Words of Wisdom for SIBO Newbies

Have you recently been diagnosed with SIBO or know someone who has?  I have compiled a list of my top 8 pieces of advice that  I wish someone had told me when I was first diagnosed.  Please enjoy and share with others who are just beginning their road to recovery.

  1. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.  I am a planner. I can’t help it.  As I was healing from SIBO, I kept wanting to know when I would be “fully recovered” so that I could get on with my life and stop feeling handicapped.  I wanted to know how much longer I had to continue spending ridiculous amounts of money on healthcare expenses.  But no doctor seemed to be able to tell me that.  The truth is that only time will tell how long it will take to get you back to feeling healthy again (or maybe for the first time).  If you are a planner like me, it may be helpful to think of your healing journey as a marathon, not a sprint.  Try to enjoy life (for me it’s about time with family and friends, yoga classes, walks, and date nights) and appreciate the positive aspects of SIBO (perhaps as a wake up call or a lesson in patience).
  2. Get ready for change (and withdrawals). Sometimes I wish my diagnosis had been different because making changes is difficult.  Especially when it involves food.  One of my daily routines before beginning to treat SIBO was rewarding myself with a sweet treat every afternoon.  There was a little coffee shop a block from my apartment that carried my favorite brand of gluten-free, vegan treats.  I thought that it couldn’t be too bad for me- heck, it was free of gluten, dairy, and eggs (some of my main triggers).  But what I didn’t realize was that I was eating a lot of sugar with each of those treats.  When I gave up sugar (in all forms- refined, unrefined, & fruit) cold turkey, I was a MESS for about three weeks.  I mean a REAL MESS- I was a miserable person to be around.  It is important to stay committed, because it gets easier the longer you stay away from it.  And when I began to allow myself to have a treat here and there again, it was easier for me to recognize when I was starting to spiral into my “too many treats” mode again.  Another tip for staying committed is to prepare- remove all sweets from the house and ask family members and friends to help support you by avoiding bringing temptations around you.
  3. Only restrict your diet as much as absolutely necessary.  Dietary restrictions pose the risk of creating nutrient deficiencies, especially if they are extreme or long-term.  I would consider many of the diets recommended for SIBO to be highly restrictive and pose a risk for creating these issues.  Additionally, they can be highly problematic for individuals with a history of eating disorders or disordered eating.  My recommendation- consult with a SIBO-knowledgeable physician, nutritionist, or health coach before implementing any dietary restrictions.  And if your diet ever gets to the point where you stop enjoying food or you feel like you need to quit your job to be able to cook for yourself, you may want to rethink whether you REALLY need to be that restrictive.  Don’t get me wrong- dietary changes can be very helpful and often necessary with SIBO, but you also need to be able to live your life.
  4. It will cost lots of money.  Healthy food is expensive.  My food budget nearly doubled when I began eating for SIBO and I had already been eating pretty healthfully before.  But I was unable to enjoy as many meals provided by other people (such as at events).  Plus, I couldn’t buy cost savers such as beans and rice or subsidized foods such as milk and corn.  And when you have to choose buying low FODMAP vegetables over buying those that are inexpensive and/or in season, the costs add up.  And then there are the health care costs…my health expenditures have amounted to over $9,000 since I began treating SIBO in early 2014 (and that’s with REALLY good insurance that covers alternative health care such as naturopathic and chiropractic visits).  I recommend considering expensive testing very carefully- ask your doctor what information it will provide and in what ways (if any) the testing will change the treatment plan.  Then, speak with others and see about their success (or lack thereof) with such testing.
  5. Find your root cause.  When I was first diagnosed with SIBO, some of the articles I read made curing it seem easy.  Simply take some antibiotics, then a prokinetic, then follow a diet.  However, when this didn’t work for me, I thought I was a hard case and became frustrated.  But I am seeing over and over again that other people are in a similar scenario.  I think that there is a disconnect between how the treatment process is portrayed and reality.  I also think that there just isn’t enough knowledge out there right now for how to deal with SIBO in the long-term.  However, finding your root cause is a surefire way to truly heal.  You may be thinking “well, where do I start?”  Start with something, try it, see if it works, and look for patterns. You will slowly start peeling back the layers and getting closer to your root cause. I think it is really helpful to continually ask “why?”.  When I realized that I didn’t tolerate kale, I asked why.  I then realized that it was because high sulfur foods or supplements caused issues for me.  I started searching for why that could possibly be the case since these foods are supposed to be so healthy.  I came up with two possible answers: 1) genes and 2) heavy metal toxicity and started treating the one that seemed most plausible/fixable.  Only time will tell if I have gotten to the ultimate root cause.
  6. Don’t believe everything you read.  Including this blog post!  Find what resonates with you and your body, not just what someone on the internet (or even an expert) says.  There are plenty of sources out there that say fiber and water will cure your IBS.  For some people, this is true.  But for the majority of those with SIBO-induced IBS, fiber will make you feel worse.  Just because it is written, does not mean it is true.  I am also a bit skeptical of current breath test interpretation for some individuals.  Many of the labs interpret a positive lactulose breath test as a certain elevation above baseline within the first 120 minutes, but some physicians disagree with that time frame and believe that the lactulose solution reaches the large intestine sooner.  If the later is correct, then there are false positives going around out there.  Ask your doctor how they interpret the breath test.  If they take your symptoms into consideration in the interpretation, that is probably a good sign (For example, if you have a faster transit, perhaps the solution reaches your large intestine at say 90 minutes.  Or if you have slower transit, perhaps it has not even reached your large intestine at 120 minutes).
  7. (If possible) work with someone who has experienced SIBO firsthand.  I found that it can be really difficult for practitioners who have not experienced SIBO firsthand to relate to patients or clients going through the struggle.  It is a condition that goes against so many of the things that medical doctors, naturopathic doctors, and even nutritionists learn in school.  I could imagine how someone with SIBO would seem like a crazy person to a doctor who has not actually been in the scenario and experienced how frustrating and difficult it can be.  They may think- how on earth could a person react to fruits and vegetables!!  These foods are supposed to be healthy!  But if you cannot find a practitioner who has experienced SIBO firsthand, do not worry.  There are individuals out there who are very compassionate and intelligent and may be able to help guide you along.  You may just have to do some of the grunt work yourself.
  8. There is hope!  After reading all of these tips, I realize that they may sound sort of depressing.  But there are so many things to look forward to.  If you got this far in my blog post, please give yourself a BIG HUG because it signifies that you are committed to taking control over your own health.  When you tune into your body and make positive changes in your life, you are bound to experience the benefits.  With a little bit of patience and perseverance, you will be able to enjoy a healthy and fulfilling life!  I wish you the best of luck and I have an open door- comment box 😉 – for any questions or concerns.

