My SIBO Journey, Part 3
Hello all! I am veryyyyyy excited to share with you the final part to my gut-healing journey!
As someone who suffered from very uncomfortable SIBO symptoms, I am inviting you to come behind-the-scenes with me and see how I have approached my own gut healing. In all honesty, I wouldn’t say that my SIBO is completely gone as I have very rare, but still uncomfortable episodes once or twice a month. But, this is compared to at least four to five days a week before I started!
If you have not had the chance to look at my Part 1 or Part 2 SIBO blog series, I would strongly recommend checking them out! In those two blogs, I explain exactly what SIBO is, how it affected (and still affects) my life, and the steps I took to treat it!
Two years later…
I am so happy to say that I have made beyond exceptional progress from two years ago when I was experiencing symptoms and never addressed it.
Just eight months ago, I consulted with Dr. Falcone and began a very strict protocol that has completely transformed my life… seriously!! Instead of treating the symptoms (bloating and an uncomfortable feeling of fullness after eating), we treated the “why” behind them. Why did I look eight months pregnant after eating a piece of pizza? Why did I feel soooo full after eating something with garlic and onions?
DING DING DING, SIBO had been viciously eating away at what I thought was a perfectly healthy gut. All the signs and symptoms were there, yet I thought it was just “normal” for my body to react like that. I even tried “taking breaks” from different foods to let my body feel “normal” again, but that was just avoiding the underlying problem.
The best part about treating my SIBO was that it could all be done through the use of natural/herbal supplementation combined with tweaking my diet. I did not have to go on any harsh medications that could have potentially not worked or made things worse.
This is not to say that one approach is better than the other, in fact everyone has very different symptoms and urgencies when related to GI complications, so it really all depends on what your doctor recommends! A huge part of my success story had a lot to do with trial and error, as well. I was very cautious about adding anything back into my diet that had once caused me so much discomfort.
I mentioned the best part about treating my SIBO, now let me tell you the hardest part. Having been placed on a Low FODMAP diet, I was forced to cut out the obvious harmful foods like gluten, pre-packaged goods, and artificial sugars which was doable… but I was also forced to cut out some of the really clean, delicious foods like garlic, onions, beans, cauliflower, apples, all dairy products, WINE, etc… essentially all of my favorite things.
I have to say that while this was an insanely challenging adjustment for me, the benefits completely outweighed the cost. By eliminating these harmful foods and taking my supplements every day for several months, I had essentially crowded out the bad bacteria in my gut and left all of the good behind. I am now able to eat most of the foods that use to bother me with the exception of certain cheeses and occasionally, gluten.
While on the Low FODMAP diet, I actually grew to like certain alternative foods that I continue to have in my diet today (gluten free breads, the Almond Malk brand, Organic MaraNatha Peanut Butter, homemade salad dressings, and more!)
One last thing…
I want to include one really critical factor that I believe helped me both physically and mentally during my SIBO journey: Hot Yoga.
Ironically enough, I began going to hot yoga once a week just over a year ago which is around the time I finally addressed and started treating my symptoms. I look forward to my Thursday morning sweat every single week because this is a time where I can be fully present and aware of my body while also giving it the opportunity to sweat out any toxins and stresses from the week behind me. On top of it all, it’s actually REALLY fun!!!
Now that I have finished my protocol and have reintroduced most foods back into my diet, where do I go from here? Well, I’m no SIBO expert, but I have been feeling reeeaaalllyyy good lately (and I don’t want to jinx it!) so I think I am going to keep steady with what I’ve been doing.
Most of you know by now that everything in your body is connected. When you eat better, you sleep better. When you sleep better, you move better. When you move better, you think clearer, so on and so forth. Ultimately, we need to remain mindful of how we are treating our bodies day in and day out because chronic pains and uncomfortable symptoms are often a result of neglect. No pain, less discomfort, more energy, and mental clarity are often a result of awareness and kick-ass hard work. I strive for the latter every time!
If you got this far… I want to thank you for following along my SIBO journey! I also want you to remember that everyone’s path to healing is different. The human body can do unimaginably hard things and any one of you is capable if you push yourself and listen to what your body is telling or asking of you. You are all amazing!!!