Health Update- My SIBO Success Story

The past

After two years of determination, I finally feel like a healthy person (again)…or maybe for the first time ever!  It has been two years since my SIBO diagnosis and five years since I was originally diagnosed with “IBS”.  But the truth is, I was dealing with poor health much earlier- I just never knew that my symptoms weren’t normal.  Or that they were all related to my gut health.

I used to think that migraines were my destiny because they ran in my family.  That acne was just part of being a teenager…and then adult.  That menstrual cramps and Midol were the way of life for a menstruating female.  And that seasonal allergies just happened to some people.

Eventually my symptoms kept piling up until I couldn’t ignore them anymore.  I was miserable- my legs itched so badly that they would bleed.  But I couldn’t stop itching them.  The only way to suppress the pain and fall back asleep after the itching woke me up on a nightly basis was to take Benadryl, numb my legs with ice packs, and hope that I fell asleep before the numbness went away.

I had to give up many things that I enjoyed because my symptoms made them miserable and embarrassing.  I discontinued my membership at a yoga studio I loved.  I stopped playing racquetball.  I abandoned social activities because my symptoms were unpredictable.  I even declined a lucrative career opportunity.  And the list goes on.

The change

When western medicine failed to provide me with anything more than a “you’ll just have to learn to deal with this for the rest of your life,” I started searching for alternatives.  I was fortunate to find a caring, bright naturopathic doctor who pointed me in the right direction when she diagnosed me with SIBO.

Receiving a diagnosis of “SIBO” was a turning point in my health.   I finally had some sort of understanding of what was happening inside my body and some hope that it could be changed.  I began seeing improvement in my health immediately- a stark contrast to the seemingly never-ending addition of symptoms I had been experiencing for several years.

The initial stages of healing involved treatment with antibiotics followed by herbal antimicrobials.  For a long period of time during my treatment, I was reliant on their use along with an extremely strict and unsustainable dietary regimen.  Eventually, I was able to transition off the antimicrobials and have remained off of them since.  I am now to a point where I can maintain my health with just two supplements: probiotics and fish oil.

I believe that the keys to my successful healing have been the following:

  1. The right supplements (and pharmaceutical drugs when necessary) at the right times.
  2. Eating a well-balanced diet that is dynamic and catered to my gut health.
  3. Listening to my body by learning to interpret and biohack its cues.
  4. Allowing myself to go at a pace of life where I can maintain good health.
  5. Time- and learning that patience truly is a virtue.
  6. Reducing toxic exposure- clean household products, kitchenware, beauty products, etc.
  7. Drinking adequate fluids.

Basically, the past two years I have been taking exceptionally good care of myself.

Clarification

When I tell you that “I finally feel like a healthy person,” I have to put things into perspective and make some clarifications.  What I mean by “healthy” is that my symptoms are well-controlled.  It is similar to the saying “putting an autoimmune disease in remission.”  If I went out and abandoned all of my healthy behaviors for an extended period of time, I would surely wind up back where I started.  The susceptibility is still there.

The majority of my meals are still prepared at home using foods that I am more likely to tolerate, but I can also frequently enjoy meals out with friends.  I can even get away with an occasional late night here and there (and by that I mean home by midnight).  And I can do these things with zero or minimal symptomatic repercussions.

I think it would help paint the picture by sharing the symptoms that I have seen improve over the past two years. It is not to say that I no longer get any of them, but some are completely gone while others appear infrequently and I have simple remedies for making them go away.

Here’s the list of symptoms/conditions that have improved as my gut has healed:

  1. Itching
  2. Flatulence
  3. Constipation
  4. Food sensitivities
  5. Psoriasis
  6. Menstrual cramps
  7. Migraines
  8. Acne
  9. Fatigue
  10. Abdominal pain
  11. Seasonal allergies
  12. Chronic muscle pain

When I was first diagnosed with SIBO over two years ago, I was told that I would have to remain on a severely restricted diet for several years (maybe even 5-10) in order to fully heal my gut.  At the time it seemed like an eternity.  It seemed overwhelming.  And it certainly hasn’t been easy.  But it has been worth it.  My symptoms have improved dramatically and I no longer feel crippled by my health conditions.  Instead, I feel powerful, strong, and HEALTHY!

Ready to make big changes for your health?  Feel free to ask me about how to get started or for troubleshooting tips!  Beginning summer 2016, I will begin offering nutritional counseling services so that I can help others find the healthiest versions of themselves.

22 thoughts on “Health Update- My SIBO Success Story

  1. My name is Guy Dorman. I’m a 56 year old male. I remember as a child I was always sick and took numerous antibiotics. I remember my stomach hurting after eating a normal breakfast at school. As the years went by I became stronger but struggled with a lot of allergies. I kept getting sinus infections and would treat them with antibiotics never knowing I needed to replace my healthy bacteria. No doctor ever told me anything different. I was under stess at work 10 – 6 graveyard shift working with mentally challenging individuals. I also supervised two women during the shift that did not like me supervising them.

    My world fell apart and it scared me. I was having every symptom you could imagine, brain fog, muscle spasms, severe stomach pain, night sweats, indigestion, heartburn, acid reflux and the list goes on. I could barely make it should the night shift. Then I went to day shift and was tired all the time, but was able to do my job with our individuals.

