T. M. I. about S. I. B. O.
For the last year I’ve been plagued with what I thought was acid reflux. (I actually had an operation in 2000, called a Nissan, that took care of a similar problem and I thought this was a recurrence.) However, with the aid of a very knowledgeable gastroenterologist and a bunch of xrays, an EGD, some biopsies and a 3 ½ hour breathing test I find that I have a disease called “Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth”. In a nutshell I am not digesting and absorbing food into my body as I should.
In a healthy person a normal amount of bacteria will stimulate the growth of the intestinal lining and aid in the immune system as well as prevent the growth of disease-causing bacteria. With SIBO this is all out of whack and the old way to treat it was with antibiotics.
Luckily I have a doctor who is loath to start an antibiotic regimen and I agree wholeheartedly. They may be very effective in the short run but there are long-term side effects and no guarantees that they will “cure” SIBO, not to mention the fact that they will kill off the “good” bacteria too !
So my Doctor has me on a very strict diet that avoids all foods that bacteria thrive on. He has had great success with the relief of symptoms using this approach so, although it can take up to a year or two to see results, he recommends making this a life long diet change.
Foods to avoid are all sugars, cows milk, refined grains and basically all the “whites” (potatoes, white rice, white breads, etc.) Luckily honey is allowed (bacteria can’t grow in honey!) and 100% whole grain products.
At first glance this seems like an impossibility but I find that it really breaks down to staying away from boxed and canned foods and concentrating on fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, butter, fish and lean poutry & meats. It’s really a very healthy diet and in my next post I will share some recipes with you that I’ve tested and love.
I’m hoping that some of you who read this may have experienced a similar condition (or know someone who has) and that you’ll pass on your suggestions, recipes or just plain words of wisdom