Life with SIBO… and more gut issues

Original post date: 3/11/17

img-4303_origHey friends! So a while back, I posted about my SIBO diagnosis and what SIBO is. Since then, I’ve been through more and more digestive issues no matter how clean my diet was/is. As a nutrition major and obsessive health junkie, it’s been driving me crazy not knowing what’s wrong with my body. There are just so many things that can go wrong with gut health and we just don’t have all the research to know what’s what yet. Seriously, no matter how many podcasts and articles I read, and all the changes I made, my bloating and cravings were still not getting any better. I kept feeling like, how can I be getting my nutrition degree and reading so much about this and still not getting any better. Luckily, there are people that are paving the way in the paleo community and gut health experts that are now finding new ways to treat gastrointestinal issues and figuring out how much gut health affects the rest of our well being.

With that being said, often times, we want to fix ourselves, but when that doesn’t work, it’s time to ask for help. Sooooo, I finally asked for help and connected with my wonderful nutritional therapy practitioner, Wilma. I wanted to share what my next steps are and how she is helping me!

First let me give you some background, I’ve had stomach problems since I was a little kid. If you read my last post on SIBO, you would know that I was given birth control and water pills (spironolactone) to control my bloating, none of which worked. I then cured most of my problems while being on a ketogenic diet because I was preparing for a bodybuilding competition. After that I started the paleo program and haven’t looked back!

Everything was great except, I was still bloated all the time. Once I figured out that being bloated 24/7 wasn’t normal, hah duh, I tested for SIBO and was off the charts positive! My doctor prescribed antibiotics and I took them and felt better…. for about 2 weeks. Then the bloating started again. For most people on the standard American diet, this is normal … but I eat almost 100% clean and I’m still chronically bloated, have some minor skin problems and crave sugar at night. Not the worst thing to deal with but when you eat perfectly, exercise and practice mindfulness, you want to feel like a million bucks, not just mediocre.

This started my obsession with fixing myself and then deciding on seeing a professional. So I started seeing Wilma, she had me fill out a questionaire on all my issues to pinpoint what’s wrong and then we did testing. Here’s what I did! Beware, I’m about to talk about poop, and saliva… and blood. Basically the magical 3 some of gastrointestinal testing. Here we go!

1. The questionnaire:  this thing was crazy intense. The questions ranged from how often am I bloated to “do your nails peel?” and ” do you ever feel foggy minded?” At first I didn’t know what these were tying to get at but once I met with Wilma, she explained. Basically the questionnaire gave her ratings on all the parts of my digestive system. Based on how you answer the questions, the system gives a map of where your problems are. The way I answered pointed to problems with my small intestine, adrenals, liver and gall bladder.

2. The exam: Wilma pushed and pressed on places all over my body and asked me how much each place hurt. Wilma warned me that these pushes and presses might seem a little “woo woo” but towards then end, I was a believer. The  places that hurt me most were near my adrenals, small intestine and liver, they lined up exactly with what the questionaire showed.

3. The tests:

  • Stool test: this one was so strange. I basically had to poop into a collection plate and then scoop out little pieces of poop and put them into tubes for 3 days and mail them in. The results from this will show what bacteria and parasites are hiding in my colon.
  • Saliva test: this one is to test my cortisol levels. I collected salvia with little tubes 4 times a day and mailed those in as well. This will show if my cortisol levels are normal or if I have adrenal fatigue or high cortisol from stress.
  • MRT blood test- this one will show all the foods I am reactive to. Basically when you have reactivity to a food, your white blood cells (immune cells) go “heeeeeey not cool, we have a problem, send out the police force to get these guys” and they start sending out all these hormones that promote an immune response and then inflammation (ya’ll didn’t think I was such a science nerd, huh?). This makes people feel icky and sick! So this test, tests your blood to all these foods and can tell if your white blood cells are trying to battle down certain food.s.

4. The treatment: I’ll let ya know when I get the results. It will depend on what my levels are!

Putting it All Together

All my tests have been sent in now and we are waiting for the results. In the meantime I’m sticking with my paleo, gluten free, grain free diet with occasional dairy. I’m logging my food daily to see if I can find things that trigger a reaction in my body. I’m exercising regularly and trying to eat mindfully…. like not eating while writing this… oops.

I’m looking forward to getting these results and sharing hem with all of you along with an interview with my nutritionist! If there’s any questions you guys want me to ask her, post them in the comments below or message me!

Lastly, if any of you are having digestive issues, I strongly encourage you seek help! As someone who is a nutrition major and self help enthusiast, I really felt bad about needing to ask for help, I wanted to do it myself. This obviously wasn’t working for me, so I found Wilma, and thank goodness I did because now I’m doing all these awesome tests! Also, if you’re unsure where to start on finding someone who can order these tests for you, I can help or you can check some sites like Yelp or FoodMatters. The key is to look for key words like “holistic” nutritionist, nutrition therapy practitioner or “naturopathic”. A lot of nutritionists just follow ADA guidelines like My Plate and won’t do these tests, you want to find someone who will!

Feel free to comment or message me for help!



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