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Attack That SIBO Monster

I’m still alive, just plugging along and waiting for spring, who isn’t?  Temperatures we had yesterday made me realize how ready I am for vacation – just a few short months away!

Recently my focus as been on SIBO (Small Intestine l Bacterial Infection)
Several theories abound that auto immune disease, and cancers and those genes are triggered by inflammation or chronic infection.  It clearly makes sense…

Chronic inflammation and chronic infection seemed to go hand in hand in my sinus cavity for years….  and now, the same thing in my gut.

But what does that mean exactly, and what can I do about it?

Well, it means that if you have foods that don’t process well in your system (be it grains, large pieces of meat or the wrong combinations of foods, or food sensitivities), your body is slower to process those things.  They often sit in your stomach longer, and then “feed” that bad bacteria – either in your gut, or in your small intestine.

For me specifically, I had all of the standard tests for functional medicine.  I didn’t have candida, and I didn’t have a parasite, I had loads of food sensitivities.  We knew that I had slow emptying / slow digestion (gastroparesis), which was also leading to constipation with foods that your body can’t process, but SIBO wasn’t on my radar until more recently. (*Both SIBO and gastroparesis are very common in those with celiac disease)

Can I just say, I love that internet and what it has done for connecting people who are choosing this lifestyle to heal themselves, vs. drugs?

Because I seriously do.

One of the things my auto immune and paleo boards have been great for is more discussion and sharing.  It’s helped me identify and relate to so many others with similar struggles or symptoms.  I am grateful.

For instance, another girl with symptoms like mine, and adrenal fatigue, celiac and ms started talking about her POTS.  I had no idea what that was… so upon looking it up, I realized I had a name for me almost blacking out when I stood up, and struggling to get going when I go from squatting to standing.  Not only are my legs asleep – but apparently my blood return is too!

While I do run normally low with my blood pressure, it wasn’t just “low blood pressure”, but a specific reason why I see stars and it takes a while to get moving.  While not life threatening, I see now how it also hormonally connects with my cycle and why it’s worse some times, vs. others.  Working on all aspects of my health has improved this, but it’s still a daily occurence.

If you want to be enlightened as well.  Read about it here.

Back to the SIBO, learning about how others have battled SIBO, as well as getting some new resources on the matter has been very helpful. While SIBO also requires some dietary changes (low FODMAPS), it doesn’t seem as scary with everything else I’ve managed to give up.  Not to mention, the progress alone makes it worth it!

What is a FODMAP?  Well, there are some conflicting things written about this, but over all they have foods you’re to avoid, and some that you can have in moderation.  Unfortunately, I was eating a MAJORITY of FODMAPS… mainly asparagus, cauliflower, and apples.  There are tons more, but again – I must have something to eat, so I’ve chosen LESS of many of things and just being aware of my load, as well as the above protocol before each meal.  (do you know how much I miss apples)???

The following books have been instrumental in helping me figure out what is going to work for me – (treating SIBO with auto immune disease):

Digestive Health with Real Food, Aglaee Jacob  *(this has a cookbook available too, which is SUPER helpful)

The Paleo Approach, Sarah Ballantyne

Fast Track Digestion IBS: Science-Based Diet to Treat and Prevent IBS and SIBO without Drugs, Norm Robillard

What I take before each meal:

* Prescript Assist (pro/prebiotic with microbes – 2x day)

* Oregano Oil (great for killing off SIBO 2x a day)

* Cat’s Claw (2, 3x a day)

* Betaine HCl (Hydrochloric Acid to help my body break down things like meat and fat specifically) I did the challenge, and currently take 5 at each meal.

* Lauricidin – these taste like soap bubbles. 🙂 – 1 scoop at each meal
* Essential Enzymes (this is to help break down any of the major proteins and sugars that I consume)

* L-Glutamine (to help heal and seal my gut)

* NAC (not pictured above) – But has helped tremendously.

* Olive Leaf Extract – (again, not pictured) I tried this for a few days, but my blood pressure is already so low, I didn’t feel like it was safe for me to take, which is a bummer!
I’ve tried adding in some “safe” AIP starches this past month before realizing that was a SIBO no-no.  It could possibly be why starches don’t agree with me.  I’ve also been monitoring my blood sugars throughout the day to just make sure I’m not too high or too low.

Overall, I’m hanging in there.  I’ve had some struggles – we all do.  God has served me some great reminders about why He has allowed me to walk through this in the past few months… and in addition, He has put some excellent people in my life to walk with me.  I can’t thank Him enough!

“Joyful are those who obey His laws and

search for Him with all of their hearts.”

Psalm 119:2

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