per week.  If you'd like to count how many plant-based foods you eat each week, grab a copy of my Plant-Based Weekly Food Tracker.

Most importantly, I am about to commence work on one of the underlying causes of my SIBO: adhesions.  Alyssa Tait from Equilibria Health in Brisbane, Queensland will be doing 4-hours of visceral mobilisation therapy on me in March.  I suspect I will require many more hours to improve the structure of my abdominal area, but I'm looking forward to seeing how I feel after 4-hours with her. I interviewed Alyssa for The Healthy Gut podcast. Check out the podcast if you would like to learn more about adhesions or visceral mobilisation.

 

SIBO: Back to Basics Coaching Program

Rebecca Coomes The Healthy Gut Getting my SIBO breath test results

The start of the year is a great time to set some new intentions and goals around getting your health back on track.  I'm excited to announce the launch of the SIBO: Back to Basics Coaching Program. Over the next 12 weeks, I'll be guiding you through my 5 Key Pillars to Health and why they have been vital to my own journey with SIBO, and how they will be an integral step in your recovery. Join me and other SIBOers for an educational, fun and interactive coaching program, as I show you how you can take back control so SIBO doesn't ruin your life.

Learn more here >>

33 thoughts on “Getting my SIBO breath test results”

  1. Hi Rebecca. I’m so glad to hear that you’ll be working on adhesion release with Alyssa Tait! Ever since hearing her talk on your podcast I have wished I could work with her too! I’m in the Pacific Northwest looking for the right practitioner to address my adhesions so that I can actually heal my gut and not just stay stuck in the same cycle.
    Best of healing to you!

    Karaina

    1. Hi Karaina
      Have you considered going to Clear Passage? I’d LOVE to be treated by them one day (of course if I don’t get resolution with Alyssa). They’ve got a location in Portland, Oregon which might suit you? They’re the adhesion specialists!
      Rebecca x

    2. I’m sorry it’s come back and glad you have such an experienced/ calm attitude toward it. Equanimity!
      I have been working with a specialized massage therapist for adhesion treatment. So far, four 30 minute sessions, 2 weeks apart, and she variously uses muscle testing (don’t ask me what that means) or a pulse oximeter to monitor how I’m doing with it and to know when to stop. Each session has left me with 2-5 days of tremendous fatigue (followed by increased energy & capacity.) I highly recommend it but there is non way I could stand 4 hours (although I also have Lyme going on.) I think the inflammation itself causes adhesions. Good luck and please keep us posted!

  2. Hi! Ugh! Sorry to hear SIBO has made a return visit. I am curious, have you been having symptoms (gas, bloating) or a decline in your health (energy, sleep)? Wishing you a speedy recovery. Love everything you do to bring awareness to gut health.

    1. Hi Elizabeth
      I only had some symptoms over Christmas when I ate gluten, dairy and sugar. But as soon as I went back to my ‘normal’ way of eating, the symptoms disappeared. I really only tested ‘just in case’ it had come back so was surprised to see it had, as I felt sooooo much better than I did 3 years ago before my original diagnosis. It just goes to show how important all of my other lifestyle changes have been to my overall health, that I can have SIBO back and not really feel it unless I go cray cray with the food.
      Rebecca x

  3. My sibo test just came back positive too. Only for me, I’ve never gotten rid of it to begin with. Nine months since diagnosis, 4 rounds of treatment, strict SIBO diet, tons of supplements, and both hydrogen and methane continue to rise. I have, however, finally started feeling better and no longer have horrible symptoms every day. I so appreciate your blog but also your recipes. They have been a lifesaver for me and I now enjoy my food even on a restricted diet. Thank you!

    1. Hi Kara, I’m sorry to hear your numbers continue to rise. I know how frustrating that can be, but the great thing is you’re FEELING better. I know when I’ve interviewed SIBO docs about this, they often say that when numbers rise despite compliance to the treatment, that there’s something else at play. I’m hoping your practitioner is looking deeper to see what else is going on? I’m so happy to hear the recipes have been a lifesaver. When I was first diagnosed I felt so lost with the food, and I didn’t want anyone else to feel like that which is why I wrote 3 cookbooks in 12 months and shared my recipes widely. I’m going to be developing a new cookbook this year so I look forward to sharing it with you!
      Rebecca x

  4. Alyssa Tait is a wonderful.practitioner. I hope 4 hours is not too strenuous for you. My first hour treatment gave me severe pain for a few days. Good luck

    1. Oh really? I have been warned I might feel the side effects of things being released. I hope I don’t feel too rotten! I’m up in Brisbane for a wedding, and am having my treatment either side of it. Fingers crossed I can get through the wedding pain-free. How much treatment have you had with Alyssa?

  5. D'Arcy Richardson

    Best of luck, Rebecca! I empathize with your struggles. I am now trying to deal with SIFO after finally eliminating the SIBO, and it’s not any easier! I find that treating one without preventing or treating the other is very common among practitioners and problematic for patients, so I encourage everyone to discuss SIFO with your provider if your are being treated for SIBO! Sending you positive thoughts for recovery!