VSL#3: A Remedy for Constipation

Probiotics and their efficacy for individuals with SIBO is a controversial topic for which I have been on both sides.  At times, probiotics have worsened my SIBO symptoms and at other times they have been very beneficial.  But no probiotic formula has been as effective for me as VSL#3.  In this post I will discuss research that has been conducted on VSL#3 in regard to improving symptoms of constipation.  VSL#3 has also been studied for a variety of other conditions- I encourage you to search on PubMed for more information.

Having regular bowel movements is extremely important for detoxification because it is a process by which waste is removed from the body.  Alarmingly, it is estimated that as much as 27.1 percent of the US population suffers from functional constipation [1]. Fortunately, low-risk remedies such as probiotics exist to aid in this important detoxification process.  Studies have indicated that administration of VSL#3 can positively impact symptoms of constipation.  It is unclear whether the benefits of VSL #3 probiotic supplementation are temporary or whether they can provide lasting improvement.

VSL#3 contains eight probiotic strains including Streptococcus thermophilus, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium infantis, Lactobacilus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus paracasei, and Lactobacilus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus.

A 2015 study [2] regarding the efficacy of the probiotic formulation VSL#3 showed positive benefits in individuals with functional constipation selected based on Rome III criteria.  Before administration of the probiotic, lower amounts of bifidobacterium and bacteriodes species were found in the stool of these individuals than in controls.  Seventy percent of individuals with functional constipation noted symptom improvement from administration of the probiotic.  Additionally, participants noted increased frequency of bowel movements from an average of 2.5 +/- 1.3 per week to 6.3 +/- 3.1 per week.  Stool consistency (based on the Bristol Stool Chart) improved from an average of 2.6 +/- 0.7 before treatment to 4.1 +/- 0.9 after the two week probiotic therapy.  Unfortunately, the results were not lasting.  Of the participants who experienced symptom improvement during probiotic administration, 61 percent reported return of hard stools or less frequent bowel movements within one month of the study’s completion.

