It’s been 4 weeks since I first started my diet and supplement protocol and boy has it felt like 4 years. No gluten, no grains, no dairy, no legumes, no sugar, no fruit, no FODMAPS, no cumin/chili/turmeric, no nightshades, no freakin’ salmon or beef or turkey, no nuts…. NO EVERYTHING! Or at least that’s how it felt in the beginning. Now that I’m on week 4, I’m so used to the restrictions that I hardly notice them until I have to grocery shop or eat out. It really has just become a lifestyle. I have had some bumps along the way though, and the diet/supplements really haven’t helped, here’s the story.
The run down on my protocol up to now:
To start with, my energy was zapped, when I started the protocol. I was lethargic the first 3 weeks and could hardly finish my workouts or get through the day without a nap or more coffee (which I was supposed to be getting off of). Finally, at the end of the 3rd week, it was like my body finally finished detoxing and the supplements did their job, I got ALL my energy back plus more. All of a sudden I was waking up before my alarm and didn’t need a second coffee or even really a first.
This was great but I was still dealing with the bloating. Even with all the restrictions and following such a strict diet, I would wake up bloated, and it would get worse throughout the day. So I did a pelvic ultrasound which ruled out any tumors or endometriosis. Then I talked to my doctor and we officially decided to retreat me for SIBO and change up my supplements. So I’ll talk about that here.
I discussed which supplements I was on here. I was doing adrenal support, digestion support and a probiotic. Now that we have basically figured out that I still have SIBO, I started antibiotics and am done taking the more extreme adrenal support. We’ve gone to a more gentle adrenal support and added in more enzymes to help with digestion and detoxing. I still have to take them on a schedule though, so I bring them everywhere like a weirdo with all these random pills in little baggies. Not a drug dealer, I swear they’re enzymes!
The supplements I’m taking now are:
Antibiotic: Cipro – 14 days of this to kill the SIBO
Antibiotic: Erythromycin – 2 weeks of this once I’m done with the Cipro, mostly to help with motility.
Antifungal: Paramicrodin grapefruit extract to kill off yeast overgtowth.
Adrenal support : Adrenal Complex by Designs for Health.
- L glutamine powder : to heal any leaky gut
- Hydrozyme enzymes by Biotics: these have HCl and enzymes to aide digestion
- MCS-2 enzymes by Biotics : to help liver function and detoxification
- Intenzyme forte enzymes by Biotics: to help cleanse any extra SIBO, and help digestion
- Sac Bu : Probiotic to help repopulate good bacteria
- Charcoal capsules: to help detox
- Apple cider vinegar: to prime my digestive system before meals
The Diet :
We are adding some foods back in! I’m basically adding in all the foods that are a high green or low yellow score on my MRT blood test, minus a couple. So I get to have some berries, zucchini, green beans, tomatoes and even carrots, woo! I still have to stay really low sugar/carb to try to keep any bacteria overgrowth in check. I am really excited about getting to add in more veggies though and SUPER happy about getting to eat some blueberries!
The strategy going forward plus the low down on motility:
Hopefully the antibiotics work, along with the supplements, but we just don’t know. We think what is going on is that, I have SIBO which has caused Motility issues. Motility is actually a somewhat new concept to me that my friend and SIBO gal pal enlightened me on. Motility issues are when food just isn’t moving through the body correctly. It doesn’t really mean that you get constipated, its more like, your digestion isn’t in sync or isn’t coordinated. The muscle contractions that control digestion either don’t work, aren’t on time or aren’t strong enough. There are lots of different types of motility problems that can happen in any part of the digestive system. We think that my SIBO caused some motility problems and that is causing my bloating. You can check out this NCBI article for a lot more info but basically motility is highly effected by SIBO and can cause bloating. To help this issue, we are now treating the motility problems with the Erythromycin and then eventually going to an herbal supplement.
The hard but true reality:
In reality, I will always deal with these problems. We might be able to kill the SIBO or get my motility back on track but either of them can always come back. This is something that has to be a lifestyle for me. I will probably never be able to eat FODMAP foods without putting myself at risk for SIBO, I can’t eat whatever I want without asking what’s in it. Although this seems hard, I’m ok with it. As I have taken more and more items out of my diet. I’ve realized that diets are what you make them. Diets ares not just for weight loss, diets can be for health, healing, avoiding conditions, preventing allergies and all sorts of other things. Most importantly, diets are what you need them to be for YOU, and you shouldnt feel bad about being on a diet.
I used to hate questioning waiters about what’s in the food I’m about to eat but now I just keep it simple. I order things that are clearly ok for me to eat and I don’t feel bad about asking a server or barista what they are putting in my food, because isn’t it my right to know? I bring food with me if I know there won’t be food available for me where I’m going. Being on an elimination diet like mine IS doable and worth it to figure out what your body can and can’t have. It just requires a little more planning and prepping.
There are so many people who are opening their eyes to the world of gut health and gut problems now. It is really opening doors for people and helping many people heal their gastrointestinal problems. So many doctors never asked about gut health or considered diet to be part of why a patient might be having IBS/Crohns/constipation but now doctors are starting to ask and nutritionists are getting involved.
If anyone is having issues like mine, or other things that may not even seem like they are related to gut health, I highly suggest that you se a doctor that believes in gut health testing. You’re problems could really be stemming from problems with your gut!
Lastly, I know I may have discouraged people from doing testing because I referred to my diet as being “from hell” and talked about how hard it is. I know, I know, I didn’t do the best at being encouraging. I want to assure you though, that it is all so worth it. I am finally seeing my bloating start to do down, and my stomach just feels at ease, I have SO much energy and I am sleeping though the night. All of this has been an effect of the diet, supplements and antibiotics together. It really has helped tremendously and has changed my life, and it can do the same for you too.
Yours in health,