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My Story: January to March 2020… SIBO Struggles

January began with an intense approach to healing for me. I had scoured the internet for answers, and I found something called a Reflux Reboot. It involved eating only steamed summer squash and zucchini, kefir, coconut yogurt, and ginger tea for two weeks, along with a variety of supplements. I lasted four days…after drinking an entire bottle of kefir, my burping was out of control and I started feeling like I was getting strangled all day every day. I hit a new low, blaming myself for doing something so extreme and making myself worse.

I was also dealing with face and jaw pain, eye twitching, and phantom right side aches anytime I ate gluten.

BUT…

I remembered reading somewhere that probiotics could fuel something called Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. I reached out to my GI’s Physicians Assistant and asked for a breath test. She agreed (thankfully). I started the Acid Watcher’s Diet and my burping improved slightly. I began logging my meals and taking note of how I was feeling. After about two weeks, my burping plateaud. I also would feel shortness of breath at times, to the point where I’d be doubled over breathing hard, just from sitting down. My left eye would alternate between being super dry and super teary, and I felt hopeless at times. I didn’t believe I could or would get better.

My glucose SIBO breath test came back POSITIVE for methane SIBO. My numbers weren’t very high, but they were there even at baseline. My PA told me methane SIBO (now called IMO) typically doesn’t present as reflux/burping. I felt discouraged, but changed directions.

I bought the Fast Tract diet and discovered the author lives in the same town I live in. I was excited to find out he offered consultation, and decided to call him to see if it would be a good fit. I was impressed and began working with Dr. Norm Robillard.

I drastically changed my diet to mostly meat/fish/poultry/eggs and low lactose dairy and low starch veggies. The first two weeks felt really difficult, and then I started looking forward to meals. At this point I was getting horrible burning shooting pains in my breastbone, so I took out eggs and dairy.

I had taken an IgG test for more information about food sensitivities, and was found to be sensitive to dairy, gluten, and eggs. I went back and forth on how much I should trust this, but discovered I did feel better without the dairy in particular.

I started listening to SIBO specific podcasts and began loading up on information. I started visiting a naturopathic doctor, found a functional nutritionist, and continued going to acupuncture. Little by little, I started having a tiny bit more energy and less peripheral pain. I still lamented having such a limited diet and dragged through my days just waiting to go to bed. It was time to try some antimicrobials.

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