Healing from SIBO can be very difficult due to the nature of the overgrowth. However to make your SIBO protocol as smooth & effective as possible it is key to avoid these mistakes.
For a quick overview, SIBO is a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. This essentially means that bacteria are growing in the wrong area of your intestines. For example, common symptoms are constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, bloating, and vitamin deficiencies.
This is the worst mistake you can make! There are three different types of SIBO, in which each one requires a different protocol. The three types of SIBO are methane-dominant, hydrogen-dominant, and hydrogen sulfide. Each one comes with its own set of symptoms.
By not testing, you prolong your healing journey as you might not be treating it with the right anti-microbials. The only way to get tested is by a breath test, which you can get from any practitioner or order it yourself.
This is another big SIBO mistake, as SIBO is often caused by something else. Some common co-infections are: Low Stomach Acid, Gallbladder Dysfunction, Hormone Imbalances, Autoimmune Disease (Hashimotos), Migrating Motor Complex slows down, and/or Epstein-Bar Virus.
What is most important about this can prevent SIBO from going away but trigger it to come back. Therefore, as you kill off the bacteria, it is also important to treat the co-infections. Often what happens is once one is significantly better, the other can heal efficiently.
When it comes to treating bacterial overgrowths, it is a three-step process. The first phase is the kill phase, in which you want to get rid of that bacteria. The second phase is healing, in which you want to heal the GI tract. Lastly is the reintroduction period.
Depending on your type of SIBO, you can either do pharmaceutical or homeopathic medicine. I did homeopathic medicine as it doesn’t disrupt your microflora like an antibiotic would. These are some options you can choose from:
Antibiotics: Rifaximin, Rifaximin, and Neomycin, or Rifaximin and Metronidazole.
Herbal Antibiotics, Dysbiocide and FC Cidal, Candibactin AR and BR, or Combination of 1-3 herbs: Allicin/Allimed, Oregano, Berberine, or Cinnamon.
SIBO often causes damage to the intestinal lining, causing a leaky gut. This is when there are little holes that let food particles in your bloodstream. A good sign of this suddenly has random food intolerances. For example, I suddenly started reacting to avocados.
Healing your gut is the second stage of healing, in which you go on some protocol. I did Low Fodmap, but others have done SCD or GAPS. These are specific protocols that limit certain types of carbohydrates that feed the bacteria. This is a temporary process, possibly 1-3 months, depending on your case.
A good sign that you’re ready for this phase is getting retested or going based on how you feel. I didn’t get retested; however, I no longer had any SIBO symptoms.
Some supplements you can take during this period is the following:
These will help heal your stomach lining more effectively, especially if you have a severe leaky gut case.
This is often more of a mindset concern, in my opinion. I remember it was hard for me to reintroduce certain foods because I would fear a relapse. However, low fodmap, SCD, and/or GAPs “avoid” foods did not trigger your SIBO.
By reintroducing, you will be able to know which foods you can tolerate, how much you can eat of them, and how often.
The biggest thing is to reintroduce slowly and have awareness about your body. Keeping a food journal is highly recommended to track foods, portion sizes, and how you feel.
Your SIBO protocol isn’t meant to last forever!
With bacterial overgrowths, there can be biofilms. This is when the bacteria creates a protective shield around itself. These biofilms can prevent the antibodies/antimicrobials from working leading to relapses.
It is important to use a biofilm disruptor to break down the barrier so the antibiotics can kill the bacteria. I used Klaire Labs and had great success with it.
A prokinetic helps to stimulate your migrating motor cortex (MMC). This is responsible for the muscle contractions after a meal, in which they push out debris and bacteria from the stomach. It also creates contractions in the intestines to keep pushing the debris out.
If you have Hashimoto’s, chronic stress or even trauma can cause the MMC to slow down. This causes bacteria and other pathogens to stay in areas for too long. This is often associated with those with constipation.
Some great options of prokinetic are Ginger, Iberogast, Motil Pro, SIBO-MMC, and Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN).
Not all practitioners know about prokinetic so it worth advocating for yourself especially if you have Methane Dominant SIBO.
When it comes to your SIBO protocol, especially homeopathically, it takes time.
Typically, the kill phase is 4-6 weeks, the healing phase is 1-3 months, and then you have the maintenance phase.
The protocols are not meant to last forever, but some things to incorporate into your lifestyle. For example, this can be a paleo lifestyle, spore-based probiotic, keeping 4-5 hours between meals, and so on.
I truly hope these tips help you reflect on your protocol to heal your SIBO permanently.
Thank youu so much for reading!