It’s been a really long time since I updated y’all on my sibo healing protocol . . . and that’s because nothing else really changed. From the last update I gave, things pretty much stayed the same. Meaning, I held the course.
Healing from sibo and staying the course is something that seems really, really difficult – especially because you don’t always feel like you’re doing anything. Because gut healing takes time. Period. It takes time, and you have to give it time. The reason you follow low-fodmap is to give your body the time it needs to heal your gut and remember how digestion is supposed to work.
Remember, when you got sibo, the bacteria effed up your motility and jacked up your digestive enzymes, and possibly worked it’s way through the lining of your gut, too, so that things were leaking out into your body that weren’t supposed to be there. All of that requires a massive amount of healing, and no two-weeks-on-antibiotics or any other magic pill is going to do the work that TIME and CONSISTENCY will.
So I stayed the course. I ate low-fodmap and I ate at regular intervals throughout the day without snacking. And I definitely had some days when I ate more high- fodmaps than I should – I had a wedding AND and honeymoon through all of this, and you better believe I ate some blueberry pie at my wedding (we had PIE at our wedding!). And after too much of it, I’d feel terrible, and I’d go back to the strict diet, and if the inflammation didn’t go down after three days, I’d go in for some acupuncture, which has always helped calm things down.
During the time I was healing, some foods that had been listed as high-fodmap made the low-fodmap list – including small amounts of oats, rice, corn, cabbage, brussel sprouts, coconut milk and a small amount of avocado. So I got to add in more foods. Others, however, went the other way – like almonds. I had started to suspect almonds weren’t working for me anyway, so it was good to have that verified.
Things slowly, painstakingly got better. To the point where I made it through the holidays and somehow magically lost five pounds, all the while sneaking extra chocolate and treats from the cupboard. I also drank a fair amount of whiskey (1-2 drinks every other night or so while on holiday). Maybe I was just lucky, but I’d also paid my dues, already having been on the low-fodmap diet for 9 months (and the SCD 5 months before that).
Starting about February, I was given the green light by my ND to start adding high-fodmap foods back in slowly. She had me start with legumes, and recommended chickpeas. She said that amount and frequency mattered, so we started with 1/4 cup of cooked chickpeas mixed into an otherwise low-fodmap meal. Then I didn’t do that again for three days in order to give my body time to react. She told me that when we get to this phase of adding foods back, we need to be careful and consistent so we see if we’ve flared anything up. She also said that the order that high-fodmaps were reintroduced was also important. I knew that wheat, garlic and onions were the worst offenders for me, so I held off on those for a while. After the legumes, I tried small amounts of hard cheese, which was fine.
Now, I seem to be doing really well. After a big low-fodmap salad one night, I had a half slice of my husband’s pizza and had NO sibo symptoms. It felt like a small miracle. Last night for dinner, I made macaroni and cheese – I used a white rice flour noodle, lactose free milk and hard cheddar cheese to help, but I had no problems with it. I paired it with a healthy serving of brussel sprouts and tomatoes and felt like I’d died and gone to heaven.
This week, I’ve been given the go-ahead to add back fermented foods, including yogurt and fermented veggies, and given a probiotic to try. I’m giving myself a month to try the yogurt and fermented foods first, following the same slow add-in protocol, then if that’s successful I’ll try the probiotic. I really missed yogurt and had a dollop atop my gluten-free french toast and berries two days ago – no ill effects.
I’m still using Biogest before heavy protein meals (usually just lunch and dinner), but I think I’ll start to wean off of those, too (I recently went to a Thai place with my husband and had forgotten my Biogest – I was fine). I still use magnesium at bedtime to help with motility, and I still get visceral manipulation monthly. Besides watching my diet, those are the last pieces still in place of my sibo protocol. So far, I really feel like I’m on the path to long-term healing.
All of our bodies are different, but mine has been able to heal through the consistency of this program. It’s not been easy, and I’ve just gotten used to creating all kinds of complicated orders at restaurants and bringing my own food to parties – but I’ve learned to honor what my body needs, so those things are really no big deal, not to me anyway (other people feel bad for me, I’ve noticed, but I’m just glad this is the most of my problem right now, AND I have a solution). I believe in this program. And I know we’re all different, so what works for me might not work for you, but I’ve found relief with this protocol and with staying the course. I hope you all get the relief you’re seeking, too!