Life Interrupted: A Story About Struggling SIBO
My name is Josh and I am a fellow IBS-SIBO Survivor. Like a lot of people I’ve struggled with the digestive disease throughout my life. I’ve been at a point where it was hard seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I have managed being a college baseball player, moving across the country, and graduating from college. By no means was this easy and I could have given up. Learning to treat and manage SIBO was a struggle and I often found myself lonely and in a dark state of mind trying anything to feel better. I understand the silent suffering that people with this disease experience.
My story started a number of years ago when I came down with nasty digestive symptoms while in college. I recall a bad episode of food poisoning which may have helped trigger the condition. It was most likely a combination of genetics, altered gut flora, and food poisoning which contributed to the disease. It’s very difficult to pinpoint the exact causes. Anyway, I began to have the typical symptoms like gas/bloating, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, and the feeling of being infected. These symptoms were very severe, and like most people, I tried everything possible to feel better. It was devastating, especially as a younger kid in college.
I’ve struggled to keep relationships, skipped classes, had gut attacks in the worst places like on a plane or at an important event. I’ve been through periods of depression. There was a time period where I ate nothing but chicken and carrots for 3 months straight and turned orange! I had to self-teach myself to get through college and had a hard time sitting through a full class. It was definitely a struggle.
Getting sick also killed my childhood dream of becoming a pro baseball player. I know what it feels like to have your confidence and hope stripped out from under you. I have found it fascinating how your gut affects your mood, energy, brain function, and much more. Going from a strong college baseball player to someone who lost 20 pounds and sat on the bench because his strength was zapped was tough.
Since coming down with the disease I have seen numerous top doctors, tried many treatment options both natural and pharmaceutical, and have experimented with many different remedies. To this day I attend the live webinars on SIBO and IBS to find out the latest research. Through education, great doctors, and my own study and experimentation I have improved to the point where I can enjoy life a lot more than before! I am able to eat a wider range of foods, socialize with friends more often, and begin to dream of living an extraordinary life again. At my lowest points it was hard to imagine getting better since it seemed like nothing was helping my body heal.
I definitely still struggle but I am able to manage my symptoms much more effectively than in the past through diet, medication, and treatment. I have learned a lot since getting sick and it has helped shape me into a different person which I’m thankful for. I believe there is always hope and look forward to new treatments and discoveries for IBS-SIBO sufferers in the future. I encourage anyone going through something similar not to give up. Find doctors who truly care and continue to do everything you can to get better. Remember that improving takes time and there is hope.
Do you have a good understanding of what triggers your flares?