Saturday, 31 May 2014

SIBO Update

It’s been about a month since I finished my SIBO meds - to recap I was taking a Rifaximin + Metronidazole combo three times a day for two weeks. In the lead up to the meds I adopted low FODMAPS on top of the strict paleo I have been doing. Before and during treatment I was eating autoimmune paleo protocol but as I mentioned in my last blog post, I did have a few cheats during treatment (I have provided plenty of links throughout my blog on these particular ways of eating and dietary modifications if you require more info).

After I finished my round of meds I realised that starches don’t agree with me, sweet potato and parsnip had to go (bloated and fatigued soon after eating). I’m still ok with carrots and pumpkin thankfully! I figured these things out doing an eliminate and challenge process as outlined in my favourite book by Aglaee Jacobs, Digestive Health with Real Food. Chris Kresser also touches on it in his book, Personal Paleo Code (there are other sources but these are my favourite two). So I've kinda ended up at the specific carbohydrate diet by default, which turned me towards SCD Lifestyle eBook which provided some more information and insight as to why I wasn’t tolerating many foods well and gave me more knowledge on how/when to introduce foods.


Currently this is what my safe food zone looks like (the guys over at SCD Lifestyle explain what this is in their book in more detail). Keep in mind it’s very different for everyone.

Safe foods, as far as I can tell, I can tolerate:
Meat - chicken, fish, beef, lamb, turkey (pork is not listed as I simply don’t like it)
Oils - Coconut, Olive, Infused Olive, Macadamia nut (in small doses) and occasionally red palm oil
Vegetables - Carrot, pumpkin, zucchini, spinach, silverbeet, summer squash
Fruit - Coconut water, kiwifruit, oranges, lemons, lime
Misc - Coconut cream (1/3 of a tin), gelatine, herbs (fresh and dried), salt

Pretty much what you read is what I eat. In the coming weeks I will be trialling: broccoli, green beans, butternut squash, bok choy, blueberries, eggs and ghee; trying one food at a time for three days and introducing the next food if I have no symptoms. If I do have symptoms, waiting till they ease before trying another food.


I’m currently taking:
Digestive Support: Digestzymes by Designs for Health, Prescript Assist probiotic, L-Glutamine
MTHFR: My Doctor had special day and night multi made up for me with vitamins and minerals to support detoxification as well as types of folate and B12 my body could utilise.
Bowel Function: Magnesium Glycinate by Designs for Health, low dose compounded erythromycin (a follow up from the SIBO meds to prevent reinfection).
I've introduced these one at a time. In the coming weeks I want to try lauricidin (derived from coconut oil and helps busts biofilm in the gut), will add in saccharomyces boulardii (a probiotic yeast) and I will also add probiotic foods such as homemade coconut yogurt and sauerkraut. 


Fatigue, bloating, constipation and gut pains are gone (probably a lot to do with the strict diet as well), I still get nausea but it’s less frequent and not as random as it was. Cravings have decreased, the first week was the hardest. I get tired still but not the deep fatigue I used to get. I still struggle with acne and depression and am trying to pinpoint triggers for these (stress and chocolate being two of them, lack of sleep being another, not enough time outside also contributes). Unfortunately I did have a major flare in my skin after the meds, which upset me as I had read that after treating SIBO roughly 92% of people notice better skin. I've read a few stories of people having a hard time with symptoms after a course of  Metronidazole, as it's known to be particularly potent at killing good bacteria as well (and the cheats I had probably didn't help). 

My muscle and joint pain has decreased and while I still have brain fog its nowhere near as frustrating as it was. I still have a hard lump in the right side of my tummy that I believe is due to the blastocystis that I’m still working on eradicating (more info on that in previous posts and more coming up).

Take home points:
  • Have a strict protocol when coming off antibiotics (medical or herbal) to prevent reinfection
  • Don’t expect all your symptoms to go away straight away
  • Address dysbosis and leaky gut
  • Add in lifestyle factors like sleep, fresh air, social time and joy
  • Hot baths, meditation and journal writing help a lot
  • Keep a food diary/symptom tracker
  • Be patient, it took you awhile to get sick so it will take awhile to get well
  • Reach out to others who are going through the journey, forums and Facebook groups can be a good tool
  • Move, gently, daily
  • Prepare for set backs
  • And when you start feeling better, you might want to re-read this to prevent sabotaging yourself: The Glass Wall Mistake


  1. I'm so happy to have discovered your blog. Thank you for sharing your experiments. :-)

  2. Kristi thank you so much for your blog- I can relate to so many things... I am an avid reader as I am in so much pain and suffering - all the symptoms you mention and many many more:( (whereas 2 years ago I was an energetic healthy young women) ALL THE BEST TO YOU! I do believe we will be healthy soon:) Joanna

    1. Joanna, thanks for taking the time to send some love. I hope you're going ok on your journey... I've been absent for a bit but there's a new post coming up soon xxx