It appears that VSL#3 may be only a remedy, not a cure.  At a cost of approximately $9-10 per day, administering VSL #3 at the dose utilized in this study may be prohibitive for many individuals.  However, VSL#3 may be an effective and welcomed means of symptom relief for individuals with chronic constipation.  No adverse reactions were noted in the study I analyzed, indicating that these protocols may be safe treatments for promoting elimination and therefore, detoxification.  Of course, it is always recommended that you consult your physician to ensure safety.

References:

[1] Schmier JK, Miller PE, Levine JA, et al. Cost savings of reduced constipation rates attributed to increased dietary fiber intakes: a decision-analytic model. BMC Public Health. 2014;14:374.

[2] Kim SE, Choi SC, Park KS, et al. Change of Fecal Flora and Effectiveness of the Short-term VSL#3 Probiotic Treatment in Patients With Functional Constipation. J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2015;21(1):111-20.

Key Takeaways- NCNM SIBO Symposium 2015

What a wonderful, informative, thought-provoking weekend!  I spent this past weekend at the 2nd Annual NCNM SIBO Symposium learning a myriad of information about digestive conditions- specifically IBS & SIBO.  While listening to the presentations, I kept a keen ear out for information that relates to individuals with chronic relapse, to those with sulfur/thiol intolerance, and additional testing to help reveal underlying causes for SIBO patients.

I have scoured through my notes to present to you some of my key takeaways from the presentations:

1) Stress is NOT the trigger/cause of SIBO, but it often plays a role in the manifestation of the condition.
Dr. Pimentel shared that a study has been conducted on soldiers sent overseas to regions such as Afghanistan & Iraq. The study showed that stressful circumstances such as shooting a gun or experiencing a major injury did not correlate with the subsequent development of IBS.  However, patients often indicate that stress exacerbates their IBS/SIBO symptoms and practitioners find that patients who are able to integrate strategies such as yoga, meditation, massage, etc. into their healing journey experience greater improvement than those who do not.  Therefore, it seems that stress does not trigger IBS/SIBO in the first place, but it may worsen symptoms.

2) Finding the right prokinetic often requires experimentation, but here are some tips to lead you in the right direction:

Pharmaceuticals: often required due to greater efficacy than natural options

  • Resolor (prucalopride)– highly effective for individuals with constipation, but contraindicated for those with diarrhea due to invoking slight motility of the large intestine rather than just the migrating motor complex (MMC)
  • Low Dose Erythromycin– frequently used for both IBS-C and IBS-D due to affordability and availability.  Currently, there are no studies on potential impacts on the large intestine commensal flora.
  • Low Dose Naltrexone– potentially beneficial for those with autoimmune conditions, however, many of the physicians did not find it to be a strong enough prokinetic unless combined with other options

Herbals: sometimes used in conjunction with pharmaceuticals

  • Ginger– a remedy traditionally recommended for nausea, ginger is effective at stimulating gastric motility i.e stomach emptying (Ming-Luen, Hu et al 2011) so it may be helpful for individuals with gastroparesis.
  • Iberogast– a combination of herbs that appears to be highly effective for nausea.  This formula has been used for decades in Europe as a remedy for a myriad of digestive complaints ranging from nausea to acid reflux, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and more.  It was indicated as a safe option during pregnancy.
  • D-limonene– one of the presenters shared this as a prokinetic option, but it did not seem to be widely used among practitioners.  It has been used clinically to dissolve gallstones, provide relief from GERD, and induce phase 1 and 2 liver enzymes which could help protect against cancer (Sun, J. 2007).

3) Biofilm disruptor may be unnecessary in SIBO treatment
Many SIBO experts have not seen an increased benefit when adding a biofilm disrupting agent to their SIBO treatment protocols.  It was expressed, however, that biofilm disruptors may be more beneficial in the treatment of SIFO (small intestine fungal overgrowth) such as with candida albicans.  It was discussed that stool testing may not be reliable for ruling out candida.  One suggestion was that if a stool test is negative for candida, but an antibody test is positive, it could indicate the presence of SIFO specifically in the small intestine.

