Life After SIBO
Can you remember a time when you had day after day, just regular, smooth, no hassle bowel movements? I couldn’t for a very long time. But now I can.
About one year ago I was treated for SIBO and my day to day life has significantly changed. Before being tested for SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth), I pictured myself living with IBS-C for the rest of my life. I felt that it was up to me to figure out a way to manage my IBS through food and the low FODMAP diet and that I would have to learn to live with it. But I’m so glad I was wrong!
The testing and treatment
I wrote about the breath test for SIBO that I completed here. There was some preparation involved, but overall it was pretty simple to follow the instructions, and after my samples were sent off to for testing, the results indicated that I had SIBO. I was then treated with herbal antimicrobials by a qualified and experienced naturopath. I had a couple of little hiccups during the treatment, and it was a bit of a balancing act to find the right treatment for me. I wrote about that experience here, but in the end, we found a combination that worked. I also followed the SIBO Bi-phasic Diet during my treatment and found that it made a massive difference to my symptoms. Bloating be gone!
Life after treatment
After the treatment finished, I was able to expand my diet and introduce long forgotten foods back into my meals. I was tentative at first and sometimes a little scared, but I was so happy to find that I could eat a wide range of food again!
Since then I’ve been able to eat just regular meals most of the time. Sometimes if I overdo it with too many high carbohydrate foods or high FODMAP foods, many of my symptoms, such as nausea, bloating, abdominal pain, and constipation will return, but this is rare.
My new normal
At times I have gone months with no IBS symptoms at all and picture-perfect bowel movements. When this happens, I feel on top of the world! After dealing with digestive issues for so long, it is a fantastic feeling when you don’t have to worry or think about your gut!
Sometimes I might have a little flare up and get worried that the SIBO has returned, but after a day or so it passes, and I get back to my new normal. My new normal lifestyle consists of gentle regular exercise (walking and yoga), eating the foods that work well for me most of the time and eating other (previously trigger) foods some of the time, meditation and making sure I get enough rest.
I know that I may always have digestive issues and that the SIBO may return, but right now, I feel so very lucky to have found a new life after SIBO.
Have you found a new and wonderful normal, or do you know someone who has? I’d love to hear their stories too!
Does stress/anxiety trigger your IBS symptoms?