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.
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.
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
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.