4) Hormone imbalances and birth control pills may be at play in some SIBO cases
I find it very fascinating that the number of women afflicted with IBS/SIBO far outnumbers the number of men with this condition.  I have suspected that oral contraceptive pills may have played a role in the development/worsening of my GI symptoms.  My friend, Emily, who shares similar skepticism about the connection was brave enough to submit a question to the panel of SIBO experts regarding this issue.  The experts shared that they clinically see hormonal issues and SIBO go hand and hand and that it is certainly possible that oral contraceptive pills could be a factor in SIBO.  I was curious about this issue and stumbled upon a couple of fascinating studies on this issue.  An article titled “Sex Hormones in the Modulation of Irritable Bowel Syndrome” indicates:

“Sex hormones may influence peripheral and central regulatory mechanisms of the brain-gut axis involved in the pathophysiology of IBS contributing to the alterations in visceral sensitivity, motility, intestinal barrier function, and immune activation of intestinal mucosa” (Agata, Mulak et al 2014)


5) Heavy metals as a potential underlying cause of SIBO

I have suspected for a while now that heavy metals (specifically, mercury- due to my high thiol sensitivity & high levels of mercury on my hair test) could be one of my underlying causes, but I never had a scientific explanation until now.  Heavy metal toxicity causes oxidative stress (which my Organix test showed that I have) which can lead to delayed gastrointestinal motility- i.e. constipation (Rana S.V. et al 2014).  One of the biggest controversies with heavy metal testing is how to test the body burden accurately.  At the SIBO symposium, I was able to speak with a Cyrex representative about the Array 11.  It appears that it tests for immune reactions to mercury toxicity (among other toxins) rather than just the presence of the toxin.

6) The infamous hydrogen sulfide- more to come later this year!
Dr. Pimentel shared a very exciting notice regarding the third type of gas produced in SIBO- hydrogen sulfide.  He promised that there would be more information on sulfate-reducing bacteria sometime this year- perhaps it could be testing?!?  As some of my followers may be aware, the connection between sulfur intolerance and SIBO is one of the areas that I focus much of the content of my blog.  Plan to hear more in the future!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for future updates!

Thanks for reading! =)

Article titles & links to the sources listed above:
Effect of ginger on gastric motility and symptoms of functional dyspepsia
D-Limonene: safety and clinical applications
Relationship of cytokines, oxidative stress, and GI motility with bacterial overgrowth in ulcerative colitis patients
Sex differences in irritable bowel syndrome: do gonadal hormones play a role?

Chili Vinaigrette Salad with Creamy Walnut Sauce

The inspiration for this recipe comes from one of my favorite places to eat here in Portland- Prasad.  It is a gluten-free, vegan, organic cafe located in the Pearl district.  Although many of their recipes contain beans, quinoa, lentils, or other high thiol or high FODMAP foods, their El Dorado Salad can be made mostly low FODMAP, low thiol by removing the cilantro, green onion, and avocado.  But that’s no fun!  I can usually (now that my symptoms are minor) handle the salad without having to make any changes.  My love for this salad inspired me to make a flavor-packed SIBO-friendly version.  Enjoy!

Salad

Continue reading

Spiced Carrot Muffins

What if I asked you to make me breakfast? It couldn’t be that hard, right? Here are the guidelines: it must be grain-free, egg-free, dairy-free, corn-free, fruit-free, soy-free, no refined sugars, low sulfur.  Have you thought of anything yet? I am waiting…

When I first started following a modified version of the SIBO specific food guide, I completely gave up the idea of breakfast and began to see all of my meals as equal.  At first, I felt empowered that I did not have to eat a sugary treat for breakfast, but eventually I found myself dreading eating breakfast or constantly being late because it took too much time to prepare my dinner-like meals.

I decided that I had to find a happy medium.  I created these Spiced Carrot Muffins as a convenient option for a SIBO-friendly breakfast.  They are very minimally sweetened (only 1 teaspoon of maple syrup or honey per muffin) and that makes me feel good about serving them for the most important meal of the day.  To make a complete meal, I like to serve my muffin warm with ghee or butter alongside a glass of almond milk and a turkey sausage.  To turn this recipe into a dessert, I recommend serving with homemade frosting or adding chocolate chips. Continue reading

Bacteria Rule Our Health

My Results- Genova GI Effects Comprehensive Stool Profile:

I have been anxiously awaiting my stool test results for a couple of weeks now.  And of course, the day they decide to arrive is the day before a big exam!  At first my mind was completely torn between studying (for my exam) and researching (to interpret my stool test), but I cleverly decided to use researching as a reward for studying.  NERD ALERT! Continue reading

SIBO-Friendly Pumpkin Pie

pumpkin pie

(Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free, paleo, egg-free, low FODMAP, SCD, low sulfur)

The recipe is finally here!  Last year I was the one who had to sit there staring at my family while they ate dessert.  This year, I vowed to be able to enjoy it with them.  I had to experiment a couple of times to get the pie just the way I wanted it, but I have officially created a SIBO-friendly pumpkin pie recipe that your guests won’t even realize is “special.”