    Around the 90’s I transferred into the psychology department. Around 1994 I could barely make it through the day. I felt like my life as I knew it was over. I would eat regular food but had constant diarrhea, and continued to lose weight. I went from 180 lbs to 140 lbs. I had people at work coming up to me saying have you seen a doctor!

    Since I had a verbally abusive stepfather my siblings, Dad and stepmother thought I was going through depression. My stepmother told me I was starving myself. I told her I was eating like everyone one else but would have constant diarrhea, and every crazy symptom that candida causes. I looked like a 90 year old man and could barely do anything. My skin was all red and hurt. I felt numbness and tingling in my harms and legs, brain fog, and severe stomach pain on my right side.

    At this horrible time I happen to see Dr. Matsen’s book Eating A Live. I read it and underlined everything I could find, and at this point I was desperate and called Dr. Matsen a naturopatic doctor in Canada. I remember thinking when was last time I was well, and it was before I got sick with the sinus infection that turned into bronchitis. I made an appt to see him. I got my pass port and headed to Canada.

    I knew my family did not believe me and thought I was only depressed. They even tried to have me stay with them and have me eat their regular healthy breakfast, but the food only made me extremely sick. I saw a G. I. specialist. He did not believe in my yeast theory. All my tests were normal. It’s was like I told him I saw a UFO!

    I remember on the flight to Canada I felt so alone and was coughing constantly and really felt I was going to die. Dr. Matsen performed a test called blood screening. He took it from my ear and showed my blood with all these white spots. He told me they were yeast. I have never seen a picture like that before and still have it. He gave me some holistic medicine and had me take liquid friendly bacteria.

    When I came back to Lubbock, Texas I was emotionally and physically exhausted. I remember comitting myself to the mental ward. Of course I could not follow Dr. Matsen’s diet in a locked down hospital. I attempted to hang myself when I was released from the hospital because the insurance stopped paying. I wrote a suicide note to my family, but was too scared to kill myself. I was locked up again. My Dad and wanted me to get Electric Shock Therapy. I never did, but was upset that he wanted that for his son.

    I wrote a poem before I admitted myself to the hospital and finished it while in the hospital. I remember begging my G.I. to get me a bottle of friendly bacteria while in hospital but he just looked at me like I was crazy.

    Anyway the anti depressant finally helped and I got back to life although it was difficult. I followed Dr. Masten program and eventually put on weight looked better so everyone assumed I was only depressed but not physically sick. I did get better and could eat a more normal diet although I had to be careful trying to include sweets. There seem to always be a rumbling in my stomach.

    Recently retiring from the Lubbock State Supported Living Center, getting married, and moving to Amarillo, Tx was more stress that I could handle. I stopped following my diet so once again I ate an high carbohydrate diet and began experiencing candida symptoms. Now I feel I also have adrenal fatigue. Previously I had to quit a part-time job, and full-time job as a care giver working memory care patients after hurting my back lifting a patient. I just finished 6 sessions of physical therapy.

    I try to eat healthy and start everyday
    with lemon water and take the following supplements primadophilius bifidus, candida cleaner, herbal detox, molybdenum, chlorella,and energize. I also take clonzpan 0.1 for anxiety, and Lexapro 0.5 for depression. When I get hungry I eat a small green or red apple which I found is the only way I can have bm, then my lunch is usually a salad, some meat, broccoli, avocado. I find it difficult to get nutritional snacks during the day. I recently began taking essential enzymes and L-glutamine.

    I wish I was able to find a good naturopathic doctor in Amarillo but unfortunately there is not one around here. Do you recommend liver flushes.

    My heart goes out to all of the many people that suffer health problems. I have gone from 185 lbs to 167 lbs following the candida diet. My wife says I look sick. I’m always hungry and really feel I’m starving myself. The diet is so restrictive. I only snack on nuts like pumpkin seeds, almonds, and bazil nuts. I even had some picatios, and a sourdough sandwich because I feel like I’m starving. I definitely feel the anti- candida diet is hard on the adrenals glands. I felt better eating the carbohydrates. Most of time I feel depressed and take medicine for anxiety and depression. I’m always irritable. Even after sleeping I feel exhausted.

    I often have a severe pain on right side where the iloceal valve is located. I really appreciate your knowledge. I’m thankful for people like you that have dedicated their life making a profound difference in the lives of others and greatly improving the quality of their lives. I have gone from 185 to 165 and have not been able to gain weight. I believe I have sibo, but have not been officially diagnosed.

    Sincerely,
    Guy Dorman

    Like

    • I’m sorry to hear that you have had such struggles with health issues. I can certainly understand the frustration. Perhaps you could find a naturopath willing to do a video consult? There are many conducting appointments that way nowadays. I hope that helps!

      Like

  2. Dear Sibowithhope,
    Are you also fructose intolerant?
    Have you tried an elemental diet?
    Which antibiotics did you use?
    I’ve been dealing with SIBO for 12 years now and I am about to start an elemental diet.
    Thanks

    Like

    • Hi Marina,

      1) I have never done a fructose malabsorption test, but many fruits make me break out (acne) or have constipation. It has gotten better since healing my gut, but I still have to be a little careful.

      2) I have never done an elemental diet.

      3) I did two rounds of Rifaximin. Then, I used herbal antimicrobials- neem worked the best for me, but I also tried several others.

      Good luck on your elemental diet! Very brave of you 🙂

      Like

What are your thoughts on this topic?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s