    1. Thanks D’Arcy! I’m just about to commence my SIFO treatment so it will be interesting to see if I feel any different once I do. My practitioner feels I’ll know if it’s working. When they’ve studied SIBO and SIFO, 20% of SIBO patients have SIFO as well so it’s definitely something we should be considering. Good luck with your own recovery. x

  6. Thank you so much Rebecca for sharing this with your followers. I man sure this wasn’t an easy decision, but I love your transparency and rawness in providing us insight into your health journey. I’m sorry sibo came back, i just retested Sunday – it will take two weeks before I get my results. My sibo battle has been going on for about three years as well. I would love to know more about your plant based diet and incorporating these foods into your weekly diet. Could you share this and do a blog post – I wouldn’t love this! Thank you again namaste ????????❤️

    1. Hi Tanya
      Keep an eye out for a blog post on why I’m eating more plant based foods, and which ones I’m incorporating into my diet. I hope to have that up really soon. In the meantime, you can start tracking your own plant food intake by using my handy Plant Based Weekly Food Tracker. Good luck with your own SIBO journey. As I keep telling my coaching clients, we’re all marathon runners not sprinters. This condition takes time (sometimes a long time) to get a handle on. x

  7. Hi Rebecca,
    I’m sorry to hear your SIBO is back. This thing is a plague isn’t it? I’m inspired by your attitude. You are very knowledgeable about SIBO and all sorts of GI issues. However I wanted to share with you what happened to a friend of mine a few months ago. She had hydrogen only SIBO and was treated with antimicrobials (berberine was in there) and ended up with hydrogen sulfide. She was eating healthy foods that were high in sulfur following a good SCD low FODMAPs diet. If you are suspecting hydrogen sulfide Rebecca I would be very vigilant. She said it’s awful and apparently no antibiotics can get rid of it. I have myself avoided all high sulfur foods since finishing my antibiotics a week and a half ago as a precaution. Also, berberine doesn’t help with the hydrogen sulfide. We’ve been digging up every bit of information on this topic. Not too much out there.
    Rebecca, wishing you all the luck and continue to share your treatment journey with us. Thank you (((hugs))) Raquel

  8. Faye Triantis

    I have been told that I have a lazy bowel. How does that affect SIBO? High fibre makes me worse. Why is that?

    1. Rebecca Coomes

      Hi Faye, if you have a lazy bowel, that could lead to matter stagnating in the large bowel, leaving it there for the bacteria to eat and the body to keep re-absorbing all the toxins that are produced from it. Generally people with SIBO find that fibre makes their symptoms worse, because the fibre is feeding the bacteria, creating more symptoms. Have you read my What You Need To Know About SIBO blog post? You might find that helpful.
      Rebecca

    1. Rebecca Coomes

      Hi Faye, I’m taking anti-fungal herbs along with my SIBO herbs, which also have anti-fungal properties. I am treating both SIBO and suspected SIFO at the same time, I just staggered starting the medication so it wasn’t overwhelming for my system.
      Kind regards,
      Rebecca

  9. Hi Rebecca! I was wonder if you had been continuing with Moltilpro or anything else that helped with constipation pre this current result? Also will you be adding in any pre or probiotics to your treatment plan?

    1. Hi Holly,
      I used MotilPro for about 12 months after clearing SIBO originally, and then only used it occasionally as I no longer experienced constipation. It was only over Christmas that my constipation returned, which prompted me to re-test. I’m now using MotilPro once again. Given I now know I have adhesions, I will continue to use it for the longer term or until I have been able to have the adhesions successfully treated. I am working with Dr Jason Hawrelak and he has me on a prebiotic (partially hydrolysed guar gum) and a probiotic which are specific to my current gut flora.
      Rebecca

      1. Wow. That gives me hope! Even though I’ve got rid of SIBO I still have to take loads of supplements to help with cobstipation. Hope your new regime is helping!

  10. Hi Rebecca!
    How long after your antibiotic treatments did you need to wait before you could retest for SIBO?
    Thanks!

    1. Rebecca Coomes

      I didn’t take any antibiotics but have taken herbs in the past. The recommendation is to wait no more than 14 days after antibiotic use to re-test for SIBO.

  11. Hi,

    Just wanted to see if you have any updates with your treatment? How is it all going? Also is the Candibactren you mention the same as the Metagenics brand Candibactrin AR and BR? Or is it a different one? Suffering similar issues (relapse) so would love some hope it’s all working for you..

    1. Hi Renae
      This time round I’m focussing heavily on the underlying cause of my SIBO: adhesions. I’m having them treated by Alyssa Tait so that I can help my body improve structurally, which will help to prevent it from relapsing in the future. I am about to do a couple of weeks on the Elemental Diet. I’ll be blogging and vlogging about it the whole way through, so make sure you tune in to see how I go.
      I took Kolorex Advanced Candida Care.
      Kind regards
      Rebecca

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