Kitchen Equipment:

  • Food processor
  • Measuring spoons/cups
  • Glass pie dish
  • Medium saucepan
  • Egg beaters for optional whipping cream

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely crushed sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil + a little more for greasing the pan (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon clover honey (or other SIBO-friendly honey- see siboinfo.com)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Filling:

  • 2 teaspoons gelatin (this is the one I used)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk + 1/2 cup water (must use gum-free coconut milk such as this one in order to be SIBO-friendly)- you could try substituting lite coconut milk, but the flavor will not be quite as creamy
  • 3/4 cup pureed pumpkin (can be canned or make your own using a pie pumpkin- personally, I used half of each)
  • 3 tablespoons clover honey (or other SIBO-friendly honey)

Optional Additions:

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Generously grease bottom & sides of glass pie pan with approximately 2 teaspoons of coconut oil.
  2. In a food processor, pulse pecans until very finely chopped (about 15-20 seconds).  They will begin to stick to the bottom edges of the food processor just a bit.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, finely chopped pecans, sea salt, and cinnamon.
  4. In a small bowl, melt 2 tablespoons coconut oil & 1 tablespoon honey.  Add vanilla extract.  Stir melted mixture into dry ingredients.
  5. Add crust “batter” to greased pie pan.  Use your fingers to press down firmly, beginning at the center and working your way to the edges.  This step is very important, so take your time.  If you do not make sure the pie is firmly pressed, it will be very crumbly.  See photo below of what the crust should look like before going into the oven.
  6. Bake crust 10-13 minutes.  Watch carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn.  It is done cooking when golden brown.
  7. In a medium saucepan, combine gelatin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 2 tablespoons water.  Stir to form a paste.
  8. Add coconut milk and water, pumpkin puree, and honey.  Heat on low for about 10 minutes, until warm throughout.  Use the side of your spoon to break up any chunks of gelatin.  The mixture should be smooth and warm when done.
  9. Pour filling into crust and allow to set in refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight.
  10. Use a sharp knife to carefully cut pie into 8 pieces.  Be extra careful when removing the first piece.  Serve with any of the recommended additions.

pie crust

***In order to keep this SIBO-friendly, make sure that you limit yourself to one piece per day.  Additionally, depending on how able you are to handle carbs, you may need to limit your carbs from other sources.

Have a friend who might enjoy this recipe?  Share this link on Facebook or have them follow me on Instagram: @sibowithhope

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Thai Lettuce Wraps

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Caution: raw vegetables can be problematic for individuals with poor digestion.  This recipe is intended for individuals who have reintroduced raw veggies or are using this recipe as a way to see if they are ready.  Dr. Siebecker recommends remaining on the SIBO diet for 1-3 months before introducing raw veggies (see SIBO Food Guide).

I have always been a big fan of Thai food, especially salad rolls with a delicious peanut sauce.  Unfortunately, there are all sorts of ingredients in those that I can no longer eat (rice, garlic, peanuts, sugar, soy, who knows what else!).  Here is my take on SIBO-friendly salad rolls, also known as Thai Lettuce Wraps.

This recipe is perfect for the end of the week for several reasons: butter lettuce lasts a while if you leave it attached to the stem, the sauce is super quick and easy to make, and the filling ingredients are flexible which allows you to use up any veggies left in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Butter lettuce leaves (approximately 3 large leaves)- the loose bunches are easier to pull apart without breaking the leaves

1/5 or 1/4 lb chicken or turkey breast (cooked to your liking)- I like to bake mine at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes

Sauce (all you have to do is add the ingredients to a bowl and stir):

1/4 c finely chopped fresh Italian parsley (approximately 1/2 c loosely packed before cutting)

1/2 teaspoon finely grated ginger

2 T salted almond butter (or unsalted and add some sea salt)

1.5 teaspoons coconut vinegar (substituting apple cider vinegar should be fine)

1.5 teaspoons walnut oil

1.5 teaspoons coconut aminos (this is a soy sauce alternative that can be found at natural grocery stores)

Optional Filling Ingredients: thinly sliced cucumber, beets (boiled then thinly sliced), shredded carrots (these might be too hard to digest), sliced tomato (nightshade- might cause inflammation).

