SIBO – time to tackle a new challenge

We’ve been dormant for a while over here.  In the months that have passed, I have been frustrated with my health, then resigned to my body’s food reactions, and then proactive once again in trying to solve my ongoing issues.  Enter my new naturopath.  I randomly chose a new clinic out of the phone book, based only on their proximity to my home.  I met a lovely naturopath who took one look at my symptoms and asked, “Have you ever heard of SIBO?”  The answer was no, I had not.  Apparently my answers to her questions and the complaints I presented with totaled nine out of the top ten SIBO symptoms.


So – what is SIBO?  Small intestine bacterial overgrowth.  Specifically, bacteria that should be in the large intestine has somehow migrated up into the small intestine, and is feeding on things it shouldn’t be feeding on.  One of the hallmarks of the disease is that you lose more and more foods from your diet – in  my case (in order of food elimination)  – dairy, gluten, soy, nuts, eggs, strawberries, avocado. Every time you eliminate a food the bacteria have been feeding on, they move to another one.  Thus the vast assortment of eliminated foods.


For me, the question of whether I had SIBO resulted in doing a test, which confirmed I had both types.  I have likely had this for the duration of my stomach problems – 25 years, give or take a year or two.  Step one in treatment was  – keep eating the way I was, but while doing so take a rotating variety of herbal antibiotics for six weeks.  Step one was fine.  Step two however……I am not a fan.  Ha.  Step two involves a fairly limited diet, and for me, the hardest step by far was the elimination of all sugar.  ALL SUGAR.  Did you know bacon has sugar in it?  And lunch meat?  And sauces, and ketchup, and salad dressings, and everything in the world???  Seemingly so, anyway.  Also, most starch is gone from my diet.  This diet can last three months to a year.  I am four months in, and while I have seen significant improvement, I can just tell my body is not ready for the cessation of this eating plan quite yet.   The goal of the diet is to starve off any of the bacteria that weren’t killed off by the antibiotics.  One happy side effect (for me) has been weight loss, and because of this, coming off blood pressure medication.  Another plus is that I have been able to eat eggs and nuts again – well, almond flour, anyway.


Going forward I’m going to share some of the recipes that have worked for me.  If you are a person with SIBO and want to share tips, or just commiserate with me, please comment!  If you think you might have SIBO, go get it checked out.  Here is a page with great information:


The diet I am following is by Dr. Alison Siebecker, one of the leading experts on SIBO.