Sunday, February 03, 2013

T. M. I. about S. I. B. O.

If you can decipher my heading you’ll know that I am about to give you “Too Much Information” about my newly diagnosed medical condition.

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


Blogger Syd said...

Hope that the diet works. We pretty much do that now, except for the meat part. No dairy, soy, wheat, peanuts, sugar, corn. We like brown rice. It is a really healthy diet.

5:23 PM  
Blogger KGMom said...

Very interesting, Ginnie--though I am sorry for your health issues.
This is a new condition to me--I used to try to keep up with things medical (having worked in our state medical society and in the state health department). But I don't anymore, though I am still curious about various health items.
Thanks for a quickie education.
And here's hoping you get back on a good health path.

6:17 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

Yikes. I really hope I don't ever get that, since I'd have to give up everything I like. Hope it works well for you!

7:43 PM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

I have never heard of it before but I am glad you have found a smart doctor that doesn't just treat the symptoms. That is a very sensible diet and one we all should follow anyway. Let us know if it eases the problem.
Keep up the good work.

4:10 AM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

I had the breath test for SIBO a couple of years ago. I did not have SIBO (thank goodness) but microscopic colitis, now managed by a drug called entocort. Good luck to you.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

What an annoying sounding condition. The diet seems like one most of us should be on. Unfortunately, it prevents eating all the foods I like.
Good luck on sticking with it. I think I would have a hard time limiting my food to those on your list.

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently, many things can be wrong if you suffer from gastrointestinal distress. You have given me a new one.

MY issue is bile acid leaking back into my stomach owing to the improper closing of a sphincter muscle in my stomach. Also, regular old GERD produced by an overly acid stomach.

I just saw my GI guy a week ago. Very important for seniors.

11:25 AM  
Blogger possum said...

Gee, it sounds like the Lyme's diet to me. Not much fun. No Starbucks! I could not stick to it when I had to do it... but I managed 3 weeks before I broke and just had to have a bottle of Starbucks.
Been looking for a 12 step Starbucks program ever since.

Best wishes! You are a strong woman. I know you can do this!

1:33 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Those foods on the avoid list include some ai have been trying to avoid without knowing about this condition, Ginnie. Hope this new eating plan works for you as it looks like a good one already.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

It sounds like you have been put on a good path -- difficult but good.

7:20 AM  

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