Tangy Spiced Delicata Squash

tangy spiced delicata

I find myself fascinated by foods that I have never tried before.  Delicata squash fell into that category a couple of months ago and I have made it my mission to figure out how to make a delicious, SIBO-friendly recipe with it.  It is a delightful winter squash and the only one I know of for which the skin can be eaten (and actually tastes good!).  My creation is SIBO-friendly (as long as you do not surpass your carbohydrate tolerance), paleo, SCD, low FODMAP, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, and has a low free thiol content (for those who are intolerant to sulfur foods).

Tonight I enjoyed it with Coconut Lime Pan-Seared Rockfish and Baked Thai Eggplant Rounds.  Leave your requests below for which one of these two recipes you would like to see posted on my blog!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium delicata squash
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • sea salt & crushed black pepper, to taste

Kitchen Supplies:

  • Baking sheet
  • Metal spatula
  • Parchment paper- optional

Instructions:

  1. Preheat over to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash squash skin (because the skin is edible) and cut off stem.  Slice squash in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds.  Cut into 1/2 inch thick C-shaped slices.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine olive oil, lime juice, cayenne, salt and pepper.  Add squash and toss evenly to coat.
  4. Line baking sheet with parchment paper (paper is optional- I do this to avoid my food having direct contact with the metal baking sheet).  Transfer squash to baking sheet.  Pour any remaining sauce over the squash.  Bake 25-30 minutes, flipping half way through.

Organic Urine Acid Test Confirms Sulfur Suspicions

I do not remember ever being as excited to go to a doctor’s appointment as I was today.  Why?  Because today I got to see the results of my Organix Comprehensive Urine Profile from Genova Diagnostics.

One of the markers that I found to be interesting from these test results was that I am positive for MTHFR.  While my gene testing also showed this, gene mutations are not necessarily expressed and it is only when they are expressed that they lead to issues. The Organix urine test informed me that not only do I have MTHFR, but it is activated and could be creating an imbalance in my enzyme function.  Based on my genetic testing, I know that I am heterozygous for the A1298C gene mutation (that means it came from only one of my parents).  I actually found this piece of information out in September, but the doctor who ordered the blood test told me that having only one copy of this gene mutation does not generally cause problems.  However, my own research (see links below) and confirmation from my SIBO doctor today has led me to believe otherwise.  I still may do 23andme testing to gain an even better understanding of my genes and figure out if there is anything else going on that would leave me susceptible to bacterial infections.

Here is what was indicated on my summary of abnormal findings:

Fatty Acid Metabolism: This may explain why all of the women along my matriarchal lineage have developed gallstones.

Adipate: Very High

Suberate: High

Carbohydrate Metabolism:

Pyruvate: High

Energy Production Markers:

Cis-Aconitate: Very Low

Methylation Cofactor Markers: confirms MTHFR gene mutation

Formiminoglutamate: High

Oxidative Damage and Antioxidant Markers:

8-Hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine: High

Detoxification Indicators: confirms my difficulty with detoxification (elevated liver and kidney levels) and the fact that sulfur is an issue for me

Glucarate: High

Pyroglutamate: High

Sulfate: Very High

Summary:

I have not had a chance to really sit down and sort out all of the pieces, but I wanted to get my results out there for those who have similar issues and want to start looking into getting this test done for themselves.  It is clear that avoiding sulfur foods and promoting healthy detoxification will be important for my healing process.  I plan to detoxify slowly so that I do not overwhelm my already fragile system.  I would like to get into a regular hot hatha yoga practice and support my immune system by receiving nutrient IVs that are tailored to my specific needs (as determined by my organic urine acid test).  Further reducing my bacterial overgrowth will also be a piece of the puzzle.  To start, my SIBO doctor has me using Berberine Complex from Integrative Therapeutics.  I will be checking back in with her in two weeks to discuss the results of this treatment protocol.

Links for some of my research:

Hydrogen Sulfide Gas Health Impacts: my SIBO doctor actually asked if she could keep the copy of this patent that I brought to her.  We both agreed that hydrogen sulfide was likely an issue for me.  However, I recently took the Protea Biopharma gut dysbiosis test and had a negative result.  I am uncertain whether the test is inaccurate or whether I actually do not have hydrogen-sulfide producers in my small intestine.

MTHFR from Stop the Thyroid Madness

Methylation/MTHFR by Dr. Amy Yasko